The United States Air Force B29 bomber "Enola Gay" launched on the "chosen" city of Hiroshima, an uranium-235 atomic bomb, named Little Boy, with a power equal to 13.000 tons of TNT, causing the immediate death of about 80.000 people and destroying around 90% of the buildings and infrastructures of a city that at the time had a population of about 300.000 people.

August 9, 11.02 AM. After over flying the primary objective — Kokura — saved by the clouds that did not allow a correct visualization of the target and the observation and the shooting of a film on the effects of the atomic weapon — a B29 Super Fortress accompanied by two airplanes whose mission was to record and film its effects launched on Nagasaki, a 6.4 Kg plutonium-239 bomb, Fat Man, causing the immediate death of 40.000 people and in the following days that of at least 80.000 by radioactive poisoning.

For the first time in History and within a span of three days, the world was witnessing one of the jost heinous crimes ever committed against humanity and which is today responsible for the death of about 400.000 people and indirect effects on hundreds of thousands of persons.

The PCP, in once again signalling these dark dates in History, joins all those who, in Portugal and around the world, do not want Humanity, and specially the younger generations, to ignore and forget the terror of the nuclear weapon, while at the same time paying a heartfelt homage to all those who perished due to this crime and reaffirming its solidarity to those who, still today, suffer its effects.

The launching of the atomic bomb on civilian populations is by itself an act of cowardice and inhumanity, totally unjustifiable under any circumstances. But it should still be remembered that this crime did not envisaged any military strategy for the Allied victory in World War II. The surrender of Nazi Germany was already signed and the military defeat of Japan was an acquired fact. The reasons for such a heinous massacre lie on the objectives of a hegemonic imperialist affirmation by the USA, who wanted to show the world, and specially the Soviet Union, its military supremacy, while at the same time test the real power of destruction and death of the atomic bomb.

On these dark dates, Humanity learnt the terrible effects of the thirst for power and imperialist domination together with the systematic resort to war and the adoption of militarism as the political doctrine of imperialism.

61 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the economic, political and ideological system that was at the root of the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese victims is the same that is pushing thousands of millions of human beings into a situation which is increasingly unsustainable in economic and social terms and the same that, faced with its own historic limits and contradictions, once again resorts to the affirmation of its military supremacy, to the arms race and to war, in order to try to pursue its perverse project of the domination of countries and resources, aiming to submit the peoples and trying to crush rising resistances.

To remember the past is thus, and also in this case, to warn about the present and alert to the future.

Contrary to the capitalist official speech of a few years back, the world is neither fairer nor safer. The threats, conflicts, destabilization manoeuvres and interferences and imperialist wars are taking place around the world; the military expenses of the main powers reach historic records and continue to rise; the legal and illegal arms trade is today responsible for one of the highest amounts in terms of world trade; NATO, which was in former times hypocritically presented as a defensive alliance against the "communist threat", reveals its own essence: it assumes itself as an aggressive political and military alliance, with hegemonic aims, and which, in its strategic concept, clearly assumes the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the context of any military conflict and spreads itself to the East in a process of blackmail, coordinated with the enlargement of the European Union.

In the last year only, and together with the projects of North American hawks to destroy the treaties on non-proliferation and to develop new weapons of mass destruction, the leaders of countries like France and Great Britain openly refer to the possibility of using their nuclear arsenal in military conflicts and the leadership circles of the European Union are trying at all costs to institutionalize militarization, and betting increasingly clearly on the affirmation of the European Union as a political and military bloc of an imperialist nature.

The PCP, in signalling the 61st. anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki crimes, cannot refrain from, once again, warning the workers and the Portuguese people to the dangers posed by Israel’s actions, by the main world powers and by NATO in the Middle East and in Central Asia. It is increasingly clear that, under the cover of an alleged "war against terrorism", conflicts, aimed at the domination of the region in geo-strategic terms and the control of the production and flow of the energy resources, mainly oil, are unfolding. A plan is under way aimed at establishing Israel as a great regional power at the service of the US and to submit all the other countries to the diktats of the Western powers that are presently negotiating among themselves their share of the Middle Eastern "cake". If proof were needed, we could once again remind the dozens of US and NATO military bases set up in these regions during the last 4 years; the involvement of the petroleum multinationals in the so-called "reconstruction processes" and the declared will of powers like Germany and France to station their troops in the region. It is a clear cycle of wars begun with the occupation of Afghanistan, responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of people and which, with the use of weapons of mass destruction, massacres of civilian populations and the use of torture fully displays the criminal character of this plan.

In Lebanon, the reoccupation, the massacres and the destruction carried out by the Israeli army continue unpunished and everything points to an offensive on an even larger scale that will leave Lebanon pure and simply destroyed. The crimes committed by Israel in Lebanon, and now more intensely in Palestine, do not seem to exist in the eyes of the so-called "international community" and of the UN. The recent negotiations between the European powers and the US clearly show the hypocrisy that is determining the "rhythm" of the diplomatic negotiations. The unacceptable terms of the so-called "Franco-North-American" text presented at the Security Council gives Israel still more time to continue with the bloodshed. If approved, this draft resolution would whitewash the invasion of Lebanon and the attacks against Palestine and would put forward a set of measures that, in an unthinkable way, aim to safeguard the interests of the occupier and ignore the standpoints and proposals put forward by the legitimate government of the occupied country in the global plan presented by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

If the aims of the great powers concerning the reoccupation of Lebanon are confirmed; if the escalade of threats against Syria and Iran continue; if, on one hand, the position of an objective support of Israel in the unilateral definition of borders and the consequent occupation of Palestinian territories and on the other, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are maintained, if all these factors of tension continue, the spreading and generalization of the conflicts in the region assumes a frightening degree and if this happens, it will have devastating consequences for the peoples of the region and of the whole world.

Counter to the principles set down in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, the Portuguese government, through the hand of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has adopted a double stance of silence regarding the main issue — that is, the condemnation of the Israeli crimes in Lebanon and Palestine and the demand for an immediate cease fire and an end to the occupation of Lebanon — and, on the other hand, of an active participation in the manoeuvres that in the European Union continue to give time and cover to the invasion and massacres. It is about time the Portuguese government, through the Prime Minister, clarifies its position. It is about time to, in accordance with the constitutional principles, condemn the aggression against Lebanon and Palestine, and demand an unconditional immediate cease fire and contribute constructively for a political solution in the Middle East.

A solution that does not imply sending more foreign troops to the region but involves the recognition of the rights of all the peoples of the Middle East to their sovereignty and independence, free from foreign interferences, A solution that in the framework of a withdrawal of the Israeli army from all occupied territories in Lebanon and Palestine will have to be based upon the abidance of the 1967 Israeli borders, decided by the UN; in the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to build their State, independent, sovereign and viable, with their capital in East Jerusalem; in the dismantling of all settlements in the West Bank; in the solution of the refugee problem in accordance with the international resolutions; in the freedom of political prisoners from the Israeli jails and consequent exchange of prisoners and finally, the withdrawal of the occupying armies from Iraq and Afghanistan. Only so, it will be possible to open the road to peace in the Middle East.

The PCP, in an extremely painful moment for the peoples of this region and on the day it remembers the Hiroshima and Nagasaki crimes, reaffirms its longstanding position of the defence of the rights of the peoples to self determination and resistance against aggression and occupation by all means available. Expresses its heartfelt solidarity to the families, friends and companions in struggle of the Lebanese and Palestinian victims of the Israeli invasion and aggression and, in a very special way, to the Lebanese Communist Party which, during the past days has seen its militants fallen in combat against the Zionist army, for the independence and sovereignty of their country. We appeal to the workers and the Portuguese people to, even during a well deserved rest period after a year of work, to keep raised the banner of solidarity with these peoples and join the actions of explanation and denouncement that several organizations, including the PCP, are preparing for the coming Thursday, August 10.

The PCP, reminding its strong opposition to the participation of Portugal in military missions of aggression and occupation as is the case of Afghanistan and Iraq — whose struggle against the occupation cannot remain forgotten in this new framework — reaffirms its frontal disagreement with a Portuguese participation in a so-called "international interposition force" in Lebanon.

In remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and well aware of the dangers that humanity continues to face — namely with the systematic resort to weapons of mass destruction and the threats of the use of nuclear terror — the Portuguese communists reiterate their pledge to the Portuguese people and all the progressive and peace forces of the world, to continue the struggle of generations and generations of communists and democrats, for a just and lasting peace in a worldd which, born of the struggle of the workers and the peoples, will one day lead to a peaceful life and cooperation among peoples. A world free from nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. A fairer and fraternal world, in which social justice, well-being and happiness will be a reality for every man and woman who build this world daily and create its History.

Lisbon, 7th August 2006