Communique of the Central Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party
The PCP met June 5 and 6, 2022. The International Section of the Communique is below. – THE EDITORS
1. The evolution of the international situation confirms central aspects of the analysis of the 21st PCP Congress. Capitalism reveals its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature, which is shockingly expressed by unemployment, precarious work, social injustice and inequalities, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, lack of access to healthcare and social protection, by the denial of rights and failure to respond to the basic needs of millions of human beings, by the attack on freedoms and democracy, the heightening of international tensions, the promotion of war and the worsening of environmental problems, proving it has no solutions to the problems confronting Humanity.
Faced with the deepening of capitalism’s structural crisis, big capital finds no other response than the intensification of exploitation, the attack on rights, the increasing concentration and centralisation of capital and wealth, the violent imposition of its economic and political domination. As a result of imperialism’s onslaught, the international situation is marked by a serious and dangerous worsening, great instability and uncertainty and rapid developments.
Counting on the alignment of its allies, particularly NATO and the European Union, but also Japan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States of America intensifies its strategy of imposing global hegemonic dominance, reaching a qualitatively new and even more serious threshold.
2. Insisting on its policy of interference and aggression – called “maximum pressure” – against countries and peoples that do not submit to its dictates, the US, with its allies, pursues a dangerous escalation of confrontation against Russia, while at the same time continues to intensify, as its latest actions show, its policy of confrontation against China.
Imperialism pursues its policy of interference, threats, blackmail and aggression, of imposing sanctions and blockades, of trying to politically and economically isolate countries and peoples aimed at preventing sovereign options for development and in international relationships and to control their wealth.
This policy is evident in the recent initiatives by the US Administration in the Asia-Pacific region, which aim to align the countries of this region with its strategy of confrontation, isolation and increasing provocation against China, including the instrumentalization of Taiwan and the creation of AUKUS (which includes the US, UK and Australia) or of QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, made up of the US, Australia, Japan and India). In the action against countries and peoples of the Middle East, examples of which are the illegal occupation of territories and the oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel; the war, occupation and economic blockade imposed by the US and its allies on Syria; the destabilisation and US military presence in Iraq; the interference and war in Yemen; the interference in Lebanon; or sanctions and provocative manoeuvres against Iran. In the interference and destabilisation against Latin American countries, as exemplified by the blockade, sanctions and discriminatory measures imposed by the US against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, as well as the case of preventing these countries from participating in the Summit of the Americas. In the occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco and in the promotion of interference, destabilisation, coups d’état and armed conflicts in countries on the African continent, such as Mali or Ethiopia. In the sanctions imposed on various countries, such as Belarus or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. These are some among many other examples of imperialism’s interference and aggression, as witnessed all over the world.
Using powerful political, economic and military means, the US, together with the other major capitalist powers gathered in the G7, is trying to respond to the serious crisis which they are facing and counter their relative decline, seeking to contain and reverse the process of realignment of forces that takes place at the world level and which objectively challenges imperialism’s hegemonic rule.
The US seeks to establish a new order which it dominates, in open confrontation with the principles of international relations achieved with the victory over Nazi-fascism in World War II, and which are set down in the UN Charter and in the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference.
3. It is in this context that the worrying deterioration of the situation in Europe and the war in Ukraine are taking place.
The current situation and its recent developments are inseparable from decades of the policy of encirclement, tension and growing confrontation by the US, NATO and the EU against the Russian Federation, in the military, economic and political spheres, which includes the continuous enlargement of NATO – now worsened by the announced enlargement to Finland and Sweden – and the systematic surge in deployment of means and troops of this political-military bloc increasingly closer to the borders of that country.
Presented as being a war between Russia and Ukraine, this war goes far beyond that. It is, in fact, an expression of a US and NATO war with Russia, within the framework of the hegemonic strategy of US imperialism, in which Ukraine and the political power implanted there are used as a tool in this dangerous warmongering action.
The fact that Russia is a capitalist country, with the class options that this implies when defining its policy, does not restrain the US’s goals of confrontation with that country. The US seeks to condition the development, politically dominate and impose control over Russia’s vast natural resources and territory, as well as challenge its role on the international level, including the development of diversified bilateral relations and the promotion of areas of multilateral cooperation and integration – such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) or the BRICS.
The situation in Ukraine cannot be dissociated from the 2014 coup d’état, carried out by fascist groups, which led to the imposition of a regime whose violent actions are responsible for the increase of fractures and divisions, persecutions, discrimination and the denial of fundamental rights and citizenship of populations, and for the outbreak of the war that has been taking place since then in that country.
The Central Committee of the PCP reiterates that, unequivocally and unlike others, it condemns this entire path of interference, violence and confrontation, the 2014 coup d’état promoted by the US in Ukraine, which established a xenophobic and warmongering power, the recent Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the intensification of the warmongering escalation by the US, NATO and the EU.
4. The PCP is on the side of peace and the defence of a political solution to the conflict. The PCP condemns the escalation of war and militarism, contrary to the interests of the workers and peoples, and warns of the serious dangers that such an escalation entails for the world. The PCP expresses solidarity with the peoples that are victims of the war.
The PCP reaffirms that it is urgent to stop the policy of instigating confrontation, which will only lead to the worsening of the conflict, the loss of more human lives, greater suffering and destruction. Initiatives are needed that contribute to the de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, to a ceasefire and to a process of dialogue with a view to a negotiated solution, to a response to the issues of collective security and disarmament in Europe, to compliance with the principles of the UN Charter and the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference, principles that the PCP upheld when the wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Syria were at stake, and which it continues to uphold consistently.
The PCP condemns the Portuguese government’s explicit commitment to escalating confrontation, in a clear expression of submission to US interests. Portugal must dissociate itself from the aggressive policy of the US, NATO and the EU and, in accordance with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and within the scope of its foreign relations, must contribute to the peaceful resolution of international conflicts and to peace.
5. The escalation of the war in Ukraine, with increasingly clear responsibilities of the US, NATO and the EU, is being used to whitewash policies and decisions that have long been taken and are being implemented, such as the increase in military spending, the promotion of the arms race, the increase in war-mongering alliances and partnerships and the trivialisation of militarism in international relations.
The war is also being used to whitewash NATO’s role and to disguise its warmongering and offensive nature, which are again evident in the proclaimed goals for its Summit on June 29 and 30, in Madrid. NATO, contrarily to what it claims, is not a defensive organisation, nor does it have anything to do with an alleged concern for peace, security, freedom, democracy or human rights. In reality, and since its inception, it has been a political-military bloc determined by the goal of imperialist domination, responsible for supporting fascist regimes – such as the fascist dictatorship in Portugal, which was a founding member of NATO in 1949 –, for supporting coups d’états and the imposition of sanctions and blockades, for wars such as those against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan or Libya. NATO is an aggressive organisation that disrespects sovereignty, democracy and the rights of millions of human beings. NATO in Europe does not mean peace, on the contrary, it is deeply associated with the wars on the continent after World War II, as was seen in Yugoslavia and is now evident in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine is also being used as a pretext to further the attack on freedoms and rights, to step up the falsification, discrimination, manipulation and censorship of information in order to impose a single thought, to whitewash and spread reactionary and fascistic conceptions, to promote anti-communism, attack democracy – a dangerous drift in which agencies and information centres linked to imperialism play a fundamental role.
6. The instigation of war and the spiral of sanctions imposed by the US, NATO and the EU are dragging the world into an even more serious economic and social situation. The fact that big capital is taking advantage of war and sanctions – as happened with the epidemic – becomes increasingly clear with the spiral of speculation, the increase in the prices of energy, food and other essential goods, the attack on living conditions and the heightening of poverty and hunger worldwide, resulting in a colossal increase in the profits of multinationals.
The ongoing operation to blame only this war for the causes of the main scourges of humanity, seeks to relieve capitalism of its responsibility, deepen exploitation and speculation, providing cover for the continuation of the policy of confrontation and domination.
7. By submitting to the US strategy, the EU sacrifices the interests of the workers and peoples who, under the brutal impact of the rising cost of living, are seeing their living conditions significantly degraded and their labour and social rights attacked, while accepting the undeniable economic impacts that will be felt in Europe, far more than in the US.
Faced with the mounting contradictions, the EU seeks to carry its policies further and, if possible, encourage a more profound capitalist integration, through an even greater concentration of power in its institutions, controlled by the main powers and dominated by the interests of their monopoly groups – as was on display in the so-called “Conference on the Future of Europe”.
An effective response to the aspirations of the workers and peoples of Europe does not lie in the deepening of the EU and its neoliberal, federalist and militarist policies, but rather requires a path of social progress, peace and cooperation, between sovereign States, equal in rights.
8. In the current international context, the resistance and struggle of countries and peoples in defence of their sovereignty and rights, including the right to development, for the construction of a new international order of peace, sovereignty and social progress, assumes the utmost importance.
Valuing the actions that have taken place in Portugal, the Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the importance of developing the struggle for peace, against fascism and war, against the escalation of confrontation, aggression and interference by imperialism, against the enlargement of NATO and for its dissolution, against the militarisation of the EU, for agreements on the control, limitation and reduction of armaments, for the end of nuclear weapons, sanctions and blockades, for respect for the rights and sovereignty of peoples, for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference – in line with the values enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic.
Calling for the development of solidarity with the peoples who resist imperialism’s violent action, the Central Committee of the PCP welcomes the many and diverse struggles of workers and peoples that are taking place throughout the world and reaffirms the importance of expressions of anti-imperialist resistance, as in Syria, Yemen, Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela, and mobilisations and popular struggles, as in Palestine, Western Sahara, Sudan, Brazil, Honduras or Colombia.
Aware of the dangers, but also of the potential that the international situation entails, the PCP will continue confidently committed to strengthening the international communist and revolutionary movement and extending its cooperation, mutual solidarity and unity in action, as well as the convergence of a broad anti-imperialist front.