On October 8–10, 64 Communist and Workers Parties met in Athens at an international conference on "Resistance to Imperialist Aggression — Fronts of Struggle and Alternatives." Several parties who were unable to participate in the meeting due to the situation in their countries, sent greetings and written contributions that are included in the materials produced by the conference.
In the 3-day conference deliberations, a creative exchange of viewpoints on the international situation took place. Significant experiences were shared on the development of the peoples’ movement, of the mass movement and the movements of the communist and workers’ parties.
Many speakers referred to the situation that has developed following the military interventions of the USA and their allies against the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq and the occupation of those countries. The participants categorically condemned the dangerous heightening of imperialist aggression and the complete violation of the principles and regulations of international law that has led to an even further crisis in the UN and its role in safeguarding peace and promoting peaceful settlement of disputes between states.
The doctrine of the pre-emptive strike and the pre-emptive war of the USA, also adopted by the EU, Australia and the Russian Federation in the name of confronting terrorism, was considered as being particularly dangerous for the world’s peoples and world peace. The militarization of Japan, which for the first time after the 2nd World War is sending an army outside its borders, was noted in particular. The necessity for broad and coordinated action by parties and movements in order to confront this dangerous situation was emphasized. The necessity for campaigns and mobilizations that aim to change the current balance of forces on national, regional and international levels for the benefit of the forces of peace and socialism was underscored.
Many speakers noted the vicious attack of neo-liberal policies on the social and workplace rights of the working people, with the principal victims being young people and women. They noted that, poverty has risen as has the concentration of wealth, while the increasing burden of the external debt suffocates the people of developing countries.
Several speakers referred to the restriction of democratic rights and freedoms, especially in reference to “anti-terrorism laws”, the intensification of oppression, and the problems of immigrants and refugees. They rejected the effort to characterize the peoples’ and national liberation movements as “terrorist.” References were made also to the legitimate right of the people to resist occupation. They expressed their concern about the rise in anti-communism, as well as in fundamentalism, racism and neo-fascist viewpoints and forces. The importance of solidarity in confronting anti-communist ordinances, prohibitions and restrictions was emphasized. The importance of opposing imperialist aggression was stressed.
Many speakers noted as well the special role played by the decisions of the “G8” in international politics, the role of NATO with its new aggressive doctrine, guided by the concept of pre-emptive war, and the role of the EU with the creation of its own “rapid deployment force”. It was emphasized that the new expansion of NATO essentially transforms it into a global policeman, under the leadership of US imperialism.
Participants from the CIC countries mentioned the recent dramatic events in the Russian Federation and expressed the viewpoint that those developments are linked with interests of imperialist circles, first and forejost US ones, that aim at weakening Russian Federation unity.
Speakers referred specifically to the plan for the “Greater Middle East,” promoted by the USA and approved by the “Group of 8” of the jost powerful countries and NATO which foresees the “reformation” of the area in accordance with imperialist interests and which includes military action. They emphasized the need to confront this effort immediately with coordinated mobilizations. The plan embraces aljost the entire energy belt of those countries that produce oil or countries through which pipelines for oil and natural gas pass. It concerns countries in the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, Africa and the Arab countries of the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Gulf.
It was noted that threats against Lebanon and Syria by the US and its allies, have intensified in the recent period. Participants vehemently condemned these threats and expressed their solidarity with the people of those countries. The aggression of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people was condemned as was their intensified barbarism against the Gaza Strip and the building of a wall that annexes the occupied territories of the West Bank, enclosing the Palestinians in a ghetto.
The US government’s threats against Iran and provocative statements by the Iranian regime, create the danger of conflagration and the total destruction of the area. A military strike directed by the USA against Iran will not only be catastrophic for the people of Iran but also for the movement for peace, progress and democracy all over the world. Such threats also serve as a pretext for intensifying the repression of progressive and democratic forces. Conference participants pointed out that the future of Iran must be decided only by the Iranian people and the progressive and democratic forces; not by an “alternative solution” imposed by outside forces.
Several speakers remarked on the complicated situation in Africa where there is an emerging antagonism between the leading forces of the EU, namely France, and the USA. NATO is also formulating plans for its military presence in the African continent, in the name of either confronting terrorism or the supposed “failed states.” EU military forces are already present in the Peoples Republic of the Congo. The events in Darfur, resulting from the policies of the Sudanese government, are being used a pretext for the deployment of troops under the auspices of either the UN or NATO. Participants expressed their solidarity with the inhabitants of Darfur and they supported the idea of solidarity missions to the area.
Tensions are high in Latin America as well. The attacks of the US and the EU against Cuba are continuing. The participants of this conference emphatically condemned the plan “Initiative for a Free Cuba” and expressed their solidarity with the Cuban people. Speakers called for the intensification of the campaign for the release of the five Cuban patriots imprisoned in the US because they fought against the terrorist groups in Miami.
Quite a few participants referred to the increased tensions on the Korean peninsula. They expressed their solidarity with DPR of Korea facing a US-led blockade, diplomatic isolation and threat of imperialist aggression.
It was noted that ALCA and its military version in the “Plan Colombia”, now renamed as the “Andean Regional Initiative”, constitute a great danger for the people of Latin America. Mention was also made of the “Puebla-Panama Plan” that aims at the exploitation of the natural resources of the region by North-American multinationals.
Some speakers, in reference to the situation in EU countries, underlined the reactionary, neo-liberal and militaristic character of the EU “Constitutional Treaty” and the actions taken by parties and movements for its rejection.
Several speakers noted that, despite imperialism’s increased aggression, the widespread popular movements and reaction against the imperialist wars is a great sign of hope. In parallel, as mentioned, important class struggles of the working class trade union movement and other social struggles took place in the same period. It was also emphasized that it is necessary to develop activity in the workplace and further the support of the working class forces in the workers and trade union movement.
Numerous speakers noted that despite its power, the US encounters considerable difficulty in imposing its plans. A critical contribution in this has been the significant resistance of the people who defend their national independence and sovereignty in combination with international solidarity. It was underlined that the victory of the popular forces in the recent vote in Venezuela had a wide impact.
The participants expressed their solidarity with the Iraqi people and the progressive and popular forces that are fighting for their right to determine their fate with their free will: putting an end to the occupation and opening up prospects for radical democratic change.
They reiterated their support for the struggle of the Palestinian people and also expressed their solidarity with the peace-loving forces of Israel, while special mention was made of the Israeli youth that refuse to serve in the army in the occupied territories which often results in their imprisonment.
The participants condemned the continuing occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territories and demanded the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops and the return of all refugees, according to UN resolutions 242, 338 and 194.
The participants expressed their solidarity and support for the struggle of the Cypriot people, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, for a federal solution on the basis of decisions and resolutions of the UN and its Security Council, for the removal of Turkish occupying forces, for the reunification of Cyprus and its people which will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
There was an exchange of opinion regarding the anti-war and anti-globalization movements, the role of communists in these, as well as the struggle within these movements for their orientation.
It was noted that it is necessary to develop active political solidarity and support among Communist and Workers Parties, as well as in general among popular movements. Many speakers mentioned the need for supporting a series of initiatives taken by several Communist and Workers Parties or movements.
The participants expressed the need to continue and multiply similar meetings of Communist and Workers Parties. They mentioned as an example the meetings of the CPs of South America and the idea of holding similar meetings on the occasion of EU summit meetings.
The need for wider meetings on subjects of international interest and regional and local meetings was also noted. Such a meeting is the initiative of the Lebanese CP for the issues of the region.
It was also proposed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the anti-fascist victory with an international event in Prague.
Important events for campaigns and mobilizations are: the struggle against the EU constitution and the emerging reactions from the attack against the social insurance and benefits of the workers; the increase in work hours and firings; the continuation of anti-NATO mobilizations this year in Venice and during the NATO summit in Nice in 2005, as well as the youth struggles especially in view of the World Festival of Youth and Students next August in Venezuela.
The idea was put forward to try having our parties meet in view of important international events, with the aim of achieving a more collective processing of proposals and a more united understanding and position. Such an opportunity is offered by the initiative of the CP of Brazil that is organizing a big internationalist event in Porto Alegre in Brazil during the convention of the World Social Forum.
The positive effect that the exchange of opinion and cooperation between Communist and Workers Parties has on coordination and on united action with wider anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly, democratic and patriotic forces, as well as for the development of the movement against capitalist globalization, was emphasized by many speakers.
It was also mentioned that it would be useful to widen the exchange of views and ideas and the theoretical discussion regarding the prospects for socialism under contemporary conditions.
The participants also expressed the need to strengthen even more the internationalist solidarity of our parties with communists and other progressive people and parties that are facing persecution, imprisonment and those whose activity is banned. In addition, the need for solidarity was expressed in action against anti-democratic discrimination and reactionary regulations that target democratic rights and freedoms.
Athens, 10 October 2004
1. CP of Albania
2. PADS, Algeria
3. CP of Australia
4. Democratic Progressive Tribune — Bahrain
5. CP of Bangladesh
6. WP of Belgium
7. CP of Brazil
8. New CP of Britain
9. Bulgarian CP«GD»
10. CP of Bulgaria
11. CP of Canada
12. CP of Cuba
14. CP of Bohemia Moravia
15. CP in Denmark
16. CP of Denmark
17. CP of Estonia
18. German CP (DKP)
19. CP of Greece
20. Unified CP of Georgia
21. CP of India
22. Tudeh Party of Iran
23. WP of Ireland
24. CP of Ireland
25. CP of Israel
26. Party of the Italian Communists
27. PC Refoundation
28. Iraqi CP
29. Jordanian CP
30. WP of Korea
31. SP of Latvia
32. Lebanese CP
33. SP of Lithuania
34. CP of Luxembourg
35. CP of Malta
36. PCs of Mexico
37. PCs of Republic of Moldova
38. New CP of the Netherlands
39. CP of Norway
40. Palestinian CP
41. Palestinian PP
42. Philippine CP — 1930
43. CP of Poland
44. Portuguese CP
45. Romanian CP
46. Socialist Alliance Party Romania
47. CP of Russian Federation
48. CWP of Russia – PCs of Russia (RKRP-RPC)
50. Union CPs-CPSU
51. CP of Slovakia
52. CP of Spain
53. CP of Peoples of Spain
54. United Left Spain
55. Sudanese CP
56. CP of Sweden
57. Syrian CP
58. Syrian CP
59. CP of Turkey (Turkey)
60. Party of Labour (EMEP) — Turkey *
61. Union of Cs of Ukraine
62. CP, USA
63. CP of Vietnam
64. New CP of Yugoslavia
* The Party of Labour (EMEP), Turkey participates as Observer
Messages and Written Contributions Were Sent by:
1. CP of Argentina
2. CP of Austria
3. CWP of Bosnia–Herzegovina
4. CP of Chile
5. Colombian CP
6. CP of Ecuador
7. CP of Finland
8. CP of India (Marxist)
9. CP Kurdistan — Iraq
10. Peoples’ Revolutionary Party, Laos
11. Popular Socialist Party of Mexico
12. CP of Nepal (UML)
13. South African CP
14. CP of Ukraine
15. CP of Venezuela