People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

December 07, 2008


CPI(M) Greets 18th Congress Of PCP

The 18TH Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party was held in Lisbon from November 29 to December 1, 2008. Tapan Sen, Central Committee member of CPI(M) attended the Congress as a fraternal delegate. The following is the text of the message of greetings sent by the Central Committee of CPI(M). 

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) conveys its warm fraternal greetings to all the delegates attending the 18th  Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party and through them to the entire membership of the PCP.

The 18th Congress of PCP is taking place at a crucial juncture. A severe financial crisis has gripped the United States and engulfed Europe. It is now being compared to the Great Depression of 1930s. It has exposed the bankruptcy and the fraud within the imperialist neoliberal capitalist order driven by the philosophy of “speculation over production” and “profit over people” and its absolute incapacity to offer sustainable all round development to humanity.  While workers and mass of people are the hardest hit owing to mass scale job-losses and loss of earnings owing to the recession let loose almost everywhere by the financial crisis, the initial responses so far by the ruling polity of the capitalist countries have been to bail out the financial institutions and big monopoly houses. Their whole emphasis is on repairing the same financial model breeding artificial boom and irresponsible speculation spelling disaster on the economy as well as on the life and livelihood of millions and not on curbing speculation to ensure the flow of resources to real economy and the common people. The capitalist order is under compulsion to restructure itself in the face of this crisis. Simultaneously, this has unfolded an opportunity before the toiling classes and the Left and progressive movements to intensify class struggle.     

In this background, the Left and progressive movement all over the world has to meet the challenges of the time and utilise the opportunities unfolding before them.  The hegemonist drive of US imperialism, its aggressive militarist ploy aimed at global domination and undermining sovereignty of other nation states has been continuing unabated since the collapse of the USSR, demonstrating arrogant assertion of a Washington-led unipolarity. It has promoted authoritarian and rightwing attacks on progressive movements and the rights of citizens severely undermining the United Nations Charter and international laws.  But the most notable development surfacing in the course of the last decade in general and the last couple of years in particular is the growing opposition to such multi-pronged hegemonist drive of the USA not only among the peace-loving populace the world over but also within the capitalist camp itself. Its Iraq adventure is facing opposition within the USA itself, besides a resistance from the Iraqi people. In Afghanistan as well, it is not in comfort either, owing to recurring conflicts being faced by their army posted there. The loudest voice of opposition to US hegemonism is now being heard from Latin America. And gradual aggravation of conflict of interests between the Russia and the United States over the developments in the Caucasus region, signals a growing challenge to the perception of Washington-led unipolarity in world affairs. And the latest, the severe financial crisis in USA and the collapse of the Wall Street model of unregulated finance is also going to have a major impact on its global domination.

The Portuguese Communist Party has a glorious history of struggle and sacrifice. We remember with pride the militant role of PCP in the struggle against the dictatorial regime and taking the country towards democracy; the decisive role played by PCP in the national life and in the struggle against exploitation, attack on democratic rights and institutions, uniting all Left and progressive elements in the society; its militant contribution in the struggle for a true democratic alternative for the country’s people;  its determined struggle against the neoliberal economic order, its resistance to privatisation and all onslaughts on the rights and livelihood of the working class and the people unleashed by the neoliberal policy regime; its steadfast role in fighting back imperialist hegemonism on all fronts and commitment to solidarity with all anti-imperialist struggles in the world; and last but not the least, its firm adherence to Marxist-Leninist principles and unflinching commitment to socialism.   

We note with equal attention the frontline role played by PCP in exposing the real face of European integration and the policies of economic domination subjecting the Portuguese economy to immense problems and the common people to severe hardship. The mass struggles waged by PCP on the issues arising out of the European Union enlisting the cooperation of other Left wing and progressive forces played a vital role in shaping the popular opinion for advancing a struggle for a different Europe based on anti-capitalist and democratic transformation.  

You are aware that in our country, we are in the midst of a grim struggle against the ploy of the extreme right reactionary communal forces led by the Bharatiya Janata Party on the one hand and the anti-people policies of the Congress led government and its increasing capitulations to US imperialist’s manoeuvres on the other. In the 14th general elections held in 2004, the government led by the communal forces could be unseated and only with the support of the Left forces in parliament of which our Party is the biggest contingent. We supported this government to isolate and oust the extreme right reactionary communal forces from power. During the last four years, the Left parties played a deterrent role in defeating and/or not allowing many of the neoliberal policy measures including privatisation and complete deregulation of the financial sector to be operationalised. And precisely for this reason the impact of the crisis was less in India as compared to the European countries. Our Party, alongwith other Left parties, withdrew support to the government as the government went ahead in operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal ignoring the Left’s firm opposition, which to our understanding would bind the Indian government in strategic alliance with US imperialism and subject India to permanent blackmail by the US administration.

During the last four year period, our Party has been active in mobilising the working class and common people in united struggle against severe price rise, rising unemployment, attack on labour rights, privatisation etc. Various actions of the working class and other sections of the people have taken place.

We will have elections to parliament early next year. The CPI(M) has given a call for defeating the communal forces and also rejecting the pro-imperialist Congress party led alliance. Our Party will work for developing a combination of secular forces against both the Congress and the communal forces.

Once again, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), we convey our warm fraternal greetings to the 18th  Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party. We are confident that this Congress will be able to work out appropriate tactics to meet the challenges that lie ahead and rally all the progressive and democratic forces to carry forward the struggle for the establishment of a socialist society in Portugal. While such a struggle will be long and arduous, on behalf of the CPI(M), we assure you our solidarity and support. 

We are confident, that the long association and bond of friendship between the PCP and CPI(M) will get further strengthened in the days ahead.

Once again we wish your Congress all success.