Category: Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE)
Interview with Marco Rizzo, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Italy (PC)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Interview with Marco Rizzo, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Italy (PC)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/interview-with-marco-rizzo-general.html
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Italy (Partito Comunista)Marco Rizzo, gave a very interesting interview to the International Communist Press:
ICP: Before starting, could you inform our readers about the discussions within the Italian Communist Movement that led to the founding of your party, the Communist Party of Italy?
 
Marco Rizzo: The ideological and political origins of our Party refer to the political area of ​​the legendary organizer of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) during the Resistance, Pietro Secchia, who was an opponent of Togliatti for what concerned its moderatism according to the “Italian Way to Socialism”. This area kept living through the magazine Interstampa and the Marxist Cultural Centers, born in Italy during the ‘80s. This area was, in fact, the backbone of the struggle of the pro-Soviet opposition within the PCI and the establishment of the new party, Rifondazione Comunista, after the PCI dissolution in 1991.
During the first period of Rifondazione Comunista, that area always supported the struggle to keep the communist question open in Italy. At that time, unfortunately, took up the political deviation, embodied by Bertinotti and his total abjuration of communist history and tradition. In 1998, after the final break between Cossutta and Bertinotti, that area played a major role in the birth of the Party of the Italian Communists (PdCI).
The war in Kosovo (which I tirelessly and in vain tried to oppose to, subsequently practicing a severe self-critique over that period) marks the beginning of the cracking of the relationship between me and those political leaders.
Our political area – the only one critical in the national secretariat of the PdCI – claims the need to review the relationship with the center-left government (which the PdCI was involved to) and to work for the unity of Communist and anti-capitalist forces, in a totally alternative perspective to the bipolar logic of the Second Republic. In fact, we had built an area for all the communist dissatisfaction with the center-left government and the so-called leftist unitary process.
On July 3, 2009, we announced the founding of the Popular Leftist Communist (CSP) political movement, a party whose aim was to rally the communists on the basis of their presence in the actual social conflicts.
Meanwhile, the economic crisis breaks out makes in Europe. In May 2010 CSP responded to the call of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). From that moment on, the relationships between CSP and KKE intensify more and more. On January 21, 2012, the party decides to modify its symbol by adding the words “Partito Comunista” under the sickle and hammer. On 6 April 2013, the European Communist Parties, Marxist-Leninist, were called in Rome; among others, the Greek Communist Party, the Communist Party of Peoples of Spain (PCPE), the Russian Communist Party (PCOR), the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), respond to the appeal. The Committee also participates in the Communist- Youth Front (FGC).
In Brussels on October 1, 2013, CSP-Communist Party participates in the assembly of the Communist Party of Europe convened by the Greek Communist Party. From the assembly will be born the “Initiative of Communist and Workers’ Parties”, which thus officially sanctions international cooperation with a document signed by 29 communist parties.
With the congress of 17/18/19 January 2014, the COMUNIST PARTY revives in Italy.
On 21st and 22nd January 2017 was hold in Rome the second National Congress of the Communist Party, with the renewed unanimous election of the outgoing leaders of the Party.
ICP: The communist movement in Italy has a very long and honored past. During the decades full of struggles he witnessed brilliant victories, as well as devastating defeats. Have the weaknesses that led to the liquidation were examined and understood by communists and avant-garde workers? Today, what are the main lessons stemming from this story? Can you tell us something by taking examples?
 
MR: The situation when Palmiro Togliatti headed the PCI after the Resistance was undeniably adverse to the possibility of “starting the revolution” in Italy. In 1944, the PCI, with the North of the country occupied by the Nazi-Germans and their Fascist servants and the South “freed” by the Anglo-Americans, worked to marginalize the positions of those who wanted to delegate the liberation of Italy to the allied armies and, on the contrary, tried to involve the popular masses in the anti-fascist struggle, even military. This “temporary compromise”, however, lost its character of transience and ended in obscuring revolutionary goals relating to the issue of the State and the conquest of political power, which is pivotal for the Communists. We believe that deviations from the revolutionary path originated from many flawed assessments of the situation by Togliatti and part of the PCI leadership group.
Once the Fascist state has been defeated, it was to be replaced with a new type of State, not the simple re-issue of the old liberal state. All the States that came out of the war and of the Resistance had not a well-defined shape, the power was not firmly and definitively in the hands of any of the two classes. The battle for institutional arrangements in Italy was still on the way. During the Resistance, the PCI grew a lot, becoming the first popular party and counting 2,5 million members. The National Liberation Committees (CLN) could become, as a broad popular front, the basis of a new state and replace the old state. But in May 1947, left-wing parties were excluded from the coalition government. Regarding the lack of adequate conditions for a proletarian revolution, Pietro Secchia, at that time organizational responsible of the PCI, wisely noticed (for those times a statement like those sounded like a very criticism): “there is a huge gap between doing an insurrection and doing nothing …”. It is clear that the statement was directed to Togliatti’s policy, who chose the institutional path as a strategic line since 1944, while the experience of popular government of the CLN could have provided other perspectives. The new policy, suggested by Cominform, is brought in Italy at the Sixth Congress of the Party (January 1948). The political relation is strongly self-critical and “it recall the criticism that came from outside”. Neither after the lockout from the government, nor after the attack on Togliatti’s life, in July 1948, PCI tried to force the situation. The tactical and evaluation mistakes of Togliatti and the majority of the PCI leadership group of those years are understandable only in the light of this analysis, and not simply as betrayal. The first mistake was the a-priori acceptance of the forms of bourgeois democracy.
The second mistake, consequent to the first, was the magnification of the compromise, which would have been temporary and limited to the period of belligerence, until the final acceptance of bourgeois democracy and institutions as the only ground of struggle. We believe that the causes of these two deviations must be identified in the overestimation of the party’s ability to resolve the power duality in favor of the proletariat by acting primarily on the slippery ground of bourgeois parliamentary democracy and, on the other hand, the underestimation of the strength of the party and its ability to resist and deter any reactionary action on the ground of mass struggles, where it was most conspicuous, that never diminished, even during clandestine and armed struggle.
The story of the following years shows that the Italian bourgeoisie, which became the absolute holder of state power in 1947, uses it with the open purpose of bending the working class and of undoing and putting the Communist Party on the corner. In this political situation, the PCI was limited to defending its right to the existence and the “democratic” legality, incapable to counterattack in an incisive manner. Over the years, the fetish of unity has always spoiled the debate about line and program, causing divergences to appear in muted, hidden, muffled forms, never seen as contrasts of principle, in an erroneous application of democratic centralism, only aimed to perpetuate the ruling groups. Thousands of militants, who devoted their lives to the Cause, had more and more serious difficulty to understand and act.
On the other hand, it is undeniable that the PCI played a decisive role in the conquest of workers’ rights in the aftermath of WWII. It improved their living and working conditions. It achieved significant rights on the social and economic life. After the war, there was considerable economic and political room for a reformist politic, thanks to the balance of the international forces between socialist countries and imperialist countries. The PCI was able to use them successfully for the benefit of the working class and the workers, but was unable to link these achievements with the political goal of the seizure of power. It behaved like a good social-democratic party, but a revolutionary party should look like something different: a truly communist party that, always keeping in mind the existing strength correlations, keeps the push towards the ultimate goal unchanged. Certainly, the PCI accumulated in that long time an immense and qualified heritage, made of militancy, passion and honest human relationships, which made it the most precious heritage, unfortunately betrayed and subsequently dissipated.
ICP: After the dissolution of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), which was once the largest communist party in Europe, what is the state of the art of the communist movement in Italy today? Is there still a significant presence of the current Eurocommunist and opportunistic stream?
 
MR: After the dissolution of the PCI, many branches were derived from Rifondazione Comunista. In addition to that of the PdCI and then, from that one, our Party, there was a right-wing split of “Left, Ecology and Freedom”, now melt down to a cauldron of the Democratic Party. This last stream cannot even be called “opportunistic” or “revisionist”, given its abyssal distance from Marxism. It participates in the power distribution at central and local levels, as PD allows it to.
On the left wing, we find an organization which has resumed the historical name of the PCI and which inherited, in our view, the traits of electoralism, pushed by their desire to “unite the left” (not better specified). It magnifies Berlinguer’s character, more as a personal and political reference, focusing on the less compromising moments of his political experience. It looks carefully, even with admiration, at the Chinese and BRICS experience, considering it as an example of “class struggle between nations”, which, in our view, reveals a flawed understanding of Leninism. There are, as many other countries, other fringes, selfish Marxist-Leninists of Maoist inspiration, and small Trotskyite ones. All of these organizations, however, do not be really rooted in the working class and limit their diatribe to crumpled debates in narrow circles.
ICP: Are you planning to restore one day the historical name of the Italian communist movement? Or should we ask: How far are you thinking about achieving this?
MR: For political reasons we will keep the present name. We want to separate us from the historical name of the PCI, which was changed from the historical one of Gramsci, Communist Party of Italy (PCd’I) in 1943, because we intend to represent a real break with regard to Togliatti’s and Berlinguer’s politics. We could resume the glorious name of the PCd’I, but we believe that the name we have assumed at the present represents our identity at best (even if sometimes it poses some identification problem). One day, we would like to add to our name an additional statement: “Italian Section of the Communist International”
ICP: How do you evaluate your political influence and your organization to date? Can you give us some examples of PC-Italy-led fights?
 
MR: Our country has to re-establish the presence of communists in the workplace from the roots. The goal is a difficult one because, in addition to the destruction of the Italian Communist Party, we have also witnessed the degeneration of the trade union movement. In Italy, the historic CGIL, the pugnacious trade union once led by PCI, currently fully manages the power jointly with bourgeois forces. There are several trade unions in Italy, including very few with a (more or less) class ideology. Anyway, they are divided into various political currents: the class movement is very backward. Our Party has long promoted the “United Front of Workers”, to unite the struggles of workers, especially those based on political attacks and not just merely defensive ones. We work in the trade unions to support the most coherent areas. We struggle in some workplaces to build the party in there. We work with youth, relying on the Communist Youth Front, with whom we experience an ideological and political unity. We work in some popular neighborhoods to regain the political spaces left abandoned by the left and to reject the rampant racist right-wing derives.
ICP: We see there is a very active and militant youth organization called the Communist Youth Front (FGC), founded by your young militants. What do young Italians think about communism? Young people are interested in politics?
 
MR: The Communist Youth Front is a distinct organization with respect to the PC, but we recognize it as a coherent Marxist-Leninist youth organization and it recognizes us as the organization that is rebuilding the party of the working class in Italy. We have a solid organizational pact, transposed in our respective statutes and an identical ideological vision.
The FGC has been working hard and meritorious for some years to overturn the wave of ideological disorientation that overwhelms young Italians, workers and students of the popular strata. Their work of ideological and political education is precious and makes us look to the future with hope. Today, the bourgeoisie’s victory on the ideological front tries to exclude the communist issue even from the debate, to bury the memory once and for all, so many young people have never even heard of communism. The interest in politics of young people today is very scarce, because they are nauseated by rampant politicians, and so many of them are often prey of false sirens, like the “Five Star Movement” (Movimento 5 Stelle). The FGC penetration in schools, especially technical schools, and among young workers, serves to reverse this trend. For example, in Milan the FGC has won the student elections in upper secondary schools (15-19 years) for the second consecutive year and a FGC representative has been elected President of the Student “Consulta”. Similar successes occur in other parts of the country, where the FGC acquires growing reputation and accessions, as it’s highlighted by its electoral success.
ICP: What struggles are you focusing on these days?
 
We work to be present in the major class conflicts, such as, for example, the ILVA factory (one of the leading steel industries in Europe), from Genova to Taranto, which is about to fire more than 4,000 workers.
Another very important fight involved the transportation strike, which paralyzed Italy last month and where our militants have spent a lot of energies. Other struggles, in logistics, in healthcare, in other manufacturing companies, see the presence of first-rate communists. One of the struggles to which a peripheral organization of the party has committed during last weeks, has been a mass campaign in a popular neighborhood in Rome to isolate the intervention of xenophobic fascists against foreigners and refugees. There have been demonstrations that have seen a great deal of citizens alongside our militants.
In such occasions, our Party always tries to recall the classical nature of fascism and to tie the anti-fascist struggle to the anti-capitalist one.
Another activity carried out by our Party is the defense of the communist historical heritage and the ideological counterattack against anti-communism, which also rages in Italy.
During the summer we also held numerous “communist parties”, like every year, to make our Party more and more known; and this year the theme of the Centenary of October was the starting point for debates to link it to the tight news.
This year was also characterized by mass internationalist demonstrations organized by our Party in Rome; the first we made on March 25, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. We also organized an internationalist event (with the KKE and the PCPE to which various communist parties in Europe joined) and then with the participation in the rally that took place in Sicily in May against the G8 organized in Taormina. Last but not least, on November 11 in Rome, our Party and the FGC held an important mass rally with the participation of more than 5,000 militants under the slogan “It’s your Revolution” to transform a simple commemoration into a fight act and to tie the memory of the past to today’s tasks.
ICP: Italy is at the center of the issue of refugees. There are tens of thousands of refugees arriving in your country every year and there are some discussions about the borders between neighboring countries and Italy. Can you explain your position on this issue? What kind of actions do you make to strengthen solidarity with the refugees?
 
MR: The action of our Party is first of all aimed at denouncing the “war among poor people” (or “robbing Peter to pay Paul”) caused by the constant flow of refugees in Italy and to contrast the consequent xenophobic wave that arises from that. We recall that the problem could only be resolved by interrupting the imperialistic and exploitation wars in the Third and Fourth World countries, resulting in the use of a large number of workers, without rights, as a “Reserve army of labour”. We promote the slogan “equal work with equal salary”, which unifies the workers’  front and opposes all divisions: between different races and cultures, gender, age, etc.
Then, as we have already mentioned, where we are more present, as in Rome, we are taking mass action to support the reasons of refugees but also those of Italian citizens, claiming the right to home and work for all, recalling that it could be possible in a socialist society but not a capitalist one.
We oppose to the bourgeois left focused only on the so-called “individual rights”, remembering that without social rights sustaining them, civil rights are worthless and useless.
We are also in close relationships with foreign workers’ communities and support them in their difficult struggle here in Italy.
We would also like to have a more intense humanitarian action, but the economic and human resources conditions of our Party urge us to focus more on political and ideological facts than deploying a concrete humanitarian action, although we recognize that this is also an important and necessary field of intervention.
Interview with Ástor García (PCPE): “The antidote for nationalism is class identity”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Interview with Ástor García (PCPE): “The antidote for nationalism is class identity”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/interview-with-astor-garcia-pcpe.html

SoL news portal interviewed Astor Garcia, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the People of Spain (PCPE), who was in Izmir, Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution event by the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP). You can see the video of the interview in the end of the transcript.

soL: Wellcome to Izmir. How were the activities on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in your country and what were its repercussions?
Astor Garcia: We organized a number of activities in several cities in Spain on commemorating the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. It started with the activity in Madrid on October 7 which aroused great interest among Party members, the Communist Youth Collective (CJC) and our sympathizers. The other activities are taking place in the regional capitals.
We published a special issue of Nuevo Rumbo which is a publication of our Party. Prepared in September by the Party’s Central Committee, this issue discussed claiming of the achivements of the October Revolution, analyzing the Revolution and taking the struggle of the Bolsheviks for socialist construction as an example for today.
soL: How do you express the timeliness of socialism?
AG: Basically we refer to the social achivements provided by the socialist countries whose absence is felt by the workers in capitalist countries. We also explain the timeliness of socialism by indicating that the former socialist block had been the guarantee of the achivements realized in capitalist countries.
The loss of social rights, worker’s rights and gains following the dissolution of the socialist block as a result of the counter-revolutionary attack confirms this proposition. The working class once again faces the severe consequences of capitalism.
soL: How does your Party analyze the issue of Catalonia? How do you observe the future of this issue?
AG: One cannot deny the complexity of the situation in Catalonia. It is a serious crisis in the development of the state with historical, political and economical roots. It would take too long to explain it here but we could summarize today’s situation. The small and middle bourgeois sections in Catalonia, faced with the consequences of the economic crisis and especially the contradictions of Spanish capitalism owing to the escalation of capitalist crisis, saw an opportunity to manipulate the national feelings and identity of the Catalan people and ventured to use it to start a bargain in reinforcing their own economical and political status within capitalist Spain.
During the last 40 years this situtation has persisted. Yet until now, it had been an issue which would end up in a compromise based on unity and struggle. In fact, there are many instances in history when the Catalan nationalist bourgeois forces have supported the Spanish government.
Today, the two forces challenge each other, the Catalan forces of independance led by the Catalan petty bourgeoisie and the Spanish government implementing the plans and programmes of the Spanish big bourgeoisie.
The current plan and program implies the dissolution of certain legal and economic features of the regions and the lifting of barriers amounting to a national centralization. The working class and the popular classes find themselves dragged into this challenge where the two sections of the bourgeoisie try to prevail against each other in the sharing of surplus value and exploitation.
We, as the Communist Party, point out that Catalan nationalism and Spanish nationalism mean to regulate capitalism in different ways rather than demolish capitalism itself. In view of this fact and analysis, we have openly called the working class and popular classes of our country and of Catalonia to create our own alternative.
We explained the necessity to seek the independance of the working class in order to construct a country for the working class. These are the main guidelines of our political activities. We oppose nationalism that poses a serious threat and has inflicted great pain to the people of Spain in history. We stand against the escalation of both Spanish and other nationalist movements with these argument.
soL: How do you see the European Union (EU)? What is your line of struggle against the EU?
AG: The EU is a bourgeois union whose main aim is improve its position in the rivalry among imperialists. It is a union of imperialist states and it promises nothing in favor of the European people and for the people around the world, as it can be clearly seen in Libya, Syria, Iraq.
From the very begging, before the European Economic Community (EEU) had turned into the EU and even before that, since Spain joined the EEC in 1986, we have firmly opposed to be a part of this union.
Today, as the EU glosses over the policies of the Spanish government against the working class and its anti-popular policies that aim to intensify exploitation, since it serves as a guise for these policies, our position is reinforced.
We observe that EU is in a crisis. Beyond doubt the alternative in favor of European peoples is for each member to leave this union of imperialist states and this is clearly what we need to fight for. We are seriously challenging and struggling against the political position which seems to be critical towards the EU and the euro but proposes reforms, the position which claims that EU may be turned into an instrument in favor of the people but is incapable of understanding the fact expressed by Lenin that a union of capitalist states in Europe would only be reactionary.
Besides giving false hopes to popular masses the EU institutions are also used in distorting history and spreading anti-communism. In this respect we insist on immediately leaving the EU by constructing a socialist economy in our country in favor of the working class and the popular masses.

soL: Could you tell us about your policies on the immigrant problem and on the issue of unemployment?
AG: In our daily political activities we always try to connect strategic issues to tactical issues. Capitalist forces, the capitalist media and the capitalist government, at times when unemployment dramatically increases, especially as it’s happening at this moment in Spain as a result of the crisis, hold out that having a job and creating employment is important.
However, our perspective is stable, we don’t attribute an abstract meaning to employment. Very basically, when talking about reclaiming work, we don’t say that people should have a job, shouldn’t be unemployed, but we refer to employment in conditions denied by capitalism, enabling workers and popular masses to have rights, to realize a project of life providing self-sufficiency in a way that will enable them to achieve their expectations from life.
On the other hand it should be pointed out that even though unemployment figures in Spain are phasing out, this is achieved by ruining working conditions. Just as defending the October and the Bolshevik Revolution signifies, we say that it was possible and it is still possible for a worker to have a profession and a job and take part in organizing social tasks while welfare conditions are enhanced rather than worsened. We put the socialist model against capitalist development; the model where workers are free from the pains they suffer under capitalism.
Our political activity on the immigration issue is based on one idea; we explain that most of the immigration that we see in Europe today is caused by the interventions of the European imperialist forces towards other countries.
If the European imperialist forces had not intervened and plundered African and Asian countries and had not manipulated their governments, the phenomena of immigration would be far from its present form which has been shaped in recent years.
In all circumstances our claim as communists is clear, we believe that the working class is a single class internationally. We regard the working class struggle, as communists, as equal whatever the workers’ homeland or origin.
Even though it has hardships, another one of our tasks is to struggle against the idea that foreign workers have come to our country to worsen the living conditions of the Spanish working class. Our main acitivity on this issue is to struggle against racism and xenophobia while unifying the working class, I emphasize, with all its sections whatever their origin, in the struggle against capitalism and the capitalist class.
soL: What is the main slogan of your youth activities?
AG: Since September the CJC is carrying out a campaign named ‘The Youth is Organizing the Attack’. In this sense, our intention is to show the working class youth that it is not only the time to resist against capitalist government’s attacks but also it is the time to organize and struggle for new gains. This is true for gaining new rights both in education and in work.
For instance, in recent years many rights and gains have been abolished under cover of the crisis. The CJC conducted an intense activity within the student movement and made an important organisational achivement. In fact, they not only organize ‘The Youth is Organizing the Attack’ campaign but meanwhile they play a complementary role in the Party’s campaign carried out with the slogan ‘A Country for the Working Class’.
soL: How do you analyse the parties such as Podemos and what is your stance regarding them?
AG: We analysed the establishment and development of the phemonenon of Podemos and explained it again and again at great length. Podemos could be identified in general as the Spanish version of new social democracy.
It was an organisation founded by capitalizing on the protests known as ‘the movement of the furious’ in Spain in 2011. It gained ground among the discontentedness which had arisen not with a working class character but rather as the reaction of the petty bourgeoisie and middle strata against the proletarianization they were facing.
Podemos realized itself as an agent institutionalizing this discontentedness in the perpetuation of capitalism. When conditions necessitate, they are ready to replace and fulfill the mission of PSOE, the ex-social democrats existing since the 70’s. The PSOE is now in deep crisis and is facing an uncertain future precisely because of its dilemma of addressing the working class with an abstact discourse while practically perpetuating the system of exploitation in recent years.
No matter how much Podemos uses new tools and adopts a more young and fresh style and no matter how much they use a discourse closer to the previous social democrats, their parliamentary activities and their policies indicate that, just like their role in maintaining the continuity of PSOE in certain localities, despite their first impression of bringing about change they are in the last instance sustaining the capitalist system in Spain.
To be precise, let me give a classical example; we may say that Podemos is exactly the SYRIZA of Spain. Just as SYRIZA chose the financial forces when it had to decide between the popular masses and the financial forces, Podemos would also make such a choise since it has the very same character.

Catalonia independence: PCPE reflects on the intra-bourgeois struggle for dominance in Spain

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Catalonia independence: PCPE reflects on the intra-bourgeois struggle for dominance in Spain

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/catalonia-independence-pcpe-reflects-on.html
In a brief video message issued on Saturday afternoon, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont vowed to continue working to build “a free country”. “We must do so resisting repression and threats, without ever abandoning, at any time, civic and peaceful conduct,” he said, adding that his government did not have or want “the argument of force”.
Madrid reacted to the Catalan parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence on Friday by firing the regional government and dismissing the head of the local police force.
In sight of these rapid developments, we publish a recent press release (23/10/2017) issued by the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) which reflects on the ongoing intra-bourgeois struggle in Spain and calls the working class to reject the repression by the Spanish state towards Catalonian workers and intensify the struggle for a homeland of labour based on fraternity.
The statement of the PCPE is as follows:
Yesterday the Council of Ministers adopted the Agreement which sets out the measures to be approved by the Senate on 27 October, in the implementation of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in Catalonia.
Our Party, which is closely following the development of events, has clearly expressed in its communiqués of 2 October and 11 October the Communist position in the face of the serious succession of events that we face.
We have warned the working class and the popular sectors of all Spain, and especially of Catalonia, that there is no possibility of democratically exercising the right to self-determination in the framework of Spanish capitalism. We have explained the reasons why, from our point of view, the process of independence in Catalonia has entered a deadlock. We have positioned ourselves with absolute force against all repression against the Catalan people and we have called to fight against the advance of the reaction. We have called on the working class to defend its organizational, political and ideological independence against all nationalism, not to fight under false flags.
The Government of the Generalitat and the Government of Spain have long been feeding in a suicidal spiral, in which the measures adopted by one legitimize the other, and the same happens the other way round. In that crazy career, we, the workers have nothing to gain, but much to lose. Reactionary identity and exclusionary feelings are advancing which are characteristic of all nationalisms, and the massive use of state repression against large sectors is legitimized.
The Spanish bourgeoisie, of which the Catalan bourgeoisie is a part, is moving towards a large-scale reform of the Spanish political system and using the pro-independence process as a pretext for an even more rapid and reactionary advance. The agreement of the Council of Ministers yesterday, which the Communist Party flatly rejects, is one more piece of that gear.
The strength of the Spanish state, constantly undervalued by Catalan nationalism, is expressed in an intensive application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. The organs or authorities created or appointed by the Government of the Nation  (Spanish Government) will assume all the powers of the Government and the parliament of the Generalitat (Catalan institutions). In the Agreement of the Council of Ministers, a clear threat to the workers of the Catalan Administration is included. In case they do not comply with the instructions of the state authorities, not only the disciplinary power will be exercised against them, but will be reported to the Public Prosecutor for the clearance of the corresponding criminal responsibilities.
In these difficult times it is necessary that the workers’ and people’s forces reflect on the underlying causes behind all these events. The bourgeois forces have decided to reform the state to adapt its functions to what has long been happening in the economic base: the complete unification of the Spanish capitalist market.
In economic terms, the “coffee for all” era is over, an era that allowed the contradictions between fractions of the bourgeoisie to be largely resolved on the basis of the sharing of market shares through an asymmetric transfer of powers to the autonomies, allowing certain peculiarities in economic, fiscal or labour policy aimed at stimulating business profits in one or another autonomous community, and always depending on its strength, that is, its capital, even at the cost of producing serious territorial imbalances.
The Catalan bourgeoisie has ceased to express itself as a national class, as evidenced by the intense process of transferring the social headquarters of its main companies, the positioning of Catalan employers and the fact that its traditional political representative (Convergencia i Unió ) has imploded.
They are the lower sectors of the bourgeoisie, owners of so-called SMEs (small and medium enterprises), who, spurred by the intensification of capitalist competition motivated by the crisis, and accompanied by a small bourgeoisie at risk of severe proletarization, have driven and lead the independence process; manipulating the national sentiments of workers and popular sectors condemned to misery by capitalism and leading them to a dead end.
The Government of the Generalitat has only two options left. Or summon the Catalan Parliament, so that next Wednesday, October 25, the independence and the Catalan Republic will be declared, calling constituent elections in application of Law 20/2017, of legal and foundational transitoriness of the Republic, annulled by the Constitutional Court; or to call regional elections. In the first case, the Catalan government would be taking the social sectors that support the independence process to undergo state repression, a state who has in its hands the monopoly of violence. In the second case, the pro-independence block would be split without referral.
The working class and the people should not be confused by this “flag war”. We must choose, yes, but not between a Catalan capitalism or a Spanish capitalism, which will exploit and oppress us in the same way. The working majorities must choose between continuing to live under a capitalist political system that exploits and oppresses us to the point of stealing our lives, or between following an independent path in which political power is in our hands, in the hands of the working class and the people.
We want a country for the working class, in which those who produce all take the reins of power, to ensure the satisfaction of social needs, so that our peoples have the freedom to democratically decide their future on the basis of maximum respect and integration of the cultural and linguistic expressions of the working people. And to do this, we must throw every foreign flag away, because the homeland of labour has nothing to do with the homeland of capital.
The bourgeoisie will try to ensure that the reorganization of the political system is carried out through a reactionary constitutional reform that will bring nothing good for the social majorities. We should not let ourselves be caught up in their game.
We must fight to prevent the progress of this process, which takes its first steps with the application in Catalonia of Article 155 of the Constitution, intensifying the class struggle. In face of the measures of the State:
– We must stop any type of repression against the workers in Catalonia, especially against the Catalan public employees and against the teaching workers who are directly threatened.
– We must stop any kind of repression against the culture and language of the Catalan working people, which the Spanish Government has set in its sights and which it is prepared to undertake through the intervention of Department of Education of the Generalitat.
– Let us defend the fraternity and unity of the workers of all the peoples of Spain and promote the struggle against the common enemy.
– We must stop the progress of the reaction. Facing the reactionary reform of the political system, we must intensify the struggle for a country for the working class.
The homeland of labour has nothing to do with the homeland of capital!
For a country for the working class!
Condemn Spain’s Repression of Catalonia – Defend the National Right to Self-Determination

Condemn Spain’s Repression of Catalonia – Defend the National Right to Self-Determination

Oct. 6, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the savage violence of the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy exercised against the Catalan population, in order to prevent voting in a referendum on October 1, 2017 to decide on their future as a nation.

According to the Catalan authorities, more than 800 people were wounded by police forces, including nearly 100 more severely.

While Rajoy rejoiced that the Spanish state had succeeded in preventing the referendum “with all its strength”, the Catalan regional government announced that more than 90% of the 2.2 million ballots that could be counted supported the independence option. The police did manage to close 319 polling stations and seize the ballot boxes, so that approximately 770,000 ballots could not be counted. In total about 56% of the 5.3 million registered voters cast a ballot, or were prevented from voting by the repression.

This situation follows the Catalan regional parliament’s decision on September 6 to hold the Oct. 1 referendum on self-determination. After the referendum was declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court, the Spanish government announced three days later that it would not recognise the result. About a million Catalan people went into the streets of Barcelona to demand the right of self-determination, that is, the right to decide for themselves.

On September 20, the Spanish police stormed the Catalan government, conducting searches and arresting a dozen senior officials, including the Minister of Finance, under the pretext of “disobedience”, “prevarication” and “misappropriation of funds” in connection with the organisation of the referendum. Again, thousands went into the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests.

When the central government announced its intention to use force to prevent voting, thousands of people occupied the voting places. Although opinion polls initially did not give the majority of votes to the independence option, ironically, the authoritarian acts of the central government eventually seem to have rallied more and more people.

Following the vote, the Catalan authorities considered that a majority had clearly expressed themselves in favour of secession. They met behind closed doors to discuss the next steps in their plan to declare independence and separation from Spain, defying the Rajoy government. Forty-four Catalan organisations, including the main Catalan trade unions and two pro-independence associations, called for a one-day general strike and mobilisation on Tuesday October 3.

The authoritarian drift of the Spanish government, according to the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, is a qualitative leap in the process of liquidating freedoms during recent years. Today, this attack by the Rajoy government is launched against the right of the people of Catalonia, and imposes the de facto liquidation of the Generalitat (the political organization of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia). Tomorrow, it will be the rights of assembly and protest, and thus step by step, to the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike, etc., always justified by “defence of the law”.

The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) also supported the mobilizations to defend democratic freedoms and the right of national self-determination, calling for steps to restore normal democratic life, and for “an agreement between the [Spanish and Catalan] administrations that gives the Catalan people the right to vote peacefully with the full guarantee of being able to decide on the different ways of organizing themselves as a nation”, and to guarantee the social and labour rights that the two governments have undermined since 2010. Following the repression of Oct. 1, the PCE called for the resignation of President Rajoy, and for mobilization of the social and democratic forces of the whole country to find a way out of the crisis and avoid any unilateral action that would deepen it.

Silence of foreign governments

The European Commission considers the referendum illegal, and therefore supports the Spanish Government, declaring that this is an internal matter which must be settled in accordance with the constitutional order of Spain. The Commission says that “in today’s times we need unity and stability, not division and fragmentation.”

Most countries in Europe have also avoided pronouncing on this crisis. The French and U.S. presidents openly supported the Rajoy government, urging a united Spain.

Amnesty International has been content to deplore the use of excessive force employed by some police officers in the performance of their duties. According to AI, “the tensions are very strong, it is essential that Spanish legislation such as international human rights law be respected.”

The Canadian government said that “the question of [Catalonia] is a matter for the internal affairs of Spain.” Canada wants “a solution to the country’s internal debates to be found in harmony and respect for its constitutional framework,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Strangely, that is not what the Canadian government has said in the case of Venezuela. Minister Freeland has happily interfered in the internal affairs of that country, especially when she openly attacked the Constituent Assembly election, which is provided for in the the Venezuelan Constitution, and by adopting economic sanctions against its political leaders.

On the other hand, in the Quebec National Assembly, the Couillard government first observed the same silence and invoked non-interference in the affairs of Spain. Premier Couillard has even maliciously tried to oppose the right to self-determination of Aboriginal nations to that of Quebec. But on October 4, fearing the public opinion very sensitive to the violence committed by the Spanish government at one year of the next election in Quebec, a motion was unanimously adopted denouncing that violence and calling for a recovery of the political dialogue between Catalonia and Spain with international mediation if both parties consented.

The real reason for this silence is that the Canadian state does not recognize the right of self-determination for the nations that make up this country, up to and including the right to secede. By not criticising the force used by Spain against Catalonia, it actually reserves the possibility of doing the same thing here.

While the Canadian state tolerated the holding of referendums in Quebec in 1980 and 1995, it subsequently passed the “Clarity Act”, which gives the federal government authority over the question, and the interpretation of the voting result. This is a complete denial of the right to self-determination, and it is imperative that the Canadian working class reject this form of national oppression.

Among the various components of the working class in this country, the Communist Party of Canada defends the idea of mutual recognition of the right to national self-determination, up to and including secession. Our aim is to promote unity and solidarity of the multinational working class in its struggle for socialism, and to reduce distrust and barriers which can divide workers along national lines, under the leadership of their respective bourgeoisies.

Central Executive Committee, CPC

PCPE: The right of self-determination is unviable within the Spanish capitalist framework

Monday, October 16, 2017

PCPE: The right of self-determination is unviable within the Spanish capitalist framework

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/pcpe-right-of-self-determination-is.html

The Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) issued a statement on the last events in Catalonia.
The statment of the Political Secretariat of the PCPE discussed the last events in Catalonia and decisions of the Council of Ministers. It  reminded that since the beginning of these events the Party had been “warning for months about the invalidity of the independentist process in Catalonia“. The Party underlined the reasons “why the exercise of the right of self-determination is unviable within the Spanish capitalist framework”.
The statement said “Capitalism has nothing to do with democracy, but with the monopoly of violence, which is today exclusively in the hands of the Spanish Government. The statement made yesterday (October 10, 2017) by the President of the Generalitat proves that the direction of the independentist process does not count, nor can count, on the strength to impose indenpendence. Large sectors of the Catalan people have been lead to a dead-end road which will generate a huge feeling of frustration.
It was observed that the contribution of some sectors of the Catalan nationalist left was “remarkable“. The Party assessed that this is due to the wrong strategy to struggle under the flag of those who “brutally repressed the workers’ struggle and approved ruthless capitalist policies together with the Socialist Party and the Popular Party in the past.” It stated that the independentist process which has suffered a harsh political defeat is represented by the Catalan bourgeoisie as part of the “Spanish dominant class clear since October 1“.
The PCPE criticized the supporters of the independence movement of not understanding “the class structure in current Spain” and warned that “the division among workers has alarmingly grown, the reaction has increased and fascist hate demonstrations have multiplied“. The statement underlined that “The Spanish bourgeoisie has been given the perfect excuse to keep going on the reorganisation of the State, currently in process, under a deeply reactionary sense.” The Spanish State is forcing the Government of Catalonia to submit, rejecting any mediation or negotiation which means that bourgeois politics on both sides “dwells on the popular feelings and the lives of millions of workers.”
The Communist Party called all workers and the popular strata, especially women workers and the youth “to defend their common interests beyond any nationalist division”. The call included to stop the advance of reaction and fascism, to stop the repression on the Catalan people, to defend the popular and workers unity beyond any national difference and to join together under the common goal of defeating the Spanish Capitalism, “in order to open the path to the proclamation of the Socialist Republic“.
The call added that in the Socialist Republic of Spain the power would be in the hands of the working class, finding its “territorial basis in the union of free peoples, democraticly exerting their right to self-determination.” The statement concluded with the slogan, “For the independence and unity of the popular and working class!
Catalonia Referendum: Statement by the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) / Comunicado del Secretariado Político del PCPE

Monday, October 2, 2017

Catalonia Referendum: Statement by the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) / Comunicado del Secretariado Político del PCPE

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/catalonia-referendum-statement-by.html
Statement by the Political Secretariat of the PCPE.
 
Following today’s events, the PCPE shows its concern for the increase of the repressive escalation in the Catalan conflict. Today the dictatorial nature of the State has been re-established, an element that we Communists have always denounced and for which we have especially warned in recent weeks.
The PCPE has spoken clearly about the political basis of the Catalan conflict and the proposals that the working class needs in order to get out of the false dichotomies in which nationalism seeks to trap it. We have said that the road of independentism is not useful for achieving self-determination in Catalonia. But while we try to get the working class to choose its own way, we believe that all those Catalans who wanted to express themselves through the vote had the right to do so without having to face police charges. The actions of the State aimed at preventing the vote, especially those of a police nature, have all our rejection.
 
The PCPE is concerned about the rise of nationalism. When the working class, by virtue of the defense of the homeland, gives a blank check to its government to confront the working class of other nations, it is being defeated. The defense of the country must always be the defense of the interests of its working class, interests always confluent with those of the entire international working class.
 
The Political Secretariat of the PCPE, 1 October 2017.
 
 

Primer comunicado del Secretariado Político del PCPE.

Tras los acontecimientos del día de hoy, el PCPE muestra su preocupación por el aumento de la escalada represiva en el conflicto catalán. Hoy se ha vuelto a comprobar la naturaleza dictatorial del Estado, elemento que los comunistas hemos denunciado siempre y sobre el que hemos alertado especialmente en las últimas semanas.
 
El PCPE se ha pronunciado con claridad sobre la base política del conflicto catalán y las propuestas que la clase obrera necesita para salir de las falsas dicotomías en que los nacionalismos la pretenden atrapar. Hemos dicho que la hoja de ruta del independentismo no es útil para conseguir la autodeterminación de Cataluña. Pero a la vez que tratamos que la clase obrera escoja su propio camino, creemos que todos aquellos y aquellas catalanes que querían hoy expresarse mediante el voto tenían derecho a hacerlo sin tener que hacer frente a cargas policiales. Las acciones del Estado encaminadas a impedir la votación, especialmente las de carácter policial, tienen todo nuestro rechazo.
 
El PCPE expresa su preocupación por el auge de los nacionalismos. Cuando la clase obrera, en virtud de la defensa de la patria, da un cheque en blanco a su gobierno para enfrentarse a la clase obrera de otras naciones, está siendo derrotada. La defensa de la patria debe ser siempre la defensa de los intereses de su clase obrera, intereses siempre confluyentes con los de toda la clase obrera internacional.
Spain and the Catalan referendum: The working people must not place themselves under false flags

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Spain and the Catalan referendum: The working people must not place themselves under false flags

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/spain-and-catalan-referendum-working.html

The developments of the last days in Spain consist part of a fierce intra-bourgeois clash about the possibility of Catalonia’s secession from the country. 

The secessionist trends have been supported by a significant part of the region’s bourgeois class, which utilizes the multi-ethnic character of the Spanish state, the existing peculiarities in language, customs and customs, in order to unite petty-bourgeois masses and working class people on the basis of the “right to self-determination” and “democracy”. In fact, this strategy puts large numbers of working class people under a “false flag”, by promoting the contradiction of  “self-determination” vs “dependence on Spain”. 

However, they hide the real contradiction: the one between the capitalists and the working class. The workers, both in the frame of the unified capitalist Spanish state or in the frame of an independent capitalist Catalan state, will be subject to the same exploitation. Therefore, within the framework of capitalism, the life of the working class people will be the same, either under a spanish bourgeois government or under a catalan one. 

The above crucial aspect has been highlighted only by the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE), which with its Secretary Astor Garcia, its members and cadres, has called the popular forces to strengthen their organisation against the class enemy- the bourgeois power herself. Only with the overthrow of the capital’s authority, with a socialist power, the peoples of Spain can actually realize their right to self-determination.