- by Andrew Irving
- The Guardian
- Issue #2031
Andrew Irving giving his speech.
The following is a speech delivered by Communist Party of Australia General Secretary Andrew Irving at the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
27th to 29th October 2022, Havana, Cuba.
The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) is pleased to be able to speak at this important forum and thanks the Communist Party of Cuba for organising the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. It is a great opportunity to visit socialist Cuba and share this experience with the other comrades from the parties in attendance.
I begin by acknowledging comrade Miguel Diaz-Canel General Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and president of Cuba. We appreciate the great responsibility he inherited from the leaders of the revolution in particular comrade Fidel Castro. We salute Fidel & Raul Castro, Che Guevara and the many other historical leaders of this victorious socialist revolution ninety miles from the United States.
The CPA is proud to stand in solidarity with the Cuban revolution and its people. For many years our members have been active in Cuban solidarity, in branches of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS), some of which were founded by our members.
For example, in Sydney and Perth, CPA and ACFS members continue to rally on the 17th of each month outside their local US consulates. That date was chosen internationally after the successful campaign for the freedom of the Cuban Five heroes. We share these actions in a global network knowing from small things big things grow when it is organised and shared.
We salute the fact that despite the criminal US blockade on Cuba that has tried to destroy the socialist revolution for more than sixty years, Cuba was able to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. Its scientists developed successful vaccines against the virus and shared its technology and personnel with other countries, despite the US unilateral coercive measures.
The CPA also stands in solidarity with other struggles in Latin America like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and welcomes the recent electoral victories by progressive governments. We stand with the people of Palestine, their campaign to end Zionist occupation, and campaign for recognition of an independent Palestinian state.
Our delegates come to this conference to listen to the experiences of our fraternal Communist and Workers’ Parties. Consider and discuss their reports on how the universal theories and principles set out by Marx, Engels, and Lenin have been applied in practice and applied to their national characteristics.
At our 14th National Congress held at the end of February 2022 under the slogan “Build the Party for a Socialist Future” our delegates strongly endorsed a resolution that continued a commitment to the working-class and the application of Marxism-Leninism to the national conditions and the international challenges that have confronted the workers’ movement and its unity in struggle against the imperialists. Together we have confronted significant attacks and have had many victories against the common enemy and their system of exploitation.
In Australia there has been a surge in support of the struggle for change and a new generation of revolutionaries who are willing to commit themselves to the movement that seeks the elimination of capitalism. But this is providing a real challenge to our Party and its ability to turn this enthusiasm into an organised, disciplined, mature, and active force that is committed to scientific socialism and the leadership of the working class.
The application of class-based politics to the crucial issues in Australia, such as the national question, work in trade unions, peace, and the environment is essential in creating the conditions for social change in our country.
The building of a militant political trade union movement lead by Communists, now includes the study by our cadres of Lenin’s Three sources and component parts of Marxism with a focus on political economy and the history of Dialectical Materialism and analysis of contradictions by Marx and Engels. This gives our comrades the strongest foundational understanding of the economic and social realities they will need to apply to collectively build our party’s political vanguard role in workers push for real change.
The task for Communists is to determine what is universal and what is specific to the reality that we encounter in society. Communists do not require to mechanically apply models to realities for which they are unsuited. We must strengthen our understanding of Scientific Socialism, and the importance of theory, that is tested in practice to overcome opportunism and dogma.
One example is our commitment to Peace with the Central Committee initiating a new significant party-wide campaign against Australia’s involvement in the AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom & United States) Agreement.
The AUKUS alliance represents an intensification of the imperialist threats to the countries of our region and Australia’s independence, and is clearly directed at preparation for war with China. Unwillingly locking our people and nation into an offensive military build-up which will cost Australians $48 Billion this year, growing to a quarter of a trillion over 10 years.
Our new Peace Budget campaign will focus on the redirection of money which is desperately needed by the community for health care, schools, aged care, community services, and housing. It must also be directed to addressing the climate crisis, help develop alternative renewable energy, many other significant environmental challenges and the communities impacted by extreme weather disasters. The Australian government says that we cannot afford to help others in our region and this agreement has once again isolated us from our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.
The application of Scientific Socialism continues to inspire and provide proof of the words of Marx, Engels and Lenin. They are not just part of the past or a superseded understanding of the reality of nature. They are now being given new life and meaning by comrades advancing the theories that inspire, liberate and energise the people. Giving them tools and knowledge that has and will engage, win over, and achieve advancements that show what is possible and how the workers can build a world based on mutual respect, common interest, friendship, and the betterment of all.
Our party is dedicated to studying and applying Marxist-Leninist theory in campaigns to deepen our understanding and building a strong, dynamic and enthusiastic movement committed to internationalism and a future Socialist society.
Finally, the CPA joins the demand of the Cuban people to end the criminal US blockade, the removal of Cuba from the unilateral US list of countries sponsors of terrorism, the end of subversive actions against the people, and the return of Guantánamo Bay to the people of Cuba!
Long live the Cuban revolution!
Long live Marxism-Leninism!
Long live international solidarity!
Long live Fidel!