- The Guardian
- Issue #2035
Flag of the Iraqi Communist Party. Image: Ermanarich – commons.wikimedia.org (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Editor’s note: The following are contributions from the Iraqi Communist Party and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (Czech Republic) to the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP).
IRAQI COMMUNIST PARTY
I convey the warmest greetings of the Iraqi Communist Party to the 22nd International Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties, wishing its deliberations every success.
We also express our high appreciation to the fraternal Communist Party of Cuba for hosting this meeting, which is held in challenging times, thereby demonstrating its fidelity to the lofty ideals of Communism and internationalist solidarity.
On this occasion, we reiterate our firm solidarity with the Cuban people and Communist Party, supporting their courageous struggle against the criminal blockade imposed by US imperialism for more than sixty years. We join the worldwide demands for the immediate lifting of this blockade and an end to all heinous acts targeting Cuba and its revolution.
Our International Meeting is taking place in a turbulent world situation, marred by heightened tensions and armed conflicts and wars, that has included Europe. As a result, world peace and humanity are facing grave dangers and challenges that are the biggest threats since the Second World War and the end of the Cold War.
Facing this very dangerous juncture, Communist and Workers’ parties have a significant and vital role in defending the cause of world peace, at a time when imperialist warmongers and reactionary forces are whipping up Cold War hysteria, even to the extent of contemplating the use of nuclear weapons.
Our Iraqi Communist Party had hoped, like other peace-loving forces in the world, that the outbreak of war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine would be avoided and the disputed issues be resolved through dialogue, negotiations, and peaceful and diplomatic means. While we condemned and rejected resorting to the option of war, we also condemned the acts of provocation, escalation, insistence on expanding NATO eastwards, disregarding legitimate Russian security concerns, and seeking to besiege and encircle Russia militarily by the US and NATO members states. The US-NATO plans ultimately aim to establish hegemony and control over the world, its states, peoples and resources, and return it to the climate of Cold War and arms race.
We add our voice to those of peace-loving forces that have risen around the world, condemning this war and calling for it to stop immediately, and to resort to negotiations under the auspices of the UN, and to serious dialogue to reach understandings that guarantee the interests of all parties, reassure the civilian population and the right of all peoples to live in safety and peace, away from the scourge and evil of wars.
We believe that this International Meeting can play an active role in developing a worldwide campaign to bring an immediate end to this war. It should launch an initiative to build a broad front of progressive forces and social movements, in each country and internationally, to mobilise for peace and to defeat imperialist warmongers.
The determination by Communist and Workers’ parties to resume the annual meetings, after the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, testifies to their vital importance as a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences and developing joint action.
But this requires urgently addressing the shortcomings that this international forum continues to face. Both the format and content of our International Meetings need to be reviewed, in depth, based on a critical analysis of accumulated experience, with the aim of revitalising this forum, providing space for our parties to discuss and resolve differences in views and positions, in a comradely atmosphere.
Since our party’s 11th National Congress that was held in Baghdad in November 2021, under the slogan “For Comprehensive Change: A Democratic Civil State and Social Justice”, Iraq has witnessed the deepening of the all-encompassing structural crisis. This crisis is rooted in the existing ethno-sectarian power-sharing quota system that was installed after the US war, invasion and occupation and the end of Saddam’s dictatorship in 2003.
Following the early elections in October 2021, a political impasse continued with intensified infighting among the ruling blocs. In the face of mounting popular anger and growing protests, fearing the possible eruption of another uprising, the ruling blocs recently struck a deal to elect a new president and then proceed to form a new government. But such a government, produced by a parliament that lacks representative legitimacy (with almost eighty per cent of the eligible voters boycotting the elections) will only perpetuate the politically bankrupt system.
With the continued spread of corruption, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the absence of social justice, there has been an upsurge in the protest movement.
Tens of thousands of protesters came out in Baghdad and other provinces on 1st October 2022 to mark the third anniversary of the October Popular Uprising. The demonstrators denounced endemic corruption, political sectarianism and repressive measures by the government. They renewed the just demands that the killers of more than 800 young peaceful protesters (including 6 members of our party), during the Uprising, must be brought to justice. They also called for abolishing armed militias and ensuring the independence of the judiciary.
The Iraqi Communist Party has been actively involved in efforts to unite democratic forces and achieve unity in action, with the aim of changing the balance of forces. A new umbrella organisation or front, under the name of the “Democratic Forces for Change,” is being formed. It held a big conference in Baghdad on 15th October 2022, which was attended by hundreds of activists of democratic political forces and movements from all over the country. Their vision for change includes putting an end to the corrupt governing system and building a democratic civil and prosperous Iraq based on the principle of citizenship and social justice.
Only such an alternative can ensure that Iraq regains its national sovereignty and ends foreign interference in its internal affairs, whether by the US and its allies or by regional powers. The recent escalation of Turkish and Iranian military aggression and attacks on areas in Iraqi Kurdistan are further evidence of this continuing foreign interference.
On this occasion, we express our high appreciation for the internationalist solidarity and support extended by many fraternal parties to the Iraqi people, Communists and democrats in their just struggle.
While wishing the 22nd International Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties every success, we once again extend our warm greetings to all the delegates, with special thanks to the fraternal Communist Party of Cuba.
We reaffirm our determination to develop and strengthen relations with fraternal parties, and with the forces of peace and progress in the world, in the joint struggle for peace, freedom, democracy, social progress and socialism.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA (CZECH REPUBLIC)
First of all I would like to express militant greetings to all participants of the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties on behalf of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia from the Czech Republic. Our thanks belong to the Communist Party of Cuba for hosting this important event. We appreciate heroic Cuban people not only for their great hospitality but also for an example it gives us by its struggle for its national sovereignty and socialism face to face imperialism and it’s aggressiveness.
The last three decades in the Czech Republic have been marked by the counterrevolutionary overthrow of socialism and destruction of the common federal Czechoslovakian socialist state of our peoples. Means of production and natural resources, were robbed from the people and its state; they together with labour power itself were given at the disposal of monopolies.
At the turn of the century, the country was fully subordinated to foreign monopoly capital and its imperialist structures – NATO and the European Union. Together with an increase in the share of foreign capital in most profitable industries and banks, the outflow of the exploited surplus from our country also increased. The ruling class of the Czech Republic, the capitalist and comprador classes became co-responsible to the crimes of imperialism – starting with bombing of Yugoslavia, which was followed by aggressions against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and many others.
Currently, since the last election one year ago, a right-wing government was installed with strong ties to imperialist centres. It strongly supports the dangerous development of imperialism in Europe and in the world. In the monopolist “competition,” telecommunications, healthcare products, energy and military equipment are bought in bulk almost exclusively from United States monopolies; competitors are excluded, at high prices and with doubtful effects. Step by step, censorship and political repression are enforced. We are facing an ongoing anti-communist campaign demonstrated for example by destructions of monuments dedicated to the antifascist struggle particularly to the Red Army and generally by rewriting of history. Prices of living for workers and large families are quickly hiking with the price of energy and food at the forefront. For the coming winter, there is great danger of lack of heating, electricity outages as well as the fall of a great many families into poverty. The capitalist ruling class has bought the largest segment of our country to the edge of catastrophe.
Never before was the intervention of the Communist Party in popular struggle so necessary. However the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is in a hard situation – it lost its parliamentary seats in the last election. This is a result of the long anti-communist struggle of capitalist power combined with mistakes of the party and weaknesses on the organisational side. These subjective reasons were reflected in extraordinary congress in October 2021 discussion and change in the leadership of the party. The 11th congress, which was held in May 2022, made the statement addressing current issues of price hikes, lack of homes, warmongering, crisis, exploitation and lack of energy. It demands:
- Public-funded construction of new homes, regulation of rents and limits on speculation with houses and flats.
- Rise of minimum wage as well as general wage level and reduction of working week to thirty-five hour without loss of salaries. Decent retirement pensions; education and health care free of charge.
- Self-sufficient agriculture; zero Value Added Taxes on basic food and services. Price capping on energy and fuel prices, possibility of limits on exports of scarce commodities.
- State control of production and distribution of electricity and storing natural gas.
- Fight with poverty and capitalist profits gained from it.
- Peaceful foreign policy, leaving the aggressive NATO pact, prohibition of foreign military bases.
- Enforcing popular rights, eg constitutional law of referendum – specifically about leaving the European Union.
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia on the congress concludes that the causes of the current crisis are systemic. It is a capitalist system and the future lies outside this exploitative and oppressive system which causes war. A socialist society is the only alternative. Recently, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia entered popular mobilisations and struggles against price hikes and against the current government agenda, co-organised protests and participated in others.
A significant part of our activities is oriented to international issues based on the struggle against imperialism and its wars, for peace and solidarity. We always express our full solidarity with peoples that defend their sovereignty and national independence, resisting colonialism, occupation, destabilisation, blockade, aggression by imperialism, like Cuba, Korea, Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, and others.
Regarding today’s conflict in Eastern Europe the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia continuously emphasises its long-lasting demand for a solution of the situation in Ukraine by a peaceful way and insists on the termination of all military operations that are in contradiction with international law.
At the same time, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is bringing into attention the fact that the guilty side for the current situation is not by far only the Russian Federation, but the United States, European Union and NATO military pact that are standing behind the Kiev regime that has been responsible for eight years murdering the inhabitants of Donbas. The actual confrontation cannot be separated either from its historical roots, that go back thirty years, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist, resulting in the following expansion of NATO into the Central and Eastern Europe and state coup d´etat on Maidan in 2014. The system reason of this phenomenon is a promotion of economic and political interests of the super-powers and their rivalry for the redistribution of the spheres of influence, which is directly interconnected with military interventions, threat by using the force, imposing embargoes and interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign states.
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia supports all the initiatives leading to the peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict and safeguarding of peace and security in Europe in accordance with the principles of international law, Charter of the United Nations, and the Final Act of the Conference for security and cooperation in Europe. On the long-time base, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is striving for a new security architecture of Europe, including all the European states, aiming to stop further war tragedies on the continent.
Finally, Comrades, I would like to once again express our thanks to the Cuban communists for hosting the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, the important event in our common struggle against imperialism and war, for the world of peace, justice, solidarity and social progress – for the world of socialism.
Long live international solidarity!
Long live the international communist and workers’ movement!