The 16th Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties took place from Nov. 13-16 in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and was hosted with elegant patience by the Communist Party of Ecuador. Eighty-five representatives from 53 parties and 44 countries met to discuss a draft declaration, hear of developments within each country and party and consider a plan of united action. Though no joint declaration could be reached, the meeting did issue a press release and adopt a joint plan of action.
No declaration could be agreed upon because of fundamental differences that center around concepts of the path to socialism. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was adamant in their disagreement with concepts such as transitional, alternative and intermediate steps or stages to socialism.
Though the KKE agrees with working in alliances, they disagree with working in alliances for the purposes of winning any form of government other than one that is socialist. Their analysis is that neoliberalism, the more restrictive form, and social democracy, the more expansive form, are both forms of management tools for capitalism, and workers are and remain exploited under both. They disagree with attaching any significance to multi-polarity, meaning the emergence of the BRICS union of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) or ALBA, which is a union of the countries of the Bolivarian Movement (for example Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador) along with countries of the Caribbean, and Cuba.
Though the opinion of the KKE is not embraced by most, there is an effort to ratchet down the tension. There is a conscious effort on the part of the majority to preserve unity especially for the purposes of anti-imperialism, the fight for world peace, and the struggle to support Cuba. It was said by prior participants that the tension was much better processed at this 16th meeting. Even though a joint declaration could not be produced, maybe more important, a joint plan of action was reached.
The points of the joint plan of action indicate just a few of the struggles which make the fight for unity where unity can be won in the world communist movement worth the effort. Even though it was not always obvious, a review of the full scope of the meeting made it crystal clear that in this moment in time, given the significance of the fight for peace and against imperialist aggression, whatever degree of unity, especially unity in action, which can be won is well worth realizing.
The joint plan of action includes several items. First, there is the call for parties around the world to honor May Day by participating in working class struggles.
Second, all parties are called to denounce the plans of imperialism to win world hegemony, to highlight the importance of the fight for peace, and to take action against NATO imposed military bases, military invasions, militarism, and the Trident Juncture 2015 NATO exercises. Trident Juncture 15 will be the largest exercises, involving more than 16,000 ground troops, NATO has conducted in 20 years and will be held in October and November of 2015 throughout Portugal and Spain.
Third, all parties are called to struggle against imperialist war in the Middle East and to condemn the intervention of imperialism in the Ukraine and Africa. There was clear opposition to criminal terrorist activity while recognizing the role of imperialism in their propagation.
Fourth, all parties are called to remember the 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism by recognizing the role of communists including the former Soviet Union. Parties are also called to thwart the rewriting of history relative to fascism.
Fifth, all parties are called to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s victory over US imperialism. Vietnam is presently on a path of industrialization and democratization utilizing a socialist oriented market economy to help foster recovery from decades of colonialism, imperialist war, and intervention.
Sixth, all parties are called to denounce anti-communism and to demonstrate solidarity with victims, particularly those in the Ukraine. In the Ukraine, amidst a context of national turmoil instigated by imperialism, the Communist Party has been banned and members are being persecuted.
Eighth, all parties are called to promote solidarity with the struggles in Latin America for national sovereignty and against imperialist intervention and aggression. Winning a demilitarized and democratized foreign policy in the USA would go a long way toward stopping the U.S. from interfering in the sovereign right of Latin American countries to decide their own futures.
Of paramount importance to us in the USA is the ninth plank calling on parties to strengthen their support for Cuba. For too long, over 50 years, the U.S. has imposed an inhumane embargo on Cuba which means Cuba has suffered severe economic hardship because the U.S. did not like its choice of the socialist path. Now, more than ever, is the time to mount a massive campaign to lift the embargo since almost all of the countries in the world, except the US and Israel, and even businesses here in the USA agree the embargo should be ended. Too, all parties are called to increase efforts to win the release of the last three of the Cuban 5. The Cuban 5 were imprisoned here in the US for working to protect Cuba from terrorist assault by fanatic elements.
Tenth, all parties are called to recognize the anniversaries of the World Federation of Trade Unions (70th), the World Peace Council (65th), the Women’s International Democratic Federation (70th), and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (70th) in 2015.
Lastly, the working group of the World Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties agreed to reflect on the socialist experience in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 1917 October revolution.
In the fight for unity within the world communist movement, there is no effort to homogenize the approach of communist and workers’ parties in their individual countries. The need to respond to national peculiarities is fully recognized by most. The paramount importance of the struggle for world peace and against imperialist aggression makes, in this moment, the effort to maintain unity within the communist movement a worthy endeavor.
Photo: Dee Myles and Rossana Cambron represented the Communist Party USA at the 16th Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, Nov. 13-16 in Ecuador. (via CPUSA)