Chilean Communist at Chicago gathering predicts socialism will prevail
The optimistic remarks by Paul Hammer from Chile were cheered by convention delegates. | Taylor Dorrell / People's World

Read more coverage of the Communist Party USA’s 32nd National Convention.

CHICAGO—Declaring “capitalism and imperialism are going through one of their worst crises,” a top Chilean Communist told participants this weekend at the CPUSA 32nd National Convention here that socialism will eventually prevail over crisis and capitalism. Coming from a person whose homeland overcame fascism and dictatorship, the message was encouraging to political activists here.

Speaking through a translator, Paul Hammer, a member of the Secretariat of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Communist Party of Chile, delivered that optimistic prediction to the CPUSA Convention, bringing participants to their feet in sustained applause.

Hammer was one of many visitors from Communist Parties overseas who spoke either in person, as he did, or by video. Other speakers were from communist and socialist parties from Cuba, Vietnam, Canada, South Africa, Israel, and Iran.

Hammer, who was imprisoned for two years under prior Chilean right-wing regimes, and then spent more time in exile, brought greetings from the Communist Party of Chile.

That struggle for progress continues, Hammer assured everyone, in the land of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1971, and the late Chilean Socialist President Salvador Allende Gossens, Hammer said.

Allende was elected in 1970 with Communist Party and Socialist Party support. The Chilean Army, aided and abetted by the CIA and the Nixon administration overthrew Allende in a bloody coup.

Allende and thousands of others died and tens of thousands more Chileans “disappeared” under the 17-year right-wing “free market” dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Hammer offered his optimistic prediction even though a recent development shows the party still faces right-wing oppression in his homeland. On June 3, Daniel Jadue, the Communist Mayor of Recoleta for 12 years, was arrested on what appears to be trumped-up charges of being a “danger to the safety of society.”

Judge Paulina Moya ordered Jadue held for 120 days during the investigation of charges of “bribery, maladministration, tax fraud, and bankruptcy.” The charges are connected, the judge said, with the “people’s pharmacy” Jadue established three years after his election. Such pharmacies have since spread throughout Chile. That and other social reforms have made Jadue a national figure.

“They are judging me for our transformative government. I don’t have a peso in my pocket, but they are handing out the maximum restriction,” Jadue said on social media.

That won’t stop the 112-year-old Communist Party of Chile, and it shouldn’t give the CPUSA pause, either, Hammer told the convention delegates and invited guests.

“The growing inequality in the international community and the threat of nuclear war demand even more of our struggle to remove capitalism and imperialism from the world.”

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.