International Notes: February 20th

International Notes: February 20th

SACP calls for unity and more radical economic reforms

, the Second Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, addressed the issue of a “radical economic transformation” in a speech in Khayelitsha near Cape Town.  The occasion was a joint commemoration: The centenary of the birth of the outstanding leader of the anti-apartheid struggle and of the African National Congress (ANC), Oliver Tambo, and the 22nd anniversary of the death of Joe Slovo.

In his presentation, Mapaila emphasized the joint nature of the anti-apartheid struggle, in which, for example, ANC leaders like Tambo and Mandela worked together with communists like Slovo in many aspects, including the armed struggle wing “Umkhonto we Sizwe” (Spear of the Nation).  Mapaila pointed out that the United States government listed the ANC leadership as much as that of the SACP as “terrorists”.  The Soviet Union likewise provided aid and support not just to communists but to all the liberation movements in Africa, a fact important to remember in this hundredth anniversary year of the great October Revolution.  Unfortunately, Mapaila continued, the ANC today is beset by internal conflicts, which led to recent electoral defeats and may do so again in the future. Mapaila called to an end to divisive factionalism and corruption, and for a turn toward more radical economic policies to help the poor and the working class


Communist Parties denounce efforts to abolish Communist Party of Ukraine

An initial group of 46 communist and workers’ parties from all over the world (including the Communist Party USA) has issued a strongly worded declaration denouncing moves by authorities to abolish the Communist Party of Ukraine.

For some time now, the right-wing Ukrainian government has been trying to declare the Communist Party to be an illegal criminal organization and to prohibit the use of its slogans or the propagation of communist literature. A parliamentary effort failed, so the government took the issue to the courts. Initial efforts failed there too, but now the danger has become very real.  On February 8, new court action was undertaken.


The statement denounces “The attempt to impose the so-called decomunisation of the country, to falsify and distort the country’s history and collective memory, which is seeking to serve the ideological and political considerations and interests of the current order in Ukraine, is evolving within this context.”    The statement also denounces the whitewashing of the record of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators during World War II.


Greece:  Communist Mayor charged with refusing to give space to neo-Nazis

The mayor of Greece’s fourth largest city, Patras (population 260,000)  has been sued by a former member of the Greek parliament for the fascist Golden Dawn (Chrysi Agvi ) political party, because, with the unanimous support of his city council, he disallowed use of city owned space for public activities of the extremist group. The Greek Communist Party (KKE), of which mayor Peleditis is a member, and others have organized demonstrations to protest the action.  Unions representing municipal workers in Patras have carried out a work stoppage and rally in support of the mayor, and there have been actions in other Greek cities as well.


Venezuela: Communists support investigation of  bribery scandal

The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) supports the ongoing investigation of the Odebrecht Construction Company, an investigation that has taken on continent wide scope.   The Venezuelan Attorney General’s office has joined legal authorities in neighboring countries in the investigation of corruption on the part of the gigantic Brazil Based corporation, whose illicit activities have figured greatly in the “Lava Jato” (“Jiffy Car Wash”) scandal in Brazil.  Hector “Alejo” Rodriguez, representing the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the PCV has called for this investigation to be carried out to its “ultimate consequences”.

The Odebrecht scandal involves the bribing of officials in exchange for the granting of contracts.  It has brought about the downfall of officials in Brazil.  At least three former presidents of Peru are accused, plus the current president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and officials of Argentina and other countries.  Rodriguez refers to initial investigations of Odebrecht activities in Venezuela.





    Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.


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