International Notes: Peruvian communists rally to protect the vote

June 17, 2021
International Notes: Peruvian communists rally to protect the vote


Peru: Communists rally to protect the vote

On June 16, Peru’s two major communist parties, the Peruvian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Peruano) and the Communist Party of Peru–Red Homeland (Partido Comunista del Peru-Patria Roja), joined worker and peasant organizations for mass rallies in Lima and elsewhere under the slogan “Protect the Vote.” In the first round of the presidential election held on April 11, the two communist parties had supported left-of-center candidate Veronika Mendoza. But in the runoff on June 6 between leftist schoolteacher Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, the far-right daughter of the former dictator Alberto Fujimori, the communists firmly backed Castillo. Castillo won a narrow victory, based on massive support from poor indigenous farmers in the southern part of the country.

Fujimori, however, is claiming fraud, despite unanimous reports by international observers that the election was clean and fair. Worries are rising not only in Peru but regionally that some sort of coup d’état against President-Elect Castillo may be brewing. This is why the June 16th mobilization to “protect the vote” took place.


Portugal: Communists protest NATO summit

The Portuguese Communist Party has denounced this week’s NATO summit, which is being held in Brussels, claiming that the event’s purpose is to “reinforce this politico-military bloc as an instrument of interference and aggression at the worldwide level, in order to impose the hegemonic domination of the United States and the other imperialist powers over the peoples of the world,” encapsulated in Agenda NATO 2030, which is aimed against China and Russia.

The Portuguese communists recall that their own country was admitted to NATO during the fascist dictatorship of Salazar, as a founding member state. Subsequently NATO has been an instrument of intervention in many countries, including Ukraine, with its admiring supporters of Hitler and fascism. The communists expressed their strong disapproval of Portugal’s continued membership in NATO and called for continued protests against it.


Bangladesh: Communists refuse to participate in by-elections tainted by a history of fraud

The Communist Party of Bangladesh has decided to refuse to participate in four parliamentary by-elections (elections taking place outside the regularly scheduled national elections), which are scheduled to take place in July. The reason for the refusal is the history of blatant election rigging by the ruling Awami League, starting in the general elections of December 2016. Since then, only the Awami League and its allies have been given a fair chance to run candidates in elections.

“The schedule for the by-elections for 4 parliamentary seats has been announced. We think that the people will not have the opportunity to exercise their voting right in this by-election under the present government and the present Election Commission.”


South Africa: Communists in the struggle against privatization of the national airline

Initially, say the communists, financially troubled South African Airways (SAA) was slated to be eliminated completely as a neoliberal austerity measure. But over several years, the South African Communist Party (SACP), in coordination with the unions representing airline employees, have struggled to preserve the carrier. The fight against complete liquidation of SAA was eventually won, but the SACP found it had to keep on fighting to prevent the privatization of the service. There was victory on that front too, but the push for neoliberal privatization schemes did not cease. The government is floating a proposal to create a public-private partnership to run SAA, but with the public segment being much smaller.

In the words of the SACP: “The neoliberal agenda was and is still supported by right wing parliamentary parties and other opportunists elsewhere. Our efforts, working together with the SAA workers and the trade unions that were involved in defending the SAA secured continued state participation in SAA, albeit not 100%.” New government proposals, rather vague, stipulate “strategic equity partners,” with the private sector having a 51% stake in SAA. The SACP promises to keep up the fight for the public sector and its employees, not just in SAA but in the whole economy.

Image: Partido Comunista Peruano (Facebook).


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