Poll rises, Venezuelan solidarity and women’s rights underscored by communists

Poll rises, Venezuelan solidarity and women’s rights underscored by communists


Brazil Communists denounce government’s  attacks on Venezuela

The Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B),Partido Comunista do Brasil) repeats its denunciation of the position taken by the country’s foreign minister, Aloysio Nunes, in the effort by the right and the United States to have Venezuela removed from the Organization of American States (OAS).  PC do B International Relations Secretary José Reinaldo Carvalho, in a statement on March 14, pointed out that the right wing government of Michel Temer, who took power last year after the legitimate president, Dilma Rousseff, was ousted in a parliamentary coup, has set his sights on demolishing the progress made in political and economic integration among the Latin American countries, and that the targeting of Venezuela is a key part of that destructive effort, which is completely aligned with the objectives of the United States.

According to Carvalho, a government “which is the fruit of a coup d’etat, at the service of undermining…Latin American integration [and] the national sovereignty and social rights of the peoples is derived of the moral authority to give lessons” to heroic Venezuela.

Indian Communists comment on right-wing victory

India’s two largest communist parties, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).  See the recent victory of the far right in elections in the populous state of Uttar Pradesh as a threat to the wellbeing of ordinary people.

The election took place in phases and ended on March 8 with a huge victory, over 75 percent of the vote, for the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Indian Prime Minister Modi and its allies.  BJP is a right wing party which promotes Hindutva, the idea that India is mostly for Hindus as opposed to being for all its inhabitants including Muslims, Christians and others.  Parties espousing secularist and centrist views lost heavily.  The CPI characterized the election result as “a victory for communalism” meaning the tendency of different religious and ethnic groups to withdraw within themselves rather than working for the common good.  The left sees the election results as another example of the overall decline of the Congress Party.

Belgian Communists rise in polls

Peter Mertens, chair of the Workers’ Party of Belgium (    ), one of Belgium’s two communist parties, has called attention to a recent public opinion poll in that country which indicates growing support for his party.

A poll taken on March 24 showed that if an election were held today, the Workers’ Party would come in second in the South of the country (with a support level of 20.5 percent, a little more than the 20.3 percent for the Socialist (social democratic) Party.  The Workers’ Party comes in third in the capital, Brussels, and would make advances in Dutch speaking Flanders also.  Mertens attributes these advances to the loss of support of the Belgian federal government, headed by the liberal Renovation Movement (MR) party, and the provincial government of Wallonia in the South, which is run by a coalition of social democrats (Socialist Party) and Christian Democrats.  If these trends continue, those parties would be decimated in parliamentary elections in two years.    Support for neoliberal policies and also corruption scandals, especially in the Socialist Party, have eroded the prestige of those forces.  Mertens adds that another factor in the poll results is the growing prestige among the public for his own Belgian Workers’ Party, which advocates a radical break with current government policies.

Turkish Labor Party leader on attack on women’s rights

Turkish Labor Party Chair Selma Gürkan has denounced the pattern of attacks against women’s rights in Turkey and worldwide.  In recognition of March 8 as International Women’s Rights Day, Gurkan hailed the memory of the working women in New York who, 109 years ago, but warned that, in her words, “Today, almost everywhere in the world, the gains women have made in equality and freedom are at risk”.

She denounced the imperialist-created “civil war and armed jihadist gangs” which have devastated whole regions of Africa and the Middle East, and in some areas even brought back slave markets. Thousands of women and children have had to flee from this chaos, with many drowning in the Mediterranean in unsuccessful efforts to reach Europe.  Elsewhere, including in the developed west, the ravages of neoliberal economic policies have shredded the social safety net.  The same thing is happening in Turkey where “reactionary political powers are rejecting demands for equality with an increase in the exploitation of women”.   The current AKP government in Turkey “has spent 15 years eroding women’s social gains with an increase in religious teaching embedded in the school curriculum” and other policies.  Repression is also increasing. But “despite all the pressures and prohibitions, the women of Turkey will express their demands for humanity, the right to life, freedom and peace ..”




    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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