Working-class democracy emphasized by Communist parties

Working-class democracy emphasized by Communist parties


Spain; Communists call for a “Historic Bloc”

The leader of the Communist Party of Spain, José Luis Centella, addressing a meeting  of the party’s Central Committee on May 13, called for the coming 20th Party Congress to take up the task of a “historic bloc” to contest the hegemony of neoliberalism and imperialism, both at the national and international levels.

For years, said Centella, the Communist Party of Spain has been promoting an “anti-capitalist, social, and democratic” way out of the country’s economic and political crisis to block the efforts of the current right-wing regime of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to consolidate its reactionary neoliberal program. In Centella’s opinion, the presence of the organized working class is the force capable of creating this “way out”.

Strongly supported by the PCE, there were large scale protest marches in Madrid and other Spanish cities on May 27, demanding an end to Rajoy’s policies of privatization and austerity and calling for a refusal to pay the national debt to extortionate international lenders.


Russia:  Communists criticize bill to restrict meetings between legislators and public

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) is complaining a new draft law in the parliament of the Russian Federation which would prohibit meetings between parliamentary deputies and the public without government permission by the executive branch.  Local laws of this type were enacted last year in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  According to the CPRF statement, there have already been arrests of deputies by the police.

The communists add that since the restoration of capitalism after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, “not a single rally, not a single public event can be held legally without prior ‘approval’ by the authorities. They see this type of legislation as mainly directed against communists, and are calling for international solidarity to stop it.


Peru:  CP elects first woman leader

The Peruvian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Peruano has elected a new secretary general  at its Fifteenth National Party Congress over the weekend.  Flor de la Maria Gonzalez will take over the position from Roberto  de la Cruz.

Gonzalez  Is a teacher who has been a member of the Party’s Central Committee and has occupied a number of other party posts.  She comes from the Central Andean city of Junin rather than from the capital,  Lima, and has problems in walking due to knee difficulties. In her acceptance speech she referred to this as an advance for people with such conditions, and also praised the election of Lenin Moreno, who has similar problems, as president of neighboring Ecuador.


South Africa: SACP condemns “State Capture”

The Political Bureau of the South African Communist Party (SACP) met in Tshwane on May 29 to plan for the party’s upcoming Central Committee meeting, for the Party Congress to be held later this summer and to review the crisis gripping South Africa right now.

According to a party statement “our hard won democratic dispensation is under serious threat, not least because of the ANC’s declining moral standing within the broad public and its apparent leadership paralysis in the face of its own accelerating decline”.  The SACP is critical of President Zuma and other ANC leaders for their collusion with what the party calls a “parasitic patronage network” whereby powerful business interests, especially the Gupta family, have been “capturing “ state institutions for the purpose of increasing their own profits.

However, the SACP warns that the removal of Zuma should not be seen, as the right wing opposition sees it, as a “first step in the electoral removal of the ANC itself……However that, emphatically, is not the SACP’s objective.  Once more, we call on President Zuma to step down in the interests of the ANC, in the interests of the Alliance it should be leading, and of our country as a whole”.




    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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