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Issue #1668      December 10, 2014

Reflections on the 16th IMCWP held in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The 16th International Meeting of Communist & Workers Parties met in Guayaquil, Ecuador on November 12-15, 2014. More than 85 delegates from 53 countries took to the podium with contributions that highlighted the situation in each country and the world.

The world is in a mess; “overproduction” has aggravated the food and environmental crises the world over. The anti-war movement also has a great task ahead in the struggle for peace.

Delegates heard reports on difficult but shared conditions for workers and people in general across the five continents. The attacks on workers and their unions, the undermining of the right to collective bargaining as well the attacks on Communist parties in several countries such as in the Ukraine was of great interest and concern.

The struggle for civil and democratic rights is one of the key elements for the Communist movement in the current period and beyond. A socialist way out of the crisis under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism is the only alternative to capitalism.

Marxism-Leninism our guide

Communist Parties under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism have the responsibility of applying tactics according to their own conditions and circumstances in their own countries.

The undermining of the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc contained important lessons for the Communist movement. Important strategic and tactical questions as well as political and ideological issues were raised. The conditions of each country will ultimately determine how a revolutionary process will take place. The Communist Party has a historic role to play in leading social change and the building of a socialist society. The role of the vanguard of the working class has to be developed in each country by each party.

Latin America and the Caribbean

It was an eye-opener to experience the Citizens’ Revolution led by President Rafael Correa in Ecuador. The processes currently challenging neo-liberalism in Latin America and the Caribbean have socialism as their objective.

Because of Latin America’s long history of tightly closed socio-economic and political structures and military dictatorships, any progressive change in the status quo can be seen as akin to revolutionary change. With a great legacy of struggle, the democratic and progressive changes taking place in that part of the world deserve our attention and respect.

The progressive and popular alliances (which in some instances include Communists) that have taken office as left governments are exercising what they call “the left’s right to govern”. This doesn’t mean they have taken power but are exercising the right to govern for the people; the most disadvantaged, those forgotten by the successive right-wing pro-neo-liberal governments.

These progressive governments have introduced government policies that have pulled millions out of extreme poverty, providing free access to education and health. The next generation of Marxist-Leninist leaders will have better material conditions to continue the struggle of Communists as leaders of the working class, challenging the power of the bourgeoisie.

The unity of Latin American and Caribbean countries is gaining greater levels of independence from imperialism and the transnational corporations. They have been able to set up CELAC (Commonwealth of Latin America and the Caribbean States), UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and other political and economic alliances. The unity of that part of the world against imperialism is a progressive change for millions of workers and people. In short, there is a big difference between taking office and taking power.

The bases for revolutionary change, capable of challenging power from the ruling class, has to be built. It is not in contradiction with the achievements of progressive and left governments.

We can win

Despite the reports of the havoc being wrought on us all by capitalism, all delegates remained optimistic and enthusiastic that victory and a better world are possible. The Workers and the Communist movement must be united to challenge capitalism.

In Australia this is also possible, despite the challenges ahead. The workers and people can inflict a serious blow to the Abbott government’s policies. It is important that it gets defeated at the next federal election. Indeed, its days appear numbered.

Left, democratic and popular alliances can bring more progressive people into Parliament as a first major step to improve the situation for all Australians. The base for a revolutionary path to socialism has to be built.

Next article – Beating the big business tax minimisation schemes

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