Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cuba: Absolved by history!

On July 26, 1953, a small band of Cuban revolutionaries launched an armed attack on the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago. The attack was intended to start a revolution against the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and was led by a young man named Fidel Castro, who had been an activist student at the University of Havana.

The rebels did not succeed on that day. Some were killed and many others became prisoners, some of whom were murdered by Batista's goons. But eventually a mass campaign led to the amnesty of Castro and other remaining prisoners.

But the 26th of July was the beginning, not the end. Moncada led to the formation of the 26th of July Movement, which became the central organizing force of the Cuban Revolution. The seeds sown on July 26, 1952, germinated on January 1, 1959, as the victorious July 26th movement marched into Havana as the last of Batista's top cronies fled for Miami.

On trial, Fidel Castro famously said "history will absolve me." That turned out to be an understatement. Not only has the Cuban Revolution survived 10 hostile U.S. presidencies, it has been a beacon of hope to the oppressed worldwide.

Besides transforming Cuba, it has contributed mightily to ending colonialism in many parts of the world, and especially to putting an end to the odious apartheid regime in South Africa.

Today, the Cuban Revolution, through its medical and other aid projects, has extended a hand of help to earthquake victims in Haiti, people with hearing and vision problems in the Andes, and many thousands more around the globe. Cuba's leaders, including Fidel, continue to speak out fearlessly on every topic, from peace to global warming.

It's in the American and Cuban people's interests for us to fight harder than ever to abolish the 50 year trade blockade against the island. We can start by getting our congressional representatives to support HR 4645, a bill to end the restrictions on travel to Cuba, which will also loosen restrictions on food sales to Cuba.

And let us not forget that five dedicated Cuban patriots are serving outrageously unjust jail sentences in U.S. prisons for the "crime" of working to stop terrorist attacks on Cuba. Let us resolve to celebrate July 26 by intensifying our work for the freedom of the Cuban Five!


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

G8, G20 and capitalist crisis - Portugese CP

"Avante!" Article by Albano Nunes, member of the Secretariat of the CC

The G8 and G20 summits, took place recently, in Canada, within a framework of the capitalist crisis deepening and great instability and uncertainty concerning international relations.

Whoever thought the crisis had buried the G8 ( in fact the G7 with the most powerful capitalist countries of the world, with Russia in an subaltern status) and the G20 had become the major instance in the international articulation at the imperialism service, was categorically mistaken. Just as the IMF and the World Bank, although both deeply discredited, they carry on delivering dogmatic opinions in the capitalist system’s “administration” and urge the most aggressive macroeconomic guidelines against workers and peoples, and therefore, the G8 stands putt for the current moment, as an agreement instance within the imperialism core, attempting to mitigate and solve contradictions and proceed according to the great capital’s general interests. This happened, once again, during the Muskoka summit, in June 25/ 26th last, a rather discrete summit, hesitant and poor, concerning the economic crisis, but launched ahead in militarism and aggressive interventionism matters. The escalade against Iran and the DPR of Korea was a topic of threatening resolutions, which is moreover more disturbing when it coincided with the great USA’s ( and Israel’s) air and naval forces’ movements, heading for the Persian Gulf.

On the G20 summit, in June 27th last – a multilateral articulation space, expressing is the unequal capitalism development and the forces in progress rearrangement process within the world arena, and where China and other “BRIC’ hold a crescendo role -, and what stands out, are the deep divergences on the method of facing the crisis and the contradictions’ aggravation both among the so-called emergent countries and the great imperialist powers. United by the same class interests and sharing the same strategic purposes – workers exploitation intensifying, planetarium recolonization, the attack to freedom and fundamental rights – and having decided to impose them by military force and police repression, diverge and strife in the struggle for markets, raw materials sources, spheres of influence. That happened with the priority definition and the manner of dealing with the gigantic state deficits, generated by billionaire capital injections amid the financial system. Germany counts on the budget consolidation and the defence of its position as a great exporting power. Above all, the USA aim at the widening and opening of its home market and is opposed to measures which expose the lies on the North-American economy “recuperation”: the USA, where unemployment is above 10%, and continues to live at the expenditure of a gigantic external debt and the dollar privileges, is running towards a GIP’s strong fall, in the second semester. Obama’s letter, addressed to his G20 partners, on the summit’s eve, is, on this issue, is of a great significance.

The Central Committee meeting, held on the 27/28th June, on analysing the international situation, considered, that together with the capitalist crisis deepening and the great capital violent offensive, resistance and the struggle in numerous countries grows, and considering Europe, although very far from the necessary, trade-union and popular actions, of a great dimension, take place. Intensifying and converging, in a equal line such actions is the necessary path to hinder the workers to pay the crisis and defend rights and the achieved conquests, of many decades of hard struggles. The PCP delegation’s visit to Greece, headed by Comrade Jeronimo de Sousa, besides the always enriching exchange of information and experiences, is inserted in this cooperation reinforcement and internationalist solidarity of the communists and all the anti-imperialist forces.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday note to Mandela

Dear Comrades and Friends

Warm greetings from the Headquarters of WFDY in Budapest, Hungary!!!

On behalf of member and friendly organizations from around the globe, the World Federation of Democratic Youth joins the Mandela family, South Africa, Africa and the World in celebrating the 92nd birthday of Cde Nelson Mandela on Sunday 18 July 2010.

We also do believe that Cde Mandela has played a critical role in unifying the people for peace, democracy, freedom and further deepening the spirit of patriotism. The spirit shown by such icons have greatly taught the youth of the world that a revolution is neither invitation to dinner, nor a stroll in the park, in fact such leaders
passed through very difficult and nefarious times.

The 92nd birthday for the great icon of the world comes barely five months before the world once again gathers in South Africa for the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students in December. The Festival will once again give a score to South Africa to dismiss the racist fears of the apartheid era and it will definitely leave a
legacy that if ever united we can defeat imperialism.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth therefore encourages the youth and students of the world to join the appeal of the Nelson Mandela foundation which is asking people to give 67 minutes of their time to volunteer – one minute for every year that he spent in the struggle for equality and fighting the apartheid regime.

We therefore wish Cde Nelson Mandela a happy birthday and many more years.

Budapest, Hungary
18 July 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cuban Film Festival - Dublin

Festival of Cuban Films

Sunday 25 July, from 11 a.m.

Festival of Cuban Films

To celebrate Cuban national day (26 July), a number of films made in or about Cuba.

Admission free.

New Theatre (43 East Essex Street)

Organised by the Progressive Film Club, in association with the Cuba Support Group.

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CPI Statement

Bank of Ireland job losses

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
16 July 2010

The announcement today by Bank of Ireland that it would be cutting its work force by 750 jobs over the next two years is clearly just the beginning. These job losses come in the wake of the thousands of jobs already gone from the financial services sector and at a time when Ireland is reporting record levels of unemployment—even though the experts tell us we are out of the recession!

What is clearly missing from the mainstream media and the establishment debate is a historical economic perspective that questions the role played by finance in the economic system of capitalism today. The same so-called economic experts (usually working for financial institutions) who informed public opinion before the collapse are brought out to propose solutions. Rarely, with a few notable exceptions, do they ask serious questions about the fundamentals that drive the economic system.

This critically necessary debate is being ignored or silenced by compliant media, media largely owned by the same people who profit from the present system.

Capitalism is a cyclical boom-and-bust system. The days of competitive capitalism are long over. Today a number of transnational monopolies operate, invest and create profits within all industries. This has a profound effect on the accumulation process and has led to the spectre of over-production and over-accumulation haunting the capitalist system.

The productive real economy has been in deep stagnation for some time. Profits globally from manufacturing and non-finance-related activities have been on the decline since the 1960s. Despite the increase in military manufacturing and spending, this deep-rooted stagnation (caused by the capacity of the system to over-produce and its failure to increase market demand) exists and will continue to exist, subject to no technological innovations on the scale of the railways or the automobile, which transformed society.

It is in this context that the system turned to finance to become the primary source of investment, capital creation and expenditure for working people and the basis of necessary growth in capitalism. It is important to note that this was not a conspiratorial coup by a number of bankers, nor was it an policy choice by governments: it was the only manner in which the system could avoid its dreaded and unavoidable problem of stagnation.

It is hard to pin down an exact date, but it is safe to say that for the last twenty years debt and speculative finance, with consequential bubbles in various sectors, have been the primary avenue for existing capital to be invested and the primary avenue of profit creation for the system. Wages have dramatically declined, with working people increasingly reliant on debt to survive or to enhance their quality of life. This process, often called the financialisation of the economy, is the key to understanding the actions of the Irish Government and the European Union.

The function of the so-called bail-outs is not the saving of personal friends of Fianna Fáil or politicians and shouldn’t be seen in that light, as it is far more systemic than that. For capitalism to function—to continue to exist—there must be a profitable avenue through which accumulated capital can invest. Finance, financial instruments and debt are that avenue. The bail-out is a required attempt at stabilising the system to enable the accumulation process to continue—to enable capitalism to survive.

This is an absolute necessity if one’s starting point and primary desire is the maintenance of capitalism, regardless of its human or environmental cost. However, if you are more concerned with jobs, families, quality of life, democracy, justice, and equality, then there is an alternative route to take. It is not reform of the system, because no reform can abolish the fundamental necessity of capital to re-create and accumulate and consequently its need for debt and financial instruments as this avenue—not reform but transformative.

By “transformative” we mean economic and social demands that challenge politically the economic system, that challenge the owners of capital and the control they possess over people and society, that mobilise working people to view an economic system as only a means by which society produces and distributes for all, and to judge the success of a system on this basis.

We believe that such an economic system can be built from the struggle of working people for dignity and respect under the present system. No blueprint can be provided, but the struggle against the massive redistribution of wealth from working people to capital is the starting point.

We propose as some demands for working people:

• the creation of a State Development Bank,
• planned investment to meet the needs of working people,
• control over our island’s natural resources,
• the utilisation of wind and wave energy, and
• the development of an all-Ireland economy, utilising local resources and talents.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Protest at Rovers Game

Communist Party of Ireland

Call for support

15th July 2010

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), supported by Eirigi, the Palestinian Right Institute & Irish Anti War Movement, will hold a peaceful protest at the Shamrock Rovers vs Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv game in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday (tonight) July 15th. The protest starts at 7pm and will take place outside the stadium.
Outside the stadium banners reading, ‘Love Football, Hate Apartheid’, ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Unity against Occupation' will be displayed peacefully alongside Palestinian flags. We certainly don't want to hijack Rovers first European game in years and are asking our supporters not to interrupt the game under any circumstances. The protest will take place outside, but if Rovers supporters want to take Palestinian flags into the game we would be happy to see them in the stands.