International Notes: December 16, 2016

International Notes: December 16, 2016


Turkey:  Terror bombing in Besiktas

The Communist Party (Turkey) has condemned the terrorist bombings which took place in Besiktas on December 11 outside a sports stadium in Besiktas, an  Istanbul suburb.  Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a Kurdish nationalist splinter group, and dozens of police officers and bystanders were killed.

The communists denounced the attack, but questioned the initial closed mouthed attitude of the government in revealing the names of the suspects and the victims.  “The Communist Party condemns this obscurantist attack, [which has killed] tens of people…[these attacks] deepen the darkness [which] the communities in Turkey and the world are trying to escape from, and make our people more and more inactive”.


Serbia:  Retreat on women’s rights

Speaking at a women’s rights event organized by the Communist Party of Greece, a spokeswoman for the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Nova Komunisticka Parija Jugoslavije) deplored the losses which women across the region have been subjected to since the collapse of socialist states in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe.  Nada Pavlica said that “the revival of capitalism in our region resulted in women becoming a cheap and almost unprotected work force. …one out of three women in Serbia is a victim of physical abuse in family, and one out of two suffers from psychological abuse.

According to Pavlica, women in the former Yugoslavia have lost ground in the workforce under capitalism.  She criticized Serbian Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic for saying it was not necessary for women to have jobs because their role is to have babies.  Vucic has also called for families to have more babies.


Spain: Demand government cut Ties with Franco foundation

December 14.  Esther López Barceló, the person in charge of protecting “historical memory” for Spain’s United Left (Izquierda Unida) political grouping, which includes the Communist Party of Spain, has denounced the failure of the government to repudiate people of the ruling party who have participated in activities sponsored by the Francisco Franco Foundation (Fundación Francisco Franco).

Recently three politicians from the ruling People’s Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy participated in a Francisco Franco Foundation activity on December 2, where they were honored.   López Barceló points out that this actually violates Spanish law.  United Left’s representatives in the Cortes, the Spanish parliament, are raising this issue for debate in that body.


Bulgaria:  New anti-communist law

The Union of Communists in Bulgaria is denouncing new legislation, passed at the end of November, which prohibits communist ideas and symbols and officially declares the former communist-led government to have been a criminal regime.  This law, approved in the Bulgarian parliament by a vote of 104 to 46, is similar to ones in several other formerly socialist Eastern European countries.

The law requires the removal from public spaces of all signs, slogans and symbols of communism, and for schools and universities to initiate compulsory anti-communism classes.  Pavel Ivanov, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Union of Communists in Bulgaria, denounced what he called the return of fascism in his country.  During the Second World War, Bulgaria had allied itself with the Axis powers.


    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.


Comments (1)

Gary Mueller | December 18, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Regarding Bulgaria the new fascist and neo-fascist movements that are arising not just in Europe but currently worldwide are a threat and grounds for research on what is happening on a global scale to the development of democracy and human rights on a worldwide level

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