South Africa: Hit squads attacking SACP members
The leaders of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Moses Mabhida Province, KwaZulu-Natal, have expressed alarm and indignation at the recent murders of several members of their party. A conflictive situation which developed earlier this year seemed to have calmed down lately. But recently, there were new murders in the community of Entshangwe, which entailed the death of two brothers, a woman activist and several other people, all Communist Party members.
In the SACP’s view, the murders are probably being carried out by “a coterie of disgruntled group [sic] of people who felt that they had been rendered powerless in the area”. The SACP statement continues: “There is no doubt that a hit squad is now in operation in Entshangwe”. The communists state that local authorities do not seem to be prioritizing the resolution of these murder cases, and suggest that corruption among police may be playing a role. SACP Provincial Secretary Themba Mthembu reported that a meeting of the provincial leadership of the SACP has called for an emergency meeting with the provincial prime minister and other government and police heads to find a solution.
Ukraine: Communists denounce anti-Semitic crimes
The Communist Party of Ukraine has denounced a December 21 anti-Semitic incident in the town of Uman (population about 80,000) in Southwestern Ukraine. On that day, according to the communists, right wing Ukrainian nationalists broke into a synagogue associated with the tomb of a revered Hasidic figure, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). Besides shouting insults against Jews, the intruders tried to defile the precinct with pieces of pork, blood splatters and a pig’s head decorated with a Nazi swastika. At writing, there was no news of arrests.
Uman has been the site of a number of anti-Semitic incidents and even bloody pogroms going back at least to the 18th century. During World War II the German Nazis deported and killed the entire Jewish community and destroyed their graveyard; after the war Rabbi Nachman’s tomb was once more made a pilgrimage site. However, there have recently been incidents in which Hasidic pilgrims have clashed with local people. The communists and others accuse far right followers of Ukrainian nationalist groups of reviving anti-Semitism and fascism in the country.
The Communist Party statement concludes: “Recall, the Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko has repeatedly warned of the danger in the Ukraine of a repetition of the most tragic and bloody events of the past—the Nazi attacks against Jews, as well as leftists and other antifascists.
Venezuela: Communists call for move to socialism
The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) declares that the severe economic and political crisis currently affecting that country must be seen as a crisis of capitalism and not of socialism. They do not see Venezuela at present as being a socialist country, because powerful private business interests have not been dislodged. In that context, the communists have made some criticisms of the current economic policies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to whom they give critical support.
Yul Jabour, a member of Political Bureau of the PCV, criticizes recent economic policy initiatives of the government as being “improvised, without [sufficient] planning”. This has had a negative effect on the purchasing power of the working people, as well as undermining popular support for the beleaguered government. This kind of mistake, if not corrected, will play into the hands of the militant right-wing opposition which currently has a majority in the national legislature. Jabour was referring specifically to the recent decision by Maduro’s government to take the 100 Bolivar note out of circulation, and other measures which have proved to be quite unpopular. Jabour also urged the adoption of revolutionary measures, including expropriation of businesses, rather than more compromises with the ruling class.
China: Terror attack kills several at party office
On December 28, a car bomb was detonated in a compound belonging to the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China in the western province of Sinkiang. One person at the party compound was killed, and reports say that the four attackers were shot dead by security officers. For some time, there has been unrest among the mostly Muslim Uigher population which constitutes about half the province’s inhabitants.
The Chinese government blames the unrest on religious and nationalist extremists.