International Notes: July 21, 2016

 
International Notes: July 21, 2016

Spanish Communists mark beginning of Spanish Civil War

On Monday July 18, the Communist Party of Spain (Partido Comunista de España, PCE) marked the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.  This war, the Communist Party pointed out, did not end with its official ending on April 1, 1939, but was a war against the people continued for the nearly for the 38 years in which General Francisco Franco remained Spain’s dictator. But the hopes of the Spanish people for a “regeneration of the Spanish public life that was sustained by the Second Republic.  The desire for social justice that motivated hundreds of women and men to fight at the front for republican ideals has not died”.

The Communist Party denounced the fact that the Spanish people have never been allowed an accounting of what happened to their murdered loved ones, and that judges who have tried to bring some justice to the survivors have been dismissed, “while the hangmen remain in impunity”.

In Spain today, said the communists, the wealthy and powerful demand that the citizens accept poverty conditions so that they can hang onto their privileges .  The enforcer today is no longer Franco’s army but an army called “the market”, including unscrupulous speculators and their political accomplices. The lesson of Franco’s coup of July 18, 1936, is that a people which does not fight for its rights will fall victim to “horror and oblivion”.

Turkish Communists react to coup attempt

Two Turkish communist parties have responded to the coup attempt of July 15 and 16 with a repudiation of the coup sponsors but also a denunciation of the authoritarian regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Communist Party, Turkey, pointed out that “plans that are supported by foreign forces, that do not take [their] power from the working class, can not defeat the AKP darkness and solve Turkey’s problems….Either the people of Turkey will organize and get rid of AKP or AKP’s reactionary policies will intensify, repression will increase, massacres, the plunder and theft will continue [sic].

Further, “AKP is responsible for all that took place..”  but the communists do not believe that the coup attempt was a setup by Erdogan himself.  Rather, it was the product of tensions among different power centers in Turkey that have been building up for a while.  But “it is a lie that any of the sides in this conflict represent the interests of the people”.  It is wrong to support the coup but also to lend support to the AKP regime which is “the enemy of humanity”.

Meanwhile EMEP, the Turkish Labor Party, took a similar positon.   “The people’s choice is not between a military coup or the one man, one party dictatorship.  The answer is the protection of … democratic rights and political freedoms; the struggle for people’s democracy”.  “Erdogan and the AKP government, calling their supporters out onto the streets ‘against the plotters’, will use this situation to repair their shaken reputation….and to reach their reactionary and fascistic aims. …the solution is  a struggle for a people’s democracy”

 

Chile:  Communist Party demands reform of military

Lautaro Carmona, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Chile, has demanded action to democratize the Chilean armed forces  In a press  interview, Carmona said “we have stated from the beginning that in the process of the recuperation of democracy [after the end of the Pinochet dictatorship] there was the need to establish a democratic doctrine of defense.”  Such a doctrine would involve a break with all those who had been complicit in state terrorism and to “put an end to any direct or indirect stance that conceives of the people as the internal enemy of the armed forces, democratize entry into the armed forces as a professional career” based on merit and skill and not on blood or financial relationships.”   Carmona recalled that the Chilean armed forces were fully implicated in the military coup of September 11, 1973, which led to the overthrow and death of socialist President Salvador Allende and the death of 3,000 people with many others imprisoned, tortured or driven into exile.  Carmona reminded readers that the military at that time was responding to the agenda of the United States and of big transnational and national capital.  Carmona complained that the armed forces have not been forthcoming in providing the national legislature, of which he is a member, with sufficient details about some recent scandals or about the past culpability of the military in “state terror” during the Pinochet dictatorship.   Carmona feels that this is one of a number of important issues that must be dealt with in the context of a planned constituent assembly to replace the 1980 constitution which contains many elements left over from the dictatorship.

Image: By Locospotter – This photograph was owned by the late Olga Teresa Brocca Smith (daughter of José Brocca). The original is currently in the possession of Dr. Charles Smith (grandson of José Brocca). The identity of the original photographer is unknown. Any information on the photographer or the children pictured in the photograph would be very welcome., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23241807

 

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Author

    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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