International Notes: July 27, 2016

 
International Notes: July 27, 2016

 South African Communist Party condemns firing of journalists
The South African Communist Party (SACP) is denouncing the firing of a number of employees of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) last week.    The SACP is also calling for the dismissal of the SABC’s  Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The eight top staff dismissed include Contributing Editor Vuyo Mvoko, Economics Editor Thandeka Qhibule, senior radio producer Suna Venter, senior editor Foeta Krige, Senior Parliamentary Reporter Lukhanyo Calata, plus three others of similar rank.   The Communist Party expressed its solidarity with these workers and called for their reinstatement.

The dismissals were in response to a complaint by these journalists that management was trying to censor news coverage of protest demonstrations. However, for some time, the SACP has been warning that private media monopolies have been gaining too much influence at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Peruvian Communist Party critiques neoliberal policies of government

Writing in the party newspaper “Unidad”,  the Secretary General of the Peruvian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Peruano), Roberto de la Cruz Huamán, described a situation in his country in which on the one hand, impunity for the crimes of the Alberto Fujimori dictatorship is being promoted through the Congress, while on the other, the new president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, doubles down on neo-liberal economic and trade policies, including the Transpacific Partnership, which the whole of the Peruvian left strongly opposes.

The situation whereby Fujimori supporters have a majority in Congress while the presidency is controlled by a person so strongly connected to transnational monopoly capital is the product of the    elections. In those elections, both Peruvian Communist Parties (the other is “Patria Roja” or Red Fatherland) plus most of the rest of the left supported leftist Veronika Mendoza, who fell a few points short of being in a runoff with Alberto Fujimori’s daughter Keiko Fujimori.  In the June 5 runoff, the communists supported Kuczynski  so as not to allow a situation in which the Fujimori people would control all branches of government.

De la Cruz points out that these two right wing forces are not far apart on key issues, especially economic ones.  The Fujimori forces are also for neo-liberal measures and support extractivist industries, and are willing to use repressive laws against labor unions.  But also “we are faced with a right wing cabinet, pro-imperialist” which, faced with economic deceleration, has tried to break up the indigenous communities’ collective land ownership system with a view toward privatization, while also promoting deregulation the weakening labor union rights, and the undermining of Bolivarian mechanisms of Latin American integration including UNASUR, the Andean Community, and CELAC.

Only increased struggle can counter these trends.

Communist Party of Italy is reborn

After a June 24-26 founding Congress, initiated by the Party of Italian Communists (Partido degli Comunisti Italiani), the name and symbols of the historic Communist Party of Italy (Partito Comunista del’Italia, or PCI) are now revived.  The historic PCI had been founded in 1921 and, under the leadership of such important figures as Antonio Gramsci and Palmiro Togliatti, had grown to be one of the largest communist parties not in power in Europe and the world, with more than 2 million members.  It won many local elections, providing at one time or another the mayors of several major cities including Rome, Bologna and Naples.  However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Communist Party of Italy transformed itself into a centrist party and dropped the name “communist”, replacing it with “Democratic” while two smaller parties continued to promote the original Marxist ideas.

Writing on the website of the Partito degli Comunisti, which will soon be replaced by a new PCI website, Giorgio Raccichini explains:  “If it was decided at the June 24-26 Congress, to construct the Communist Party of Italy, it was because we wanted to relaunch in Italy the struggle for the only ideal vision which represents a concrete challenge to capitalism, which, I repeat, has failed miserably.”

Another Marxist party in Italy, the Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation), also continues to exist.

Czech Republic:  Communists demand Citizen Referendum

The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which is the communist party in the Czech Republic, issued a statement on July 20 criticizing that country’s government for reneging on a promise to establish a mechanism of citizen referendums on public policy issues.   The Czech communists believe that it is necessary, for full democracy, for mechanisms to exist for citizens to have “direct participation”  in government decision making, in addition to their influence through legislative representatives.  The current Czech government’s senior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, on the occasion of the 2013 elections which brought it to power, had promised that it would pass legislation to make it possible to implement such legislations, which have been included in the Constitution since 1993.  The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia has pushed for such legislation several times in the past.  The Communists denounce the effective stealing of direct democratic participation from the citizens.

Photo: Facebook

 

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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