Opening Remarks to the International Guests Plenary

 
September 21, 2001

Speech given at the 27th National Convention of the CPUSA.

Facing the escalating onslaught of global
monopoly capitalism, one of our most urgent tasks as communists is to
continue building the unity of the world communist movement. We communists
in the United States feel this responsibility especially, because the
U.S.-based giant transnational corporations lead the process of imperialist
globalization.

Many difficulties experienced earlier in relations among
parties have been or are being overcome; around the world we increasingly
recognize that differences need not bar unity in action.

Our unity is vital to the unity in action developing among
the world’s working class and peoples. It is a significant factor in the
massive protests against capitalist globalization, in Seattle, Washington,
Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, Quebec City and other world cities. Groups
that used to feel they had big differences — labor, environmentalists,
peace and religious activists — increasingly act together, as do working
class and people’s forces spanning the globe. No wonder the next WTO meeting
is slated for inaccessible Qatar!

Labor’s role is growing rapidly. Indeed, Canadian labor
was the leading force at Quebec City, and our Canadian comrades played
a central role there. A new level of joint action by labor and people’s
forces in North America was shown by the simultaneous cross-border demonstrations
at the Mexican and Canadian borders as well as in U.S. cities.

The recent protests during George Bush’s European trip
are part of this trend.

International labor solidarity is also growing rapidly,
as shown by the great and growing international support for the Charleston
5, as well as other recent globe-spanning mobilizations.

And so is the growing unity of the labor movement in many
countries, including the U.S., with the struggles of immigrant workers,
and indigenous and racially oppressed workers, who throughout the world
face special oppression as imperialist globalization probes constantly
to exploit the lowest possible wages and the worst possible conditions.
In our country the AFL-CIO increasingly strives to uphold the rights of
workers of color, and of immigrant workers and people generally, in face
of ever more draconian anti-immigrant measures spearheaded by the INS
— now the U.S.’ largest law enforcement agency.

The role of the world communist movement, and fulfilling
our special responsibility as U.S. communists, is vital to the continuing
rapid growth of unity in struggle among the global labor and working people’s
movements.

This responsibility is particularly acute today, toward
the Palestinian people, those of the Balkans, the Mideast, the Korean
peninsula, Puerto Rico and especially Vieques, who face specially sharp
attack from the Bush administration whose oily, blood-soaked hand can
be felt in every part of the globe. Our fraternal parties in Iran, Iraq
and Jordan, and the New Independence Movement of Puerto Rico are among
the parties in the forefront, striving to turn back that attack.

U.S. communists and the world movement have a special
responsibility toward the socialist countries, China, Cuba, the DPRK,
Laos and Vietnam, which continue to show how socialist societies strive
to improve the lives of their people even under the most difficult conditions.
We are honored to have with us today representatives of the heroic Cuban
and Vietnamese communist parties, which are today building socialism ever
stronger, despite decades of attack by U.S. imperialism.

In the former socialist countries, communist and workers
parties lead their people’s fight to ward off the worst social and economic
destruction, and to pave the way for socialist societies on a new footing.

The continent of Africa has been savaged by hundreds of
years of slave trade, colonial rule and, most recently, rape by the TNCs.
Now the people of South Africa, and the South African Communist Party,
are showing the way to build a new society of economic and social justice
on the ruins of apartheid.

The people of Latin America have felt U.S. imperialism’s
lash the longest. We have among us today representatives of the Communist
Parties of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Each of their
peoples — as well as all of Latin America — has felt the sharp point
of the lash in different ways. Today Colombia faces the prospect of becoming
another Vietnam, while imperialism focuses its political and economic
gunsights on Mexico and Venezuela.

In the Pacific Rim — now a special Bush administration
focus — our New Zealand comrades of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa,
play a special role together with other parties of the region, toward
curbing the Bush administration’s special aims in this part of the world.

And in the crucial continent of Europe, where U.S. and
European imperialism compete in expanding NATO and building specifically
regional forces, and the forces of globalization seek an economic stranglehold
over the working class and the poorer nations, the Communist and Workers’
Parties, including those of Britain, Cyprus, Germany, Greece and Portugal,
are a crucial force in fighting for the needs of the peoples.

All the world’s Communist and Workers’ Parties are united
in helping to build the rapidly growing opposition to the Bush administration’s
increasingly aggressive military policies, symbolized especially by the
so-called Missile Defense program, commonly called "Star Wars."

In sum, we are very proud and very moved today, to have
among us representatives of the finest fighters, the world ’round, for
economic and social justice, for peace with justice, and for the socialist
future which will end all forms of oppression, national and racial oppression,
and usher in the age of the fullest development of human social and individual
potentials.

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