International Notes: July 14, 2016

International Notes: July 14, 2016

Communist Party of Bangladesh denounces government and opposition in response to July 1 terrorist attack  

The Communist Party of Bangladesh has denounced the terrorist attack on a restaurant in the capital, Dacca, on July 1, which killed 21 men and women, both Bangladeshis and foreigners.  But the Communist Party also criticizes the country’s government and electoral opposition for their failure to prevent such attacks.  In a statement, the Communist Party Declared “..small underground religious fundamentalist groups under various names had started their terroristic activities long back by bombing cultural functions, cinema hall [sic], public meetings of CPB (our party)….we observe a new wave of terroristic attacks since last year.  Within one year, more than 50 persons have been killed.

Victims of such attacks have included “secular minded and scientifically oriented writers, bloggers and publishers. Now they are killing Hindus, Christians and Muslims who do not share their view of Islam. Most of these attacks have been claimed by ISIS.  The Communist Party of Bangladesh faults the government for not paying sufficient attention to this growing threat, and ignoring the “gravity of the situation”.

The government, led by the Bangladeshi Awami League, blames most of the attacks on the right-wing opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).  The Communist Party agrees that the BNP is a reactionary party with ties to the Islamic fundamentalist Jamat-E-Islam group, but doubts that this is the entire origin of the terrorist attacks, and has seen no proof that the BNP per se is behind them. The government is nearsightedly trying to use the situation against its main electoral rival, BNP.  The Communist Party considers the Awami League government to be “highly undemocratic, repressive and [prone to adopt] the policy of extra judicial killings and making election a mere farce”.  This has created an atmosphere in which terrorist groups have been able to grow, and which imperialism might be able to present Bangladesh as a “failed state”.  The Communist Party of Bangladesh calls for firm action against terrorists and a widening of democratic rights and political freedom.


The Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PADS) demands repeal of restrictive laws

The Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PADS) has denounced new laws which, according to a party statement, will “accentuate the anti-national and antidemocratic content of laws already in force”, under the pretext of bringing statute law into line with some revisions of the Algerian constitution.

The laws in question include ones that show greater legal favoritism to investment plans of foreign and domestic corporations, another that forbids political parties that get less than 4 percent of the popular vote from participating in future elections, another than prohibits former armed forces members from expressing themselves on political topics, and another that requires that all candidates for the presidency declare themselves to be Muslims.  PADS also denounced the recent jailing of three journalists for having satirized government officials.

PADS considers that these laws are intended to shore up foreign and national capitalist support for the regime.  According to PADS, the Algerian government is also trying to ingratiate itself with imperialism by its policies, and to stifle, especially, working-class opposition.  PADS calls on the workers to resist such laws: “This struggle cannot be separated from the struggle for socialism.”


Panama:  Party of the People calls for meeting on national crisis

The Party of the People (Partido del Pueblo), which is the communist party of Panama, is calling a special leadership plenary meeting to deal with the crisis situation in the country and the policies of president Juan Carlos Varela, of the Panameñista Party, who was elected in May 2014.

After the election, the Party of the People had said that Varela would have to decide whether or not to break with the status quo and set a new progressive course.  But “After two years, it is clear that the government of Varela not only stays within the ‘status quo’, but that it has buried the election-year promise of [calling] a constituent assembly and has dedicated itself to touching up the old state.”

The Party of the People states that “off shore” investment entities in Panama have become antibodies in the existing system and are obvious evidence of its destabilization and eventual collapse.  (This is a reference to the scandal about the Panamanian “Mossack Fonseca” law firm and other entities which have played a major role in hiding of assets of the wealthy as well as money laundering).   The Party repeats that the real power behind the throne in Panama is national finance capital, which, however, shows some divisions.  The Party of the People calls for an offensive strategy to deal with this situation, and will have a plenary meeting of its General Coordinating Committee about the crisis on July 23 and 24.

Finland:  Communist Party of Finland on BREXIT

The Communist Party of Finland (CPF) has issued a statement on the “Brexit” referendum vote in the United Kingdom.  Communist Party Chairperson J.P,  Väisänen denounced the direction in which the European Union has been going as reflecting capitalist values and practices which go against the interests of the European working class. “The EU [European Union]  had promised to bring peace, stability, prosperity and employment.  Instead of prosperity, austerity is deepening inequality, and rising unemployment, not employment, is on the increase….the EU has clearly shown that it is by nature a project of capital and the bourgeoisie”.  So the Finnish Communists see the Brexit vote as a rejection of policies which harm workers.  “We reject the thrust of the current economic policy aimed at cuts and crushing workers’ rights…The CPF wants to see another Europe, one which supports people’s welfare, equality, environmentally sustainable development, and peace. We call for a national referendum on the euro and EU agreements”.

Speaking at a meeting of the European Left in Paris, Väisänen added: “We need an anti-EU movement that resolutely rejects racism.  We need to struggle against the TTIP, CETA and TISA free trade agreements …only a powerful Europe-Wide workers’ movement will be able to tackle the exploitation and profiteering and capital”.



    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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