Working-class internationalism must be the answer to war

BY:Rossana Cambron| September 22, 2023
Working-class internationalism must be the answer to war


CPUSA co-chair Rossana Cambron gave the following address to attendees of the 2023 International Conference.


Good morning. We’re very happy to gather together in unity with you for this important event. Today’s conference on imperialism focuses on the fight for working-class internationalism and solidarity in our struggle for socialism, justice and peace. These powerful concepts have their origins in the Manifesto and its historic slogan, “Workers of the World Unite.” Yes, Marx and Engels saw international working-class unity as key to breaking the chains that bind us. Indeed, Marx himself later warned about the threat to such unity posed by the policies of capitalist governments pitting workers of different countries against each other.

Lenin, too, sounded a similar warning inherent in the rising new imperialism that was leading to increased militarism and wars for world domination. But workers have no interest in fighting each other. Consistent anti-imperialism, he stressed, must be the only answer to wars of conquest. Following Lenin, the world communist movement made anti-imperialism a centerpiece of its policies. And for good reason: war has been a constant presence ever since. Indeed, the history of the last century has been one of countless workers dying in such conflicts, no matter what their slogans and rationales.

Today’s Cold War 2.0 continues this offensive. China, Cuba and Venezuela are its main targets as the U.S. attempts to build international coalitions to roll back progress and socialism. The world, however, has changed. It’s grown more multipolar. Along with old inter-imperialist rivalries between the U.S., the European Union and Japan, new centers of power are emerging, along with new alliances. With over 800 military bases scattered across the planet and a largely dominant position in the world economy, however, the U.S. remains the leading imperialist country.

We are living in very dangerous times. New immigration, health and climate change crises are unfolding. Along with the outbreak of war in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, they pose serious threats to life on the planet. Today, imperialist globalization is devastating economies with tens of millions attempting to escape poverty only to be met with cages and militarized borders, in some cases, or left to drown on the high seas in others.

U.S. imperialism is responding to the crises with protectionism and trade wars, information wars, surrogate conflicts around the world and a military budget now exceeding $1 trillion a year. After the collapse of the USSR, NATO has continued to expand eastward, directed at Russia. The outbreak of war in Ukraine has led to Sweden and Finland applying to join the military alliance with Sweden’s recent admittance.

As our National Committee recently said, the Ukraine war must end. Russia must withdraw its troops and NATO must stop its expansion. That’s the only way Ukraine can ever be sovereign. China and South Africa peace proposals have pointed a way to bringing this about. The Biden administration must remove the cluster bombs and cease funding the war. No country can be free so long as the U.S. pursues hegemony.

Our party understands it has a special responsibility to build movements among the U.S. people to challenge these policies. In November, we’re hosting a peace conference of party activists to begin organizing our work. Our emphasis is to help build a working-class-led peace movement. We need a broad front for peace that must be brought into next year’s election and the effort to defeat the fascist right and change the current administration’s foreign policy.

We accept the challenges agreed to at the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties in Havana last year, to struggle against imperialism, to contribute to transforming the current unjust and undemocratic international order, and to work for an international order based on peace.

We work closely with our fraternal parties on many joint projects. The Hello Comrade program had three successful exchanges with fraternal parties in Portugal, Chile, and Cuba. It is considering a new exchange project with a fraternal party next year.

Cuba is a special target and we pledge to continue to work to end the blockade and normalize relations between our two countries. Removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List is a top priority.

In holding this conference, we seek to enhance our internationalist work and strengthen our fraternal ties by having a rich exchange of ideas. We believe the key insights of our fraternal parties to be of the utmost importance to our continued growth and development. You will hear many veteran and young voices for socialism today!

Dear all, we invite you to become part of this global movement for peace and socialism. You are invited to join us, and join with us, in the common fight. Venceremos!

Image: CPUSA members at the March to End Fossil Fuels (People’s World)


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