OVER 200 delegates and observers gathered in Madrid last weekend for the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE). Communists from all parts of Spain together with some 20 observers from liberation movements and fraternal parties including the New Communist Party of Britain spoke at this congress that will chart the future of the Spanish communist movement for the next four years.
The PCPE was founded in 1984 during the struggle against the “euro-communist” revisionist trend that dominated the old Spanish Communist Party (PCE) which was legalised when the fascist dictatorship ended with the death of General Franco and the restoration of a “constitutional” monarchy in 1975.
Since then the Spanish political scene has been dominated by the reactionary People’s Party and the social-democratic Socialists, who currently hold the government with the support of the “United Left”, a PCE front.
PCPE membership has grown along with its influence in recent years through its work in the labour movement, its opposition to the proposed EU constitution and the campaign for the withdrawal of all Spanish troops from Iraq that was met when the Socialists won the general election last year. This was reflected in the discussion which focused on the current situation in the world today and the key campaigning issues that face the Spanish working class.
The first demand is for a democratic confederal socialist republic that would recognise and guarantee the rights of the Basques, Catalans and all the other peoples of Spain. Building the left alternative to the class collaborationist policies of the social-democrats and their revisionist allies is another priority, along with the need to build a militant union bloc to challenge the dominance of social democracy in the Spanish labour movement.
“We are especially pleased to be here at this important juncture in your party’s life as we are old friends going back over 20 years,” NCP general secretary Andy Brooks said in his address to the congress. “Both our parties were born from the anti-revisionist struggle within the European communist movement. In those days we were a minority. Today, in the wake of the counter-revolutions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, our view-point has won general acceptance,” the NCP leader declared. “Let us all work for a global anti-imperialist peace movement to shake the whole rotten edifice of imperialism to the ground and at the same time let us fight together to rebuild the world communist movement for socialist advance in the 21st century,” he concluded.
Many of the fraternal guests marched behind the Spanish communist banners during the massive 60,000 strong May Day march through the Spanish capital that reflected the militancy and strength of the Spanish union movement.
During the Congress Andy Brooks had talks with the PCPE leadership and discussions with a number of other communist parties represented at the congress.