Monday, April 03, 2006

The Yugoslavia War: A product and manifestation of the increasing crisis of imperialism in Europe

Workers Communist Party of France (PCOF)
Communist Organisation October of Spain

Unity & Struggle 8, 2002

This analysis is based on the war waged by the US and European imperialism in the Balkans.

I. Inter-imperialist contradictions

1. Some points on imperialism

Before analysing the situation in the Balkans, in other words Nato's attacks on Yugoslavia, we believe it is necessary to mention some criteria which constitute the basis for a common stance for our M-L parties and organisations and a guide for our analysis.

These criteria can be found in Lenin's work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism". One of the characteristics of imperialism is uneven development which changes the economic balance of power between various imperialist forces and which brings about a re-division on the basis of this new balance of power. On this issue Lenin says:

"Finance capital and the trusts do not diminish but increase the differences in the rate of growth of the various parts of the world economy. Once the relation of forces is changed, what other solution of the contradictions can be found under capitalism than that of force?" (Lenin; Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism; French edition, p.115)

And later he continues: "... for any other basis under capitalism for the division of spheres of influence, of interests, of colonies, etc., than a calculation of the strength of the participants in the division, their general economic, financial, military strength, etc., is inconceivable. And the strength of these participants in the division does not change to an equal degree, for the even development of different undertakings, trusts, branches of industry, or countries is impossible under capitalism." (ibid., p.143-144)
In addition he says: "... an essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several great powers in the striving for hegemony, i.e., for the conquest of territory, not so much directly for themselves as to weaken the adversary and undermine his hegemony." (ibid., p. 108)

In the "Political Economy Textbook" which synthesises Lenin's analysis on imperialism, it is stated that: "The relation of economic forces among the imperialist powers changes with unprecedented rapidity. (...) The changing relation of economic and armed forces comes into conflict with the old distribution of colonies and spheres of influence. This inevitably gives rise to a struggle to re-divide the already divided world. (...) The unevenness of the development of the capitalist countries causes a sharpening of the contradictions in the imperialist camp and makes armed clashes inevitable, which results in the imperialists weakening one another." (Political Economy Textbook, French edition, p. 288-289)

For that reason we have analysed the crises of imperialism in Europe and particularly the military conflict in the Balkans in the light of Lenin's principles.

On the other hand, this analysis, in accordance with the doctrine of dialectical materialism, aims to bring into light what is new and open to development, although they may seem to be insignificant or secondary at the time. What is dominant today is the hegemony of US imperialism. What is new and open to development is this hegemony being challenged firstly by Germany these days and maybe later by imperialist powers such as China.

2. The changes that took place in Europe after the collapse of the USSR regime

We need to re-examine what is called "the collapse of the Eastern Bloc" in order to understand the imperialist attack on Yugoslavia. After the collapse of the USSR regime, which was described as social imperialism by Marxist-Leninists, enormous changes took place in the whole world and especially in Europe. The Eastern Bloc regimes, which were part of the Warsaw Pact, Comecon and the "Sovietic" bloc, collapsed one after another in the period before and after these events. The weakening and the partial collapse of a power such as the USSR has changed the relations of power between countries of the Soviet Bloc and those of the Western Block. This has created for imperialist forces an open arena in the Eastern Bloc and the Balkans.

With the disappearance of a bi-polar system, US imperialism has become the dominant power in the world. However, this reality does not diminish the significance of the presence of and the fight between other imperialist forces. The contradictions among them are always increasing and sharpening. One cannot predict from today how or in whose favour these contradictions will develop, or what kind of alliances will be formed. It is important to highlight what Lenin said about this issue:

"... alliances, no matter what form they may assume, whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or of a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a 'truce' in periods between wars. Peaceful alliances prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one conditions the other, giving rise to alternating forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle out of one and the same basis of imperialist connections and relations within world economics and world politics." (Lenin; Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism; French edition, p. 185-186)

The German imperialism, with what is called the unification process, has gained strength by swallowing East Germany, and thus held a position which has given it the power to prioritise its own interests within the European Union. It has benefited from the weakening of the Russian hegemony in the region. It has extended and strengthened its economic hegemony in Hungary, the Checz Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia, also sharing the economic hegemony in countries such as Poland with the US. In other words, it has strengthened its hegemony in the industrialised countries of Eastern Europe, being less influential in Bulgaria and Romania where industry is weaker.

There is a history of the war against Yugoslavia in the Balkans. The German imperialism has played an active role in the secession of Slovenia and Croatia. The military occupation of various imperialist powers in Bosnia explains the different interests of the present forces in the region.

3. The war in Yugoslavia

The war in Yugoslavia, which took place last spring, was a manifestation of the conflict between different imperialist forces and a measure of the balance of power between them.

a) Why an intervention in Yugoslavia?

This intervention for which the US imperialism gave the go-ahead, was a reminder of the economic and military leadership of the US on the world scale as well as a preventative measure against the spread of German imperialism in Central Europe and the Balkans.
Previously the US imperialism confronted with German imperialism in Bosnia against Germany's plans to divide Bosnia into two regions: one under the control of Croatia and the other under the control of Serbia. The US opposed the idea which would have resulted clearly in favour of German imperialism. For this reason, although not quite stable, a plan was put into practice, taking into account a balance of interests of the forces in the region.

In order to understand this region and the US intervention at this time, it is necessary to look at how it was related with other developments. It is important to remind that this intervention coincided with the US celebrations for Nato's 50th anniversary and with the period of integration of Poland and the Checz Republic into this military organisation. The intervention started just a couple of weeks before the European elections and at the time of the debates about the European Defence Force and the introduction to the Single European Currency which was described as "a declaration of war against the dollar" by the directors of big German banks.

The US military intervention was a threat to the interests of German imperialism in the region. It was also aimed at encircling Russia which was undergoing a deep rooted crisis with prospects for social explosions.

b) Tactics indicate differing interests of different powers in the region

In Kosovo, the contradictory interests of the US, Germany and Russia have become apparent. Despite their sharp conflicts, the US and Germany did not keep away from jointly destroying Kosovo and Serbia with other interventionist forces.

Russia's interest was to preserve the status quo, that is supporting Milosevic and keeping Kosovo within the Serbian territory, which was the least harming solution for Russia. The changes that took place in Albania (the advent of the social democrats who have intimate relations with German SPD, replacing the US favourite Salih Berisha), the Kosovans' desire for secession and the possibility of playing the UCK card up to a point, all paved the way for the German imperialism to mobilise and increase its influence in the region.

With its support for Rugova, the US was for a solution through negotiations, which would have weakened Serbia, hence Russia, and which would have prevented Germany from taking advantage of this situation. The reason for US imperialism using the card of war was to prove once again its might and to prevent any possible secession which would favour German imperialism.

The German imperialism, right from the beginning of the intervention, wanted to use its diplomatic relations with Russia and China. (The US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade three days before Schroeder's visit to China!)

The peace agreement that was signed after the bombing of Yugoslavia, although it included a significant conciliation with the US in terms of Kosovo's secession, is in fact a document which proves Germany's increasing influence. Kosovo was not going to remain, at least in formality, as part of the Yugoslav Federation. Germany partly accepted the support of Russia in order to achieve this result. (It was Germany who ensured the stationing of the Russian forces in the region in spite of US opposition).

At present, DM is the official currency in Kosovo and the most valued currency in Albania. Whereas, just a few years ago, after the collapse of socialist Albania, the valued currency was the dollar!

None of the three main powers that were battling in Kosovo could realise their plans fully: the German imperialism could not openly and clearly bring about the disintegration of Kosovo. Russians could not preserve the pre-war status quo. Nor could the US keep Kosovo under its control alone. And the result here is again an unstable balance which has to take into account the contradictory interests of these three powers.

4. The inter-imperialist rivalry within the EU

Although the US imperialism is the dominant imperialist power in the world, its hegemony in Europe is being challenged by German imperialism which has an increasing influence within the EU. Germany is consolidating its strength in its fight with other imperialist forces in Europe, especially the French and British imperialism. The US imperialism is using these contradictions to its advantage to divide its rivals. Britain, whose interests are tied with the US imperialism, is playing an important role here. France is trying to defend its interests against its rivals by using its former colonial imperial influence and its military might, making alliances with different imperialist powers at different times as it can no longer fight alone with the German or the British imperialism.

The formation of the EU under the leadership of Germany has not been developing on a straight line. It affects and is affected by the developments in the world. The intervention of Germany in the war in Yugoslavia, militarily for the first time, has shown not only its desire for but also the presence of a military might which enables it to defend its economic interests. The recent merger of Aerospatiale and Dasa, aimed at creating an armament monopoly on a world scale, should be considered from this angle.

There is a growing trend of sharpening contradictions between the EU led by Germany on one hand and the US on the other. Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the developments that have taken place are in favour of German imperialism which has an increasing influence within the EU.

The European imperialist powers who are involved in the process of unification and the single currency are not yet in a position to oppose the US imperialism, alone or collectively. However, the process they have undergone is pushing them towards this opposition, whose signs can already be seen on various issues (e.g. the fight over marketing the genetically modified food). On the basis of common interests, the German imperialism is trying to win over other countries (such as Japan and China) as allies in other parts of the world as well as its partners and rivals in Europe. Under the present conditions, this rivalry results in unstable conciliation in every way (economic, political, military, and diplomatic), as is seen in the war in Yugoslavia.

Before concluding this part we can state the following:

- The US imperialism, being the most powerful and dominant power in the world, has to strengthen its economic, political and military power all the time in order to maintain its position. This is the reason why it is so aggressive.

- The German imperialism which is getting stronger economically is striving to weaken the hegemony of the US in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and even in Western Europe where the formation of the EU is going in line with its interests.

- The sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions and the crisis of imperialism in Europe is particularly affecting the African countries where the European imperialist powers and the US have contradicting interests. This situation manifests itself in bloody military conflicts in many African countries.

II. The war in Yugoslavia and the stances of different political forces

1. On the teachings of Marxism- Leninism and historical experiences about social democracy and revisionists

Social democracy has maintained its reactionary orientation since Lenin's period. In countries such as ours, it has gone completely along with imperialism. Capitalist oligarchies in different European countries are not keeping away from bringing social democrats to governmental positions in order to carry out their tasks. Social democrats, either alone or in coalition with classic right wing parties or other forces, are in power in France, Germany and Britain today. In Spain, after providing years of "good and honest service", they were replaced by the right wing party a short while ago. Having insisted on reforming capitalism for years, they have now become the best defenders of the system. As is witnessed in the Balkans, they did not refrain from being involved in the war in order to defend the interests of imperialist monopolies.

The revisionist agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement have also gone through a process of evolution. However, the labour aristocracy, or in Lenin's words "the class stratum whose life style has become completely like the petty bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie", has continued to be the social basis of this current. They have been bought off as a result of immense profits made out of exploitation of the colonies and semi-colonies. For this reason, in our imperialist countries, they have become the main basis of imperialism within the working class."

The deep crisis that has shaken the imperialist system has divided and weakened the revisionist forces and sharpened the contradictions among their ranks. It is our responsibility to use these contradictions for the interests of the working class. We want to emphasise once again that these forces are not homogenous, they have frictions and conflicting attitudes and interests in their ranks. We can work with some sections of this group on the basis of conjectural and concrete problems, without loosing our awareness or leaving the arena to the opportunists. The Spanish comrades are carrying out such an activity within the "Izquierda Unida" (Left Unity), which is dominated by reformist and revisionist sections.

2. Different political forces' stances on the war

In Germany:

Different right-wing parties (CDU, CSU) were generally in support of the intervention, but with a close look one could see the differences among them. Voices were heard that this war was an American one and that one should not involve in it.

The Social Democrats in the government and their coalition partner, the Greens, were for the war by 95 per cent, with the argument that "this war which defends the human rights is a compulsory one". The majority of the people were against the military intervention of Germany in this war because of its history and the role it played in the Second World War. This psychology was even echoed in the military. However, in order to prove that it was not expansionist, the German imperialism needed a reason, and this war was going to give them the opportunity to conceal its real interests, by hiding behind the defence of human rights cause. The Social Democrats and the Greens played this role. With the constant propaganda machine, the war against Milosevic who was identified with Hitler was presented as an anti-fascist war.

The left wing of the social democracy and the revisionist parties (SPD, DKP) formed a bloc and became dominant on the strong anti-war tradition of Germany. These forces supported Milosevic and Russia. According to them, the problem started with Nato's intervention in Kosovo! They were arguing for negotiations with Russia, and denying the right to self-determination of the peoples such as the Palestinian, Kurdish and Kosovan. According to them, these kinds of movements would lead to division and the establishment of small countries which would not be in the interest of the people! This led to strong polemics. This anti-war opposition bloc worked in close collaboration with the Serbian nationalist movement in Germany.

On the other hand the Maoist party MLPD, Trotskyites and the KPD formed another bloc to oppose Nato's attacks on Yugoslavia, in order to expose Milosevic's politics and to defend the Kosovan people's right to self-determination. Activities were carried out mainly within the trade union movement and discussions were held around petitions. The main tendency among the trade union movement, although not with a clear basis, was the opposition to the war.

In Spain:

The right-wing parties and the social democrats in the government (Javier Solana, a leading figure among the social democrats, was the spokesmen for Nato) supported the intervention. All social democrats, especially Felipe Gonzales, compared the Nato intervention with that of the International Brigade in Spain. In order to justify Nato's intervention they also compared Milosevic with Hitler.

Revisionists and other left forces together with other critical sections, despite some differences, opposed the war. While the CPS and the circles it has direct influence opposed the war on the basis of supporting Milosevic and the "remains of socialism"; the majority of "formalists", the majority within the Workers Committee (CCOO) and the far right of the Trotskyites together with Izquierda Unida (Left Unity) opposed Nato's attacks as well as Milosevic. However, considering the period when they started to take this stance (during the most intense time of the bombardment) and their insistence in trying to show Milosevic as the sole responsible person for the war shows that they became the instruments of the "humanitarian" sections of social democrat politics. Gradually they concentrated on secondary problems and left to one side the actual subject: opposing the imperialist attacks on a sovereign state.

The revisionist leadership of the "Left Unity" made a "popular" start by declaring Solona as a war criminal. When social democrats attempted to establish historical parallels with the anti-fascist war, the revisionists called upon all popular forces to take side with Milosevic in order to defend "socialism" against the present day Hitler, American imperialism!

Marxist-Leninists took the same approach as that of the sister parties in other countries: to oppose the war in Yugoslavia on the basis of it being an imperialist attack, but at the same time to reveal the character of the Milosevic regime and the oppression on the Kosovan people.

A general ignorance among the masses was observed and the anti-war movement did not turn into a mass scale one.

In France:

The Chirac-Jospin administration and the majority of the "left" in parliament supported the military intervention, in which the French military was also part. Although support was given to the policy of French imperialism, this does not mean that there was total harmony among the left and the right.

For example a number of prominent figures of the right stated their hesitation in this intervention which was obviously led by US imperialism. These were the representatives of a current in the right (also in the left), who still wish for France to take decisions independently.

The Greens complained about the intervention not being fast and extensive enough, and argued that a ground attack was necessary to protect the people from Milosevic's barbarity.

In the CPF (the French Communist Party) there was as many diversity as in the candidate list for the European Parliamentary election! There were those like Herzog who supported the intervention, and those like Hue who opposed the war but refused to discuss their partnership in the government. In fact, as expressed by Hue, one can talk about differences in the approach to the intervention rather than opposition to the war. The "official" line of the CPF was for peace keeping, in defence of the UN and diplomacy, and for Russia having a say in this matter. This stance was not in contradiction with that of the government. It was in fact in line with the interests of French imperialism which wanted to play the diplomatic card by relying on Russia and by taking advantage of the inter-imperialists contradictions. Opposition to Nato's military intervention soon faded out with the campaign for solidarity with the Kosovans. Under these conditions where the public opinion is shaped by the media, what was left for the CPF and other left forces was to run this campaign.

Under these circumstances, our party carried out an informative campaign around these issues: who are the targets in the war, the aims of different imperialist forces, the interests of the people (Sebian, Kosovan) involved in the war, and the interests of the people of the aggressive imperialist countries. This activity was based on the workers', the trade union and the women's movement. Despite the strong pro-war propaganda, it helped the manifestation of a conscious and pro-people opposition.

III. The interests of the working class and people in this war

We need to see where the interests of the working class and the people lie in this conflict and what should the stance of the communists be.

1. In opposition to the imperialist aggression on Yugoslavia

If we agree to call this war an imperialist one, created by the imperialist powers for their interests, then, it is obvious that the peoples of Yugoslavia, of Europe and of the world as well as the working class in general had no interest whatsoever in this war but to oppose it. Since this was a war of re-division of the spheres of influence among the imperialists, the parties and organisations of these countries which joined this attack had the responsibility of revealing the participation and the aims of their country's imperialism. In our opinion, up to a certain point, independently of tactics and taking common actions with other forces fighting against the war, our parties should explain the aims of the war in their propaganda, they should refuse to rely on one imperialism while fighting against the other, and should not leave any doubt about the reactionary character of the Milosevic regime.

2. The Kosovo question

Where did interests of the Kosovo people and its working class really lie in? The Kosovan national ethnicity, which represents the majority in the Kosovo region of the Yugoslavia Federation, has been subject to the oppression of the Belgrade regime for years. This oppression, among other things, led to the emergence of a resistance and the Kosova national movement represented by the UCK (which is not the only one).

The UCK was established by the forces who claimed to be the "advocates of Enver Hocha". Its attitude was of a character of progressive national forces. It was pointing at the Serbian chauvinism as the enemy. Despite being a small group at the beginning, it obtained an important position among the Kosovan people in a short time. It was the only power who called for armed struggle against Serbian atrocities. (During this period Rugova instead went around the capital cities of Europe to beg for money). This rapid development of the UCK led to the initial small group loosing control and other forces leaking into the movement. From this point onwards, the quality of the organisation has changed and the imperialists started to show a closer interest. This was because, although this organisation was not against imperialism, it could have functioned as a barrier before the implementation of the regional plans of imperialist powers. For this reason, it needed to be kept under control. American imperialism did this by opening military training camps for the UCK. At the same time, this organisation owed its development to the tolerance of the German imperialism. It was supported financially and logically by the Kosovan immigrants in Germany (and Sweden). Without the approval of the German imperialism, or at least by its turning a blind eye, trucks full of guns could not have passed through Germany.

In our opinion, the Marxist-Leninist stance in this situation should have been:

Before the war

-opposing Milosevic's tyranny against the people of Kosova;

-defending the legitimate national demands of the Kosovan people, and their right to self-determination, including and up to the right to secession from the Yugoslavia Federation and the status of republic;

-supportive work among the progressive forces of the Serbians and other peoples living in Yugoslavia for UCK's national demands.

During the war

All the progressive forces of the Yugoslavian Federation, including the people of Kosovo, the peoples of Europe and the world and the working class should have taken a stance against the imperialist intervention. The right to self-determination for the Kosovans at the time could not have been brought forward on the agenda as a practical issue. This was because, under the bombardment of the US, France, Britain, Germany, etc. and under the imperialist protectorate what kind of a right to self-determination could have been talked of.

On this point not all the parties and organisations of the Conference took the same stance. While some saw the stopping of the bombardment and the Kosovo people's right to self-determination on equal footing, others supported the UCK. The stances of different parties were shaped in accordance with the development of incidents and the amount of information they had.

3. Spontaneous movement against the war and its characteristics; some analysis and results

People's spontaneous movement against the war, at least in our countries, was rather weak compared to the one during the war against Iraq, namely the Gulf war. Why was it so?

It is obvious that the masses have been subject to a wide and powerful ideological propaganda once again. The aim of this ideological campaign was to justify this war by drawing historical parallels with the Second World War and by slandering the Milosevic regime associating it with that of Hitler. On the other hand, the horrendous situation of the Kosovans and continuos images and reports of their migration, stories about the injustice and insults carried out by Serbian paramilitaries, etc. led to a general acceptance of the principle of "humanitarian intervention" which was presented by imperialism and its branches within the popular movement.

Although the ideological and media propaganda during the Gulf War was used as effectively, this could not stop the masses from taking actions in a stronger form.

This was because, during the attacks on Iraq the real aims of the war (control over petrol sources and transport routes) were more clear, whereas now, the imperialist aims were not seen as clear cut. Furthermore, violation of human rights was a real problem experienced in Kosovo (it was not an artificial problem created by imperialism).

Particularly the comrades in Germany felt that they had to express their opposition to the Milosevic regime and their support for the Kosovo people's right to self-determination before they made any statement about their stance in relation to the war.
Considering the characteristics of this complicated situation, the spontaneous movement could not comprehend on its own the real reasons of the war. Consequently, the responsibility to explain this was left to the Marxist-Leninists despite their limited resources in their countries.

IV. Our parties' evaluation of criticism and self-criticism. Lessons to be learned for future actions

Our parties in three countries took the stance in line with the interests of the working class and the people, and aimed to reveal the reactionary character of this war. In response to the intervention of Nato they joined the anti-war movement through their analysis. They tried to raise the consciousness of the working class, take the movement along the right stance and get them connected with the progressive trade union currents in Yugoslavia. However, it is obvious that our parties have limited possibilities that cannot be compared with that of the media in the service of imperialism.

The actual question in this war was to explain and reveal the aims and interests which provoked the war in the beginning.
In fact, the most open minded and conscious sections of the working class should have been the initial target group for our informative activity in order for them to understand this complicated situation.

Imperialism used the defence of human rights and the humanism weapon rather well in order to win over, or at least make neutral, the petty bourgeois sections who are very responsive to such problems. Only a determined class stance which has the support of the sections who can represent the working class, could have saved the petty bourgeoisie from this imperialist propaganda. For our parties this points to the importance of working within the working class and a political activity based on revealing imperialism and the war.
Why did not the parties of the Conference take a clear and common stance about this war?

When we look back, if our organisations (the three parties), which are closely connected with this war and which took similar stances against it, had taken a common stance, this would have had a positive influence on our work and given us a greater authority (and maybe formed the basis for a statement to be undersigned by other parties and organisations). This stance could have assisted other parties of the Conference with their analysis. It is rightful of the other parties to have such an expectation, considering the location of the intervention and the imperialist powers involved.

Not taking a common decision in such a situation can also be a sign of different opinions among the Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations of the Conference. If it is so, these problems need to be discussed and a common answer to the basic problems of the popular movement still needs to be developed. It is not a secret that when responding to different problems, different opinions can exist in terms of experience, development and as a result of different levels of organisation. However, since we act on the basis of a presumed common ideological basis, our differences have to be discussed openly and in an environment of internationalist fraternity.

Another issue is the Co-ordinating Committee becoming non-functional and not fulfilling its responsibility of co-ordinating. The aim here is not to blame the Committee or to avoid personal responsibility, but to put down everything as they are. It is necessary to identify and draw the lines of the responsibilities of the Committee. The Conference cannot be silent in a serious situation like the war attacks on Yugoslavia.

This situation has shown that the Conference can only get stronger with the contribution of all parties, and that it does not replace bilateral or multilateral work between the parties, on the contrary, it must encourage this.

For this reason, the International Trade Union Meetings and other initiatives in this field are of great importance. These meetings give our parties and organisations the opportunity to create the current of class based trade unionism, educate the workers on the basis of proletarian internationalism, and develop a common line of struggle to stop capital's exploitation policies; therefore these meetings need to continue and be developed. These meetings help us understand the conditions of the working class of the participating countries, build mutual confidence between the participating forces, and help our parties' activities. In fact, these can help develop a communist organisation in those countries where there is no Marxist-Leninist organisation in real terms.

In conclusion, if we are to start with the analysis of the aims of this war in terms of the imperialists, the German imperialism as a rising power is trying to gain strength against the working class and the peoples of Europe and the colonial and semi-colonial countries. On the other hand, it is obvious that the US imperialism will follow more aggressive policies against the workers and peoples of the countries dependent on it, but mainly the American working class -including the Latin American- in order to continue with its hegemonic position in the world. This war is the indication of future wars as it has signs of the intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions. The three main contradictions of the imperialist epoch are also intensifying: the contradiction between labour and capital, between peoples and imperialism, and between the imperialists themselves. In response to the intensifying class struggles, the revisionist and reformist parties and currents will be forced to go more openly onto the side of imperialism, which is their feeder.

And this will bring along internal disputes and contradictions in their ranks. In every opportunity the Marxist-Leninists make use of these contradictions in order to organise activities with progressive forces and sections. We do not avoid to see the organisational weakness of the Marxist-Leninists, especially in Europe, and we see this as an additional reason to make use of and benefit from the contradictions of the mass organisations under the influence of the revisionists and reformists.

With the aim of standing up against capital's open attacks as well as raising the anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, revolutionary and internationalist consciousness, our parties must strengthen their activities in order to organise the resistance of the working class and the working people. It is only in this struggle that they can benefit from the crisis of the revisionists and reformists, and develop both quantitatively and qualitatively.

January 2000

Workers Communist Party of France (PCOF)
Communist Organisation October of Spain

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations

Germany, April 2000

The new plenary session of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations took place in Germany.

It was attended by 16 parties and organisations from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. The Communist Labour Party of Dominican Republic could not participate due to visa problems but expressed its adherence to all the resolutions of the Conference. Some other parties and organisations did not attend because of the police repression, like the Tunisian party, and others due to financial difficulties.

The Conference had important items on its agenda which were dealt with in an atmosphere of unity, comradeship and openness which allowed to make important advances in the process of construction of the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement.

The Conference reviewed the expressions of the present day imperialism, the crisis that corrodes it, the important manifestations of the organisation and the struggle of the workers and the peoples, of the revolutionary and communist movement. It drew attention to the events in Yugoslavia and condemned the aggression of North American imperialism and of the members of NATO, which manifested serious inter imperialist contradictions. It discussed about the problems of the Middle East.

The Conference dedicated a good part of its work to the debate on its own reality, the experiences of the process of its formation and development, as well as its limitations, shortcomings and mistakes that it suffered. It affirmed the validity of the revolutionary proletarian organisation in each country and on the international scale. It emphasised that in the international order we represent the interests and the cause of the proletariat, of socialism and communism, that other expressions claiming to be communist and Marxist-Leninist continue to be immersed in confusion and eclecticism. It established once again the responsibility of more intense work facing it, and the forging of new Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations, as well as the fortification of its members in each country.

The Conference knew the unfolding of the revolutionary struggle in Burkina Faso and Ecuador.

In Burkina Faso, as of the last quarter of 1999, great popular mobilisations developed and put the reactionary regime to a halt. The workers, peasants, teachers, youth and the democratic movement were involved in these mobilisations. In these actions, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta played a leading role which has allowed it to grow and acquire great experience and political influence.

In Ecuador a great popular uprising took place in January, which led to the overthrow of the pro-imperialist government of Mahuad and the establishment of a few hour long Council of National Salvation. The workers and the people of Ecuador, particularly the Indian people, played an outstanding role, and advanced to understand their newspaper as a result of their responsibilities and political conscience. The Conference emphasised the newspaper of the PCMLE.

In analysing the development of these processes, the Conference assumed a new stage in terms of its existence and responsibilities, and opened the way for the concrete analysis of the situation to advance the theoretical discussion about the old and new problems of the revolution.

The Conference saluted the accomplishment of the Founding Congress of the Workers Communist Party of Denmark, which was being held simultaneously with the Conference.
It approved a resolution on Burkina Faso and undertook the task to spread still more its struggles and saluted the activity of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta.
It has given its support to the revolutionary process in Ecuador and the PCMLE.
The Conference condemned the reactionary political repression of the Tunisian government, and showed its solidarity with the Workers Communist Party of Tunisia and its leaders.
It resolved that the solidarity campaign demanding the freedom of Francisco Caraballo, First Secretary of the Communist party of Colombia (M-L), should continue.
The Conference decided to impel an international campaign for material support to the PCMLE.
It was proposed that the publication of the international journal Unity and Struggle should become regular.
It called for the doubling of the efforts for the accomplishment of the Anti-fascist and Anti-imperialist International Youth Camp to be held in August in Venezuela.
It supported the achievement of the International Seminar on the "Problems of the Revolution in Latin America" to be held in July in Quito.
It resolved the publication, on the part of the parties, of Lenin's work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism".

The Conference closed its work with the balance sheet of the fulfilment of the tasks and resolutions set forth in the previous meeting in 1998 in Caracas and chose the new Co-ordinating Committee.

This plenary session of the International Conference constitutes an important step forward in the process of construction of the International Communist Movement. It means in itself and its resolutions an operating reality, and in the perspective, a potential force that will fulfil its responsibilities. It still has questions to resolve, difficulties to surpass, but there exist the grounds and the conditions to fulfil these in a mediate term.

The proletarian internationalism, the international revolution and the revolutionary processes in each country are fortified. New tasks are raised, and the conditions and the positions exist for fulfilling them.

Participants of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations:

Communist Party of Benin (PCB)
Communist Party of Chile (Proletarian Action)
Communist Party of Colombia (M-L)
Workers Communist Party of Denmark (APK)
M-L Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE)
Workers Communist Party of France (PCOF)
Communist Party of Germany (KPD)
Organisation for the Communist Party of Greece
Labour Party of Iran (Toufan)
Organisation for the the Communist Party of the Proletariat of Italy
Communist Party of Mexico (M-L)
Communist Organisation Revolusjon of Norway
Communist Organisation October of Spain
Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP)
Red Flag Party of Venezuela (Bandera Roja)
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta (PCRV)

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