Communist Party of Spain Marxist-Leninist Is Founded
Chronology of the Extraordinary Congress of the CEOC
On October 21 and 22 2006, we the communists of the now dissolved organisation CEOC [State Committee of Communist Organisations]* underwent a memorable moment, both for the historic significance of this political step as well as for the possibilities and challenges that are now opened. This is a chronological-summary of these historic days.
Saturday October 21
The day began precisely at 10 AM. The comrades designated by the former Permanent Committee of the CEOC called on the comrades who would preside over the Congress, represented in an equal manner by members of the former organizations of the CEOC and by a comrade representing the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations (ICMLPO), a conference that groups our fraternal Parties. The composition of the round table of the Congress was ratified unanimously by the plenary of the delegates.
The Round Table opened the Congress by first proposing the name of the Party, which was approved by acclamation: PCE (M-L), Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist).
Comrade Raul Marco undertook the summary of the General Political Report, which will be published in full together with the Main Presentations, which expanded on various aspects of the above. In the first place the Report recalled the sad experience of the destruction of the old PCE (M-L) from within in 1991 by a handful of traitors in strategic and influential positions within the organisation, who have now found a comfortable place in the arms of the oligarchy, which has generously rewarded their treason to the Spanish proletariat. The Report also made an honest self-criticism of the errors of the former Secretary General of the PCE (M-L) who, together with other members of the leadership, were not able to unmask the conspiracy in time and denounce it to the members. Undoubtedly, this is a necessary explanation which will enable to the future Party to learn from its errors, of which the most important ones were the neglect in political education and the other side of the coin, a blind voluntarism that dragged the members into a dangerous spontaneity, leaving the main resources of the Party in the hands of the traitorous clique practically without opposition. This treason could take place also due to the storm of the anti-communist campaign of the 1990s.
This part of the Report ended by pointing out that our party stands on the great revolutionary tradition of the historic PCE (M-L), but also of the contributions of comrades who came from other organisations that broke with revisionism.
In the section dedicated to the international information the evolution of the imperialist blocs and the growing rebellion of the peoples against imperialism was explained, which gives us communists new hopes. At the same time he called attention to the evolution of some countries of Southeast Asia and China as new and important factors in the international arena.
Regarding the Spanish State the defeat of the ultra-right project of Aznar at the hands of the Spanish people was pointed out, as were the large demonstrations against the imperialist war that forced Rodriguez Zapatero to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq. In conclusion, he stated that the struggle for the Popular and Federative Republic continues to be the guiding star that will lead the communists of the PCE (M-L) as the preliminary step to socialism.
It is worth mentioning the international communist movement: the need to reinforce the Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties as the main factor of proletarian internationalism, basing the relation among the parties on fraternal work and comradeship, but also on criticism and self-criticism. In that respect, one must mention the example of the attitude towards Bandera Roja, an organisation that refused to accept the criticism of the majority and was therefore expelled from the ranks of the Conference for its support for the Venezuelan oligarchy and imperialism, which tried to oust the popular government of Hugo Chavez. At the same time he insisted on the need to participate in other international communist forums such as the International Communist Seminar in Brussels, contributing our own views to counter the ideas and points of view with other organisations in a constructive manner.
For his part the comrade representing the ICMLPO in the Round Table of the Congress stated that the formation of the Party in Spain was a harsh blow against imperialism and opportunism, opening the possibility of a revolution in Spain.
In the morning the representatives of the Communist Party of Colombia (M-L), the Party Toufan of Iran, the journal Theory & Practice (Italy) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) gave emotional greetings to the Congress. They emphasised the international importance of the Extraordinary Congress and discussed the most important political questions in relation to their national reality. They also explained the need to take advantage of the successful experience of the Spanish communists, in their road toward unity and to draw positive lessons for their own countries.
The morning session continued with the reading of various Main Presentations. The first, dedicated to organisational questions, recalled that although we have constituted ourselves into a Party of the Leninist type, breaking with the dead weight of individualism, we are not yet the vanguard Party that the working class requires. Criticism, self-criticism, centralism and internal democracy, election to and revocation of positions, conscious discipline and revolutionary vigilance, and a collective leadership combined with individual responsibility were the elements developed in this Presentation.
It was also explained that our organ ‘October’ should help serve to strengthen the organization, and the need to grow to have a great organisation and to aspire to be the revolutionary vanguard.
The Presentation on the workers’ movement, the first of the Congress, analysed the participation of the communists in the trade unions: not only to take advantage of the individual struggles in specific enterprises, but to bring a general orientation to the workers’ movement in a revolutionary sense, understanding the objective difficulties in Spain: a system of enterprises dominated by small and medium-sized business, and a 30% rate temporary workers, normally outside of the trade unions. Keeping in mind the low level of trade union affiliation and the lameness of the leadership of the most important trade unions (CC.OO. and UGT) [Workers’ Commissions and General Union of Workers], the report called for reinforcing the struggle inside these two large unions, faced with the attitude of the radical-opportunist currents who promote the fragmentation of the movement into very small unions that reinforce craft unionism and corporatism. The report recalled that we communists defend a position of trade union unity independent of the union in which we are.
The Presentation on political education explained that this is a necessity against bureaucracy and revisionism, developing notions on the Marxist theory of knowledge and summarising various formative aspects: the need to put the Marxist-Leninist texts into context with a high degree of historic preparation to not fall into dogmatism, completing the political education with the newspaper ‘October’ and the texts of the Party, and with technical training (computers, producing pamphlets, etc.). It was also analysed that theoretical and practical training should be linked to the development of the leading cadres so that they understand their role in the Party and in the mass organsations. Finally the report emphasised the necessary cultural preparation and the use of various sources such as movies and literature to solidify an image of the whole human being as opposed to bourgeois specialisation.
The next Presentation was dedicated to finances, which began by reminding us of the most important question: the main sources of the finances of the Party are the dues of the membership, not only because the first article of our Statute says so, but because it is above all a revolutionary attitude. Finances, continued the Presentation, should serve to base ourselves on our own forces. Without finances it is impossible to develop our own activities as a party, organisational activities (sending comrades around our country and to international meetings) and politics, in the first place assuring the publication of our organ ‘October’ and the political materials, propaganda, etc. The report called for a communist attitude toward finance, what implies a strict control of payment for materials received and for expenses in general, and a struggle against egalitarianism in dues.
The Presentation on finances closed the morning session. After lunch the territorial delegations met briefly to elect the delegates to intervene in the afternoon session on the Main Report and Main Presentations.
At 4:30 PM the Congress sessions resumed.
The afternoon session began with the Presentation on agitation and propaganda. The most important aim of propaganda lies in raising the consciousness of the working class. Therefore the work of agitation should be adapted to the concrete political and social framework to which we are communicating. The newspaper ‘October’ should bring to light the fundamental problems that concern the working class and other popular sectors, and should become the fundamental agitational tool of each member. It should also serve to ideologically strengthen the members against revisionism and opportunism. To successfully carry out the tasks of agitation and propaganda, each organisation of the Party should have a person responsible for this area. Specific cadres should be trained who know it perfectly and who can spread it among the masses according to a concrete plan of work.
The Presentation on immigration analysed the phenomenon in relation to imperialist globalisation, which forces millions of people to leave their countries in search of conditions under which they can survive. The problem does not mainly lie in the mafias who traffic in human beings, but in the imperialist robbery of the dependent countries, which destroys the whole economic base and the possibilities of life. Immigration gives rise to a super-exploited section of the working class, without rights and constantly criminalised. The struggle for the rights of immigrant workers should put in first place the need to regularise those immigrants who are not yet legalised in order to move on to the demand for other rights such as electoral rights. The immigrants should also make efforts to integrate themselves into the native-born working class, leaving behind their national or ethnic ghettos.
The last Presentation of the day concerned the revolutionary youth. It was showed that its growth has been inevitable due to the rise of the class struggles. It is very important that the Party have a correct youth policy, whose aim in the future should be the birth of a revolutionary youth that trains communist cadres for the Party. One must make an effort to spread the various experiences of the revolutionary youth among the popular and working classes. For this the strategy should be the Republicanisation of the youth movement, which will help to break with the apathy of the youth, and that helps to spread the unitary politics of the 8 points. It is necessary to propagate the unitary experiences such as the CEJAAR [State Camp of Anti-Fascist, Anti-Imperialist and Republican Youth] and the anti-fascist struggle to create the conditions to hold in the future a broad youth Conference.
The day continued with greetings and Presentations from the fraternal Parties. The comrade of the Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia, repressed by the dictatorship of his country, denounced the political situation in his country and the attitude of imperialism against the Arab peoples and denounced the reactionary thesis of the ‘clash of civilizations.’ He emphasised that Spanish refugees from Franco in his country had created strong human bonds between the people of Spain and Tunisia, and he ended by reminding us that imperialism can only offer the peoples misery, war, genocide and obscurantism. For his part, the comrade representative from Burkina Faso (Revolutionary Communist Party of Upper Volta) denounced the horrible situation on the African continent and the imperialist robbery of the African peoples.
The comrade representing the leadership of the Platform of Citizens for the Republic also spoke. He talked of the struggle to inject a progressive content into the republican values so that they could not be used by reaction and the need for the communists to again become organisers of the working and popular classes, following Lenin’s example.
After that there was time for the representatives of each territorial delegation to express their opinions on some questions of the Political Report and the Presentations. Later began the debates on the amendments to the Congress documents that had not been included in these documents. The plenary was divided into two commissions, one that debated the Statutes and the Class Analysis and the other that centred on the Political Line and the Political Programme, each led by a member of the Round Table. The pre-Congress debates, in the different territorial assemblies, had already led to an intense debate, and so they arrived at the Congress with an important synthesis. Nevertheless, the debate on these documents, as well as the contributions to the Main Report and the Presentations, raised interesting reflections, some of which the PCE (M-L) will have to take up again to collectively express the views of the membership. At 9 PM the afternoon session ended.
Sunday, October 22
Those responsible from the commissions for the debate on the documents informed the plenary of the Congress about the development of the debates in each of the commissions, of the amendments that were approved or rejected. They proceeded to the vote in the plenary on the documents with the amendments incorporated, and the documents were approved unanimously.
In the morning the comrade representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey greeted the Congress. He emphasized the need to increase the struggle against imperialism and to reinforce international communist unity.
Then the Congress proceeded to the vote on the General Political Report and the Main Presentations, which were approved unanimously.
During the Sunday session there were exchanges of opinions and debates among comrades who are carrying out militant work within various revolutionary youth organisations. These debates were nothing more the reflection of the need of the revolutionary youth to finally have a single reference point, and therefore very important questions and concerns arose that helped the Congress to orient the future youth policies of the Party. The synthesis of all these opinions and contributions materialised in a very important resolution that should serve to push forward the great work that the comrades of the different territories are carrying out among the youth.
At this point the Congress came to one of its most important tasks: the election of the leadership of the PCE (M-L). The list of comrades for the Central Committee proposed by the Round Table was ratified unanimously. Then there was a break for the leadership of the PCE (M-L) to elect the members of the Executive Committee, who also elected a Secretariat of the Central Committee that would assure the development and application of the policies of the Party on a day-to-day basis. The Secretariat was ratified by the plenary of the Congress according to our statutes.
The composition of the leadership of the PCE (M-L) ended the morning session.
The Sunday afternoon session opened with a greeting from the comrade representative of the Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark, who made a brief analysis of U.S. and also European imperialism. The work of the Congress continued with the reading of the two Main Presentations, one on Popular Unity and the other about the Workers Movement, which expanded on some aspects of the Saturday Presentation.
The Presentation on Popular Unity analysed the Spanish political situation, pointing out the existence of various social sectors exploited by imperialism and the financial oligarchy: the working class, petty bourgeoisie, etc. The mission of the Popular Unity is to group the classes exploited by the oligarchy under the leadership of the working class, the only class that by its objective situation can provide correct leadership of the movement. The Report also criticised certain deviations that are holding back the politics of Popular Unity, such as proposals and slogans calling for the socialist revolution, skipping over the democratic-revolutionary stage. Such slogans at this time isolate us from some of the depoliticised, divided and atomised masses, and harm the prestige of socialism. Therefore it is necessary to pass through a stage of democratic rupture that carries through to the end the pending democratic tasks.
The last Presentation deepened certain questions of the workers’ movement and explained some experiences of struggle, confronting them with the radical-opportunist proposals. The leaderships of the CC.OO. and UGT, which are bureaucratised and sold out to the bosses, still make up 75% of the Enterprise Committees and union delegates. The radical-opportunists idealise the micro unions, which are ‘pure’ and ‘anti-capitalist’, but which do not resolve the problems of the working class and lead it into a dead end, as happened in SEAT [an automotive accessories company]. They deny the need to reach agreements, they act as if each concrete struggle were the final struggle, and they practice the substitution of the parties by their unions, that is, they deny the politicisation of the struggles. The Presentation pointed out that both Lenin and Dimitrov stressed the participation of the communists in the reformist and even reactionary unions to transform them into tools of struggle.
After this Presentation, the Round Table read a resolution on the work among the youth. This resolution synthesised the debates and contributions that took place on Sunday morning among the comrades who are carrying out political work among the revolutionary youth. The resolution proposed the creation of a State Committee that would group, in an equal manner, the territorial delegations of youths of the PCE (M-L) as well as two members of the Central Committee of the PCE (M-L) who would orient and lead the work of this Committee. The aim of this Committee would be to unify the different experiences of the various territories, to develop the various youth organisations, to call broad Conferences and unitary actions, and to empower the creation of revolutionary youth groups where they do not exist. The spirit of the Committee should be of cooperation and never of competition among the various experiences of the youth. The resolution was once again approved unanimously.
In the afternoon they were presentations by the different delegations invited to speak at the closing session. First, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine pointed out that the unity of the communists in the new PCE (M-L) will be a great step in the struggle against imperialism and he emphasised the struggle and resistance of the Arab peoples against U.S.-Zionist imperialism and their defeat. The comrade of Proletarian Union made the main point of his speech the constant struggle against opportunism and revisionism, and the comrade of the PCPE [Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain] stated that, despite the existing differences, one must seek points that lead to the unity of the communists, such as the struggle against imperialism and the work for the coordination of the European communists. We also received greetings from a historic and outstanding intellectual, Alfonso Sastre.
The next-to-last speech was by the comrade of the International Conference appointed by the Conference to the Round Table of the Congress. This time he spoke in the name of the ICMLPO, indicating the great historic significance of the culmination of the reconstruction of the Party, as an example for the international communist movement and for those countries where the Party has not yet been formed. His speech was also a deserved homage to Raul Marco, recalling the outstanding role that he played for years in the International Conference and in the development of the unitary work that he led in the Extraordinary Congress of the CEOC. He emphasised the need to reinforce internal unity from now on on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.
The closing and sum-up of the Congress was made by comrade Raul Marco, who insisted on the need to struggle against those who try to break up unity, against the influence of bourgeois and reactionary ideology that destroys parties from within, and to develop the Party spirit among the masses, always holding principles in the first place. The tenacity and firmness of principles, the unitary spirit, have saved us from defeat and have put our Party back on its feet. He also pointed to the youth who now make up the leadership of our Party.
The final speech also recalled the fact that we are heirs to both the successes as well as the errors of the Spanish communist movement. The present PCE (M-L) is the inheritor of the contributions of José Diaz, Cristino Garcia, Checa, Uribe, La Pasionaria [Dolores Ibarruri], Líster, Modesto and others, who had great successes, but some of whom also made great errors. He also reclaimed for the heritage of the Party a leader who was unjustly banished, comrade Joan Comorera, who confronted revisionism and the betrayal of Carrillo and who paid with her life for their sell-out of the revolutionary cause while others were comfortably ensconced in exile.
He described the international situation, emphasising the sharpening of the contradictions, the struggles of the peoples such as those of France against the European Constitution, in which our fraternal Party the PCOF [Communist Party of the Workers of France] played an outstanding role, and the resistance against imperialist aggressions. He insisted on the need to reinforce proletarian internationalism, not only strictly among communists but among the whole working class. It is also important to emphasize support for the heroic Cuban people and their party headed by Fidel Castro.
Finally, the Report also made an emotional homage to those comrades who for various reasons were no longer among us: Elena Odena, Cipriano Martos, the three comrades shot on September 27, 1975, and so many others who fell along the road. He also recalled that among the members of the Congress were outstanding comrades who suffered repression, jail, and torture along the revolutionary path.
Thanking the participation of the delegations and guests, he ended the final Report, which injected a good dose of revolutionary optimism for all the participants in the Congress.
Due to last minute circumstances the representative of the Cuban Embassy, who had confirmed his presence at the conclusion of the Congress, was not able to attend.
Also for various reasons the following organisations belonging to the ICMLPO could not attend: Communist Party of Mexico (M-L), Chilean Communist Party (Proletarian Action), Marxist-Leninist Organization Revolution of Norway, Revolutionary Communist Party of Brazil, Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast and Communist Party of Labour of the Dominican Republic.
The Congress ended with the singing of the Internationale and a modest aperitif, where all were able to get together and exchange opinions. Thus ended an event that will remain in all our minds for a long time. With our collective effort we have been able to revive from the ashes an indispensable tool for carrying out the revolution in our country. All of us comrades are obliged to put the interests of the Party above our individual interests and to assure that this great work will provide the expected fruits, patiently building the great Party of the working class.
* [Materials in square brackets are notes of
Translated from the Spanish by George Gruenthal
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