Today, the Communist Party released this statement on the situation in Ukraine:
The Communist Party USA expresses its alarm at the fast moving developments in the Ukraine, and calls upon the people of the United States to insist that our government back off from a pattern of interference that does not serve the interests of either the Ukrainian or the U.S. people.
Since last fall, there have been demonstrations in Kiev and other cities against the Ukrainian government’s decision to back away from a trade deal with the European Union and instead explore new trade and aid relationships with Russia. Other grievances have also been raised.
Early on, some right wing extremist elements began to play an increasingly active role in the protests. These have included the “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) Party and other nationalists and fascists. They are not merely anti-communist and anti-Russian, but also anti-Semitic and anti-Polish. Some of them are the political descendants of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army of Stepan Bandera, an extreme right wing nationalist who, during and immediately after the Second World War, fought against the Red Army on the side of Germany, and carried out pogroms against Jews, Poles and others.
Unfortunately, some U.S. politicians and officials have seen fit to go to Kiev to be photographed alongside some of these extremist elements, including Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok, whose anti-Semitic declarations are particularly vicious.
These fascist elements took over the town of Lviv, in Western Ukraine, and equipped themselves with weapons from the local armory. Immediately afterward came a sharp escalation of violence with deaths on both sides. Now the Ukrainian parliament (Rada), in a rigged vote, has illegally deposed President Victor Yanukovych and is ramming through right wing legislation, including a law which strips official recognition from the Russian language spoken by nearly half the population of the country. More right-wing nationalist measures, including one banning the Communist Party, are in the pipeline.
Attacks against Jews have led a prominent Rabbi to recommend that Jews now leave Kiev and perhaps the whole Ukraine. Attacks on the Communist Party of the Ukraine and its leadership have been escalating, including the seizing of the property of the party and its leaders.
There is strong opposition to these developments in the Eastern and Southern Ukraine, including the major cities of Kharkov and Odessa, and in the Crimean Peninsula. The Crimea contains, by agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the major Russian naval base at Sevastopol. So there is a danger that a civil war could break out in the Ukraine and draw in Russia and perhaps others. Inevitably, moves toward a conflict situation and a possible partition of the Ukraine would further sour relations between the United States and Russia.Unfortunately, statements of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and other U.S. officials and politicians strongly indicate an agenda on the part of some in the Obama administration of “regime change” in the Ukraine.
The Communist Party USA demands that:
*The United States government refrain from words and actions that infringe on the national sovereignty of the Ukrainian people.
*The United States government, and individual U.S. politicians and officials, cease to associate themselves with fascists and anti-Semites in the Ukraine, or anywhere. Rather, they should denounce them and their works.
*The United States cease to carry out policies that could well lead to a dangerous confrontation in the Black Sea area, and not give aid or comfort to politicians who wish to create trouble between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples.
Furthermore, the CPUSA expresses its total solidarity with the Communist Party of the Ukraine, with the Ukrainian Jewish community and with all others who are endangered by the fascist upsurge.
The Communist Party USA has announced it will be holding its 30th anniversary convention in the city where the party was born – Chicago. Still four months out, organizers are already putting plans together for a memorable and impactful event. The convention theme will be putting people before profits and building a movement to transform America.
1984 turned out to be a monumental year in the world of opposition politics in America. Perhaps it was a subconscious reaction to arriving at the long-feared year of 1984 – the year ‘big brother’ secures its tyrannical and absolute authority over America, at least according to George Orwell. In reality, Orwell wasn’t far off and it was during that year that both the Green Party met for the first time in St. Paul and the Communist Party met for the first time in Chicago.
30th annual Communist Party Convention
The CPUSA likes to say, ‘A better and peaceful world is possible.’ How would they achieve that? The party envisions, ‘a world where people and nature come before profits.’ That’s socialism, they say. That’s their vision, the vision of the Communist Party USA.
‘The people of the United States face enormous challenges today,’ the Communist Party’s convention announcement begins, ‘We live in a capitalist system where 99% of people struggle every day to survive and the richest 1% control the vast majority of wealth and power. Capitalism cannot meet the needs of the vast majority.’ The notice goes on to take aim at three common adversaries of the working class including ‘the rich and powerful’, ‘the extreme right’, and ‘the Republican Party’.
Organizers go on to illustrate the basic difference between capitalists and socialists. ‘The drive of the rich and powerful to gain wealth at the expense of working people is the only logic of capitalism,’ they explain, ‘But everywhere in our country people unite to fight to improve their lives, to change the world for the better.’ In other words, socialists fight to improve the lives of everyone. Capitalists fight to improve their own lives at the expense of everyone else.
The party’s announcement confirms that the CPUSA’s annual convention will take place in Chicago, Illinois from June 13-15, 2014. While the Communist Party itself was founded in 1919, the Communist Party USA first met in the Windy City in 1984. And as the convention and party organizers like to say, “This isn’t your grandparents’ Communist Party.”
“The convention will be an important moment in helping build a transformative movement in our country. Such a movement will put the interests of the ninety-nine percent over the one percent and lay the basis of eliminating class, gender and racial inequality,” said CPUSA Chairman Sam Webb, “It’s an exciting time. The labor, civil rights, women’s, immigrant, youth, and LGBT movements are poised as perhaps never before to turn our great country around.”
Among the issues to be discussed at the annual convention are the minimum wage, fast food workers, voting rights, the environment, immigrant rights, the economic crisis, marijuana legalization and more. Local CPUSA leaders were obviously excited to learn the news that they’d be hosting the important event. “We expect about 250 delegates and guests from around the country,” Illinois district organizer John Bachtell told us, “They’ll be coming from all walks of life and over 40 states. It may surprise some that a good number are coming from the South.”
The party announcement also points to two items to show just how far the Communist Party has come. First, the annual convention in Chicago is expecting fellow party members from all over the world including Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa, and Germany. Second, they point to polls that show, ’30 percent of Americans age 30 and under think socialism is a good idea.’
For more information, visit CPUSA.org.