On the International economic, political and military developments, the experienceof the Communist and Workers’ Parties and the peoples in the struggles, and on Solidarity with Cuba, the Palestinian People, and all the peoples struggling against sanctions, machinations and imperialist aggression.
Contribution to the Discussion
Communist Party of Canada
December 10-12, 2021
Developments have moved quickly in the year since we last met. The pandemic has cost the lives of 5.25 million people and infected 263 million around the globe. Close to 30,000 have died in Canada, with 1.8 million infected. Almost 80% of deaths have occurred in private, for-profit, long-term care homes, where care for the aged is second to the drive for bigger profits, lower wages, fewer staff, cheaper food, poorer care. They were working people – not the wealthy - who died alone, warehoused in conditions that left the public stunned, appalled and deeply angry.
Now, as a result of the avarice of the transnational pharmaceutical companies which refused to drop their vaccine patents allowing domestic production of life-saving vaccines in countries around the world, and as a result of the inhumanity of the advanced capitalist countries which grabbed up all of the available vaccines, including Canada which also scooped up COVAX vaccines meant for poor and developing countries – the advanced capitalist countries have learned what scientists have told us from the beginning: that no-one is safe until everyone is safe; that variants will continue to develop and to kill, until all the world’s peoples are vaccinated.
The corona virus is not driven by class interests; though treatment of the virus certainly is. In the socialist countries, the rate of infection and deaths is very low, as statistics from the World Health Organization show, while in the capitalist countries where far-right and fascist movements are campaigning against the vaccines and PPE, against healthcare workers, and against science, using violence and intimidation, the rate of infection and deaths is very high. This is the case in the US, Europe, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Russia.
At the same time, climate change has demonstrated its power in catastrophic events around the globe, and in Canada where hundreds died in an extraordinary heat wave and forest fires on the Pacific coast last summer, and in devastating floods this fall that hit both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Meantime the polar caps and ice sheets are melting, while the world’s oceans are warming.
Here again, the contrast between the urgent actions taken in the socialist countries to transition from energy generated by fossil fuels to renewable energy is striking, compared to the inaction taken in the advanced capitalist countries like Canada - which refuse to rein in the transnational oil and gas companies, and the resource companies which are the creators of climate change, and which call Canada home.
The COP 26 meeting in Glasgow was a failure because most of those at the table represented the transnational oil, gas and resource corporations whose goal was to protect their interests and their profits – not the public, not the workers, not the planet. And this has global consequences, including for the imperialist countries who thought they could somehow export climate change to the rest of the world, while simultaneously attacking those countries, like India, like China, for the environmental crimes committed by the imperialist and colonial powers over centuries.
Combined with imperialism’s drive to militarism, war and aggression, and US imperialism’s continuing efforts to maintain its dominant role in the imperialist hierarchy, the threat to global peace and stability is severe. US imperialism’s efforts to overthrow the Cuban government since July have been a complete failure, thanks to the strength of the Cuban people, their government and the Communist Party of Cuba, Global solidarity has eased the economic noose around the Cuban economy, but the blockade and the sanctions remain in place, as the Biden administration continues with Richard Nixon’s formula, to “make the economy scream”.
Canadian Communists feel a special responsibility for mobilizing public support and solidarity with Cuba because it is the bright light of socialism in the Americas, and it must never be extinguished.
We recognize and oppose the very dangerous developments globally, including new provocations by US imperialism against China, through the AUKUS agreement that creates a nuclear-powered submarine fleet based in Australia that will patrol the seas around China. We have condemned Canada’s Cold War boycott of the Beijing Olympics in February, and campaigned for the release of Huawei Chief Executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arbitrarily arrested while in transit in Vancouver and detained for almost three years at the request of Donald Trump, for extradition to the US.
We have worked to exposenew US provocationssupported by the Canadian government, which aim to separate Hong Kong and now Taiwan from China. We have exposed the fabrications about the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, andcondemned Parliament’s “genocide” motion. In fact, as everyone knows, it is Canada that is guilty of genocide of Indigenous Peoples, that continues today. We have laid bare the war propaganda that all of these actions are,and the drive to war that is the objective.
Wehave strongly opposed the dangerous developments in Ukraine, where NATO forces are gathering on the border, while President Biden threatens to invade and attack Russia. And we demand an end to US brinkmanship and withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
We have warnedof imminent US regime change operations against the FSLN government in Nicaragua, and the dangerous US provocations against Iran, and we condemn these acts of war and aggression. We mobilize against the continuing genocide by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people, and demand the Canadian government oppose these murderous policies, and impose boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel.
We see the growing danger of fascism in the US, of growing fascist movements and governments around the world, and a growing ultra-right movement in Canada that secured 850,000 votes in the September election, gratified that our candidates and campaigns helped prevent the election of any of the mis-named “People’s Party” candidates to Parliament.
And we congratulate the Communist Parties and the farmers movement in India for the great victory they have won in defeating the Modi government’s reactionary farm laws. This is the latest evidence that people’s unity can win!
Our campaigns and educational work have helped to popularize socialist ideas in Canada, and we are experiencing significant growth of our Party and the Young Communist League. This shift to the left is also in reaction to the weakness of social democracy, and the growth of the right in the US and Canada, the exposure of capitalism in the pandemic, in the economic crisis, in the environmental crisis, in the capitalist ‘recovery’, and in the attack on workers’ rights and interests, and those of the women, the youth and Indigenous Peoples.
We see the growing upsurge of opposition in the trade union movement to the austerity measures taken against the unemployed and the precariously employed, to the attacks on the public sector workers, on their wages, pensions and working conditions, and on the right to strike, and the use of emergency powers to force striking workers back to work. While the labour leadership in Canada remains closely tied to social democracy, including sections of the labour leadership with close ties to the Liberal party, union members, union locals, and Labour Councils are mobilizing to fight back. Major public sector strikes in Alberta, the Maritimes and Quebec are a strong indicator that the long quiet is coming to an end, and that the working class and working people are rising to fight for their jobs, wages and living standards, and for their rights and interests.
The coming austerity measures which include rising inflation, declining purchasing power, rising prices and the rising costs of food, fuel and housing in the first place, plus rising interest rates that will tip household debt into the stratosphere - bankrupting many, and forcing many more to walk away from houses that they can no longer afford, and to mass evictions, on top of continuing mass unemployment and under-employment, and precarious employment. All of which is exacerbated by the end ofgovernment recovery benefits to the unemployed.
Our election campaign and our current campaign against austerity and for a People’s Recovery from the capitalist crisis, have generated a lot of interest and a lot of growth for our Party. Our policies address both the immediate needs of the people as well as the need for system change: for socialism and working-class political power.
Dear Comrades, we are still a small party in the belly of North American imperialism, but we have the biggest, most powerful, and most pertinent ideas. We are an old Party – 100 years old – and as a result, we have the experience of many struggles, of many strong and steeled Communist members and leaders, and of Marxism-Leninism to guide us in the complex and urgent struggles ahead. We have a world to win.
Thank you, Comrades.