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Colombian Communist Party 
by Athemay Sterling

Dear comrades,

It is a real revolutionary honour for me to salute the
heroic Communist Party of Greece that is organising this
international meeting on the subject of Communist
experiences, struggles, alliances and collaborations at the
present time. It is my internationalist honour, in the name
of the Communist Party of Colombia (CPC), to greet all the
delegates to this meeting from fraternal parties in so many
parts of the world.

From its foundation on 17 June 1930, the CPC has always
made its presence felt in all popular struggles. At the
same time it expresses the interests of the working people
in the town and in the countryside who are victims of
capitalist exploitation.

The CPC is a national, autonomous, patriotic and
internationalist party which was established on the basis
of Marxism-Leninism, which it applies creatively in the
Colombian conditions, while at the same time bringing
together the Bolivarian heritage, and the heritage of all
patriots who made it possible to gain the first
independence from the Spanish yoke.

We have on our side not only the justice of our activities
for progress and peace, but also our continent-wide
struggles for sovereignty and self-determination, for a
People's Republic to be master in its own house, for an
emancipated future.

Thus, our international relations are oriented toward all
parties and movements that want to create links of
solidarity with our common cause. We are anti-imperialists,
and our struggle is nourished by the memory of the
liberator Simon Bolivar. From there we can see that the
second independence for which we are fighting is a
continuation of the first independence led by our

We Colombian communists, in our on-going revolutionary
action, also regard democracy not as an inherent element of
bourgeois regimes, nor as a tactical element in our
struggle, but rather as what Lenin calls a factor that
inspires us and makes feasible the road to socialism. The
future of socialism is not over, as imperialism and global
reaction proclaim. Nor can they guarantee that capitalism
will remain as an unshakeable system. 

We are working in favour of a common policy on the
international level, for the elimination of destitution in
the so-called Third World, for a solution to the problem of
foreign debt, for the abolition of the use of force in
international relations, for disarmament and a halt to the
production of weapons of mass destruction, for the
protection of the environment, for the democratisation of
the UN, and for the building of a new international order
based on peace, friendship and cooperation between peoples.

The conflict that exists in Colombia is not solely an armed
conflict, it is also a social, financial, and political
conflict, as well as an armed one, in which there is a
structural and statutory force, not because there is a
�rebel� movement, as the ruling classes claim, but for
precisely the opposite reason: there are revolutionary
guerillas and a popular movement because there have been
many years of social, economic, political and cultural
violence: political violence, in throwing farmers off their
land and raising the maximum limits of large landowners's
farms; economic violence, cultural violence, and violence
that has launched an undeclared but real war that has left
hundreds of thousands of people dead, with blood shed by
all sides. 

This structural violence feeds the conflict, since through
the serious restrictions on democracy, the dirty war, the
paramilitary organisations, plus the savage economic
exploitation of the working people, the increase in
unemployment, the agrarian counter-reform, the unequal
distribution of the national wealth, social injustice, the
neoliberal accumulation, economic restructuring, the
rapacious imperialist globalisation, privatisation of
significant public enterprises, the mass dismissal of
working people, the granting of large-scale benefits to the
profiteers with the venture capital, the counter-incentives
for agricultural production, the bankruptcy of producers,
the reduced investments and social benefits that create
destitution and absolute poverty for about 18 million
Colombians, low wages, lack of housing, environmental
problems, tens of thousands of people violently uprooted
owing to institutional force, etc. have at the same time
provoked the opposition of the people, which is expressed
in various forms of struggle in which we Colombian
communists have always been present, forms of struggle that
were sometimes unarmed, sometimes armed, but legitimate on
the level of society and of the community, and indeed
constitutional forms which have nevertheless always been

This historic and creative combination of various forms of
struggle was developed and is still being developed by the
popular movement on the trade union and agrarian front, on
the front of the citizens, native and black peoples, among
students, women, and young people on the electoral front,
applying legal and open forms of action or economic and
labour claims, for social improvements, for land, for
freedom, for human rights and culture, through electoral
and parliamentary struggles. Faced with the economic,
social, political and military force of the oligarchy, the
armed revolutionary struggle is developing and growing.
These are the forms of struggle that obliged the present
government to sit down at the negotiating table in a
dialogue process, which is evolving through complex
conditions, with friends as well as with great enemies.

Friends of peace, who are fighting for it, are we
communists who put forward proposals and take action to
promote a political solution through the search for a
peaceful agreement that will focus on eliminating the
political, economic, social and cultural reasons for the
conflict. A friend of peace is the entire popular movement
which includes the revolutionary armed movement, the trade
union movement, the farmers' movement, the movement of
national minorities, of women, of young people, and of
citizens. Friends of peace are also all members of the
international community who are struggling to avert the
destructive intervention by the US in the form of �military
aid�, as expressed in the so-called �Colombia Plan�.
Friends of peace are all of us patriots and
internationalists who are fighting for a political solution
to the conflict that exists in Colombia.

The search for peace in Colombia also has powerful enemies
inside and outside the government, but closely associated
with it. Militarist sections inside and outside the armed
forces, in alliance with powerful right-wing circles whose
political and economic programme includes efforts to
destabilise the process of  dialogue and negotiations
through the fascist paramilitary action that has taken the
lives of thousands of our compatriots. 

Another powerful enemy of peace in Colombia is the
increased intervention of the US in the form of �military
aid�, as expressed in the Colombia Plan, which in reality
is a plan for war, to be implemented in the next six years
on the pretext of war against the drug trade and in which
other countries are unfortunately involved, destabilising
the region to benefit their own vested interests.

The military presence of the US in Colombia and in the
region more generally consists of the following: 

Radar on the San Andres island of Colombia in the Caribbean
A forward base on the islands of Aruba and Curacao.
Radar station of Risatsa in Goajira in Colombia
Radar station and land base at Maradun, Vichada
A 24-hour military brigade at Mocoa Putumayio
Eastern military brigade at the Carvenio harbour, Vichada
Radar and land base at San Jose del Guaviare, a special
military rural force, the Barancon school
The first military brigade in Florencia, in Caceta
First anti-drug unit at Tres Eskinas, in Putumayio
Brigade of river coast guard in the Legisamo port in
Forward base in Manta, Equador
Radar and land base and a naval training base at Iquitos in
Radar and land base at Leticia in the Amazon.

In the newspaper Dallas Morning News, on Saturday 27 May
2000, journalist Tod Robertson reported that as the first
step in the Colombia Plan, the US administration, with the
consent of the Pastrana government, was sending mercenaries
to our country financed and covered by private contracting 
firms. They are all former military men, former fighters in
various theatres of war, who are presented in a form of
private business called �outsourcing�, i.e. they hire
themselves out on an independent, self-employed, freelance

The Colombia Plan is not a source of alarm solely to the
peoples of Colombia and of Latin America; it is also of
concern to the people of the USA, who do not want another
Vietnam. It is likewise of concern to the international
community which calls upon its various governments not to
take part by offering money, as they tried to do on 7 July
in Madrid, which would have involved states in a war that
does not benefit the peoples.

Another factor which militates against the peace process in
Colombia is the neo-liberal policy of the regime which
every day aggravates the people's condition and that of the
working people with its autocratic imposition of a National
Development Plan, which, in conjunction with the IMF loans
in exchange for demands to implement an anti-popular tax
restructuring, represents all those enemies of peace, a
strategy against the armed movement, which jeopardises
seriously the continuation of dialogue for peace between
the FARC-EP and the government.

As you can see, within the framework of this complex and
contradictory situation, we Colombian communists are
working in a country that desperately requires a profound
transformation which will open the road to political
freedom, democracy and social emancipation for the
Colombians. It is what we call a people's democratic,
anti-imperialist revolution against the large latifundia;
it is cultural and environmental, a substantial fact of the
decision by the masses that will establish a new power that
will be exercised by new social classes. This is the
historic obligation that we have undertaken.

To achieve this new power, the unity of the revolutionaries
and all democratic forces who have an interest in a
profound transformation of this society is of vital
importance. The irreplaceable key to a democratic
transformation in Colombia is the broader and more decisive
unity of the masses of the people.

The rapprochement, coordination and unity among those who
embody similar strategic programmes is required as an
essential core in the proposal of unity for revolutionary

We immediately set the target of forming a broad movement
for all social and political organisations, for all people
who want to contribute to the organisation and mobilisation
of the masses in defence of their interests, for the full
democratisation of the country and for a political solution
to the social, political and armed conflict that our
country is facing.

This movement must go forward to form a democratic popular
government, broad and pluralistic, which will build and
reconcile the country, promoting the reforms Colombia


Thank you for your attention. My congratulations to the CPG
for the success of this international meeting.  Warm
greetings to your party members and the peoples of your

Thank you.

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