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Regional Teleconference of Communist and Workers' Parties - Dimitris Koutsoumbas' speech
A regional teleconference of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea region, was held on the initiative of the KKE, on Sunday, November 29, in the event of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. The theme of the teleconference was: "The Communist and Workers' Parties firmly at the side of the just struggle of the Palestinian people, against imperialist plans and the system of capitalist exploitation"
Apart from the KKE, the teleconference was also attended by the Democratic Progressive Tribune of Bahrain, the AKEL (Cyprus), the Tudeh Party (Iran), the CP of Israel, the Jordanian CP, the Palestinian CP, the Palestinian People's Party, the Sudanese CP, the Syrian CP, the Syrian CP (unified), and the CP of Turkey.
The introductory speech at the teleconference was made by the GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas.
Dimitris Koutsoumbas' speech is as follows:
We would like to thank you for your participation in today's teleconference of the Communist and Workers' parties in our region.
This teleconference is taking place under the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic, which, however, cannot in no way overshadow our firm solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people, as well as the necessity to exchange our views about the situation in our region, which is also one of the basic conditions for the coordination of our joint struggle.
We cannot fail to notice that the orchestrated and continuous US and EU support to Israel, to the detriment of the rights of the Palestinian people and other neighboring peoples, results in the sharpening of the criminal aggression of the Israeli state against Palestine and the wider region.
The provocative "legitimization" of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with a number of Trump administration's decisions, with the most noteworthy being the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, confirm the characterization of Israel as the "strongest US ally in the region" and prove the overall support provided by the US bourgeoisie to Israel.
And from what it already looks like, it is certain that the new administration of the White House, under Joe Biden, will hand over the baton.
Any possible tactics will follow the same direction.
The EU and its governments move in a similar direction, despite individual maneuvers and differences that muddy the waters but do not change the main direction of supporting Israeli aggression.
The rush of the US, NATO, and EU imperialists to resolve the Question of Palestine and other issues is part of the bigger picture of the intensification and sharpening of competition between bourgeoisies and energy giants clashing in the Middle East, North Africa, the Persian Gulf, and the Eastern Mediterranean and have caused bloodshed to the peoples of the wider region, of Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc.
Today, apart from the territorial occupation of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria by the state of Israel, we are also witnessing the occupation of Syrian territories by Turkey and the United States, as well as the military intervention in the region by many other forces.
The US and the EU are not withdrawing; they are not giving up and are constantly working on new plans to strengthen their geopolitical influence in the region using not only Israel but also other regimes - allies, in a power struggle with other strong competing forces.
In our country, the ND government, following in the footsteps of the previous SYRIZA government, refuses to substantially and effectively recognize the state of Palestine and proceeds to the criminal expansion and deepening of relations with Israel, including military cooperation, which is falsely portrayed to our people as a solution for security and peace against the aggression of the bourgeoisie of Turkey, which is a NATO ally.
The just struggle of the Palestinian people can be vindicated through the continuation of the unbowed struggle against imperialists and the plans of the bourgeois classes of the region, by strengthening internationalist solidarity and action.
The KKE calls upon the people of all states in the region to oppose and change the current negative international correlation of forces and to continue expressing even more actively their multifaceted solidarity with the Palestinian people denouncing the daily crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.
The rejection of the US-Israeli "deal of the century" and the annexation policy of Palestinian territories.
The end of Israeli occupation and its consequences.
The creation of a single independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, at the 1967 borders, so that the people can be the master of their own land.
The right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, based on the relevant UN Resolutions.
The immediate release of all Palestinian and other political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
We are facing very dangerous developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.
These developments are defined by the US, NATO and EU policy, their competition with China and Russia over the control of ports and natural wealth by energy giants, the involvement of bourgeois classes of the region seeking their geostrategic enhancement.
The consequences of the pandemic and the new capitalist crisis also affect this global balance of forces.
Since 2010, the US, NATO, and the EU have used the popular reactions of the so-called "Arab Spring" to promote the "New Middle East" project, for rearrangements that are in line with the interests of their monopolies.
Except for the issues that have been festering for decades in our region, such as the Question of Palestine and the Cyprus Issue, those of Syria, Libya and Yemen have been added.
International developments raise concern to the people.
For the last 30 years, our wider region has been shaken by a series of imperialist wars, while the refugee problem and the drama of the uprooted remain on the agenda.
We coexist in a single geographical area with many common geostrategic elements.
We must collectively examine the situation in our area.
To plan our action on the side of the just struggle of the Palestinian people.
To strengthen the struggle against imperialist wars and the system of capitalist exploitation.
At the same time, the developments stress that in this framework, a more general settlement/solution is being attempted in the region, bearing the mark of the US-NATO and the EU that encompasses the wider region.
Some elements of these developments are:
First of all, the destructive war in Syria, which has been going on for 9 years now. Its causes, which are deliberately concealed by the bourgeois forces, are to be found in the fierce conflict over energy pipelines, geopolitical pillars and market shares.
The US, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc., used all means necessary to overthrow Assad. They formed, funded and trained the Jihadists to impose their plans.
The correlation of forces changed with the military intervention of Russia in 2015, which, by participating in military operations, is defending its own interests and is maintaining two military bases, strong air and naval forces in Tartus and Khmeimim.
Apart from Russia, the Syrian government is supported by the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and Iran.
The situation in this country is dramatic, the war is now at the stage of division and partition, with the involvement of all the powerful imperialist states and Turkey, which with four military invasions and the occupation of important territories, is directly targeting the territorial integrity of Syria.
The Turkish intervention in Syria has more general objectives.
It's aiming to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state on the Turkish-Syrian border and at the same time sets the general goal of changing the borders in the region.
Another crucial issue is the signing of the framework agreement between Iraq and China at the end of September 2019, known as "Oil For Reconstruction", which provoked a strong reaction from the US and its allies in Iraq, while, a few months later, on Trump's orders, Iraqi officials and Iranian major General Qasem Soleimani were assassinated in a drone strike. These officials were politically and militarily involved in these developments that marked a shift towards China.
At the same time, another element of the developments is the advancing of the 25-year Sino-Iranian strategic cooperation agreement, worth $ 400 billion, which is still under discussion and is expected to be crystallized in March 2021.
The statements of Chinese officials about the reconstruction of Syria are also important, despite the relevant veto announced by the Euro-Atlantic forces.
At this same time, there has been a rapid increase in Chinese investments in major infrastructure projects in Greece and Turkey, as well as in other Balkan and Middle Eastern countries, such as Lebanon, the meeting point for the land and sea routes of the "Silk Road".
Over the past 6 years, China has been the largest trading partner and largest source of imports in Lebanon, a country that is politically and militarily intertwined with current developments and interventions taking place in Iran, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen.
At present, it is outside the framework of the "new geopolitical partnerships" resulting from the interconnected projects "EAST MED" and "Deal of the Century".
The Lebanese people have witnessed the aftermath of several wars, capitalist reforms and are anxiously following the diplomacy of the energy giants representatives seeking to plunder their country's wealth, while the bourgeoisie is seeking to strengthen its role as a transit center in the wider area, with a distinct role in the slice of the pie of Syria's reconstruction.
At the same time, we must not lose sight of the fact that the Persian Gulf is of particular strategic importance.
Very important wealth-producing resources can be found there and a huge volume of oil is being distributed.
We should not forget that the region was a theater of war between Iran and Iraq in the period 1980 - 1988...
Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990...
This was followed by the US war against Iraq, with the "Operation Desert Storm" in 1991...
As well as the war against Iraq in 2003, the consequences of which mark the situation in the country to this very day...
The strengthening of China's interests in Iran, but also in the United Arab Emirates, is remarkable, as is the US effort to maintain and strengthen its presence in Iraq.
At the same time, Libya entered a process of disintegration following the NATO invasion in 2011 and the assassination of Gaddafi.
Imperialist competition is raging...
With the interference of many countries in the region that support the Sarraj government, such as Turkey and Qatar...
As well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, which oppose it and support General Haftar's group, in eastern Libya.
The United States, France, Italy, Russia and Germany have a "high level of supervision" of the power struggle, proving once again that the imperialists start the fire of war and make moves in their own interests, to enforce imperialist peace on terms that correspond to the interests of their monopolies, slaughtering and plundering the peoples.
There is also the signing of the so-called "Abraham Accords" between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, with the imperialists seeking to push other countries in the same direction.
At the same time, the role of the Turkish bourgeoisie in claiming the expansion of its sphere of action is becoming dangerous, and is adding fuel to the situation in the wider region, since, in addition to occupying 40% of Cyprus and a 10% of Syrian territory, it also creates military infrastructure in Libya, bases in Iraq, Qatar, and Somalia.
The stance of the Greek bourgeoisie, on the other hand, escalates the aggression for its geostrategic enhancement, through its participation in the US, EU and NATO plans, and together with the plans of the so-called "joint exploitation" that goes as far as conceding sovereign rights in the Aegean.
Overall, we observe the interference of states in the region in the "new geopolitical partnerships" resulting from projects such as "EAST MED", the "Deal of the century", or the "Silk Road" etc., which are all part of the effort to enhance the position of the ruling classes in the international capitalist competition, by strengthening the imprint of the USA, China and Russia.
All this, of course, has nothing to do with the real interests of the peoples of the region.
The above aspects of competition, which are not the only ones, fuel at the same time discussions for possible ways of pacification through a "new international security architecture"!
However, our assessment is that these discussions in search of a "new international security architecture" and the so-called "multipolar" world are a lost cause.
The interests of the monopolies cannot be based on logic nor can they be tamed.
Contradictions and competitions are the main characteristic of the capitalist system.
They are sharpened under conditions of its crisis, for which the coronavirus pandemic acted as a catalyst.
There will be rearrangements in the imperialist pyramid.
That is why we say that, objectively, the struggle against imperialist interventions and wars, for peace, sovereignty and freedom of the peoples, is much more linked today with the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of a new society, without exploitation, poverty, wars, and refugees.
Allow me to say a few more words about Greece.
The ND government, like the previous SYRIZA government, remains fully aligned with NATO's strategy, which aims to encircle Russia from the Black Sea to the Baltic.
It has accepted the doctrine of "nuclear first strike" and the plans for the further NATO expansion in the Balkans, guided by the Prespa Agreement.
In the framework of NATO, it willingly assume the role of the "channel" with NATO's competitors, such as Russia, and of the "hinge" in the Balkans.
It has become an expanded, compared to the past, US launching pad.
The ND governments, in alliance also with PASOK/KINAL, and the SYRIZA governments, are complicit in the dangerous transformation of Greece into a target of imperialist competitions.
They bear responsibilities for forming close alliance with the state of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, under the guidance of the United States and under the pretext of an alleged "precaution" against Turkey's expansionist actions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The KKE struggles so that our people reject this kind of blackmailing dilemmas.
To reject participation in imperialist alliances and at the same time not to accept any concession of sovereign rights.
To intensify the struggle for the disengagement of Greece from the dangerous plans of NATO, the USA, the EU.
To close all foreign military bases in Greece.
To disentangle from these organizations, with the people in power, being the owner of the wealth they produce.
At the same time, in conditions of pandemic and collapse of the public health system, due to the policies of commodification and privatization followed by the Greek governments and the EU, we struggle for the protection of the people's life and health.
As capitalist crisis and its consequences on the workers'-people's strata deepen, we are fighting so that the people don't pay once again for their crisis.
We support and lead the workers' struggles, such as the mass strike of the trade unions, which took place a few days ago, on November 26, in defense of the workers' and people's rights, against the new anti-labor plans of the government.
The struggle of our Party, the trade unions and other popular organizations is increasingly coming up against employer intimidation, as well as state repression and bans.
We would like to thank all the parties in the region, which stood in solidarity with the KKE, in the face of the recent attack on November 17, on the day of the 47th anniversary of the heroic, anti-imperialist commemoration of the Polytechnic uprising.
Despite repression and bans, the communists, the trade unions, other workers' and students' organizations, sent the message of the struggle for contemporary people's rights, the strengthening of the struggle against imperialist wars and the participation of Greece in the US - NATO – EU plans.
Let me conclude this introductory speech with an assessment of our Party.
We believe that we need to break the vicious circle of contradictions of a system that fails to meet the vital rights and needs of the vast majority of the people, at a time when the rise in productivity and the development of technology and science form preconditions for a leap forward for a radical improvement and tackling of social problems.
It becomes even more obvious that the organization of the economy based on capitalist profit and power in the hands of a social minority, that is, the representatives of monopoly groups, become an obstacle to social progress and prosperity.
The accumulating evidence reveals the necessity of socialism - communism, that is, of workers' power, for the establishment of social ownership, central scientific planning of the economy, with the criterion being the expanding satisfaction of all social needs.
What becomes even more urgent is not only the coordination of our struggle, but also the revolutionary regroupment of the communist and workers' movement, at a national, regional and international level.
Thank you. I wish you strength and health!