Speech by First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine Pyotr Simonenko at the XXII Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Havana, Cuba, October 2022
I cordially welcome the participants in the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties on behalf of the Communist Party of Ukraine. The party which has been illegally banned in my country where our comrades and like-thinking people suffer political persecution, arrests and physical violence on the part of the ruling Neo-Nazi-oligarchic regime, a regime which is, in essence, reactionary and Fascist.
We have gathered here on the Island of Freedom at a difficult time. The forces of international imperialism, the sharks of globalization in their struggle for redrawing the political map of the world, for resources and commodity markets resort to any methods and in fact act as instigators of the Third World War. The tragedy is that the reactionary forces make active use of Neo-Nazism and Neo-Fascism to achieve their goals.
Analysis of the international situation shows growing aggressiveness of imperialism and a dramatic sharpening of its internal contradictions in two areas:
- the ideological – between the US-led imperialist West and Communist China which, in the wake of the collapse of the USSR, they consider to be “an empire of evil,” as well as Vietnam and Cuba;
- and the inter-imperialist –The USA seeks to preserve its hegemony and the world order under which it plays the dominant role.
The USA is creating new miliary blocs in Southeast Asia, stoking up tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, and is pursuing an aggressive policy in using Ukraine against Russia, and Taiwan against China. The provocative visit of Pelosi to Yerevan and her pledges of support for Armenia inevitably lead to a widening of the conflict in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The situation in Central Asia gives grounds for concern (recent conflict between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan).
After the breakup of the USSR it was the USA and Britain that set about creating a neo-Fascist state on the territory of the former Soviet Ukraine and became the main sponsors and beneficiaries of it.
The reforms they were foisting on Ukraine put capital in control of all the spheres of society’s life and ensured total control of transnational corporations over the country’s socio-economic life and as a result created the material basis for the advent and establishment, as a result of an armed coup in February 2014, of the power of the most reactionary forces: the comprador bourgeoisie allied with neo-Fascists and organized crime.
It was these forces in Ukraine that were instrumental in destroying all the socialist gains, economic sovereignty and bringing about a profound lumpenization of society.
It is through these forces that the USA formed a puppet vertical power structure and introduced external control of the country.
It was through these forces that the USA unleashed in Ukraine a fratricidal civil war, a war against the citizens of Donbass who are upholding their constitutional rights and freedoms. It was these forces which, at the instigation of the US ruling circles, brought about a development of the civil war in Donbass into a war against Russia.
Humankind has in fact already been dragged into a new world war. I would like to draw one of the many tragic parallels.
During the Second World War Europe was working for Hitler in the war against the USSR. Today, acting in the interests of the USA, Europe is supplying weapons to the pro-Fascist regime in Ukraine and is strengthening it financially.
The continuation of this policy will inevitably lead to the spread of the theatre of hostilities to the territory of the EU.
The aggressive attempts of some new European countries, notably Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic states, to revise the post- World War II borders will merely speed up this process.
The former Foreign Minister of Romania, Marga, recently said without mincing words: “Ukraine is within unnatural borders. It should cede territories: Transcarpathia to Hungary, Galicia to Poland, Bukovina to Romania. These are the territories of other countries.”
US senator Lindsey Graham said cynically that with American weapons Ukraine will fight Russia to the last man.
Civilians, innocent people—old folks, women and children — are dying in Ukraine. This is a tragedy.
In backing the fascist regime in Ukraine, the USA and NATO are pursuing a policy which former US senator Richard Blake outlined like this: “we don’t care how many Ukrainians die. How many women, children, civilians and military die. We don’t care. It is like a football match and we want to win. Ukraine cannot accept a peace solution. It is up to Washington to take the peace decision, but in the meantime we want to continue this war, we will fight to the last Ukrainian.”
Such statements by war hawks vindicate our position and the warnings the Ukrainian communists voiced in Izmir last week: the threat of a Fascist offensive is real, the war which the USA and NATO are waging with Ukrainian hands on Ukrainian territory is a war solely in the interests of the USA imperialists.
Billions of dollars are funneled into the production of lethal weapons and ammunition, Britain’s new-baked Prime Minister Liz Truss is prepared to use nuclear weapons, huge numbers of NATO troops are concentrated on the borders of Ukraine and Belarus.
The imperialists turn a blind eye to the fact that Zelensky’s pro-Fascist regime is ruthlessly doing away with political opponents. Any manifestations of free thinking are quashed by punitive units. The crimes of Hitlerites and their accomplices during the Second World War who burned people alive in Oswiecim and who staged Gernica and Khatyn massacres are being glorified.
The monuments and graves of Soviet soldiers who gave their lives to have the flames in the furnaces of Nazi death camps doused are being destroyed.
This happens not only in Ukraine but all over Europe. The Moloch of glorification of Nazi criminals devours minds turning homo sapiens (“the wise man”) into a “mad man.”
The process of recreating a semblance of the Nazi Third Reich is practically underway.
This “Reich,” like its prototype nurtured by transnational capital, American and British corporations, bases its ideology on the superiority of the “indigenous” race. Hence the law on indigenous peoples which has turned into outcasts the Russians who have always lived on Ukrainian territory, including Donbass, Kharkov, Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, indeed the whole territory of our country. Like Jews in Nazi Germany. We know from history what tragedy it visited on millions of people.
In view of what is happening in Ukraine, I would like first of all to note that unfortunately, there is no consensus between Communist and workers’ parties on the nature of the armed conflict in Ukraine, as well as on the position of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which has supported the special operation.
Since any military confrontation has its own specific features, the very first task of any Marxist is to identify its class-oriented nature with appropriate assessment.
As we believe, the war of Donbass against the Kiev regime should be considered as national liberation struggle, in essence, a war for independence from the ruling fascist regime, for the right of the people to speak their native Russian language and not to follow the anti-Russian course imposed by the United States.
Hence, on the basis of Marxist theory, the military conflict in Ukraine should not be considered as an imperialist war in a literal sense of the word, and moreover in view of Russia, it is considered as the struggle against an external threat to national security and fascism.
We all understand that people’s militia of Donbass was not able to resist the Ukrainian army of many thousands equipped with foreign weaponry, so their defeat would have inevitably lead to the total destruction of the Russian-speaking population, many of whom were citizens of Russia.
The army of thousands of Ukrainian nationalists under the command of American and NATO instructors concentrated on the borders of the republics, the detailed invasion plan had been developed by Washington generals in advance. They all were waiting for the command.
Accordingly, in order to protect its citizens and ensure national security, Russia had no other choice but to deliver a preventive strike.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the President has taken the actions stipulated by the Law, since it was impossible to resist aggression in any other way.
In addition, the negotiation process within the framework of the Minsk agreements has been deliberately sabotaged by Kiev with the support of the United States and the European Union, since the establishment of peace in Ukraine is not stipulated by the plans of Washington and NATO.
In this regard, the position of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation seems to us quite reasonable.
The increasingly reactionary character of modern imperialism is the result of several factors that have brought about a decline of the workers’ movement and the weakening of the communist and workers’ parties.
Ukrainian communists believe that in working out the tactics of our actions and defining the main areas of struggle it is necessary to proceed on the basis that the modern balance of forces in the world has tilted in favour of reaction which is making use of Fascism.
Sowing discord within the working classes, using puppet regimes, Neo-Fascists and Neo-Nazis, imperialism intensifies the exploitation of countries and peoples and destroys the foundations of people’s democracy and a just world order.
Modern world trends and constant economic crises, unfortunately, diminish the revolutionary potential of the principles of proletarian internationalism and undermine the unity of the working classes. This is happening also in Ukraine where a special “working” class of war is being created, the class which lives off the war and cannot imagine itself without it.
The sanctions policy initiated by the USA and Britain and their political satellites inevitably worsens the life of common people, weakens the states’ economic potential, provokes unemployment and consequently increases social discontent and, unfortunately, disunites the workers’ movement. World imperialism uses all these phenomena as a weapon in the class struggle.
What do we see today in Europe and indeed in the USA? Prices and tariffs have grown many times over. Enterprises are shutting down, people publicly burn their bills for gas, electricity and water, stage protest actions against their governments demanding, among other things, an end to the sanctions madness and the war in Ukraine. All this is happening against the background of militarization of the economy, politics and the media hysteria around the nuclear war.
I am convinced that the communist and workers’ parties must channel people’s economic and social demands towards political struggle. The struggle against the threat of Fascism and a change of the social system that engenders it, that is, the capitalist system as such.
Today the progressive forces – we have to admit it honestly – are losing the cognitive battle for the minds of people. It is our task to win it. This is the only way if we want to prevent the catastrophe of a Third World War.
In this connection I believe that in the context of the goals and tasks of our meeting and considering the situation in the world and the need to struggle for an end to the war and the establishment of a just world order we –the communist and workers’ parties – should concentrate our efforts on the following areas:
- the strengthening of our solidarity, solidarity with other progressive forces in the struggle against Neo-Fascism and the instigators of a Third World War;
- organising a system of truthful public information about what is taking place in Ukraine today, how it threatens Europe and how it threatens humankind;
- explaining to people that the civil war in Donbass (2014-2022), like the Ukraine-Russia war, have been provoked and unleashed by the pro-Fascist regimes in Ukraine on the demand and in the interests of the USA in order to create a bridgehead for the dismemberment and destruction of Russia as a geopolitical rival;
- stepping up the struggle against any attempts to glorify the Nazi ideology, restoring the true history of the Second World War;
- supporting (without going back on our ideological principles) those who come out for a peaceful settlement and an end to the war in Ukraine regardless of their political affiliation. Such politicians and such forces exist in every country.
I also consider it necessary to bend every effort at the level of national parliaments and the European parliament to neutralise the provocative actions of the USA and its allies in the Asia Pacific Region against China. Combined with the war in Ukraine and the possible direct clash of nuclear powers, China and the USA, especially against the background of declarations about a Russian “nuclear threat” the worst forecasts may, unfortunately, become a reality.
The struggle to put an end to the fratricidal war in Ukraine unleashed by the transnational corporations and their stooges in the governments of European and not only European states, the war in which Washington-led NATO is a de facto side to the conflict (supply of arms, ammunition and training of Ukrainian armed forces, funding and controlling the military campaign) is the struggle for preventing a Third World War which is but a step away. We must do everything to prevent it.
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to address the participants in this international meeting and to express confidence of our victory, a victory of “light” over “darkness”.