Brussels Communist Seminar -2004

Daya Verma

The Workers Party of Belgium (WPB) hosted the Communist Seminar – 2004 in Brussels from May 2 to May 4, 2004. This was the thirteenth of the series hosted by the WPB, and a grand success. CPI(ML) Liberation was one of the 60 communist and workers’ parties and organizations from 45 countries, which participated in the seminar. An additional 67 parties and organizations had expressed their intention to participate but according to the organizers were unable to because of various reasons, most importantly visa problems.

The theme of the seminar was appropriately: “Strategy and tactics in the struggle against global US imperialist war”. In accordance with this theme, various presentations dealt with three important topics: “US imperialism today, the number one enemy of the workers and the peoples of the world”, “Today’s struggle against global US imperialist war” and “The tasks ahead for the communists”. The presentation by CPI (ML)-Liberation was titled: On the strategy and tactics in the struggle against global imperialist war: The role of the Indian left. It was presented on May 2 along with the presentation by the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Many delegates had assembled one or two days earlier. On the occasion of the International Workers Day on May 1, one day before the start of the seminar, the WPB had organized a festivity outside Brussels. Nearly 2,000 women and men, young and old assembled in a huge covered auditorium decorated with giant portraits of revolutionary leaders and a display of achievements of the WPB. There was revolutionary music, plays, bookstalls, games, food and beverage stalls and more. Kiosks were set up by different organizations and parties giving information on the state of revolutionary struggles in their countries. There was no trace of sectarianism in the display of literature or any other aspect of the festivity, which lasted till late in the evening.

The seminar was open to observers and activists of the WPB. It started on the morning of May 2 and continued till the late afternoon of May 4. There were nearly 150 presentations in each session. Many delegates presented their papers in their national language such as Spanish, Korean, Russian, Hungarian, German etc. Each presentation, approximately 15-minutes long, was simultaneously translated into English, French, Spanish and Dutch. Sessions were chaired by representatives of different organizations.

The opening presentation by the WPB set the theme of the conference. A number of presentations such as by magazine Lalkar from U.K. and the two communist Parties from India, CPI(ML) Janashakti and CPI(ML) Red-Flag dealt with the present aggressive policies of the US imperialism, inter-imperialist contradiction and the state of revolutionary movements the world over. Other presentations dealt more specifically with situation in specific countries.

The presentation by the CPI(ML) Liberation opened with thanking the WPB for inviting us and the remark: “Parties gathered here may be big or small but they do indicate that the world Communist movement is vibrant and unity is the trend.” Our paper focused on US imperialist penetration in political and economic life of India, and how India, specially since NDA came to power, is adjusting its policy for alucrative reward within the framework of the US world domination. We pointed towards the emergence of an India-US-Israel axis under the NDA rule in opposition to the mass sentiment and emphasized that the current policy of acquisition of sophisticated and expensive armaments is detrimental to the friendship among South Asian countries as well as to the well-being of masses.

We stated that: “Of all the considerations leading to the US patronage of India, the US fear of China is perhaps the main factor. With the rise of China as a strong competitor in world market as also its rise as a mighty military power, the US imperialism is keen on using Indian resources against China. India too sees China as a main threat to its hegemonic aspirations. China’s ability to meet the basic needs of its population while developing its economy ahead of India despite its starting with a weaker industrial base at the time of liberation in 1949 is perceived by the Indian people as a weakness of India’s internal and external policy." 

Our presentation categorically stated that Hindutva fundamentalism aggressively pursued by the Sangh Parivar serves imperialism and is attempting to destroy the very fabric of the Indian society by directly and indirectly attempting to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra and is fanning religious fundamentalism as a shield for its anti-people, anti-minority and pro-imperialist policies.

On the question of anti-imperialist struggles, we stated that in developing countries such as India, intensifying the struggle for democratic revolution of which anti-imperialist struggle is an integral part, is highly significant.

The final session of the seminar was devoted to a discussion and adoption of the General Declaration of the International Communist Seminar 2004. It gave the slogan: “Workers and peoples of the world, let us unite against imperialism, in particular US imperialism, its policies of aggression and its preparations for a new world war!” It recognized that the US policies of aggression are being met fierce resistance, particularly in Iraq although this has so far not diminished the US war drive. The final declaration recognized the significance of the contradictions, both on economic and military issues, between US hegemonism and European imperialism.

The Seminar participants decided to hold the Fourteenth International Communist Seminar from May 2 to 4, 2005 with as theme “The Leninist party, and the experience of the Third International”.

Besides the seminar deliberations, participants assembled in the evening to discuss concrete steps to extend solidarity with socialist Cuba, in the presence of Comrade Abelardo Curbelo, responsible for the relations with Europe in the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba on May 3, and with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in the presence of Comrade Pok Hyon Bo, the DPRK’s Ambassador in Germany, representing the Workers’ Party of Korea on May 4.

In conclusion, the Communist Seminar 2004 was a grand success and signified emerging unity among the international communist movement. Comrades of the WPB did an excellent job - in taking care of delegates, organization of different sessions and most of all in generating an atmosphere of friendship and confidence in the final victory of working people for socialism and peace.

It was a busy three days. Yet one evening after dinner, a Belgium comrade took a few of us to the central part of this beautiful city. Around a square stood magnificent 15 th century stone buildings.One of these was the home of Karl Marx for two years and from where the Communist Manifesto was declared. The building still has a brass plaque outside: Workers Party of Belgium (in French).

Delegates included People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan; Partido Comunista de Cuba; Tudeh Party of Iran; Rete dei Comunisti, Italia; Workers’ Party of Korea; Communist Party of Lebanon; Anti-Imperialist Revolutionary Forum-Nepal; Nepal Communist Party (United); Nepal Communist Party (Unity Center-Mashal); Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP); Partido Proletario del Perú; Turkish Communist Party(ML); Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (M-L); Freedom Road Socialist Organization, USA; Workers’ World Party, USA; Partido Comunista de Venezuela; Workers’ Party of Yugoslavia.