from the Portuguese Communist Party
1. The April Revolution constituted the implementation of the will of the Portuguese people, an affirmation of freedom, social emancipation and national independence.
The April Revolution, culminating a long and heroic anti-fascist struggle, ended 48 years of dictatorship, the colonial war, recognizing the right of independence of the fighting colonized people, the international isolation of Portugal and implemented great political, economic, social and cultural changes that are part of a system and of a regime that opened in the life of the country the prospect of a new period of history marked by freedom and social progress.
The achievement and establishment of freedoms, the rights of the citizens and a regime of political democracy were inseparable from the liquidation of economic and political power of the monopoly groups and landowners, through nationalisations, workers’ control and Agrarian Reform and other socio-economic changes indispensable for the development of the country. Facing the conspiracy, sabotage and attempted coups de force by reactionary sectors supported by big capitalists, landowners and foreign imperialism, these changes were furthermore necessary for the defence of freedoms and democracy.
The working class, the workers, the masses and the progressive military – united in the people-MFA [Armed Forces Movement] alliance – played a key role in all democratic achievements, which were later enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, adopted on April 2, 1976.
The PCP, a decisive party in the struggle for freedom and democracy, intervened in this whole process as an irreplaceable and determining political force. Its role in the April Revolution and the foundation of the democratic regime is inscribed as one of the greatest feats of its history.
The April Revolution showed that it had within itself the strength and the necessary potential to undertake the elimination of most serious inequalities, discriminations and social injustice and to build a new democratic society.
The April Revolution meant a formidable progress of Portuguese society, Its great and historical achievements created the conditions for a dynamic economic, social, political and cultural development in line with the situation, the interests, the needs and aspirations of the Portuguese people and Portugal, all characterising the democratic regime resulting from the Revolution – an advanced democracy on the path to socialism.
Besides its historical significance at the national level, the April Revolution represented a relevant event in contemporary history, with important international repercussions.
Despite its historical achievements, many of its main achievements were, meanwhile, destroyed. Others, although weakened and threatened, remain present in national life. All are landmarks and represent essential values in the present and for the democratic and independent future of Portugal.
The great values of the April Revolution have taken deep roots in Portuguese society and project as realities, objective needs, experiences and aspirations in the democratic future of Portugal.
2 .The 40th Anniversary of the April Revolution takes place at a time when the Portuguese workers and people are facing the deepening assault on their social, economic and cultural rights, as a result of an unacceptable foreign intervention by the European Union and IMF signed with the PS, PSD and CDS, following the SGP (Stability and Growth Pact) by the PS government, that harmed sovereignty and threatens national independence.
The serious situation that Portugal currently lives is inseparable from the right-wing policy pursued over the past 37 years, by successive PS, PSD and CDS governments, which systematically destroyed and fought the changes and progressive achievements of the April Revolution, promoting the reestablishment of the power of monopoly groups and the submission of the country to the European Union, and to imperialism. A policy of increasing exploitation and destruction of the labour and social rights of workers and the Portuguese people, wrecking national production, ruining the economy and launching the country into debt.
At a time when the workers and the Portuguese people mark the 40th Anniversary of the April Revolution, the PCP reasserts its firm commitment and confidence that, with the strength and determination to struggle by the workers and the people, with the converging action of democrats and patriots, it is possible to defeat the PSD/CDS government and the right-wing policy and open the way to build an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, affirming the project of the Advanced Democracy, the Values of April in the Future of Portugal, with the the horizon of socialism and communism.
3.The PCP has to express its firm rejection of the attempts to blame the April Revolution – and what this meant and represented in terms of emancipation and social and national progress – for the disastrous consequences of 37 years of counter revolutionary process, in fact, the real responsible for the current course of regression and national decline.
The PCP also rejects the unacceptable and dangerous attempts by those who, pointing their finger at «parties» and placing them all «in same bag» end up by laundering those really responsible for the current course of regression and national decline – the PS , PSD and CDS – helping the offensive against the democratic regime and concealing those who – like the PCP – have firmly and coherently fought for freedom, democracy and the achievements won with the April Revolution, against the right-wing policy that questions them, pointing the alternative to materialize the Values that April stands for.
Similarly, in view of the attempts to rewrite history and erase the nature and real significance of the April Revolution, the PCP stresses that commemorating April is to combat the laundering of the terrorist nature of the fascist dictatorship that oppressed the Portuguese people and murdered, jailed, tortured thousands of democrats and of the dictatorship that intensified the exploitation of the peoples of the colonies and carried out a criminal colonial war, the cause of the crippling and death of thousands of young Portuguese and African patriots.
To celebrate April is to defend and affirm its revolutionary character that not only restored freedom to the people and country, but also accomplished profound political, economic, social and cultural changes. To celebrate April is pay a deserving homage to the April military men for their role in the liquidation of the fascist dictatorship and who, as we all know, have been so mistreated by successive holders of political power over the last 37 years. To celebrate April is to combat the silencing and distortion of the heroic struggle of the workers, democrats and patriots, including, with their relevant role, the Communists.
4. Portugal’s future as a democratic, developed, sovereign and independent country, cannot be ensured by maintaining the domination and interests of the forces that brought the country to the serious situation in which it lies.
It is in the defence of democracy and the Constitution of the Republic, important achievements of April, that we find the matrix of a patriotic and left-wing policy, able to ensure the economic and social development of the country, and not its subversion and destruction, as attempted by the political leaders and parties that want to absolve themselves and absolve their political options and practices as causers of the disaster that we find ourselves in.
To the PCP, the celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the April Revolution should be a time and a moment to affirm on the streets the indignation and refusal of what they are doing to the people and Portugal, its history and its future, a moment of resistance and struggle against this reactionary offensive, against the forces that seek to settle scores with April assaulting democracy, sovereignty, freedom and development of Portugal.
In addition to the participation of the PCP in several initiatives promoted by popular committees, there is the special edition of the «Avante! » on the April Revolution that will be out with the regular paper on April 24. In terms of CDU there will be two major initiatives – on April 26, in Porto (municipality of Vila do Conde) and April 27 in Lisbon (municipality of Loures).
The PCP calls on the workers and the people, the youth, all democrats and patriots to mass with their presence the popular celebrations of the 25th April and the demonstrations of 1st May promoted by CGTP, making them a vigorous affirmation and commitment to demand the resignation of the Government, a rupture with the right-wing policy, for a patriotic and left-wing policy – capable of releasing Portugal from dependence and submission, recovering for the country what belongs to the country, handing back to the workers and the people their rights, wages and earnings – in an unwavering statement of confidence and struggle for the Values of April in Portugal’s future.
Communiqué by the Political Committee Central Committee of the PCP