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Communist Party of Portugal
[Original in English here]
Por Dick Nichols
August 18, 2016 — Traducido por Enrique García para Sin Permiso — Es difícil imaginar un contraste más fuerte que entre la 10ª Convención Nacional del Bloque de Izquierda portugués, que se celebró en Lisboa del 24 al 26 de junio, y su predecesora, que tuvo lugar en la misma ciudad hace 18 meses.
By Dick Nichols
August 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article first appeared in Green Left Weekly — It is hard to imagine a sharper contrast than that between the 10th National Convention of Portugal's Left Bloc, held in Lisbon from June 24 to 26, and its predecessor, held in the same city 18 months ago.
Trade union demonstration outside Portugal's parliament on November 10. Read more on Portugal.
For more on Portugal, click HERE.
By Dick Nichols
Statement by Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda), Portugal; translated by Federico Fuentes.
June 8, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, original source http://www.bloco.org/media/resomesa20140601.pdf -- Following the [September 29, 2013] local elections, the Left Bloc developed its European program via a thorough programmatic debate involving many independent activists. That culminated at our February 2014 national conference.
By Jorge Costa
April 24, 2014 -- International Viewpoint -- On the eve of April 25, 1974, Portuguese society was smouldering from contradictions accumulated in half a century of dictatorship. At the heart of these contradictions was a war that lasted thirteen years, to hold on to the African colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. This conflict conditioned the whole of national life, because of the social suffering caused by the mobilisation of two hundred thousand men, a tenth of the working population (a human cost equivalent to twice that of Vietnam), because of the wave of migration driven by hunger and the war, and because of the impossibility of a military solution, the only one contemplated by the regime.
For more on Portugal's Left Bloc, click HERE.
Francisco Louçã, Left Bloc (Portugal), interviewed by Mark Bergfeld
May 17, 2013 -- The Bullet
Mark Bergfeld: Across Europe we have witnessed three strands of resistance to the Troika (the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) : mass strikes by workers, youth revolts like the indignad@s, and electoral revolts such as SYRIZA in Greece, Front de Gauche in France, and the CUP in Catalonia. In Portugal we have witnessed the former two but haven't seen an upsurge in support for the Left Bloc or the Communist Party for that matter. Why hasn't the Portuguese left been able to take advantage of a favourable situation?
By Murray Smith
May 10, 2013 -- Left Unity, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Murray Smith's permission -- Having followed with sympathy the emergence of Left Unity and the possibility of a new party of the left being launched, I read with interest the two-part article by an anonymous figure, who may or may not be called Michael Ford, which may or may not be a pseudonym. I’m sure we’ll find out. For the purposes of this article, I will refer to him as Ford. In any case, whoever wrote it, the aim of the article is clearly to try and discredit the perspective of building a new party to the left of Labour and validate that of working with/within the Labour Party to drive it to the left.
There will undoubtedly be many replies to Ford from people who are directly involved in politics in Britain, which I am not at present. However, an important part of Ford’s argument is to try and demonstrate that the political forces to the left of social democracy in Europe don’t amount to much, either politically or in terms of their support. In doing so, frankly, he paints a picture which has little relation to reality. This is what I want to take up .
According to rally coordinators, some 500,000 protesters filled the Lisbon boulevard leading to the Finance Ministry on March 2. Many chanting "It's time for the government to go!" and "Screw the Troika, we want our lives back", referring to the lenders from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Introduction by Dick Nichols, European correspondent, Green Left Weekly, based in Barcelona
March 12, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Whenever there’s a protest in Portugal you are almost certain to hear the haunting song, "Grandola, Vila Morena" (“Grandola, sunburnt town”), with its line “who most rules within you, O city, is the people”. On Saturday, March 2, at massive protests across Portugal, "Grandola, Vila Morena" was sung by more voices than ever before.
[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3112.]
Por Dick Nichols, Lisboa, traducción para www.sinpermiso.info por Gustavo Buster
09/12/12 -- Un fantasma recorre Portugal: el fantasma de Grecia y de Syriza, el partido de su izquierda radical. Todos los poderes de la Europa neoliberal, encabezados por la canciller alemana, Ángela Merkel, han entrado en una alianza impía para exorcizar ese fantasma.
Acompañada por los representantes de las grandes empresas alemana, Merkel no tuvo otro remedio que durante seis horas soportar el asedio de los manifestantes en Lisboa el 12 de noviembre. Felicitó al Primer Ministro de Portugal, Pedro Passos Coelho, por su "valentía" al aplicar los programas de austeridad (una "historia de éxito"), e instó al líder político más impopular del país a no ceder un ápice.
Delegate votes during the Left Bloc's eighth national convention. Photo from www.bloco.org.
By Dick Nichols, Lisbon
November 18, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A spectre is haunting Portugal ― the spectre of Greece and of Syriza, its radical left party. All the powers of neoliberal Europe, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcise this spectre.
Accompanied by representatives of German big business, Merkel ran the gauntlet of protesters in Lisbon for six hours on November 12. She congratulated Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho for his “courage” in applying austerity (a “success story”) and urged the country’s most unpopular political leader to stick to his guns.
Left Bloc conference.
By Dick Nichols
May 22, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- When the 548 delegates to the seventh national convention of Portugal’s Left Bloc came together in a vast sports hall in Lisbon over May 7-8, they had two big questions to answer. The first was what alternative should they propose at the June 5, 2011, Portuguese elections to the €78 billion (about $103 billion) “rescue package” negotiated between the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (the “troika”) and the Socialist Party (PS) government of Prime Minister Jose Socrates?
The second was how to build greater unity among all those forces opposed to austerity — representing millions of Portuguese — so that a government of the left becomes thinkable in a country used to a back-and-forth shuffle of PS and Social Democratic Party (PDS) administrations?
By Raphie de Santos
Portugal’s Left Bloc has achieved a major breakthrough in the last five months. It polled nearly 11% and 10% respectively in the recent European and parliamentary legislative elections in June and September 2009. For a party that is firmly established outside of left social democracy this is a major achievement. How did it happen?
Its success is owed to a combination of objective and subjective factors. The objective factors are rooted in Portugal’s 20th century history while the subjective factors are linked to how the Left Bloc was formed and how it operates and engages with people in Portugal. The left in Britain and particularly in England can learn from the development and practice of the Left Bloc.