NEWS DIGEST

RSS

Digest powered by RSS Digest

16th June 1943 is one of the most glorious pages in the history of AKEL and Cyprus.

Anastasiades-DISY Government is proceeding to the fabrication and revision of history. Combating fascism demands consistent and resolute struggle

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 16th June 2016, Nicosia

Cypriot Anti-Fascist fighters

Cypriot Anti-Fascist fighters

16th June 1943 is one of the most glorious pages in the history of AKEL and Cyprus. The decision taken by the Central Committee of AKEL to call on its members to voluntarily enlist in the allied army to fight Fascism, is a monument to heroism but also a deeply antifascist political action.

Many hundreds of Cypriots, among them 11 of the 17 members of the Party’s Central Committee responded to AKEL’s appeal. AKEL pays tribute to the Cypriot volunteers, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and through them honours all antifascist fighters who resisted and fought against Fascism and Nazism.

Today, both in Cyprus but also across Europe, fascism is raising its head often dressing itself in the cloak of parliamentarism. The Anastasiades-DISY Government is proceeding to the fabrication and revision of history by equating communism with fascism, or through the erection of monuments to the very Commandos who attacked the Presidential Palace on the day of the coup d’état. This distortion of history is leading to amnesia and the pardoning/exoneration of Fascism. In these conditions, the message conveyed by the anniversary of 16th June 1943 resonates more timely than ever before. Combating fascism demands consistent and resolute struggle of the people against it.

As AKEL, we are proud of our own contribution to humanity’s struggle during the Second World War against fascism. We reiterate that we will remain consistent opponents of fascism and Nazism in any way, until humanity will rid itself of inhuman ideologies.

NEWS DIGEST

RSS

  • THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: AN INSTRUMENT OF GLOBAL POWER
    by ALEX MEZYAEV Dr Alex Mezyaev was a member of the defence team of President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2003-2006). He is now part of the defence team for other defendants … Continue reading
  • NEWS DIGEST
    RSS The political developments in Greece, the referendum on the EU in Britain and the positions of the KKE The political event of the Party Organizations of the KKE in Britain was held on Saturday 4/6 in London. The main … Continue reading

Digest powered by RSS Digest

THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: AN INSTRUMENT OF GLOBAL POWER

by ALEX MEZYAEV

Dr. Alex Mezyaev

Dr. Alex Mezyaev

Dr Alex Mezyaev was a member of the defence team of President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2003-2006). He is now part of the defence team for other defendants of this tribunal – Professor Vojislav Seselj and General Ratko Mladic.

Dr Mezyaev is a professor and Head of Department of International Law, Law Faculty, University of Management TISBI, Kazan, Russian Federation. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Kazan Journal of International Law and International Relations.

Comrade Alex Mezyaev is also a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF).

He may be contacted at alexmezyaev@gmail.com.

This article was recently published in African Communist First Quarter 2016

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was created in 1998 in terms of the Rome Statute, with the purpose of prosecuting the most dangerous international crimes – crimes against humanity and war crimes.

[Article 1 of the ICC Statute says that the Court is a “permanent institution and shall have the power established to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern”.]

After more than 15 years of activity, this Court has not only failed to fulfil its purpose, but is promoting a totally different agenda. The latest scandalous events provoked by the ICC and some NGOs in South Africa compels us to analyse what the real agenda of the ICC is and the location of African countries therein.

We will face serious problems understanding the real agenda of the ICC, if we make this analysis within the existing academic lexicon. For example, the very name of ICC as an international court is misleading in understanding its true essence and role. Before we start this analysis we need to resolve certain methodological matters and to suggest a more correct definition for the court itself as well for the system that it operates in.

THE RISE OF SUPRANATIONAL ENTITIES

The 21st century is far more complex than the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the main elements that inform the complexity is the appearance of the new subject of management on the international stage.

Before the end of the 1980s there were two main entities on the international stage – states and international organisations. International organisations were collective representatives of the will of certain states and groups of states. Even when an international organisation acted in its own name, it represented the collective will of its member states.

After the 1980s human civilization witnessed the emergence of totally new entities. None of them claim to be new, and they even try to camouflage themselves under old names, but the radically different nature of these entities requires that they be defined differently.

For example, the creation of the European Union marked the appearance of an institution that may hold a separate (and sometimes totally different) position on the matters of economic or political questions, to member states of the EU. Because of this, the European law (EU law) is more correctly called, supranational law not international (or regional) law. This term rightly denotes that this law was created not by member states but by a supranational institution (like the European Commission or European Court of Justice).

There is also at least one other entity or actor of world politics that does not fit into either the international nor supranational levels. These two last levels are both concerned with the “nation”, though showing different positions towards it. This other level of world politics has no functional connection with nations (states) and thus may be called “extra-national”. In fact it is better to use the term “global”. This term reflects the essence of this level very well, showing the global character of the entities and its agenda. The

actors at global level do not represent the interests of any state or its population as a whole, but have their own interests. Moreover, these interests may contradict the interests of particular states and their populations.

CHALLENGING THE CONCEPTUALISATION OF THE ICC

The early 1990s was characterised by the formal institutionalisation of global power. The analysis of the establishment of these institutions is informed by an analysis of the activities of the ICC and other international courts and tribunals.

We start this analysis from what may be called “strange facts”. What makes them strange is that such stories are not what we would expect from an institution of the highest integrity and highest quality, which the ICC is claimed to be and as it is indeed widely regarded. Nevertheless these episodes are indeed from the ICC practice.

• At the very first trial of the ICC (Lubanga trial, DRC situation), the first witness confessed right in the courtroom that he gave false evidence and that he was taught to do so by the prosecution. The court did nothing to investigate the case.

• In the trial of Germain Katanga (DRC), the prosecution did not prove any of the counts that were brought against the accused. Instead of acquitting the accused, the court changed the counts themselves and found Katanga guilty on these – the court’s imposed counts.

• The President of Cote-d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, was imprisoned by the ICC for more than four years without trial. He spent almost 2.5 years in prison even without confirmation of charges. In any local legal system no person could be detained without confirmed charges. After the first hearings for confirmation of charges the majority of judges agreed that there was no case. But instead of dismissing the case, the judges decided to give the prosecution “more time to collect more evidence”. After the second attempt, another judge finally confirmed the charges, but the decision to prosecute was adopted by the majority of two to one. The dissenting judge still claimed that there was no case. When the defence tried to appeal this decision at the

appeals chamber, the same judges prevented the defence from doing that.

• In the case against the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and others (Kenya), the prosecution withdrew the case against Kenyatta and his co-accused after the charges were confirmed by the court. The problem with this situation is that the prosecution confessed that there were no witnesses in the case. The disturbing question is how did the judges confirm the charges when there were no witnesses?

• In the case against Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), following the assassination of the accused, the court simply “terminated the proceedings”. We have seen a lot of so-called contempt cases when certain individuals were put on trial because of the interruption of the integrity of the proceedings, for example, the cases of bribing witnesses or refusal to give evidence, etc.

But what could cause more damage to the integrity of the proceedings than the assassination of the accused?

Notwithstanding the fact that the killing was filmed and criminals may be well identified, no investigation or

contempt cases were initiated.

• During the trial in the case of the former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba (DRC) his entire defence team, with the single exception of one non-African member, was violently arrested.

When facing any “strange” fact, we are in reality confronted with the methodological question of whether it is a bad fact or a bad concept. Why should the “bad” facts enumerated above draw our attention at the conceptual level?

They should draw our attention because they cannot be explained by mistakes and negligence. They also cannot be explained if we consider the ICC as an international institution of the highest degree of legal standards and integrity. This means that these incidents cannot be explained in the established conceptualisation of the ICC as an international court and as a guardian of law and justice. And thus we have to revisit this official concept.

These bad facts are not an exception; they are the rule. We also have the same bad facts not only in ICC practice, but also at the conceptual level of the ICC as an institution. Here are some examples.

According to common sense, judges of an international court must be the best judges that the world ever produced. Unfortunately, common sense is not the best way of understanding the modern world, because according to article 36 (b) of the ICC Statute, the candidate for election to the Court shall have established only their competence in criminal law and procedure, and the necessary relevant experience.

[As article 36 says, “relevant experience” means whether as judge, prosecutor, advocate or in other similar capacity (!), in criminal proceedings.]

This sounds reasonable though not strict enough. For example, to be an ICC judge, the candidate has to possess high moral character, and be an expert on law of recognised competence in international law. As we see, in the ICC, high morality is not a necessary and recognised competence that can substitute established competence in relevant areas of international law. The bad fact about ICC judges is that many of them do not have any judicial or even court experience.

A second, and even more disturbing bad fact, is that there are some judges in the ICC who do not have legal education at all. This sounds really unbelievable, but can easily be verified from the official CVs of the judges. Some of the examples are Judge H Kaul (Germany) and Judge K Ozaki (Japan).

[The official website of the ICC uses a misleading way of reflecting the education of judges, for example covering

the lack of legal education of some judges under waterfalls of words about their experience.]

There is another special aspect of this problem that we are not going to analyse in detail but just mention.

This is a problem of states that voted for candidates who do not possess legal education and the attitudes of candidates for the position of ICC judges. Some of them wish to be ICC judges for dubious reasons: “I wish to be elected a Judge of the ICC as I am convinced that I can make a valuable contribution to the development of international criminal law and justice.”

[From the response of Geoffrey Andrew Henderson to the Coalition for the International Criminal Court’ Questionnaire. In 2013 G.A. Henderson was elected as ICC judge.]

There is a problem in such an attitude, the ICC Statute requires that the judge applies law, not develop it. But this revelation from some judges shows that the “developing” (read: changing) of international law is a real agenda of ICC.

There are cases where almost all the human rights of the accused are violated in the ICC. For example, some accused are almost completely denied the right to public hearings. This right is assured in all universal and regional human rights treaties. Article 14 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted by the United Nations on 19 December 1966), for instance, states that in the determination of any criminal charge, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a court of law. But in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba, 30 of the 40 witnesses were so-called secret witnesses, meaning that their identities were hidden from the defence until it was impossible to collect any information about such witnesses. This is an intentional policy of the ICC, denying the accused the ability to exercise the right

to prepare for any meaningful defence.

During a public hearing in the ICC, Judge Cot said to the accused, M Chui: “Accused, the fact that we acquit you does not mean that you are innocent”. This is a totally new concept of the rights of the accused. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.

According the ICC, even when acquitted you are not regarded as innocent.

The human rights issue is one of the most serious issues in ICC practices. The violation of the human rights of the accused helps one to understand the reality of the ICC. ICC cases are unsound. They are all based on political considerations and thus cannot be proved with the use of law. The only way to “prove” such cases is to deny the accused and defence any rights.

HOW CAN WE EXPLAIN ALL THESE BAD FACTS?

The official aim of the International Criminal Court is enshrined in Article 1 of the Rome Statute. It says that the ICC is established “to exercise jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern”. Thus the prosecution of the most serious international crimes is proclaimed as the main aim. But the practice of the

ICC shows that this aim is not achieved.

The situation in Cote-d’Ivoire was brought to the ICC in 2003, but the Court did nothing until 2011. The ICC acted only eight years later in the context of a new situation, the forcible removal of President L. Gbagbo. And in this context the ICC acted really quickly and issued an order of arrest against Gbagbo within several weeks.

The UN Security Council brought the situation in Libya to the ICC when NATO forces were preparing to invade the country. At that time Libyan citizens had the highest social guarantees. Today Libya is totally destroyed, its statehood is under serious doubt and more than four years after the coup, thousands of refugees are still leaving the country.

The ICC issued no indictments for those who ruined the state. It issued the indictments against those who built that state.

The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) was brought to the ICC in 2005, but the only case within this situation is a case against former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Bemba was indicted because he sent his troops to support the then legitimate CAR President Ange-Félix Patasse, in response to his official request to help him to suppress an armed rebellion. Now the legitimate CAR President is overthrown, the country is ruined and the ICC produced no indictments against those who did that.

In the Ugandan situation, the ICC did nothing except publish vague orders of arrest for three persons. ICC investigations in Mali and Nigeria did not stop the suffering of people from al-Qaeda’s or Boko Haram’s terror. The ICC openly sided with these organisations, warning Malian and Nigerian leaders that they may end up in The

Hague if not assuring the human rights of these terrorists while fighting them.

So where has the ICC brought peace? Where has it brought justice?

International crimes are committed in front of the ICC but it has very little or no interest in them. At the same time the ICC is actively involved in certain conflicts and it would be difficult not to notice that in many cases this is connected with one side of the conflict.

THE TRUE PORPOSE OF THE ICC

The official conceptualisation of the ICC as a guardian of international law and justice is simply not proved in practice. But what is the real ICC agenda?

The real intention behind the creation of an international criminal court of justice is to create the system of institutions of global power that have at least two main authorities:

• The authority to remove the heads of states; and

• The authority to transform the international rules.

This idea is best implemented by international courts: the removal of heads of states needs to be sanctified in the name of international law, thus the norms of international law need to be changed. The new system of international justice was assigned with these tasks.

The first international criminal tribunal as part of the global power institutions was the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993 and International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1994. These tribunals successfully probed the idea of removal of heads of states (President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic, Prime Minister of Rwanda Jean Kambanda and others). At the same time these tribunals started to change international law: some international treaties started to be “corrected”, some were disregarded and some norms were created by these very tribunals. After a successful inquiry, the international criminal tribunals were mushroomed en masse: Special Court for Sierra Leone, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Special courts for Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Kosovo. The creation of the ICC must be understood in the context of that intent and the realisation of the system of international criminal justice.

REMOVAL OF HEADS OF STATE

To implement the idea of removal of heads of state it was important to personalise the heads of states as private persons. This task was very well done with the use of mass media. One example was the insertion of the name “Saddam” instead of Hussein or President Hussein etc.

This cliché still works. Let us remember how we called the case against President of Sudan in South Africa in June 2015.

Mass media imposed on us the title “al-Bashir case” and all society, including lawyers, happily accepted it. But the wrong name, which was intentionally imposed on us, changed the essence of the case: it was brought down from a case about sovereignty of Sudan to a personal case against an individual.

This trick of personalisation of the heads of states was implemented via international criminal justice, because criminal justice has personal jurisdiction. All these courts and tribunals were directed at one

operative aim, the indictment and removal of the heads of states. ICTY removed and indicted the President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, and former President Milan Milutinovic. It also indicted four more heads of states (though unrecognised) – Radovan Karadzic and Biljana Plavsic (Presidents of the Republic of Srpska), Milan Martic and Milan Babic (Presidents of the Republic of Serbian Kraina). In

addition, they indicted and removed all political and military administrations of Yugoslavia and then Serbia.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone removed President of Liberia Charles Taylor. The Tribunal for Rwanda indicted former Prime Minister of Rwanda Jean Kambanda. Finally the ICC indicted the President of Cote-d’Ivoire, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir.

The ICC prosecutor made it clear that the highest officials of Mali, Nigeria and Burundi may be next to be indicted and removed as leaders. This policy of unnamed suspects is another way of controlling the leaders of some states. Moreover, international criminal tribunals, including the ICC and ICTY were used as direct weapons of international crimes. Three examples of that:

• The situation in Libya was brought to the ICC by the UN Security Council in February 2011, and processed too fast to have conducted any meaningful investigation. Over a few weeks, the ICC prosecutor prepared an order of arrest against the Libyan head of state, President M. Gaddafi. This order of arrest was issued during the aggression of NATO against Libya. Thus the ICC acted as a legal instrument of war. (It is worth mentioning that one of the judges in the case against Gaddafi was an Italian citizen, and Italy was one of the states taking part in NATO aggression against Libya.) Thus the ICC is violating the elementary principles of independence of the judiciary).

• In April 2014 the ICC’s jurisdiction was recognised by the Ukraine. The problem with this decision is that the request was sent by an improper subject. People who claimed to be “the government of Ukraine” had no legal justification for that claim. Notwithstanding, the ICC agreed with that acceptance. It is difficult to understand how an international court could work with a government that assumed power illegally through a bloody coup. The main task of the ICC is to check the legality of the subject appearing before it. To understand why this agreement constitutes taking part in a crime, we have to look at the details of the acceptance of jurisdiction. The illegal government of Ukraine accepted the jurisdiction only for the purpose of prosecuting the members of the overthrown government! Accepting such a jurisdiction

from an illegal junta, the ICC appeared as a weapon of the coup d’etat committed in Ukraine.

• In 1999 during the aggression of NATO states against Yugoslavia, the ICTY issued an order of arrest against the president of the country. Notwithstanding the fact that there was no investigation, the ICTY prosecutor issued an indictment against Milosevic. Thus, the ICTY was a direct weapon of the war.

VIOLATING EXISTING RULES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

The ICC practice shows that some of its cases have gravely violated fundamental principles of modern international law: the principle of equality of states; the principle of consent of states; and the voluntary nature of international law. In this regard, special attention should be drawn to the situations in Libya and Sudan (and subsequently to all Sudanese and Libyan cases). The analysis shows that these situations were referred to the ICC through violation of international law. The gravity of these violations and their obvious nature allows us to conclude that it was made in order to destroy the very base of modern international law.

The situation in Sudan was referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council in March 2005, and the situation in Libya in February 2011. The problem with these referrals is that they were not taken in

accordance with international law. The main question that arises in this regard is on what legal basis did the Security Council act?

In Resolution 1593 (2005) the Security Council was hesitant to name any exact article of any exact legal document that informed its decision. It only said that it was “acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter”. Reference to a “chapter” is quite disturbing from a legal point of view, because it shows that the Security Council indeed could not name any exact law relied on in taking its decision. Legal decisions must be based on specific articles and even clauses of articles of a treaty, not on whole chapters. The vague reference to the chapter as a whole is itself proof of the absence of any legal basis for this decision.

It is interesting to note that the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber attempted to mitigate the legal impotence of the Security Council and claimed that the Security Council acted pursuant to Article 13b of the Rome Statute. This attempt brought even worse legal consequences than the Security Council’s impotence, because the powers of the Security Council are regulated by the United Nations Charter, not by any other treaty. The attempt to claim that it based its powers that are supposedly prescribed in another treaty and not UN Charter is scandalous and illegal. The Security Council does not have the right to use powers granted it by the UN Charter – particularly with respect to a state that is not a party to the Rome Statute!

The UN Security Council was established by the UN Charter and must act on that basis. The UN Charter does not give the Security Council the right to refer situations to the ICC. This is the only possible conclusion if we take into consideration the principles of international law. Such a power is too serious to be considered as “implied” and not to be included in the Charter as the legal basis for the Security Council’s actions. Thus, in the absence of any amendments to the UN Charter itself, the Security Council does not have the right to refer situations in states. This is especially so in relation to the states which are not party to the Rome Statute. Members of the United Nations have given their consent only to those powers of the UN Security Council, which are enunciated in the UN Charter, not to powers expressed in other treaties. The UN Charter is one international treaty and the ICC Rome Statute is completely another treaty. They have different obligations and different state-parties.

There are many other legal defects in these “referral” cases. For example, paragraph 1 of UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005) says that it is referring the situation in Darfur “since 1 July 2002” to the ICC Prosecutor. But the very resolution was adopted on 31 March 2005!

On what legal basis does the Security Council claim the right to apply criminal law retrospectively? Where is it stated that the Security Council has such a power?

It is totally contrary to common principles of law.

Let us imagine that after the Security Council referral of Sudan the country would sign and ratify the ICC Statute. What would be the legal effect of Article 11 of the ICC Statute, which regulates the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC?

Paragraph 1 of this article states that, “The Court has jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force of this Statute.”

Paragraph 2 of the same article says: “If a state becomes a party to this Statute after its entry into force, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force of this Statute for that state, unless that state has made a declaration under article 12, paragraph 3.”

And what about Article 24 which specifies that “no person shall be criminally responsible under this Statute for conduct prior to the entry into force of the Statute.”?

Obviously the decision of the UN Security Council is discriminatory against Sudanese citizens indicted by the ICC because different rules apply to them than to citizens of states which have signed the ICC

statute. Many international human rights treaties specifically prohibit discrimination in criminal proceedings. If we accept that it is possible to initiate proceedings against a state which is not a party to the ICC (whether through the UN Security Council or by any other means) then we must accept the legality of discrimination. But it is absurd to say that an international treaty may legalise such discrimination. It is difficult to believe that states decided to discriminate between accused persons from a state party and accused persons from a non-state party. Such discrimination would be contrary to the most basic human rights. If a thesis leads to an absurd conclusion, then the thesis should be abandoned. Thus is must be concluded that without the amendment of the UN Charter, any referral to the ICC of a situation in

a non-signatory state is not possible.

There are many other legal problems with these “referral” Security Council resolutions. For example, what is the legal value of a decision forcing a state to be obliged by a treaty of which the Security Council

members are not even signatories themselves? [USA, China, Russia]

In March 2005, only nine of the 15 member states of the Security Council (and three of the five among permanent members) were state-parties to the ICC Statute. What is the legality of a decision taken by states that are not parties to a treaty to force another state to be a party to it, or to be bound by obligations under it?

Even if all the members of the Security Council had been state parties to the Rome Statute then this would not have changed the illegality of their decision. This is absolutely illegal, because it violates the very foundations of the international legal order.

The activity of the ICTY clearly shows that when it was necessary to convict a person for political reasons, it deviates from existing international law and creates its own law. One such example is the case

of former President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic.

To convict President Milosevic by any means, the ICTY inserted into practice the concept of the so-called “joint criminal enterprise” (JCE). The third category of this JCE allows the court to convict anybody, including the persons who not only have not taken part in the crimes, but have not even known about the commitment of these crimes!

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) violated the convention on the prevention of the genocide, which carried the requirement to establish the specific intent, and decided that there is no need to establish the specific intent, and that it would be possible to convict a person for genocide if intent was not established. This tribunal also “corrected” the genocide convention, added to it new features with the sole purpose of convicting before the tribunal. The same “correction” of existing international law was made by other international tribunals, like the Special Tribunal for Lebanon or Special Court for Sierra Leone. Thus we may detect another common direction of the activity of the international tribunals – the destruction of the already existing international law on the one side and the creation of new international law on the other side.

Needless to say, international courts do not have the power to destroy existing law, nor to create new law. It could only apply law as it already exists. As we see, it is not the case with ICC and other international courts.

Another example is the practice of “proving” cases with the use of plea-bargaining. Officially it looks as if the accused pleaded guilty and gave a testimony about his crimes. The reality of these guilty pleas is very different.

First of all the accused is not giving his own testimony but is obliged to sign a text of “facts” prepared by the prosecution. The accused receives assurances that sentencing will not be harsh. The accused is then obliged to give testimony against his co-accused. Thus the plea bargaining procedure is not aimed at

establishing the truth, but at convicting specific accused using the testimony of another accused who was incentivised to plead guilty.

The practice of several international criminal tribunals (especially the ICTY and ICTR) shows that plea-bargaining is used with pressure. The whole practice of the ICTR was based on a false plea-bargaining with the Rwandan Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda. The whole Srebrenica case in the ICTY was based on plea-bargaining with Dražen Erdemovic and Momir Nikolic. In this context the ICC’s indictment against Simon Gbagbo (wife of President Laurent Gbagbo) is a clear attempt to resolve the case of President Gbagbo without trial.

Another serious derogation of international law is a derogation of human rights law by the international tribunals.

For example, the accused of international criminal tribunals are denied the right to choose their counsel. This denial has a very “good” explanation. Only the “approved” (by ICC and other courts) counsel may defend these accused, thus guaranteeing that the counsel will not go too far in establishing the truth.

The only case when the ICC accused was able to get the defence counsel of his own choice was Jean-Pierre Bemba (Central African Republic/DRC). That was secured by the ability of Bemba to finance his counsel himself (which is a unique case in the history of the international criminal justice). But in November 2013 Bemba’s whole defence team was arrested and put on trial. Officially the reason for this arrest was the attempt of defence to prepare a false witness. At the same time the sudden arrest of the defence counsels of Bemba was conducted just some hours before the defence was about to present evidence of how the ICC prosecution bribes witnesses.

The bribing of witnesses and presenting of false witnesses is not an extraordinary situation in international criminal justice. False witnesses are a rule at this system. In the Vojislav Seselj trial at the ICTY more than 20 witnesses gave sworn testimonies that they were threatened by the prosecution to give false evidence against the accused. The Court took no action against the prosecution. Moreover the

accused was prevented from presenting his defence case – a unique case in history of international criminal justice.

In the Milosevic trial, one prosecution witness confessed that he was pressed (and even tortured) to give a false testimony against Milosevic. The court did not take any action, not even to investigate the claim.

The synthesis of ICC activity with activity of other bodies in the system of international criminal justice is also important because of the following: there are the same staff working in these institutions (running from one court to another and sometimes working in different courts at the same time!); there are the same judges in these courts (running from one court to another and sometimes working in different courts at the same time!); the courts use their practice as a way of creating law, thus the ICC is citing the decision of ICTY as a proof of its own legality.

AL-BASHIR AND SOUTH AFRICA

In June 2015 the ICC tried to force the South African government to arrest Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir who attended the African Union meeting in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court issued the decision obliging the South African government to arrest President al-Bashir, which was not implemented. Unfortunately the discussion on this matter was limited by the very narrow approach that was taken by the North Gauteng High Court, but only to some extent, because nothing prevented the court from considering other relevant issues.

Firstly, the questions of why the elementary matter of jurisdiction was not resolved must be raised.

Another question arises when we are facing very strange position of the court that the obligation to co-operate necessarily means the obligation to arrest, and to do this automatically. It is not our aim to analyse the arguments of the North Gauteng High Court.

What we would like to highlight nevertheless are those circumstances that escaped any attention of the mass media and even judicial institutions on the global level – that is, the behaviour of ICC.

It must be noted: the artificial exclusion by the ICC of the majority of judges from the adoption of the decision to force South Africa to arrest President al-Bashir. The decision was adopted by a single judge. But the “al-Bashir case” is assigned not to a single judge but to a full chamber constituted by three ICC judges.

Why did the other two judges not part take in its adoption?

The formal answer to that question is that the decision was taken urgently. But this answer does not hold water, because the urgency of the decision was clearly made up by the intentionally late application by prosecution.

Information about the Sudanese President’s visit to South Africa was available to the ICC months in advance but the ICC prosecution decided to apply for a request to arrest just some hours before this visit. The reason for this is clear: to manufacture “urgency” and thus legitimise the exclusion of two judges from the decision-making process.

The other question arises with the attempt of the ICC (in reality – of one judge) to force South Africa to arrest the head of state who was enjoying immunity according to international law. Such an attempt was not legally supported. Any reference to Article 27 of ICC Statute is not convincing. This article says that “immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person”.

This article gave some commentators the wrong impression to claim that heads of state do not have immunity anymore.

In fact a careful reading of this article shows that it is only directed to the ICC Prosecutor and other ICC officials, and not to states. The article relates only to the relations between accused and the Court. As concerns states, the immunities of heads of states and governments are regulated by the norms of customary international law and treaties. These treaties clearly obliged the states to assure the immunities

of the highest state officials.

The so-called al-Bashir case is not about Omar al-Bashir in his personal capacity, but about the President of Sudan, that is, about state sovereignty.

The attempt by the ICC to force South Africa to arrest al-Bashir was a case against South Africa, forcing the state to a position where it would destroy the very base of current international law – state sovereignty and equality.

The clarity of this situation raises the legitimate question of why the ICC engaged in that provocation against South Africa. Now, knowing the consequences (North Gauteng High Court decision, it is supposed non-respect by South African government, the impeachment move against South African

President etc.) we may suggest that all this was made up with the sole purpose of destabilising the Republic of South Africa.

CONCLUSION

The current system of international criminal justice was created by the global powers with aims that are too far from the officially proclaimed goals. The real agenda of the ICC is the sanctification of crimes committed by the global powers and the creation of new international rules – possibly better described as global rules, because there are no ways for nations to be entities of these rules. In the plan of global power, nations must only be objects of these rules.

For now, there are two separate systems of international law. The first is the current international law that may be called relatively progressive international law. It is the result of the developments of the international system from 1945. The regime of this law is characterised by the aim (common interest for all members of the international community) and the way of creation (made by all equal members of international community). The other system is regressive international law that was created mainly through international courts and tribunals. The regime of this law is characterised by the same features but in negative terms: it is created by only certain “chosen states” and in their interests.

Step by step this second system of regressive international law is becoming bigger and stronger. The modern world is more complex than in 1945. To understand the modern world we need at least proper definitions that correctly reflect the essence of objects and phenomena. In our opinion we have difficulties in understanding the true picture of the modern world, among other things because of the incorrect definitions and even lack thereof. It is interesting to note that the very lack of definitions sometimes acts as the basis for the non-existence of certain entities or phenomena in our minds.

One of the best examples in this regard is the word “international”. We refer to international treaties, organisations, operations, politics and so on. Sometimes the use of this word is an obvious abuse, like the

expression “international judge”. The idea of a judge acting as a representative of an international community is clear, but does it have anything to do with reality?

The judges are elected by other states but nominated by the state of their citizenship. In some cases the election process is pure hypocrisy, when there is no competition between candidates and their number is the same (or nearly the same) as the number of places. In this situation we are facing not “international” institutions, but rather a group of foreign representatives.

While we have some treaties and organisations (like the United Nations) that could be called truly “international”, we still have institutions that clearly do not fall within that definition. These institutions are the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, NATO, European Union and the ICC. We have to notice the attempt made by some researchers to correct the situation and to introduce the new definition that better reflects the situation, namely the introduction of the word “supranational”. This attempt is indeed very useful in defining the true character of the entities like EU institutions, but it is not enough. The international institutions were created to represent the interests of the community of all states and for achieving common values and goals. Supranational institutions constitute a new phenomenon where the interests of such institutions may not necessarily coincide with the interests of member states. In such institutions the states sometimes are not the decision-makers.

Nowadays the dichotomy “national-international” does not properly reflect the real situation. Even the introduction of the “supranational” or “transnational” levels does not change things. National, supranational and international are all “nation-centric” phenomena. But institutions like the ICC are “contra-nation” phenomenon. This level of politics reflects the interests of a subject not connected with

any state or group of states, though based in certain states. The interests of these entities do not coincide with interests of states or of the international community as a whole; moreover, sometimes they may even conflict with them. The strength of the entity is several times greater than the power of most of the states. And as a de facto matter we are witnesses to the existence of certain institutions that assume this new level of politics. We suggest that this level may be called as “contranational”, stressing its centrifugal character, where the centre is a nation.

Thus, we argue that the ICC is an institution at the contranational level of politics. Its real aims and policy may only be understood in this context. The ICC was established with the main purposes to create

a universal judicial institution for controlling the highest national and international levels of politics.

The main means of such control to be exercised is through the power to remove disobedient heads of state and the destruction of existing national and international laws and replacing them with new (regressive/repressive) international laws. Thus “contranational” law. Stopping this process of destroying

the international system and the grabbing of power by “contranational” entities is an essential task of the United Nations.

NEWS DIGEST

RSS

Digest powered by RSS Digest

The political developments in Greece, the referendum on the EU in Britain and the positions of the KKE

KKE meeting

The political event of the Party Organizations of the KKE in Britain was held on Saturday 4/6 in London. The main speaker was Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE. The event’s title was “The political developments in Greece, the referendum on the EU in Britain and the positions of the KKE”.
His speech was as follows:

“Dear comrades,

Dear friends,

We would like to thank you for your participation in today’s meeting of the KKE’s party organizations in Britain and we believe that we can have a substantial discussion which will lend strength to all of us so that we can continue our struggle in these complex conditions.
It is a fact that the developments in Greece have taken on international dimensions and can be utilized to draw important conclusions.
During the eight (8) years of the capitalist crisis of capital over-accumulation, the management policy of all the bourgeois parties has been tested, which in collaboration with the EU, ECB and IMF, known as the Troika, used all means available in order to thrust the burden of the crisis onto the working class and popular strata, advancing a strategy to increase the competitiveness and the profitability of the big businesses.
During this period, an intense inter-imperialist competition manifested itself between the EU, chiefly Germany, and the IMF, USA over the management of the debt and the formula for the management of the debt from the standpoint of the interests of the plutocracy.
ND and PASOK implemented the two memoranda and very harsh anti-people measures that provoked intense popular indignation. Illusions about a lesser evil and false expectations fostered by SYRIZA and the government it formed together with the nationalist party “Independent Greeks” (ANEL) flourished in the context of poverty and high levels of unemployment.

Dear comrades and friends,

Remember the situation before and after the elections of January 2015, the discussions in Britain and other European countries, remember the events held in support of SYRIZA and the attacks on the KKE, which the opportunist forces called on to submit to new social-democracy in the name of left unity.
Think about that now! Think about how it important it is that the KKE defended communist principles, dealt with the pressure in a decisive way, demonstrated confidence in the working class and came into conflict with the SYRIZA-ANEL government, the EU and big capital, the real opponent that is being served by this government.
The deceitful role of the cadres of “Popular Unity”, the former Speaker of the Parliament who participated in the SYRIZA government and distinguished themselves in the offensive against the KKE is not forgotten but is part of the experience that warns and teaches the workers about the role of the “leftwing” managers of capitalism, who sloganeer in order to conceal the fact that they operate within the boundaries of the system.
This is also true of Antarsya that supported the government, constantly and indiscriminately attacked the KKE and with noisy slogans attempts to conceal the fact that its political line operates within the boundaries of capitalism, but with another currency or with other imperialist alliances.
Today things are clearer. SYRIZA, as a social-democratic party in government serves the interests of big capital and implements a very harsh anti-people political line, at the same time attempting to entrap popular forces with lies and vulgar claims.
The political record of this government means that it is imperative that it be condemned in the people’s consciousness. This is a precondition for the development of the class struggle and also in order to deal with the false dilemmas that feed the false polarization between SYRIZA and ND.
This experience is of great importance and highlights the need to bring class criteria to the fore in our analysis.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government with the support of the other bourgeois parties passed and is implementing the 3rd memorandum.
In the recent period, the government voted 2 laws through parliament, in the framework of passing the assessment of this memorandum being carried out by the EU-ECB-IMF. We are talking about laws that have extremely painful outcomes for the working class and popular families.
The social character of social insurance is being eradicated by these laws, and pensions have been drastically reduced. EKAS has been abolished, the supplementary pension for the poorest pensioners, who are now being forced by the government to live on 450 Euros a month, a form of slow death.
These laws impose unbearable direct and indirect taxation at the expense of the working class and popular families, have created a fund for the privatization of state businesses. It has introduced an “automatic contingency mechanism” that will be used to further reduce salaries and pensions and carry out other cuts; the path has been cleared for the seizure of the primary residences of workers who cannot repay their loans.
At the same time, the SYRIZA government submitted the so-called “law for development” to Parliament that contains provocative measures which favour big capital, with new tax exemptions and greater financial support for it. It is also preparing a new raft of harsh measures at the expense of the workers for the 2nd assessment in the autumn which will include the right for businesses to carry out mass dismissals, restrictions on the right to strike etc.
SYRIZA is attempting to conceal the class character of its policies with blatant lies and promises about capitalist growth that in reality will be based on the destruction of the workers’-people’s rights and will continue the vicious cycle of capital accumulation which will lead to a new capitalist crisis.
The offensive of the exploiters embraces all the EU member-states, all the capitalist states, regardless of whether they have memoranda or not.
Capital is thirsty for profits in order to replace the losses it underwent during the crisis and to equip itself with new resources to strengthen its position in the recovery phase, which the system’s think tanks assess will be unstable and weak.
Capital’s thirst for profits is transformed into political decisions and laws by social-democratic, liberal or new left parties.
We express our internationalist solidarity with the French workers and we denounce the social-democratic government of Hollande which, via the “El Khomri” law and using intense repression against the struggling workers, is demolishing sectoral labour agreements and paving the way for mass dismissals, as well as increasing flexible labour time and lengthening daily working time.

Dear comrades and friends,

SYRIZA has also distinguished itself in terms of furthering integrating Greece into the imperialist organizations.
The government has made the military base of Suda, Crete, all the military bases and Euro-Atlantic command centres available to the USA, NATO and the EU. It participates in the imperialist plans, interventions and wars, as can be witnessed by looking at the examples of the wars in Syria and Libya, at whose expense a new intervention is being prepared.
In essence, SYRIZA is also entangling our country in the inter-imperialist contradictions between the USA, the EU, Russia and China over the control of markets, energy and energy pipelines, which contain the danger of even a generalized imperialist war. NATO’s presence in the Aegean at the invitation of the government is connected to the rivalries and wars in the region and emboldens the provocativeness of the Turkish state.
The imperialist wars and the repressive policies of the EU uproot millions of refugees and immigrants from their homes and trap thousands of families of persecuted people in Greece, who are living in wretched conditions. They have other European countries as their destination. The KKE in these conditions maintains a stance based on internationalist principles, stands at the side of the refugees and immigrants, contributes to the organization of the people’s solidarity, confronts racism and xenophobia and struggles against the real causes of this situation, against capitalism that gives rise to wars, crises, refugees and poverty.

Giorgios Marinos

Giorgios Marinos

Dear comrades and friends,

In conclusion, we would like to note that the so-called left government has been tried and tested and its political line has borne out what the KKE had stressed from the beginning: that governments of bourgeois management which wear a leftwing mask in order to trap popular forces serve the interests of big capital, are damaging to the labour movement and try to transform it into an instrument of class collaboration and support for capitalist development.
This is the role of social-democracy and the centre-left. This is what has been demonstrated by the experience of France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Brazil and other states.
The CPs that participate in or support governments of bourgeois management, regardless of intentions, bear grave responsibilities. Reality has demonstrated that the economic laws of capitalism which determine the system’s motion cannot be tamed. They function on the basis of the profits of the big businesses, the intensification of the exploitation of the working class and the strengthening of bourgeois power.

Comrades and friends,

The KKE plays a leading role in a difficult struggle and strengthens its bonds with the working class, poor farmers and urban self-employed. Every day the party organizations, the organizations of KNE struggle concerning every problem the people have, are present in the factories, workplaces, organize dozens of events in the popular neighbourhoods and are trying to develop the workers’-people’s struggle.
The communist men and women support the struggle of PAME, the class-oriented movement, in which hundreds of trade unions participate; they support the struggle of the farmers, the urban self-employed, the youth.
Through daily activity, strikes, occupations, dozens of mass demonstrations, the superiority of the class-oriented movement is apparent. This movement comes into conflict with capital, the anti-people political line and government and employer-led trade unionism. It wins over new forces, new trade unions in its efforts to change the correlation of forces, to regroup the movement, to strengthen its mass characteristics, insisting on fighting for demands that correspond to the contemporary needs of the people.
A strong labour movement that fights in an antimonopoly-anticapitalist direction can be the spine of a great social alliance that will gather popular forces together, make its mark on the daily struggles and fight to overthrow capitalist barbarity.
It has been demonstrated in reality that a party with a revolutionary strategy, which has dispensed with the rationale of intermediate transitional stages that operate within the framework of the system and have tormented the communist movement for decades, can struggle for socialism and can draw strength from the everyday struggles for the workers’-people’s rights. Such a party can be distinguished by the sacrifices it makes in these everyday struggles.

Dear comrades and friends,

As you are aware, the possibility of a departure from the Euro and the EU was discussed in Greece and this experience helps us to take a position on the developments in Britain and the question of a Brexit.
Despite the activity of a well-funded propaganda apparatus, despite the intervention of bourgeois forces that are attempting to subjugate the people, despite the efforts of the opportunist parties like the Party of the European Left which supports and prettifies the EU, significant sections of popular forces are resisting, with varying levels of understanding as regards its imperialist character.
It has been demonstrated that the EU did not lead to the satisfaction of the needs of the people today, but indeed that the peoples in its member states are facing sharpening chronic problems.
Even the official statistics show that unemployment in the EU torments more than 22 million people, while the percentage of individuals in danger of becoming impoverished stands at 25%.Youth unemployment is more than 20% or 4 million in absolute numbers.
The EU treaties and the strategies of the EU bodies aim at reinforcing the competitiveness and increasing the profitability of the monopolies so that they can meet the requirements of the international competition and increase their strength. During this entire period, the liberalization of the markets in strategically important sectors of the economy has proceeded, as has the expansion of flexible labour relations with the goal of increasing the rate of exploitation of labour power.
In recent years, the EU’s arsenal has been strengthened with modern weapons like the “Europe 2020” strategy, “reinforced economic governance” and other instruments which are used for the permanent supervision of the economies of the member-states in the direction of implementing harsh anti-people measures.
The EU is synonymous with wars and interventions. It allies with the USA and NATO as witnessed in the imperialist wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, using the pretext of combating terrorism and defeating the ‘Islamic State” which was of course created, trained and armed by the USA and its allies.
The EU plays a leading role in anticommunism, which has become its official ideology, in the distortion of history, the slandering of socialism’s great contribution to social progress, concealing the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the defeat of fascism in the 2nd World War.
In conclusion, the EU from its creation to the present day (as the evolution of the EEC) is an inter-state imperialist alliance that expresses and serves the interests of the monopoly groups against the working class, poor farmers and other popular strata in Europe.
This historical course refutes and exposes the social-democratic and opportunist forces that try to inculcate the workers with the notion that the EU used to be good and people-friendly but allegedly lost its way.

Dear comrades and friends,

The common interests of the European monopolies are expressed by the plans for the further deepening of EMU and capitalist unification more generally.
The “Five Presidents’ Report” (of the Commission, Eurogroup, Euro Summit, European Central Bank, European Parliament) entitled “Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union”, published in June 2015 serves this direction.
This so-called “leap forwards” is attempting to respond to the problems caused by the strengthening of “centrifugal” trends, the stance of sections of the bourgeois class and political forces that oppose unification and desire the relaxation of the unified mechanisms and commitments of the European Union for each member-state.
The goal of capitalist unification cannot negate the objective trend towards uneven development inside the EU, nor can it erase the role of the bourgeois states (on a nation-state basis). Each monopoly has its headquarters in a specific bourgeois state and these states also constitute a significant field for capital accumulation. The bourgeois states constitute the basis for the implementation of fiscal policies, funding programmes and tax exemptions to benefit their monopolies.
The difficulties in managing the capitalist crisis, the unequal relations and competition inside the EU, inside the states and inside the bourgeoisie of each state itself are factors that lead to the emergence and development of what is known as ‘Euroscepticism”.
In essence, this expresses the interests and aims of sections of capital. However, this trend manifests itself in various forms. Nationalist, racist and fascist parties like, e.g. the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) of Farage, the National front of Lepen in France, the Alternative for Germany etc and similar formations in Austria, Hungary and Greece, e.g. Fascist Golden Dawn, are vehicles of “Euroscepticism”.
But the “Eurosceptic” trend is also expressed by parties that have a leftwing label, criticize or reject the EU and Euro, support a national currency and seek other imperialist alliances, with a strategy that operates within the framework of capitalism.

Dear comrades and friends,

Britain is a strong imperialist power; the wealth produced by its workers and recorded in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is more than 2.2 trillion Euros.
Britain joined the EEC in January 1973 and was its 7th member. This occurred in the context of intense confrontations especially with France that used its veto in 1961 and 1967 against British entry, in the period of De Gaulle’s presidency, who called Britain “the Trojan Horse of the USA inside Europe”.
Historically, powerful sections of the British bourgeoisie have expressed their opposition to basic axes of ‘European unification”.
While it has ratified the Maastricht Treaty and the other treaties, it does not participate in the Eurozone, it has not signed the Schengen Agreement and has (for want of a better word) a special status with exemptions, like its non-participation in the European system of bank supervision and consolidation, rejecting in this way the monitoring of its banking and financial system i.e. the City of London, which is also the headquarters of major shipping companies belonging to Greek ship-owners.
The special agreement between the EU and Britain signed in February 2016 does not only concern the restriction of social benefits for immigrants and their children, but provides Britain with the ability to monitor its own financial institutions, putting a brake on the unification process.
The referendum of the 23rd of June that the Conservative government decided to call is a step beyond the usual referenda that took place in previous years regarding the approval of a treaty, like those held in France and Denmark in the 1990s, or the approval of the EU constitution, as carried out in France and Ireland in 2005.

Dear comrades and friends,

In order to examine the conditions in which powerful sections of British capital support the BREXIT, we must note that the impact of the law of uneven development led to a change in the correlation of forces inside the EU and this was intensely expressed during the crisis which clearly demonstrated that Germany was in a stronger competitive position than Britain, France and Italy.
At the same time, we witnessed changes at an international level in the positions of strong capitalist states at the expense of the USA and in China’s favour, which is playing a special role in the capitalist BRICS alliance together with Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa.
New sizeable markets are being formed; China’s transactions with Britain are worth more than 70 billion pounds.
Sections of the British bourgeoisie are worried about the direction and conditions of the large liberalized market being created by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership at the initiative of the USA and EU.
The recent intervention of Obama in favour of Britain remaining in the EU underscores the USA’s desire to have a loyal ally inside this predatory alliance and to jointly handle the developments regarding the TTIP. This demonstrates that in this phase the USA is taking the developments inside the EU very seriously and does not want disturbances that could negatively impact on the fragile international economic situation and the US economy itself.
In these conditions:
One section of the British bourgeoisie that supports the REMAIN vote assesses that it has the strength and robustness to meet the requirements of the competition inside the EU and identifies its interests with remaining in the EU, utilizing its historic exemptions and choosing to struggle in alliance with the USA for a better position in its competition with Germany.
The other section of the bourgeoisie that supports the LEAVE vote assesses that is at a disadvantage due to the strong presence of Germany and is impeded by the EU’s legal framework of restrictions and controls. It aims to form new conditions to maintain the markets it has already acquired and to win positions in new markets in the BRICS countries and elsewhere. It even looks to the formation of a centre in the framework of the British Commonwealth, which includes India, Australia, South Africa and other states that are former British colonies.
In any case, whether with a vote for REMAIN or LEAVE, the British bourgeoisie will continue to negotiate with the EU to serve its own interests.

Comrades and friends,

An expected and characteristic feature of the developments is the provision of millions of pounds worth of donations to the LEAVE and REMAIN campaigns by many businesses.
Amongst the powerful economic groups that support the campaign to remain in the EU are:
The Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and the majority of the members of the Institute of Directors.
Large property companies, like the media giant Bloomberg, banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citibank and other businesses.
At a political level REMAIN is supported by:
The Conservative Party and other bourgeois parties rallied in the official cross-party campaign “Britain Stronger in Europe”.
The Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been promoted as a people-friendly reformist, but has turned out to be a supporter of the EU and attempts to conceal the anti-people character of this predatory alliance. He claims that it brings jobs, protection for the workers, consumers and environment, advertising the benefits of investments and capitalist growth, regurgitating all the utopian positions of social-democracy that in reality is a pillar of support for the system of exploitation.
The Trades Union Congress of Britain (TUC) is in favour of remaining and is trying to turn reality on its head by presenting the EU as the champion of workers’ rights, demonstrating in a tangible way how dangerous reformist views and employer and government-led trade unionism are for the workers in every country. We can also see Mr. Varoufakis involving himself in the REMAIN campaign, a ridiculous sight if we remember his role in Greece. Of course, we will not comment further on this but restrict ourselves to noting that it is not new for the system to use such figures to deceive the people in a contemptible way.
BREXIT is supported by: the organization “Business for Britain” comprised of businessmen and leading executives.
Large private insurance, financial, software companies etc also participate in the LEAVE campaign.
The former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson participates in a block of MPS and ministers from the Conservative party in favour of LEAVE. Certain MPs from the Labour party also support a LEAVE vote.
The “Left Leave-Lexit campaign” has also been formed to campaign for a LEAVE vote, with the participation of the CP of Britain, other parties and trade unions from the transport, food, bakery sectors etc.
The CPB correctly characterizes the EU as a union of the monopolies and focuses on its anti-people character, arguing as a central conclusion of its analysis that the EU cannot be reformed.

Comrades and friends,

We warmly salute the communist men and women in Britain and Ireland and we assess that a large section of the working class, popular strata and youth support a vote to leave the EU.
The communist movement must utilize the contradictions in the imperialist camp, reinforcing its independent ideological and political struggle that will draw strength from and be nourished by the struggle to overthrow monopoly power.
This is of particular importance because if we think about what the next day will be like in Britain, we can note that whatever block of bourgeois forces prevails, power will remain in the hands of the bourgeoisie, the working class and popular strata will remain victims of the anti-people political line and capitalist exploitation. Britain will fulfill its obligations to NATO and participate in the imperialist war plans.
Unemployment and under-employment will continue in capitalist Britain, zero-hour contracts that already torment 800,000 workers will increase, the cuts in salaries and social services will continue to cover the primary surplus of 3.5 billion pounds until 2020.
Compulsory unpaid leave, the threats of dismissals, the actual layoffs will continue as they do in the Ford car company and the energy giant Npower.
Thousands of workers will pay a high price for the system’s contradictions, monopoly competition, the crisis in important sectors as is being demonstrated by the example of the steel industry and the developments in the Indian company Tata Steel that is facing fierce competition from Chinese monopolies.
And all this in conditions when Britain is in a phase of economic growth, with an increase in wealth and the sharpening of the contradiction between capital and labour that is preparing the ground for the next capitalist crisis.

Dear comrades and friends,

Many states are not members of the EU, many bourgeois governments of various shades have tried out different forms of management, but their common denominator in every continent is the accumulation of wealth on the one side and poverty on the other, the maintenance of the exploitation of man by man.
When we have such rich experience, including the experience provided by the referendum in Britain and the division of the monopoly groups into the REMAIN and LEAVE camps, in the service of their own interests, we can more decisively confront the illusion that withdrawal from the EU and the Euro on its own can be a step or stepping stone to radical changes and ruptures without posing the conditions that connect the necessary condemnation of the EU and disengagement from it with the struggle for capitalism’s overthrow, for socialism.
Because this is the absolutely necessary precondition for the socialization and the taking into people’s ownership of the means of productions, the instruments of economic development, mineral wealth, energy, telecommunications, transport, land, retail. It is the necessary precondition for the development of scientific central planning and for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people, abolishing the base that gives rise to capitalist profit and exploitation.
We should think about the value building socialism in a powerful capitalist country like Britain, where the material preconditions for the construction of the new society are overly ripe and show the way forwards. We should think about the major impact such an enormous development would have and what serious responsibilities the working classes in countries that are at the summit of the imperialist pyramid have to fight against their co-option by the system and to stand tall and defiant.

Dear comrades and friends,

The KKE denounced the EEC and its political line ever since this organization was founded in 1957. It voted against our country’s accession to the EU and the Maastricht treaty and all these years consistently comes into conflict with this union of monopolies.
The communist movement will multiply its strength and the dynamics of the class struggle to the extent that it regroups itself on a revolutionary basis and makes its mark on the development of the antimonopoly-anticapitalist struggle in each country, acquiring the capacity to concentrate forces for the overthrow of the old capitalist system and for the construction of socialism.
The disengagement from the EU and NATO with workers’ power in Greece and each European country will be a contribution to the internationalist struggle of the peoples, will lay the foundations for a Europe of socialism and will pave the way for the abolition of exploitation, the eradication of unemployment and poverty, for people’s prosperity.”

“Clinton makes History”: CPUSA’s opportunist transformation

June, 9 2016CPUSA Hillary Clinton

COMMENTARY

The transformation of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) into an opportunist political organisation has been a long process. Since 1988, the CPUSA endorses the candidates of the bourgeois Democratic Party: Dukakis (1988), Clinton (1992, 1996), Gore (2000), Kerry (2004), Obama (2008, 2012). In an article published yesterday on ‘People’s World’, the presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton is presented as “a major milestone in the fight for women’s rights”. Once again, CPUSA endorses a political representative of the U.S. monopoly capital and a war criminal. What a shame really for a party with such a long, significant history and close ties with the U.S labour movement.

Hillary Clinton, like Donald Trump, is a choice of the U.S. monopoly capital, of the country’s bourgeois class, for the position of the President. Mrs.Clinton’s service as Obama government’s Foreign Secretary is known and has been proved disastrous: Libya, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, Yemen. The people of these countries know, better than anyone, what Imperialism means and what was Clinton’s contribution in war crimes.

However, we aren’t surprised by the choice of CPUSA to become a ‘left’ wing of the bourgeois Democratic Party. Despite it’s self-identification as a party devoted to the principles of Marxism-Leninism (CPUSA Program, 19 May 2006), the CPUSA has actually abandoned scientific socialism, thus being transformed into a social-democratic political organisation. What kind of ‘communist’ would endorse Obama or Clinton? What kind of ‘marxist-leninist’ would accept to participate in a game of choice between Scylla (Democrats) and Charybdis (Republicans)? Does it make any fundamental difference for the U.S. working class if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump become President of the country?

The CPUSA leadership’s policy fosters illusions and disorientate the U.S. working class from the real aim which must be the struggle for Socialism. Furthermore, the entrapment of the U.S. working class in a choice between “Democrats and Republicans” or “Clinton and Sanders”, consist a clear betrayal of the Marxist-Leninist principles and an opportunistic demagogy which works in favor of the bourgeois establishment.

We strongly denounce the CPUSA endorsement of Hillary Clinton and call the working class, the low-income people of the United States to avoid being trapped in the bipolarism of “Democrats vs Republicans”. The only choice of the U.S. labour movement is to reject opportunism and move towards the revival of the Marxist-Leninist ideals, for a society without exploitation, for the final victory of the American people over capitalist barbarity.

In Defense of Communism, 9 June 2016.

Ministry of Education attempt to whitewash and exonerate fascism

AKEL masthead

Statement by Christos Christofides, member of Political Bureau and Head of Education Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 7th June 2016, Nicosia

After the decision taken by the Ministry of Education for our children to pay visits to the underground hideout of Grivas and to ban the presence of the Bicommunal choir at a school, the Ministry of Education and Culture has now chosen to engage in anti-communist propaganda in the History exam essay included in the pan-Cyprus exams and to try to whitewash and exonerate fascism.

This anti-historic and provocative approach to equate fascism – Nazism with communism and socialism has provoked disgust and indignation. Characteristically as demonstrated by the proposed solutions of the essay “the candidate receives an excellent mark if he/she identifies fascism and Nazism with communism and demonstrates that the communist party (!) and socialist ideas (!) led to the emergence of authoritarian regimes.” (The exclamations are ours). We don’t know which anti-historic “historians” are proceeding to such wordings, but it is obvious that this represents unashamed propaganda which contradicts the very references included in the book of the Third Lukeio (Lyceum).

We are very concerned about the new attempt by the Ministry of Education to conduct ideological propaganda because it comes at a time when fascism both in Cyprus and in Europe is on the rise. Not only are certain circles and forces apparently not concerned, but perhaps, consciously or unconsciously, it pleases them.

1

The KKE is fighting for Greece’s disengagement from the EU and NATO with workers’ power

Interview of the MEP of the KKE, Sotiris Zarianopoulos, with the Russian newspaper IZVESTIA

There is a scandal around the already approved plan of economic reforms proposed by the party in power, “Syriza”. As it turned out after the plan has been carried out hastily through Parliament, it contains a clause that allows the country’s top officials to own offshore companies. Party and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is now accused of bad faith and a departure from its own commitment to fight corruption. Could you give your reaction? Why your party think this item needs to be?
Answer: The SYRIZA-ANEL government has also been exposed by the unacceptable governmental provision concerning offshore companies, which it later withdrew. Nevertheless, the KKE stressed in Parliament that the offshore companies, the tax havens, the multifaceted privileges of capital are integral to the rotten system of exploitation today and are being reinforced in every way by the EU, which is a reactionary anti-people union. For this reason the government and the other bourgeois parties do not dare to even look at the proposals of the KKE for the abolition of the confidentiality of shares and the naming of the shareholders. We have no illusions that any provisions in the conditions of capital’s dominance can deal with the decay and corruption that is a fundamental characteristic of the capitalist system. It is in its DNA.
However, this is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is comprised of the endless barbaric measures, which the people are paying for, so that the country can get out of the capitalist crisis. The government bears grave responsibilities for the tax raids it has unleashed against the popular strata, for reductions in salaries and pensions, for the destruction of the system of public healthcare, education, social security etc.KKE_demonstration
The KKE plays a leading role in the people’s struggle against this anti-people “storm”.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Xydakis considers that EU sanctions against Russia will be extended. What do you think about that?
Answer: The sanctions, which have been imposed by the USA, EU and their allies againstRussia, and alsoRussia’s response, are integrated into the more general framework of the sharpening of the confrontation, which has manifested itself over the control of energy resources, energy pipelines and the transport routes for commodities, over the market shares. This development is not only related to the situation inUkraine, the basis for these sanctions, but extends to the Balkans, the Easter Mediterranean, the Middle East, and theCaucasus. This is a situation that can have very dangerous consequences for the peoples.
From the very first moment, our party, the KKE, stressed that sanctions above all are damaging for the working class and popular strata and clearly have no positive outcomes. And as regards this issue as well, the SYRIZA-ANEL government, actively participating in the plans of the EU and NATO, works against the interests of the workers and other popular strata of our country.

Greece has become the main beneficiary of the ban on flights from Russia to Turkey and Egypt. Do you think that it will compensate the loss of the Russian sanctions?
Answer: The negative effects of such sanctions for the popular strata cannot be balanced by the profits acquired by some businessmen in other sectors of the economy. The damage caused to, for example, to the poor farmers, who exported their products toRussia, cannot be compensated for by the increase of the flow of tourists fromRussia.

A ban on the import of European goods was extended until the end of 2017. What do you think, how much it will affect the economy of Greece?
Answer: As a communist party, we are not interested in the economic situation in a general and vague sense, but we are primarily interested in the economic situation of the workers, the other popular strata, like the poor farmers. We assess that the continuation of the sanctions, in combination with the other anti-people measures being taken by the Greek government, like the enormous tax increases, are creating an unbearable burden for the popular strata.

Greece informed its European and overseas lenders that will not be able to perform some of their additional requirements in exchange for a new financial aid. What do you think? Whether it is in the EU’s decision to provide financial aid to affect?
Answer: Finally the government agreed to everything with the European and overseas imperialists. On our part, we assess that this not some form of “financial aid”, but, as was the case in previous years, new economic burdens that the workers and their children will be called on to shoulder in the next period, paying for a public debt that they did not create, but that was created by the anti-people governments which took and continue to take loans in order to finance the activities of various businessmen. The KKE takes a position against this “vicious circle” and struggles for the unilateral cancellation of the debt,Greece’s disengagement from the EU and NATO, with the working class and people in power.

-Greece has promised to provide multiple-entry visas for Russians of 3-5 years duration, as long as they have visited Schengen countries. What does this mean? What do you think? Will this increase the flow of tourists from Russia to Greece?
Answer: If this proves to be true, it will demonstrate that in the past there existed unutilized possibilities regarding the simplification of procedures that torment those who wish to visit our country. Allow me to say that the KKE is opposed to Schengen, which is above all a mechanism to restrict democratic rights and is integrated into the plans to monitor and repress the people’s movements. Of course such a development in theory could contribute to the increase in the flow of tourists fromRussia, even if other factors are also involved in this issue that could impede this, such as the level of workers’ incomes inRussiaor the attempts by businessmen in the tourist sector, airlines etc. to increase their profit margins. Unfortunately, in the conditions of capitalism, the question of the visa is not today the only obstacle to the workers being able to enjoy time to rest, to go on holiday and discover new places.

– Europe already understands that sanctions must not be connected to the Minsk Agreement. In addition there is an understanding that the Minsk Agreement is not being implemented by Ukraine: elections are not taking place and neither are reforms to the Constitution. Don’t you think that sanctions should be imposed on Ukraine, which is not meeting its obligations that it undertook by signing the Minsk text? Something that it has promised its foreign partners it would do.
Answer: The interests (economic and geopolitical) that are coming into conflict inUkraine are enormous and did not stop clashing with each other because of the Minsk Agreement, which contains a so-called “creative lack of clarity” so that each side can interpret it as it wishes. It was a ceasefire agreement that did not resolve the issue, which was created in the framework of capitalism. This framework allows the land, raw material and labour force to become commodities and consequently an “apple of discord” for energy monopolies and other monopolies as well. In short, the solution for the peoples is not to be found in the illusion that agreements and sanctions can impose peace. The solution can be found in the struggle to overthrow capitalist barbarity, to construct a socialist society. The peoples ofRussia andUkraine have significant positive experiences from the existence of theUSSR, its colossal social achievements and the internationalist friendship among the peoples. This experience must be utilized.

07.06.2016

The communists need to struggle decisively and methodologically against imperialism

Special interview with Makis Papadopoulos, member of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Greece, responsible for the Ideology Department.
ICP, 01 June 2016

Makis Papadopoulos, member of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Greece

Makis Papadopoulos, member of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Greece


ICP: As a result of the protocol that exists between CP of Greece and CP, Turkey you came to give a seminar on imperialism to the cadres of CP, Turkey. Do you think that the seminar was productive?
Makis Papadopoulos: The seminar itself proves the substantial and fraternal cooperation in the relationship of the two parties. CP of Greece (KKE) and CP, Turkey (KP) in order to develop a revolutionary strategy they realize the need of a new theoretical analysis in the Marxist-Leninist approach. This seminar was productive because it gave us the chance to clarify the Leninist approach of our party and to debate certain critical points of the topic. At a period which the antagonism among the inter-imperialist centers is intensifying and with NATO getting more aggressive, thus there is a risk of a more general war, the communist parties need to be alert to act in time.
ICP: How do you define shortly the imperialist system of the modern world? Do you think that there are differences in relation to the period of Lenin?
MP: The position of Lenin on imperialism, the reactionary stage of the rotten capitalism is proved to be true today more than ever. Today, the contradiction between capital and labour and the parasitic role of capital is deepening more and more. Certain shareholders-parasites that have no direct relation with the function and the organization of these enterprises they gain enormous profits.
According to Lenin, the characteristics of monopoly capitalism in the international imperialist system are the common characteristics of the capitalist states. These are: the domination of international monopoly unions, the creation of financial oligarchy, the increasing role of capital export, the competition in the re-distribution of new markets and territories of economic importance.
In some wrong analysis of the Leninist approach, only a handful of powerful countries are defined as imperialist ones. But according to the actual Leninist approach not only the countries in the top of the imperialist pyramid apply imperialistic policies. The imperialistic actions for example of Belgium, Denmark and Italy prove this. Especially in this modern world we will not be able to understand in comprehension the complexity of the global capitalist economy, if we limit the analysis with the actions of the countries, which are at the top of the imperialistic pyramid. For example, look at the decreasing role of G7 countries in the last 15 years. Moreover, if we try to evaluate the developments in Middle East without taking into consideration the plans and the effects that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel have on the region, we shall certainly make wrong conclusions.
Supporting that we are in a new era of ‘globalization’ in which the power of multinational firms is increasing and the inter-dependence among the capitalist countries widening, is also wrong. These facts reflect the internationalization of capital mobility. On the other hand, these tendencies do not eliminate the law of unequal development and the national-state structure of the economy. Regarding the two military camps in East Mediterranean we can easily understand the course in the intensification of inter-imperialist antagonism.
ICP: In this perspective how do you define the relationship between USA and Germany? For example, do you think that the crisis in Volkswagen was a result of a competition between the monopolies? Or, do you think that it is based on the strategic contradiction between the imperialist centers?
MP: It is not the first time that the USA contributes to bring to the foreground scandals, which strike economically a German company. Besides Volkswagen, there are also the examples of Siemens and Deutche Bank, which clearly give signals of ‘an economic war’ between the USA and Germany. The internationally continuous change in the balance of powers among countries is intensifying the conflicts more and more. At the last 15 years the proportion of the Eurozone in the Gross Global Product has shown a smaller decrease than the USA. As far as the role of Russia and China on the German economy is concerned, USA still being the leading country, has proportionately increased.
Moreover, the USA is supporting the pressure that the French and Italian governments apply on the German government to change the monetary policy. The USA at the same time is playing the leading role on the sanctions on Russia, which strike the German interests. Also, the reaction of the German bourgeoisie on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Project is of big importance. This project in an aspect aims ‘an economic-NATO alliance’ while the German and French bourgeoisie suggests that the American proposal is in an aspect ‘a Trojan Horse’. It is clearly seen that in the context of the European-Atlantic imperialist camp, which NATO represents, the inter-imperialist conflicts between the USA and Germany are intensifying.
ICP: Where do you position China in this system?
MP: As we pointed out 10 years ago in our 17th Congress, China has strengthened its capitalist production relations and opened its economy to the international capitalist markets especially after being a member of Global Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund. These tendencies have increased since then. The Chinese economy is motivated from the capitalistic profits and not from the social needs. China, today, carries all the characteristics of a powerful monopoly capitalist state, a creditor state and a leading force in the imperialist pyramid.
The last fifteen years the economic force balance between the USA and China, in relation to their proportion to the Gross Global Product and their trade flow, has changed in the advantage of the latter.
China and the interstate capitalistic alliances that it participates in, like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, are competing with other imperialist centers such as the USA and the EU, for the re-distribution of new markets and territories of economic importance. The initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) is pointing out the attempt of a free trade zone aiming to unite Chine with the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa. The formation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an answer to the American dominance in the World Bank and IMF.
After the retard in the Chinese economy, the state has proceeded to a restructure of the state industry sacking six million workers, while the access of the people to free social supplies such as health and education has been limited. The developments, in the total prove the domination of capitalist relations of production in China.
ICP: Do you think that in the near future USA and its allies shall declare a war to China, Russia and their neighbour countries? In this context, how do you evaluate the summit of NATO that will take place this summer in Warsaw?
MP: We cannot foresee that. But we can tell for sure that the over-accumulated capital that cannot be turned into a profitable investment is increasing in the modern international imperialist system. None of the imperialist centers can easily and effectively secure a bankruptcy of any bourgeois state or a large banking group. On this economic context the conflicts among imperialist centres for the control and the re-distribution of markets, energy sources and generally of territories with big economic significance, such as the sea-based hydrocarbon sources in East Mediterranean and the land-based sources in Middle East. These conflicts penetrate today the international negotiations among the imperialist centers about the borders and the sovereignty rights of the countries in Eurasia, and the confronting of big issues such as the Cyprus, the Kurdish and the Palestinian issue.
The temporary compromise between the USA and Russia in the wider region is quite fragile, if we also take into consideration the new possibility of the USA to export energy. Still, the military exercises of NATO suggest the preparation to a new intervention in Libya.
The fortification of NATO’s fleets in Aegean See, the new steps towards the fortification of NATO in Baltic See, the activation of the antimissile shield in Romania and the Summit of NATO scheduled to take place in Warsaw this summer with the topic, enhance the ‘stability’ beyond the borders of NATO, are indications of the escalation in the aggression of Euroatlantism.
The ally forces of USA such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia seem unpleased with this temporary compromise between the USA and Russia, and they contribute to the further intensification of their conflicts.

ICP: What kind of possibilities do the competition and the contradictions among the imperialist countries open do the leading parties of the working class?
MP: The communists need to struggle decisively and methodologically so that the working class does not follow the bourgeois class, not get trapped and not conciliate with one of the competing imperial alliances. Only in this condition, can they evaluate the conflicts among the imperial centers for the benefit of the peoples’ interests, to topple with a revolutionary action the bourgeois class in each country. The everyday political struggle for people’s rights and needs to deter the imperialist war, should not be detached from the main revolutionary task, the aim of a socialist government. At the same time, we should strengthen the coordination as the communist parties and the working class movement need to act in common in an anti-monopolist – anti-capitalist orientation. In this orientation, the close fraternal cooperation of the CP’s in Turkey and Greece gains a special significance. The common declarations that we have made since March 2011 show the way to organize the struggle against NATO, the bourgeois classes of the two countries from the aspect of the people’s interest.

06.06.2016
http://icp.sol.org.tr