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(Note: This tape was transcribed by Isaac Zukin. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)
Jones: (starts mid-sentence) –that is directly allied with the Soviet Union, they’ve been doing a great deal these days, they’ve been praised by our own Prime Minister, Dr. [Forbes] Burnham, for its work of liberation in Africa. As you know, Dr. Burnham is now, in a matter of few days, a delegation of our government leaders, going to the Soviet Union and North Korea. We will, as you know, we want to be prepared for our guest. Any day we’ll be having visitors from United States as well as the Soviet embassy and the Cuban Embassy and the North Korean Embassy, as we are more and more getting to know and have friendship and bonds of eternal solidarity with Third World nations. We have one nation representative Zimbabweans coming, we have Yugoslavian embassy that has been more and more active in the arena of Third World politics and the demand for African liberation. (pause)
But the open acceptance of basic capitalist economic philosophy by a leading Communist political figure was hailed by employers throughout Italy. Workers at the Innocenti car factory who had waged a yearlong struggle against mass firings found photocopies of the [Luciano] Lama interview posted by the boss on their bulletin board. For some employers however, it was good but not good enough. Guido Carli, Chairman of the uh, Italy’s Manufacturers Association– Stand by.
(Microphone clicks off and on)
He commented, the head of the It– Italy’s Manufacturers Association, Carli commented, Luciena– Luciano Lama knows enough economics to take the first year exam at the University. I’m not sure he knows enough to pass it. Carli asked for an official Communist Party of Italy and union declaration that they no longer advocate the hegemony of the working class in society till they get it. So-called Communist Luciano Lama’s line caused division and uncertainty among rank-and-file workers and even within the union’s leadership. He scored a triumph however at the PCI Communist Workers Conference in Naples – Napoli – at the end of February. Both his speech and that of Bur– [Enrico] Berlinguer, the Prime Minister of Italy [Secretary General of Italian Communist Party]–
Note I’m discussing Italy– Yo– you should study the word– world map, as we give special prizes and honors of opportunity for education and travel as our cooperative progresses, and we must work for self-sufficiency because we want to extend more free medical care to our beautiful neighbors as we are now doing, several dozen a day but it’s very expensive. Free medicines and medical care is outrageously expensive, and all of us now are having to cut back on medications. But free medical care will always be the rule of law of this socialist cooperative, and will be extended to our good neighbors, our Guyanese brothers and sisters in Port Kaituma and all around the surrounding area.
And that’s the least we can do, ‘cause we are Guyanese, and we are grateful that we were allowed to develop this great jungle community and build a cooperative. We must show a great deal of interest in education now so that we can elevate our political consciousness, and thus when we have a political consciousness, we will develop our cooperative more extensively, and in the meantime, your rewards will be confined to special treats, desserts and so forth, but later educational opportunities. The Soviet Union has offered to (unintelligible word) some of our youth, free, the opportunity to go this summer. We’re in the selective process now as to who will represent this cooperative.
And we were talking about Italy and we want to know now– This is the main subject of the news today is Italy, and the strange role of the Communist Party, the PCI that’s moved from two years of keeping the Christian Democratic capitalist in power by abstaining in Parliament, to now a position of active support, but according to even the British capitalist press, got very precious little in return. It’s a very hard thing to understand, that Marxist-Leninist would make moves – pragmatic moves are justified – but moves that would not in some way greatly strengthen the working class goals of better conditions. Jobs. Guaranteed employment. Health and sharing of the wealth. At least this is one point of view, this is not necessarily law.
Stand by, I have to be interrupted from time to time by radio or telephones or other m– matters of discussion. Stand by– (pause)
Anyway, the workers’ position has weakened, according to this article. It is taught– the party head had declared that the PCI was both a conservative and a revolutionary party. The Communist Party was what, a both a conservative and revolutionary party? Difficult combination. He did not explain this, but the Communist Party, known in Italy as PCI, has seemed to thrive on such verbal contradictions. Its former self-definition was a government party and a struggle party. The workers apparently accepted this line, (Microphone clicks off and on) because they see it as a means by which the PCI, Communist Party in Italy, will pass from opposition into government. Lama– [Enrico] Berlinguer, Prime Minister of Italy now, and other leaders explain that the working class must accept firings, wage cuts and the loss of control over workplace organization, because they are now so strong they are running the country in a transition to socialism. Now that’s hogwash, if that indeed is the position of the Communist Party of Italy. They can never justify the working class accepting firings, wage cuts and the loss of control over workplace organization. The working class can never afford to sell out any part of the working class and maintain hope for succeeding in non-violent revolutionary justice. But what appears as a victory to the Communist Party of Italy strategists is seen as the consequence of a defeat by the rank-and-file. As a worker from the (struggles to pronounce Italian place names, sounds like Monte Densen) chemical works in Porto Mangoria [phonetic] put it: “We can no longer sustain the shame then– and same demands as when we were stronger.”
Stand by. (Microphone clicks off and on)
Now says the Communist Party of Italy and the unions grow more powerful, the workers’ position is weakened. But since the Communist Party, known as PCI in Italy, is still in the main regarded by its base as their party, there has not yet been a widespread internal rebellion against the leadership. But the proposed program of the renewed Andreotti government, Prime Minister [Giulio] Andreotti, now prime minister– former Prime Minister [Aldo] Moro is being held as hostage for the release of political prisoners by the radical Red Brigade, as you know, and the dropping of what is considered, even by less critical ana– analysts as being a political trial in Turin, Italy of some several young socialists. But the proposed program of the renewed Andreotti, Prime Minister of Italy’s government is so backwards, says the West Chan– West Manchester Guardian of It– England, that the PCI, Communist-led unions, will likely be forced by rank-and-file anger into opposing the administration which the party supports. A look at the terms for PCI’s vote of confidence shows why it is. In line with Lamas– the so-called deputy communist leader of the PCI, the Communist Party of Italy– In line with Lamas’ substantial sacrifice declaration, there will be increased taxes, reduced pensions, more aid to faltering private businesses without any additional state control and more power to the national police that are known for their outright hero worship of Benito Mussolini, the founder of present-day world Fascism, that led a fascist dictatorship that invaded– aggressively took over the great black nation of Ethiopia that has now recently found its independence through the assistance– although it’s certainly the fighting force of black Ethiopia that has gained its independence. Ethiopia is at the Horn of Africa, as you know, and is a socialist republic, a socialist cooperative republic modeled somewhat similar to Guyana and Cuba. And Cuba and the Soviet Union have given it aid in defending itself from the aggression, even that the United States’ Andrew Young, United Nations Ambassador has admitted, the aggression of Somalia, the Arab nation also at the Horn of Africa. Somalia, as you know, attempted to take over the Ogaden and they were successfully pushed out by the brave Ethiopian people in defense of their revolution, with the assistance of Cuban and Soviet aid. (pause) One has to be extremely careful, that one can use the name Communist or socialist, and the– the system, the perpetrators of imperialism and class domination and monopoly capitalist elitism can actually infiltrate those movements, and whatever their name, though they call themselves socialist, or in this case, Pa– the Party Communist Italy– the Communist Party of Italy. What we’re hearing here, if indeed this article (unknown Italian name) special from Italy to the Manchester Guardian about the Communist Party of Italy. If it is true, you’re finding that even though they are labeling themselves Communist, they are talking like revisionist. In fact some of their declarations sound like a– a liberalized version of capitalism at best, and even a conservative version of capitalism at worst, as for instance the Communist Party of Italy’s motto, that they’re both a conservative and a revolutionary party. That seems like a contradiction to any socialist. But I’m giving you, as I say, both sides of all points of view. Then I will give you my commentary, and it’s up to you to make your own decision, and that’s what we are here for: free people to decide our own destinies, our own views, that’s why we decide all matters by participatory democracy in our town forum, and decide even from the smallest matte– matter of agriculture and in line with [Viola Burnham] the prime minister’s good wife, we involve women at every level and even children. As the Chronicle’s has asked us for a special article – the Guyana Chronicle – on how we involve so many people, children and women in the effective administration of this project. We are giving them this article, showing that all of us participate totally and completely and freely in the town forum meeting each week in deciding all phases, and that every person who can read and write, be they a youngster or someone – our oldest member hundred and eight years of age – can participate in the decision-making and the voting on all policy for Jonestown community.
So I’m just giving my point of view and you can compare it with yours, then b– be sure geographically at least you locate the area of the world that I’m talking about. Italy of course is the center of much activity. Perhaps again a repeat of fifty years ago almost, or forty years, when Mussolini’s fascist forces were warring with Communist elements, and fascism finally won. Fascism has a strong hold in Italy in the national police. And then they have a terrorist group of police that go around and kill and intimidate like has been reported in Brazil, intimidate people who take Marxist positions, although this condition has been greatly improved in Brazil.
According to Guyana Chronicle, Brazil is moving more and more away from an imperialist posu– posture. According to the New Nation, the organ of our Peoples National Congress, Brazil is moving away from being the bastion of U.S. capitalist interest in South America and imperialist domination, and moving more and more into a position of support of Third World liberation. Even the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s international headquarters are in Brazil, our neighbor to the south. According to the PNC, the Peoples National Congress, our ruling party – our prime minister to whom we are devoted – through the organ of the New Nation, the party newspaper, says that now imperialism– U.S. me– imperialism has moved to Chile as a means of trying to increase its tentacles of economic stranglehold on the South American continent, because Brazil, rich nation much larger than the size of the United States– size, uh, larger than the U– United States by the s– state of Texas twice, and you have some idea of the vastness of this rich continent of which we are now members as citizens, residents of this beautiful country of Guyana. Brazil is just to the south of us, not very far. (unintelligible word) a hundred miles, at one point where it reaches up. Brazil formerly was a very fascist, militaristic, led by military junta, but it’s moderated, it’s now receiving Soviet aid, and it has a much more humane policy towards the Third World, though it is still a military dictatorship. But according to the PNC, Peoples National Congress of Guyana, through this New Nation and the Chronicle, as I said, it is not now being used as the bastion for U.S. to export its control over South America or other imperialist powers to dominate the South American continent. U.S. imperialism and its lackeys have had to move to Chile to be able to export capitalist– monopoly capitalist control over the wealth of the working class.
Stand by. (pause)
A look at the terms for the Communist Party of Italy’s vote of confidence shows why, in line with deputy leader of the Communist Party Lamas’ substantial sacrifices, declaration, there will be increased taxes, as I said, reduced pensions, more aid to faltering private businesses without any additional state control and more power to the police. A dangerous position, in this commentary – in my opinion – for Marxists to take. Particularly give more power to national police who are against socialism as they are in Italy and have definite fascist domination from old guard people who still eulogize and worship the late Benitu– Benito Mussolini who was a cohort and ally of Adolf Hitler, and the fascist dictator of Italy before he was killed when the people revolted, and he was hung upside down and died in that fashion, as you recall. ‘Spite of being rescued once by Adolf Hitler, he was recaptured by the working class as they overthrew the d– domination of imperialism upon their soil, and he was executed by the people as the Allies landed in Italy and were freeing Italy from the domination of Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party. Finally when Benito Mussolini failed, and his Fascist party failed in its hold on Italy, the Germans outright took over in a m– military administration, the Nazis did, until finally they were defeated in World War II.
But both crime and political violence have increased tremendously in Italy over the last few years. In part this is due to the lack of credible opposition– Marxist opposition, socialist opposition. This political vacuum has attracted a growing number of young people to an ultra-left line which considers terrorism, says the Manchester Guardian, the only available political tool. The violence is also becoming prevalent within the left. Recently a militant of the left organization Lotta Continua was beaten nearly to death in Milan by a gang of members of the Worker’s Movement for Socialism. In Rome, meanwhile, a pregnant PCI – Communist Party of Italy’s – member was badly beaten on March seventeen by militants of the Workers Autonomy Organization. This is a fascist organization, so you’ve got violence on both left and right. As the recent violence is taking the form of criminal elements, joining with the National Police while off duty, fascists – and they say they will take recriminations – will actually kill members of socialist movements who have been jailed, or families, or children, of socialist activists in Italy. Italy is in indeed a state of turmoil– turmoil.
Of course the whole world is, due to the economic war, but particularly a trade war going on in the capitalist countries, such as between Japan and USA, where United States’ trade deficit is getting very severe because USA is having to import more than it exports. A new change for U.S. economic imperialism, and Japan refuses to balance trade and give up their protectionist policies. According to the OECD, the Economic Authority Cooperative that controls the 24 major capitalist nations, it is their opinion that there will be a major world economic depression, unless West Germany and Japan can some way leave their protectionist trade policies, so that USA can balance its trade deficit. USA, as I said, has to import more than it exports, and that is leading to serious inflation, increased layoffs, as in US Steel and in various related industries – auto industries– there’re a number of layoffs as you know, unemployment is growing rapidly in the United States, and the cost of living is almost out of hand.
Stand by. (brief pause)
I’ve just weaving in a little bit of past commentary so that we can relate to the total political international situation.
Anyway, this violence and unrest and economic disorder is not just confined to Italy. It’s also in the United States. Anyway, militants of the Workers Autonomy Organization have been brutalizing even relatives of socialists in Italy. And a meeting of the People’s of the Party Communistic– Italy– the Communist Party of Italy’s youth and unemployed at Rome University, was attacked by squads of the same organization on the same day. Repression increases in Italy, which is also, you know, the headquarters of the Catholic Church. The Vatican is a state outside of Rome that is actually an independent sovereign territory, from which the Pope of Rome oversees the Catholic Church of the world.
Terrorism is one of the most publicized aspects of the current political situation. It is used by the government to move public opinion to the right, towards fascism, and to blackmail the left– or whitemail the left. There’s also a real problem: over the last four or five years, the only official response has been inc– increased repression, more and more dictatorial laws and repressive totalitarianism on the part of the National Police and the Army. While the Communist Party of Italy was initially reluctant, it is now joined in the course and is vocal in demanding more special jails and preventive police measures. Preventative arrests, such as in USA where you can be held for 90 days without being charged, and then if you are considered likely to commit a crime again, you can be– increased another 90 days, it’s almost like the dreaded fascist laws of apartheid– South Africa– at the tip of South Africa, where our people are living in virtual concentration camps, under the worst forms of segregation and treatment of minorities since Nazi Germany, in which Hitler murdered seven million minorities in gas chambers.
Stand by. (pause)
As you know, these preventative measures are being enhanced in United States. Senator [Alan] Cranston is sending out in a letter of alert throughout the entire nation – Senator Cranston of California – saying that the passage of Senate Bill 1437, a repressive police measure, he says, is bringing USA into a fascist state, and he’s calling on desperate measures to stop passage of this bill that is already passed the Senate 75 to 15, he’s calling for desperate measures to resist it before it passes the House of Representatives, though it is expected to pass. And as you know, Senate Bill 1437 is just a revisal– a masquerade of Senate Bill 1 that is indeed a measure called by most progressive thinkers in United States that will put United States in a police state governmental situation.
Stand by. (pause)
Anyway, the Communist Party, according to Man– Manchester Guardian of England has gone along with these preventative police measures – again a mistake – special jails for dissenters. In coming to an agreement on the formation of a new government, the Communist Party of Italy has also conceded or agreed to the dissolution of the Democratic Police Union, another great mistake. The police will still have a union, (microphone turns off and on) but it will be required to remain separate from the national unions, thus preventing an organized link with the working class, which is necessary in bringing about liberation of a people, that the police be a part of the working class, that people recognize their police as working class members and that they get support from the working class. But an effort of the ruling class – the monopoly capitalists of Italy – have tricked the people, even the Communist Party into supporting a labor union for the police that separates them from the major trade union movement in the nation. As you know, our rule of thumb: in order for a socialist liberation to take place in a country, there have to be three major ingredients: independent strong trade unions, strong socialist parties, and even (unintelligible word) dissent and opposition, strong, Marxist, Leninist parties. Thus in the words of The Economist of England, the new government program contains precious little a British Conservative would sniff at, or a right wing U.S. John Bircher would find disagreeable. But selling it to this country’s hard-pressed working class may prove another story in Italy, it is hoped by the Marxist, Leninist and socialist of the world. In Milan, another city in Italy for example where 2000 candy workers at the Unidall [phonetic] plants were being laid off with the agreement of the union, a meeting of angry workers chased the local union leader off the speaker’s platform and out the door, and beat his head with a few welts by wives of union members that were waiting out on the streets. The action came the day after Luciano Lamas’ instructions on the necessity for substantial sacrifices to bail out Italian capitalism was made. Remember Luciano Lama is the deputy leader of the Communist Party of Italy, calling on strange demands for the working class.
The GCIO embraces the AFL-CIO. This is a very dangerous move. As you know, the AFL-CIO is under George Meany who has noted– been noted to channel CIA monies to other areas of the world to subj– subvert their constitutional governments. AFL-CIO Meany is a big boss of capitalism. He refused to give any support from the union war chest, reserved for people who strike against injustice. George Meany, USA head of AFL-CIO, refused to help the striking miners that went bravely for 115 days until their children were actually suffering from starvation nearly, at least gross malnutrition. They tried to hold out, but their union funds would not support them, their claims, and would not allow for any further distribution of food, and the Independent Communist Union, the garments union workers in New York that tried to give them support, carrying food in trucks to them from New York to West Virginia was arrested and the leaders of the garment union, the only free union really left in the United States, because the trade un– trade union movement, as we know it in Guyana strong, healthy and free, is dead. The unions have been brought under the power of the state by the big bosses, and George Meany is a top boss who receives a wage of better than a hundred thousand dollars a year and many payolas and bribes by the ruling class, and he always dances on the puppet strings of the elitist monopoly capitalists in the senile stages of capitalism in USA.
But now there is the major trade union embraces the AFL-CIO in Italy, the GCIL. Meanwhile the Communist Partly– Party of Italy has taken another step designed to demonstrate its independence from the M– Moscow Federation of Communists, the Warsaw Pact, according to the Manchester Guardian. The ruling council of the GCIL voted March 28th to end its membership in the World Federation of Trade Unions, the WFTU, one of the more important of the international organizations in the Soviet alliance, the Warsaw Pact. And again I said, you know the Soviet presence that’s been praised even by our own prime minister for aid, particularly the praise has come to the Cuban presence for its aid given in Angola, and you remember when our own government, Guyana’s government under the good leadership of Dr. Burnham, for allowing Cuban planes to stop here en route to Angola, finally freed itself, and was assisted by the Cubans and the Soviets, and now Angola is a socialist republic and free. USA threatened to break off all trade– I mean all diplomatic recognition, and indeed our prime minister stood bravely and strong and said he would not be dictated to by [Henry] Kissinger and the U.S. government and continued to allow whatever assistance was given to the Cubans by flying here and refueling or whatever to go on to Angola. He held bravely and strongly for his position, and the dreaded regime of the Republicans’ holdover [Gerald] Ford and Kissinger went out of power, and now it seems a more promising era, for Guyana has begun, with the USA under [Jimmy] Carter. There’s not the intimidations and threats now being made by the U.S. government to Guyana, and Guyana is being allowed to follow its loyal course to Third World liberation. And Dr. Burnham, the Prime Minister of Guyana, is considered one of the foremost leaders in the Third World.
Anyway, the WFTU, strong World Federation of Trade Unions with a primary loyalty to the Soviet Warsaw Pact alliance declared– the WFTU declared Aldo Monassini [phonetic], a member of the Italian Confederation’s secretariat is an outdated and not useful tool. For the GIL– GCIL to remain in its ranks, he said, would be incompatible with the aspirations of the Italian labor movement. The GCIL will send observers to next congress of WFTU, scheduled to be held in Prague this– later on this month. At the same time it votes– voted to establish close ties with western labor federations including the AFL-CIO, which will be a sorry day for trade union working class interests in Italy.
The main commen– commentary of the news today was to give you a greater comprehension of Italy. The boot– looks just like a boot, the nation of Italy hanging down from Europe into the Mediterranean just above Li– Libya, Algeria in Africa. So place it in your mind and know some of the contradictions that are going on. There is indeed a more militant Marxist movement forming, Red Brigade has kidnapped several industri– industrialists there, unfortunately got into terrorism, because the Communist Party of Italy has seemed to become an apologist for ruling class interests and have joined in a confederation in the government of Prime Minister Andreotti, according to this special from Italy to the Manchester Guardian and The Economist Magazine, both moderate to conservative journal– journalists in England.
As you know, England is still having a great deal of racial strife due to the policies of the Conservative Party and Margaret Thatcher who promises, according to the polls, to be the next prime minister of England, who has called for the repatriation, the actual expulsion of all people of color, Indians and blacks from the country, and not to allow any more immigration into England. Our people in En– in England are living in the most troubled circumstances. Also the same in Canada and in the United States, as increasing racism and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in every city in United States and the increasing growth of the Nazis who call for the op– open genocide, extermination of black, Indian, Asian people, made it most uncomfortable for black people, Indian people like ourselves, to live in United States, and that’s why we left to come to Guyana, a multi-ethnic nation of six major races, where we have a black prime minister and no further need fear genocide, concentration camps, Ku Klux Klan raiding our homes, burning down our churches as we had been burned down twice, and our senior citizen residence set afire. We can now live and produce in this beautiful agricultural setting to help Guyana in its goals of feeding and clothing and housing all of its people, the worthy goals of the Peoples National Congress. That’s why we want to give free medical services – as we do now to literally hundreds of our neighbors, outside of the area every week, outside of Jonestown community – and our headquarters are filled with people now, who are in with their families getting operations, as our mercy ship takes people every time it goes down the river. It takes people outside of Jonestown community for medical assistance, and we house and maintain their relatives while they are receiving their surgeries or specialized medical care in Georgetown.
We are socialist. We are glad to be in Guyana and grateful to the government for permitting us to be here. We want to show our gratitude to the Guyanese people for being here by extending and sharing all of our services. Please in the afternoon – even though it’s your day off – in line with the prime minister’s request that we make more garden, more food production, plant your garden areas, cultivate garden areas around your houses, beautify the area, because we will have any day now the visitors from the most prominent embassies of the world. Inspection committee, see that we are doing everything we can to beautify this wonderful cooperative that is already so beautiful, that has been praised by the Chairman of the Guyana Livestock (pause) Board as being, in Dr. [Peter] Fernandes’ words, the purest socialist community he’s ever seen. Let us keep it that way. We are grateful for its recreation, and we’re grateful for the entertainment last night, the remarkable entertainment that our young people put on. All of Guyana, the many cabinet members that was there at the cultural center in Georgetown are raving about the cultural show. We’ve been invited to return to the Guyana cultural center for a– a great event the middle of April, and we are invited to participate in May Day celebrations and to be the chief talent participant– many segments of our talent in that program. We’ve also been invited by the head of the Peoples National Congress to put on a show in Morawhanna– in Mabaruma up at the end of the River Kaituma as it goes out into the Atlantic. We cannot do as many of these shows now as we were requested. We want to do another show for Kaituma– for Kaituma, our good sister community, but we now must not be able to– we cannot take all of these engagements, because we’ve got to step up production in order to be able to extend goods and services to our people, and free our people from the yoke of bondage that are in the United States by getting them here – the ones that want to be here – and to extend our services out to our fellow Guyanese that need our free medical care which is, according to all the doctors that have visited, one of the best medical clinics in the world.
Thus ends the news and commentary for the day with the primary emphasis upon Italy, so find out where it is on your map, come back later on in the afternoon. Those of you that want special music broadcast over the PA, will you please make your request known in the radio room. You come to us, we will put on music that would be of taste to the youth, ‘cause all of us have different taste, some that taste for the seniors and all should have taste for some like Victor Jara who gave his life, when tortured by the CIA, his fingernails pulled out, his eyes gorged in, did not betray socialism in Chile when it was overthrown by the military junta that is now the bastion of imperialism in this continent, he did not betray, even though the CIA betrayed, and brought about his torture along with DINA, the dreaded secret police of Chile, he held out for months and months and never betrayed his comrades. We should all appreciate such music. So whatever music you want, put in your request.
This is the end of comment of the news today centered around Italy and its political struggle and its effect on the configuration of world politics. Much love.
Unidentified Woman: Test. (Clears throat) Vellersteane Jones, Vellersteane Jones, come to dispatch. Vellersteane Jones, come to dispatch.
(pause of several moments)
Unidentified Woman: Test. Tent security tonight: Stephanie Jones-Day, Shawnteri Hall and Regina Bowser, Stephanie Jones-Day, Shawnteri Hall and Regina Bowser, you have tent security tonight. Be at dispatch at seven thirty. (long pause)
Unidentified Man: All people at– who are in Job Change Committee, it starts at two-thirty and everybody– any– who want their job changed– t– to be there at two-thirty (pause) at the rice tent.