At the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation recalls the brutal consequences of what was the most violent and bloody military conflict in history, triggered by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and militaristic Japan, responsible for the loss of more than 50 million lives and tens of millions of injured.
Nazi-fascism was responsible for numerous crimes, such as the mass extermination of populations and prisoners in concentration camps, the imposition of forced labour, the systematic destruction of economic and social infrastructure and cultural heritage.
This is also the time to remember all those who, by resisting and fighting in various ways, have contributed to liberating humanity from Nazi fascism, achieving a just peace and gaining new political, economic, social and cultural rights for the general population, and the end of colonialism.
Today, recalling the Second World War, it is necessary to bear in mind the lessons of what happened, so that the barbarism caused by Nazi-fascism is never repeated.
Like the First World War, which took place between 1914 and 1918, which caused more than 10 million deaths, World War II had as its central causes the dispute between the great imperialist powers for the control of colonies, wealth and markets.
Today, in different historical context and realities, the peoples of the world face major threats, such as the increasing militarization of international relations, the escalation of the arms race – including nuclear weapons -, the intense struggle for control of markets, sources of energy and raw materials, the proliferation of conflicts, the disrespect for sovereignty and independence of countries and peoples, the resurgence of fascist, nationalist and xenophobic forces and movements.
The Western powers, particularly the United States of America, are seeking a solution to the crisis affecting them and their relative economic decline vis-à-vis other emerging countries on the international stage by increasing confrontation, interference, aggression and war.
In present times exists the potential for advancing the struggle for peace, sovereignty, democracy and the rights of the peoples, but also real dangers, which must be prevented and dealt with urgently – a new confrontation that would have catastrophic consequences for humanity must be avoided!
However strong those who bet on war, it is not inevitable. It is up to the peoples of the world, united and organized in a broad and active movement in defence of peace and disarmament, to stop them!
On the CPPC’s side, the Portuguese people can expect a redoubled commitment to broaden action and convergence for peace, disarmament – notably nuclear disarmament – for sovereignty, democracy, social progress, for the respect of the principles of the United Nations Charter, for International Law and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, which in its Article 7 enshrines, among other important principles, the peaceful settlement of conflicts, disarmament, the end of political-military blocs and the respect for the rights of peoples.
September 1, 2019
National Board of the CPPC