INTRODUCTION The Communist Party leaders of Spain, France and Italy - Santiago Carrillo, Georges Marchais and Enrico Berlinguer - ended two days of talks in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on Thursday (3 March) with a call for respect for human rights.
INTRODUCTION The Communist Party leaders of Spain, France and Italy - Santiago Carrillo, Georges Marchais and Enrico Berlinguer - ended two days of talks in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on Thursday (3 March) with a call for respect for human rights. They did not single out any particular countries for criticism in a joint communique, but, Spain's Communist leader, Santiago Carrillo, issued a separate statement, condemning repression in Communist countries.
SYNOPSIS: The talks have received much attention in Spain where the Communist party is banned. An application for legal status by the Communists is before the Supreme Court and a decision is expected within a month. The communique said that the legalisation of the Communist party was an essential part of Spain's return to democracy.
The three leaders are the main exponents of no-called "Eurocommunism" which calls for independence from the Soviet Union an parliamentary democracy. A major question facing the three was how far they should criticise the government clampdown on political dissidence in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and other East European countries. It was this subject that later led to the disagreement between Senor Carrillo and the French and Italian leaders. However, they emphasised what they called the democratic nature of the three parties and said they would continue to work for international solidarity and friendship.
The Madrid conference was the first organised meeting of "Euro communists". Euro-Communism came into the limelight at a conference in Berlin last year which endorsed the right of each national party to chart its own policy. The conference accepted the principle that parties were answerable only to their own people.
However, Senor Carrillo did say that violations of human rights should be condemned wherever they occurred and by whichever social or political regime they were caused. This remained true he said, even when those responsible belonged to a party which affirmed socialist ideals.
M. Marchais told newsmen the communique had no been more specific on political dissent in East Europe because each party had previously stated its position on the matter.