The Marxist, XXXI 3, July–September 2015


Portuguese Communist Party


Strengthening the Party:

A Comprehensive Activity,

An Indispensable Task


We are publishing excerpts from the Report on Organisation of the last Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). As our readers are aware, PCP is the prominent political party that took the lead in the fight against fascism and dictatorship in the country. Along with other patriotic forces and sections of the military, the PCP led, what is termed as April Revolution in 1974 that ushered in a democratic Constitution for Portugal and also brought to an end to its colonial occupation. PCP is carrying for the legacy of April Revolution and is active among the people, securing 8.27 percent of votes in the recently concluded parliamentary elections and thus winning 17 seats.
– Editor


4.3.1. As has often happened throughout its long history, the PCP faces numerous obstacles and has to operate in a very difficult environment. Big capital’s exploitative, aggressive and predatory nature pits it in a relentless struggle against all those who consistently oppose exploitation and seek to put an end to the capitalist system.

4.3.2. This was the case during the fascist regime, when it was clear to what extent big capital is prepared to go in its inhuman and cruel action to defend its class interests – with repression, torture and killings. And this is the case today, when it intensifies exploitation and oppression and exacerbates its offensive to secure a social and civilizational regression. The ruling class knows that weakening the PCP would make the workers’ struggle tend to lose its essential feature of a struggle against exploitation. That is why, in its fight against PCP, the ruling class resorts to all available means to hinder the Party’s activities with the ultimate aim of bringing about its demise.

4.3.3. In this very unbalanced struggle, big capital has a diversified array of instruments at its disposal. Some of the tactics used in the wide-raging and ongoing campaign against the PCP are: operations of discrimination, seeking to silence its voice; campaigns to manipulate, intoxicate and condition public opinion using the media at their service; manipulation of other ideological instruments such as the education sector; attempts to restrict the right to disseminate political propaganda; repression in enterprises and workplaces; laws that are drafted and enforced in a discretionary way, in order to hinder the PCP’s activities, to financially smother the Party and restrict its political initiatives.

Against this backdrop, in which the Party is required to intervene on all fronts – mass struggle, political, institutional, ideological and electoral fronts – the challenges which the PCP faces are momentous.

The PCP’s close association with the masses is an integral part of its identity as a Party, of the way it perceives its role in society and in the struggle. It is an essential element of the Party’s activity. It is in its work with the masses that the Party finds new militants, cadres and the revolutionary energy and inspiration to continuously renovate itself and become a stronger organization.

Building up the Party organization and all its components must be seen as a priority task and as a tool for action. A strong, purposeful organization that is closely linked to daily life and geared towards political activity will provide the Party with the organized strength it requires to carry on with the struggle, to resist, to move forward and to be victorious.

The Party faces new and momentous challenges in the present and will do so in the future. These challenges will bear on its intervention and organization. In the wake of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Party, such as «Yes, it is possible! A stronger PCP» and «Forward! For a stronger PCP», there is an urgent need to undertake a general and integrated action aimed at building up the Party that must encompass the various aspects of organization and activity and involve all its organizations, sectors and militants.

4.3.6. The comprehensive strengthening of the Party’s organization and activity implies additional demands on the Party in terms of militancy, leadership, cadres, organization, political action and links with the masses, ideological struggle, the Party press, information and propaganda, financial means and international activities. In each of these major sectors, the Party collective is called upon to contribute, in an integrated way, for a stronger PCP, an advanced democracy and socialism, promoting, consolidating and furthering the values of April in Portugal’s future.

4.4. Militancy

4.4.1. Militancy plays a decisive role in the Party’s strength and effectiveness. It is the source of the PCP’s ability to intervene, which will be the stronger the more militants become aware that the strength of the Party is determined by its members’ actions in the framework of the Party collective and the more they embody their militancy as a political, civic and social imperative.

Militant work is a decisive element in strengthening the Party’s links with the masses and in extending its reach. Political and ideological training, participation in collective work and regular information on Party activity, namely by reading Avante!, are required to enhance the ability of every communist militant to intervene in political activities on a daily basis among his/her fellow workers and among his/her circle of acquaintances as well as in the initiatives and organisations where he/she plays a role.

Militancy is inspired by the strength of one’s convictions which underpin the struggle for the Party’s goals and causes. Militancy develops communist militants from a political, social, cultural and human viewpoint. It gives a practical meaning to, and inspires the lives of, Party militants. It is a source of satisfaction and the more so when it results in improvements to the living conditions of the workers and people. Hence, communist militancy is different from, and the opposite of, the attitude and practice of others, who seek personal gratification or to fulfill personal ambitions. The organized strength of the Party requires the militant commitment of its members. The Party’s bodies need to know the availability, characteristics and possibilities of each and every member of the Party so as to assign tasks to him/her accordingly. In carrying out such tasks, militants will be carrying out their right and duty of participating in the Party’s activities and will give full meaning to their status as communist militants by combining theory and action.

4.4.2. It is of fundamental importance that, besides occasional tasks, every Party member takes on regular tasks as well. The work ethos within PCP is characterized by collective work and this requires the individual and militant commitment of each and every Party member, as well as taking on responsibility for specific tasks.

4.5. Leadership

4.5.1. In a period marked by big capital’s intense offensive and by a huge response in the field of political action and mass struggles, with great organizational, ideological and intervention demands, the Party’s leadership work, when put to the test, has fulfilled its role.

We stress the initiative, enthusiasm and joy, the commitment and dedication showed by thousands of cadres and militants in the assertion of this great collective at the service of workers, the people and the country, in an action oriented by a patriotic and internationalist dimension, by the communist ideal and project.

The demands posed to the Party imply the prosecution and reinforcement of this style of work. It is necessary to overcome constraints, to expand leadership capacity, to continue granting the necessary responsibilities, renewing and rejuvenating to ensure the continuity of leadership work. It is indispensable to continue asserting unity, cohesion, and discipline, preventing and opposing practices that demobilize and weaken. It is necessary to improve the monitoring, to objectively and critically assess the work carried out, drawing the necessary conclusions and fighting against sterile criticism. Incentive to participation, criticism and self-criticism, individual responsibility, collective work and collective leadership are fundamental elements of the style of work characteristic of the Party that must be stressed, reinforced and valued.

The general dynamization of Party work implies the possibility of great initiatives or campaigns where the strength and capacity of the Party collective will converge, with each organization assuming its share of responsibility. It is also important to stimulate the initiative of the organizations under the framework of the general Party guidelines.

The Central Committee fully exercised its responsibilities in the overarching leadership of Party work. During these four years it held 22 meetings. It is necessary for it to ensure, besides regular political leadership, a more frequent discussion on specific areas of activity.

The Central Committee to be elected by the 19th Congress must retain the same characteristics as the current one, namely in its competences and size, which may decrease somewhat.

Regarding its composition, the new Central Committee, reflecting the identity, nature and principles of the Party, must preserve a large majority of blue and white-collar workers with a strong working-class component and, in the framework of renewal and rejuvenation, it must ensure an adequate combination of experienced cadre with young cadre that take on responsibilities.

The participation of Party cadres – whether or not full-time Party workers – who are in charge of big Party organizations and sectors of activity, who emanate directly from the shop-floors and working places, as well as of other cadres that integrate mass movements with strong activity and a broad range of knowledge in important areas of social, economic, cultural, technical, intellectual and scientific life, must also be ensured. Equally, the participation of women and young people must be strengthened.

The Central Committee considers that these are the characteristics that best ensure a solid collective leadership, that meets the needs of the Party, strengthens its unity and cohesion and its capacity to respond to the complex problems posed by the social, political and ideological struggle.

4.5.4. The executive bodies of the Central Committee – the Secretariat of the Central Committee and the Political Committee of the Central Committee – shouldered the responsibilities entrusted to them in a very demanding situation. They fulfilled the role which the Party Constitution and the Central Committee required of them. The existence of these two bodies proved to be adequate and their good articulation was confirmed.

The Central Control Committee carried out its work in accordance with its responsibilities and constitutional powers. The leaderships of the regional organizations play an important role in the structure of the Party’s leadership work. It must be developed within the framework of their functions and of the general Party line.

The municipal committees, the leadership bodies of professional sectors and companies and other intermediate organizations must reinforce their role, in liaison with, and stimulating, the work of grass-roots organizations. It is necessary to improve their activity. They must be large enough to ensure their role, but not too large in order to avoid an excessive accumulation of responsibilities in intermediate organizations and to contribute for stronger grass-roots organizations – the Party cells.

4.5.7. The structures supporting the central leadership carried out their activity in a situation marked by limited resources, resulting from the established guidelines for a balanced distribution of cadres, namely full-time Party workers, in the central structure and in Party organizations as a whole. Assessing possibilities, availabilities and priorities, and with a continuing concern for a balanced distribution of resources, it is necessary to reinforce these structures. They are indispensable for the work of the Party’s central leadership, contributing to ensure rigorous assessments, well-grounded support for decisions and quick and solid public stances, within the framework of the necessary collective work.

4.5.8.The coordination of Party work in sectors and companies of national or pluri-regional scope is necessary. It needs to be reconsidered, taking into account according the requirements, priorities and the reality of each organization and of cadres

4.6. Cadres

4.6.1. The Party collective’s work in implementing the XVIII Congress guidelines and living up to the struggle waged in the the present political and social situation of ideological confrontation, was only possible thanks to the commitment of thousands of Party cadres.

Full-time Party workers, with their political and ideological steadfastness – which is indispensable in Party cadres – with their readiness, dynamism and dedication, are essential for the Party’s organization, for its leading role and in all Party activities. The number of full-time Party workers exceeds 300 (including retired comrades who continue working), representing a small reduction since the last Congress. Despite financial difficulties, the renewal and rejuvenation of the full-time Party workers has been permanent, namely with working-class youth.

4.6.2. The general action of giving more responsibility to cadres, of monitoring and training them, enforced a new dynamic in allocating tasks and responsibilities to hundreds of Party militants. A great number of comrades, some of them who only recently joined the Party, have been given responsibilities; an important number of them have been elected to leadership bodies. The task of giving greater responsibilities to 500 new cadres in 2010 has heightened the level of conscientiousness and response capacity of those in charge and of the various bodies.

Positive steps have been taken to become better acquainted with cadres and to entrust them with greater responsibilities, but there are still difficulties in bringing to posts of greater responsibility working-class and women cadres, and especially young working women.

There have been advances in the rejuvenation of Party bodies, namely in what concerns work in companies and professional sectors. Prominent among those young comrades who have taken on responsibilities are comrades coming from the ranks of JCP (Portuguese Communist Youth).

But there is still insufficient monitoring and assistance for some cadres.

4.6.3. Raising the political and ideological level of the Communist militants is one of the fundamental directives to strengthen and develop cadre policy.

The main and more effective school of Party cadres is their participation in struggles and in all Party activities. But it is also important to liaise practical experience with theoretical preparation.

It is necessary to encourage individual study: reading Avante! and O Militante; reading the central Party documents; the study of Marxism–Leninism, namely the works of the classics; the study of comrade Álvaro Cunhal’s work; the study of the Party’s History and of the history of the Portuguese Revolution; participation in debates, seminars, meetings, Party Conferences and Congresses. Furthermore, there is the importance of collective organized study, with courses and other educational activities, at a central level in the Party School, and by Regional Organizations.

Between the 18th and the 19th Congresses, the theoretical training of cadres was stepped up. The Party School organized 67 courses and political and ideological initiatives, with the participation of 1320 comrades. Also worth stressing is the great number of courses and educational activities organized by the regional organizations, with great participation.

4.6.4. In the present political situation, the fundamental goals of cadre policy are to:

increase and enhance militancy and the execution of Party tasks, seeking a broad involvement of comrades who prove, in deeds, their readiness and capability to take on responsibilities and tasks; be permanently alert to the identification of cadres, to their accountability and evolution, to their education, to following up, monitoring and helping them; give special attention to identifying, involving, and entrusting with responsibilities working-class, women and young cadres; integrate the cadres in collective work and leadership, in the spirit of developing Party guidelines, fostering the permanent contacts with the militants of the organization for which they are responsible and involving them in activities, overcoming routines, encouraging the knowledge of the masses’ real problems and actions and mobilization in defense of their rights and aspirations; work towards renewal and rejuvenation of the Party’s staff of full-time workers, recruiting new – in the main, working-class, women and young – full-timers and with financial considerations present at all times; pay attention to cadres’ personal problems and expressing the necessary understanding and solidarity; solve as quickly as possible any cadre problems, contributing for the respect and the affirmation of the Party’s constitutional principles; show cadres the value of various forms and means of political, ideological and cultural education; evolve in the planning, publicisation and incentive to cadres’ participation in courses and educational activities in the Party School and in Regional Organizations.

4.7. Organization

4.7.1. The Party has a great militant collective. Its organization is the basis for Party activity.

The latest Organizational Assessment recorded 60,484 Party members, a number which, with a slight increase since the last Congress, essentially represents the maintenance of Party effectives.

Side by side with this number of Party members, there is a great number of persons in the Party files whose situation has not yet been clarified. The contacts with them are running at a slow pace. They confirm the assessment made at the 18th Congress and essentially show that, on the one hand, it is very difficult to locate the vast majority of them due to loss of contacts, but on the other hand, those who are contacted by and large confirm their status as Party members.

The number of comrades in the different organisations, as well as the number of Party members that pay Party dues, has basically remained the same.

Regarding social composition we witness a large majority of about 72 percent of blue- and white-collar workers: 41 percent blue-collar workers, a slight drop, and 31 percent white-collar workers, a slight increase. The number of intellectuals, technical staff and micro, small and medium sized businesspersons is steady or even showing a slight increase.

In what concerns age range, 16 percent are under 40 years old, 45 percent in the 41 to 64 year-old bracket and 39 percent are over 64 years old. Not included here are members of the JCP (Portuguese Communist Youth) who are not Party members. The number of members under 41 is slightly increasing, and also increasing is the number of those over 64 years old.

Worth stressing is the fact that among the new members who have joined the Party in the past 4 years, 53.7 percent were under 40 years old when they joined the Party.

The participation of women continues to grow and they represent 30.1 percent of all Party members.


In what concerns the Party structure we can stress the existence of 2769 organizations, including unstructured organizations that meet in plenary sessions and working groups for different work fronts. This is a slight increase. The number of residence-based organizations is 725. The number of workplace-based organizations, 374, is at previous levels, although with a slight decrease.

Since the 18th Congress, with the “Forward! For a stronger PCP!» campaign decided there and later defined and scheduled in the Central Committee meeting November 21-22, 2009, much work was carried out, liaising Party activity with the strengthening of the Party organization. The results were reflected in a remarkable activity, with the Party living up to its role, in the consolidation of the organization at a time of great changes and in the progress that has been registered, despite shortcomings that must be overcome.

It is worth stressing: the allocation of responsibilities to cadres as part of the general action with that objective; the continuous monitoring and training of cadres in 2010; the recruitment of 5 800 new members; a stronger organization and activity among workers, in companies and workplaces, with measures to give more responsibility to cadres, of organization, recruitment, integration of new members or of members transferred from local organizations; the clarification of the situation of retired comrades and their integration, which in some organizations meant that it was possible to preserve or even increase the number of comrades organized in companies and workplaces and thereby ensure a strong Party activity; over 500 organizational assemblies; the incentive to profound links with the masses, in a context of intense activity of Party organizations.

4.7.4. In a highly demanding situation, it is necessary to continue adopting guidelines to overcome insufficiencies, to respond to new problems, consolidating and strengthening the Party, the essential foundation for expanding and intensifying mass struggles and political work. It must be ensured that it is ready to fulfill its role in the present situation and in whatever circumstances it will have to face.

Guidelines to strengthen the Party’s organization are:

Priority for Party organization and activity among the working class and the workers in companies and workplaces. This implies confirming and appointing cadres for that work, including full-time Party workers,; consolidating the already existing organization and creating new cells or sectors; paying special attention to companies with over a thousand workers and/or of strategic importance; increasing the number of Party members organized in their companies and workplaces, with the recruitment and priority integration of new members and transfers; safeguarding the organization and encouraging work with a broad, permanent and bold sense of links with the masses; assuming this line of work as a concern and task for all organizations and members. Success requires decision, planning, initiative, persistence and monitoring.

Structuring local organizations, promoting the action, dynamism, initiative and intervention of grass-roots organizations, with profound links to the masses. Measures should be taken and followed up on, after an assessment of the organization’s status, with a view to effectively (and not just on paper) structure the organization. To achieve that, several aspects must be considered: the administrative borderlines, the number of party members, the degree of members’ participation, and the availability of cadres to stimulate the organizations.

The assessment of the situation, organization, participation and contribution of comrades who have retired or are pensioners. They have an important intervention in the general Party activity. Above all, there is the work with this vast social stratum and the fomenting of their broad-based organizations and their struggles. Goals are: to create cells of retirees, that may function according to the availability and possibility of participation, both as a means of structuring the organization and as instruments for activity among retirees and pensioners; to strengthen Party organisms with Party members that are active in mass organizations, movements and associations; to pay attention and value the contribution of pensioners and retired Party cadres to the various needs of the Party work

Work and organization in the cultural field and among intellectuals and technical workers, strengthening and creating organizational structures that correspond to the different guidelines and areas of intervention, with a view to mass work, to stimulating political and cultural activity and artistic creation.

The work with the youth and strengthening JCP and its activity, thus contributing for a greater Party influence among young people.


The organization of work among other strata, social sectors and in specific fields of intervention, namely: work among farmers, among micro, small and medium businesspersons; work specifically geared to women, work with the disabled, with immigrants and with the unemployed, organizational work with emigrant communities, in order to strengthen emigrant’s organizations and their activity. Speedy contact must be ensured with comrades who go abroad, to help them establish contacts and integrate, with a view to fostering Party activity and work among the communities of Portuguese emigrants in several countries.

The creation and regular activity of organisms of Party members who are active in mass organizations and movements, ensuring their regular and consistent work, creating new organisms, and consideration for the necessary lines of support for their activity and for cadre education. All organizations and militants must see recruitment of new militants as a regular task, which needs to be prominent in Party work, in our written communications, and which justifies special initiatives. Recruitment must be closely associated with a quick and effective integration of new members, with due consideration given to the nature of the Party organism and task which each new member will take on.

Without forgetting the need to clarify the situation of unorganized members who are in the Party files, it is also necessary to undertake a campaign of contacts with organized Party members, in order to update files, to implement a vast action of organization, of Party structuring, of enhancing militancy, of entrusting greater responsibilities and ensuring more work. This campaign should begin in a near future, a decade after the beginning of the campaign of contacts begun in 2003.

Stimulating a work-style of the organizations and members that is based on the Party’s principles and goals, on discipline, initiative and creativity, and with a broader and deeper connection to the workers and the people.

Assessment of the general conditions of Party headquarters, of their needs, of their external appearance and encouraging their activity, both in terms of supporting Party organization and work and to project them among the masses.

Liaising the demands for an intense and dynamic activity with the regular functioning of Party bodies and organizations.

Political action and connection with the masses

In the accomplishment of its vanguard role, essential requirements for the growth of the influence of the Party are the bonds of Party organizations and members with the people; knowledge of the facts, problems and yearnings of the workers and the people, in order to act, raise awareness, organize and mobilize. These requirements can be achieved through different forms, guidelines and initiatives.

A Party organization is well-equipped to effectively assume its vanguard role when it is aware of the problems of the workers and other social strata and when it is part and parcel of its environment and is structured to act according to that reality.

In order to strengthen the links between the Party and the people, and following up on decisions taken by the 18th Congress, the Central Committee launched a debate in all organizations, that resulted in remarkable progress in the understanding that this is a strategic issue and even in follow-up measures.

There are still some obstacles in organizations that, because they are disconnected from the political and social environment from which they emerge, or due to other difficulties, are not capable of responding to the wishes and aspirations of the workers and people.

Global and integrated guidelines to strengthen the links between the Party and the people in various fronts and areas of activity, that remain valid and upon which depends a greater and more intense activity and stronger Party influence, are:

– The regular identification of the key fronts and areas of activity for ensuring the links with, and a stronger influence among, the masses. This should go hand-in-hand with the definition of goals, plans and guidelines for work, as well as with decisions about cadres, leadership and execution control, which are necessary to ensure them.

– more attention given in all organizations to the encouragement of mass movements and struggles, to the regular discussion of problems and how to transform them into banners of struggle, monitoring the implementation of the decisions that are taken, thereby contributing to develop the workers’ and people’s struggle.

– debating information and propaganda work, the role of the Party press and Party initiatives, as instruments of liaison with the masses and to strengthen the Party’s influence.

–  The  promotion  of  a  collective  debate  and  individual encouragement for communist members to undertake, in their daily activities, an action of awareness-raising and mobilization that may draw people towards the Party, its positions, project and organization.

– The recognition that broad-based political work is a key tool to liaise the Party with the masses, regularly ensuring a dialogue and joint action with democrats and democratic sectors, as well as with organizations, movements, structures and institutions. This work must encompass the large number of men and women that, within the framework of CDU (United Democratic Coalition), are available to engage in joint action, on a national or local level. Carrying out regular initiatives and individual contacts is essential to involving them and making them aware of the positions of the Party.

– A permanent concern with enhancing the major work carried out in the institutions, namely Local Government, Parliament, the European Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies in Autonomous Regions. The enormous potential of this work requires its coordination and articulation, with a view to stimulating popular participation and the increase in the Party’s influence and prestige among the workers and people.

The improvement of political activity and links with the people is a permanent concern and duty of each Party organization and member. Hence, the need to continue this line of work, with a view to ensuring that, from the debate in each body and organization, may emerge the guidelines, initiatives or actions,as well as the necessary organizational structures to materialize them. Also necessary is the regular assessment of the results obtained in organizationally strengthening the Party and expanding its influence and prestige.

4.9 Ideological struggle

4.9.1. The ideological struggle has intensified over the last few years.

The offensive of big capital expresses itself strongly in the ideological field; in the justification of imperialism’s interference, aggressions and war; in the defense of the European Union’s viewpoints and the compromising of national sovereignty; in the insistence on the inevitability of ever greater exploitation; in the withdrawal of rights and the social and civilizational regression which this implies; in disdaining the struggle of the workers and people; in spreading conformism and individualism; in promoting the lesser evil theories, through old and new expressions of social-democracy; in highlighting and encouraging false solutions based on radicalism and provocation; in restricting freedom and democracy; in whitewashing fascism and in anti-communism.

In the context of the ever-deeper structural crisis of capitalism, this offensive has the main goal of making people believe that there is no alternative, of weakening, among the workers and peoples, the prospect of the possibility, need and urgency of social progress and socialism as the alternative and more advanced form of organization of society.

The Party developed important actions and initiatives in the ideological front, over the last few years, implementing 18th Congress guidelines. But it is necessary to strengthen this line of work in our everyday activity and political action. Goals must be planned and actions taken, fully using all available means in an integrated fashion.

Among the lines of development in the ideological front are: clarifying the nature of capitalism; the struggle against exploitation, exposing the mechanisms used to impose and enhance it; asserting the PCP’s project of an advanced democracy and socialism; the struggle against reactionary and fascist ideology; the struggle against old and new social-democratic views; the struggle against anti-communism; valuing the struggle, its results and organization as a fundamental aspect.

4.10 The Party press, information and propaganda

4.10.1. The Party’s activity and achieving its goals, requires the creation of better conditions for workers and people to get to know and understand the PCP’s project, its proposals, its positions and analyses.

In a context of very uneven resources, in which big capital counts on powerful means to spread its ideology, it is necessary to define and carry out an intense and broad action of the Party on this front, defining guidelines, strengthening and creating means and forms of intervention, geared to specific situations, but integrated in a general orientation and with coordinated action. This includes, the Party press, Avante! and O Militante, the general information and propaganda work, the Party’s relations with the media, but also the vast political-cultural action of which the Avante! Festival is a significant expression, and the editorial activity.

Within the framework of existing means and possibilities, it is necessary to achieve more and further elaborate contents; to strengthen the various media and forms of intervention, with their diversity; to ensure direct personal contacts, with broad recourse to diversified electronic means; and to consider new possibilities of intervention. At the same time, it is necessary to make a global assessment of the means of intervention so as to ensure a more integrated, profound, broader and effective action.

4.10.2. In the present political context, the Party press, selling and reading Avante! and O Militante, have redoubled importance and are indispensable elements for the Party’s work. They are fundamental to convey the Party’s guidelines and assessments of national and international affairs. They are also necessary and useful to exchange experiences, helping to prepare members to explain the Party’s positions and analyses. They are essential in the battle of ideas, in informing about the workers and people’s struggle.

To further diversify contents and deal with current issues, the Party press should further benefit from close contacts and collaboration with Party organizations, receiving news, information and suggestions.

Party media is an instrument of the highest importance in the Party’s ties with the masses and as a means of contact between the Party and its members and friends. As part and parcel of measures to strengthen the organization, the Party press should receive redoubled attention from all organizations, with cadres in the most diverse organisms being given the responsibility of increasing the network of distribution and sale of Avante! and O Militante. The special sales of Avante!, together with the treatment of current issues, are a very positive experience in increasing the circulation of the newspaper and in the battle of ideas, which must therefore be continued.

4.10.3. The assessment and definition of guidelines for the Party’s information, propaganda and agitation work has to be based on a rigorous evaluation of the subjective and objective conditions we face. The key question of propaganda and agitation work is spreading the Party’s message, proposals and project, so that the masses make it their own, providing leadership and drawing them into action. The Party’s propaganda is deeply interconnected with organizational work. Strengthening the organization potentially strengthens propaganda work and vice-versa, but this does not happen on its own. For it to occur it is necessary that each organism think and take measures of work, leadership and cadres in accordance with its importance. It is necessary to decentralize and give cadres responsibilities in this field. The task of propaganda is one for the whole Party, for all its organizations and all Party members. Each play their specific and irreplaceable roles.

The specific feedback from each organization regarding propaganda work is essential, given that they are acquainted with the reality and are therefore best placed to directly address specific issues. This reality makes its even more necessary to increase the production of pamphlets and cell bulletins geared to the workplace, and taking into account the general orientation of reinforcing the Party in the enterprises and workplaces.

The Party, centrally and in its organizations, should use a great diversity of means and forms of spreading its message. It is necessary to adapt our activity to the context of greater financial limitations, making good use of all means, namely electronic ones. Propaganda and agitation should bear in mind the characteristics of its target audience, their level of knowledge and information, their specific interests. Rooted in concrete problems, the Party organizations must identify demands and lead the organized struggle; they must respond to the ideological mystification of the ruling classes, point out the causes and responsibilities for the current situation and contribute to intensify the demand for the rejection of the Aggression Pact, for a break with right-wing politics, to assert a patriotic and left-wing alternative, for an advanced democracy and socialism.

The restrictions on Party propaganda are part and parcel of restrictions against the freedom of speech, violations of constitutional rights, which must be firmly opposed by exercising the right to propaganda, by resorting to all forms of propaganda at the Party’s disposal, and also by politically equipping its members.

The use of electronic communications and taking advantage of their potential is of increasing importance. The Party has a long experience in this realm, with innovative initiatives, actions and structures of which the Party’s website is its foremost expression. It plays the role of daily dissemination of the Party’s positions and activities and also as electronic support for the Party press.

Work in this field should continue, be expanded and go further. A global assessment of the existing resources is necessary (of their potential and degree of use and of the possibilities resulting from rapid, ongoing developments), as well as measures of organization, structuring, coordination and extension of these activities, with specific consideration given to the development or creation of means of dissemination, consultation and interaction, taking into account the existing financial conditions.

The Party work with the media – in a context marked by devaluation and silencing, inseparable from the nature and ownership of the main media – must be based on an organized and persistent activity to assert and publicize the PCP’s initiatives and positions, at all levels of the Party’s organization.

4.10.7. The editorial activity influenced by the Party is an important means of intervention and response to the ideological offensive. It too is affected by the difficulties faced by the editorial and book sectors in general. In this context, we need to value the edition of classic works of Marxism-Leninism and the selected works of Álvaro Cunhal. The «Avante!» Editorial should proceed its own dynamic, allied with the Party’s action and the increasing requirements of the political and ideological struggle.

4.11 Funds

Self-financing the PCP is essential to guarantee its political, organizational and ideological independence. The support and contributions by its members have vital importance, in the context in which communists and the Party act, in ensuring the necessary and indispensable resources for the development of Party activity.

The growing difficulties faced by the Portuguese workers and people, the increased exploitation, social inequality, unemployment, cuts in wages, pensions and subsidies, the price increases in goods and services, place new and heightened demands on fund-raising. For this reason it is important to not transform difficulties into impossibilities, to fight constraints that some seek to place upon the Party, to overcome real constraints and take advantage of all potentialities to increase the PCP’s financial capacity.

The 18th Party Congress laid down the goal of guaranteeing an effective financial balance, to be achieved with measures such as the increase in revenues, reduction of expenses and decrease in the dependence of regional organizations relative to the Central Party account. It defined the situation as unsustainable, but possible to overcome with a strong and determined effort by the Party collective.

4.11.5. Central goals for the whole Party are:

– to ensure an effective financial balance, mainly by increasing revenues, which is a strategic element to guarantee the Party’s work, but also by an effective containment and reduction of expenses, namely with the functioning and, in some cases, structure;

– to achieve the financial balance and self-sufficiency of the Party and of each of its organizations, decreasing the relative weight of revenues of an institutional origin or of extraordinary and isolated nature, reducing the organizations’ dependency on the Central account, ensuring that financial issues do not compromise the Party’s political activity;

– to increase self-revenues resulting from the activity and reinforcement of the Party, namely: dues, which requires political and ideological discussion so that each member takes the initiative to fulfill their fundamental duty of paying dues and of increasing their value, having as a reference 1 percent of their wage (or income). The task of collecting dues must be more valued and more cadres must be given this responsibility, having as reference 1 for every 20 members. Payment by bank transfer should be intensified and principle of monthly monitoring the situation in each organism must be enforced;

– special contributions by members, sympathizers and other friends of the Party must be encouraged, breaking with routines and being bolder in contacts, defining in each organization lists of comrades and friends to be approached and identifying who is best placed to do so;

fund-raising campaigns, namely “a day’s wage for the Party” and other organizational initiatives must receive greater attention and accompaniment by the central and regional leadership, materializing the potential to increase these revenues;

– the contributions by Party elected officials and Party members in public office should receive greater attention and rigor, be it in the definition of the amount they contribute and in enforcing its payment. The tendency to cut contributions to the Party in exchange for such payments resulting from public office must be countered, in accordance with the statutory principle of no benefit or detriment [resulting from holding a public office];

the contributions from participation in polling stations, which constitute a distinctive element of the participation of Party members of not being benefited in the fulfillment of that Party task and civic activity;

– the sale and dissemination of Avante! and O Militante, organizing sale booths, sale brigades and lists of buyers, represents a possibility for greater revenues, as well as expanding the Party message and intervention;

decrease in expenses, in particular those that do not have a direct impact on the Party’s political activity. Financial commitments that are not within the Party’s reach and which create constraints for its future action must not be made;

– to improve the activity and events at Party Headquarters. To pursue the policy of conservation and profitability of Party property;

– to dynamize, expand and generalize the work of structures to monitor financial issues – financial control, presenting accounting, energizing fund-raising, preparing budgets with the goal of increasing revenues, limiting expenses and permitting budgetary control. These issue must be addressed at all levels, with goals and effective monitoring;

– broaden the discussion in the organizations and the awareness of members of the importance of funds. Overcoming strangulations that allow taking advantage of all possibilities, in the framework of new constraints and difficulties. Altering work styles that lead to a waste of resources.