Jerónimo de Sousa has been the figurehead of the PCP communist party for the best part of two decades

CDU ‘refuses to condemn Russia’

Following the unfortunate remarks by leader of Portugal’s communist movement Jerónimo de Sousa two days ago, Portugal’s CDU (communist alliance) is showing itself to be refusing to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

In Moita, the CDU members of the municipal assembly ‘abstained’ from two motions of condemnation for the invasion – instead proposing their own motions calling for an end to the upscaling of confrontation (which were rejected) – and in Seixal also CDU members of the municipality’s municipal assembly abstained in similar fashion.

The CDU’s tacit acceptance of Russia’s agenda follows its dismal performance in the recent legislative elections.

Two days ago, when Russian leader Vladimir Putin launched his country’s attack on Ukraine, communist leader Jerónimo de Sousa appeared to contextualise the attack on the back of what he called “decades of increasing tension and confrontation from the United States and NATO against Russia”.

He expressed his party’s “profound concern” nonetheless, stressing it was “urgent and imperative” that solutions of dialogue and negotiation are found “that bring an end to the conflict”.

Russia has ostensibly offered to negotiate with Ukraine’s president, albeit in Belarus – which has been a basis for Russia’s attacks and is therefore not considered by Ukraine as sufficiently neutral territory.

Looking at the CDU stance today, leader writer Tiago Rebelo suggests that the “difficulty of Jerónimo de Sousa in condemning the invasion of Ukraine is just another sign that explains the growing decadence of the Portuguese Communist Party”.

The communist veteran may well disagree with solutions underway for an end this war, “but it is easy to choose the right side”, says Rebelo.

On air on Sunday evening in his habitual slot on SIC’s Jornal de Noite, commentator Luís Marques Mendes said the communist electorate must be “astonished” by de Sousa’s “lack of courage to openly condemn Putin and Russia”.

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