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

PCP marks death of Mikhail Gorbachev

… very differently to Portugal’s president

PCP communists have ‘done it again’. After a number of recent occasions where they seem to have shot themselves in both feet, they issued a statement today, marking the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, blaming him for the ‘restoration of capitalism in Russia’.

Without even a passing lamentation, the party’s release declared “Gorbachev was one of the main people responsible for the destruction of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism in Russia when what was needed was the improvement of Socialism”.

Says Expresso: “for the communists, Gorbachev’s intervention “helped pave the way for the counter-offensive of imperialism to recover positions lost through the 20th century, and impose its hegemony on the world, with serious consequences that followed for the rights of workers, the sovereignty of people, security in Europe and peace in the world”.

Proving this are/ were “the wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine among others”. 

“The recognition and high praise paid to (Gorbachev) by US, EU and NATO officials speak for themselves”, ended the terse single paragraph.

It perhaps is little wonder that elsewhere foreign affairs minister João Gomes Cravinho has stressed the importance of trying to counter Russian disinformation in Africa, which if left unchecked could end up damaging Europe.

President Marcelo meantime has praised the life and works of Mikhail Gorbachev whom he described as a man who “knew how to open Russia to the concert of Nations, to dialogue and compromise, ending the isolation of the Soviet Union and allowing the liberation of numerous nations that constituted it.”

“It was also the end of the iron curtain and the conflictual tension that characterised the entire Cold War, from the end of the Second World War until the last decade of the last century,” he added.

Everything of course has changed, very recently. According to tributes to Mr Gorbachev in the international press, while his relationship with Vladimir Putin was strained for many years he did actually support the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

He did not support the invasion of Ukraine, however.

The Portuguese government has issued its own statement, with João Gomes Cravinho saying Gorbachev’s death “represents the loss of one of the great personalities of the 20th century, which contributed to a free Europe”.

It’s ironic that all these statements come on a day that the European Union has voted to suspend the agreement that facilitates the emission of visas to Russian citizens.

Mikhail Gorbachev died yesterday in hospital in Moscow, following a long illness. He was 91.

Tass news agency has reported that he will be buried alongside his wife at Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com