Paula Santos defending why PCP communists don't want to hear from President Zelenskyy

Portugal’s PCP explain Zelenskyy veto

“It goes against objective of defending peace”

When the news first broke today, media outlets said MPs had voted ‘unanimously’ to invite Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to speak (via videolink) to the Portuguese parliament.

It then transpired that they hadn’t: PCP communists against.

The task of defending why fell to parliamentary leader Paula Santos.

“The proposal on the table does not go towards meeting the objective of defending peace; of seeking a negotiated solution that the PCP defends”, she told journalists today. 

”The role of the Republican Assembly (Portuguese parliament) should be one of peace,  not contributing to the escalation of war, confrontation, conflict and the race for armaments”.

Showing “all solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine, which began eight years ago and never should have started”, the PCP is also against the application of sanctions, she added, as these too “do not contribute towards peace”. They are a contribution to the escalation of war”… which is “not the way”.

Ms Santos appeared to have the answers as to what is the way: “The solution for this conflict, for Ukraine and for Europe and the World is to advance towards the perspective of a cease fire, for respect of the Charter of the United Nations, and for a solution of long-lasting peace”.

None of these scenarios are being seriously considered by the EU as a whole (accompanied by the Portuguese government), or the United States, she said.

This is the second time the PCP has spoken on developments this week. And the second time it has reacted in a way contrary to other parties. The apparent massacre of civilians in Bucha – the corroborative satellite footage emerging – saw the party ‘alerting to manipulation’, and demanding a “rigorous investigation”.

Their opposition to the invitation to a man who is undoubtedly the most popular leader in the world right now hasn’t changed the fact that the vote on a proposal made by PAN (the People Animal Nature party) went through easily.

This will be the first time a head of State has addressed the Republican assembly via videolink.

The date is expected to come somewhere in the week between April 18-22.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy has spoken to parliaments throughout the world; addressed the United Nations and invariably received standing ovations (even when he has been deeply critical).

Today he addressed the Irish Parliament, criticising the indecision of certain leaders against sanctions against Russia, insisting that the EU can still do more.

PCP’s opposition “absolutely lamentable”

As this text went up online, Martim Silva (Expresso’s deputy director) put into words what most people will have been thinking: the PCP’s opposition, and its explanations for it, are “absolutely lamentable”akin to “live political suicide”.

“I find this serious”, he told SIC’s news anchor this afternoon. “I have immense institutional respect for the PCP and for what it represents in the Portuguese political system, but what we are witnessing, there is no other way to define it than on air political suicide. It is deeply unfortunate. There is no other way to say it…”

Martim Silva also denounced the party’s text released following the Bucha atrocities as a “complete whitewash of what happened”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com