by New Worker correspondent
MORE than 100 communists from all over the world gathered in Highgate cemetery last Sunday to mark the anniversary of the death of Karl Marx with a ceremony beside his grave.
There were ambassadors and diplomats from People’s China, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Venezuela. There were communists from Malaysia, Iran and Italy, as well as a large contingent from Akel (the Cypriot communist party) and many others including the New Communist Party, the Communist Party of Britain and other British communists.
The event was hosted by the Marx Memorial Library, whose trustees are also the trustees of the massive granite monument to Karl Marx that stands over his grave.
The oration at this annual event this year was given by Rocio Maniero, the Venezuelan ambassador in London.
She told the assembled communists: “In Venezuela especially, Marxist ideas were rooted deep in the soil of our revolutionary tradition, which goes back to the struggles against slavery and oppression, and the War for Independence which in Venezuela became a civil war.
“In present times, as you may know, the legacy of Marx is at the core of the Bolivarian Revolution and more specifically in the policies of our Government.
Our social programmes are inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx, giving priority to the inclusion of poor people into health, education and housing systems.
“Our Revolution also has been playing a crucial role in integrating Latin America into a regional project for Unity. In the last decade we had played a key role and we had also been deeply involved in the formation of to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA).
“These great efforts towards the construction of our unified Homeland are at risk. These great efforts towards a development of socialism in a unified Latin America are at risk.
“In 2006 in the World Social Forum in Caracas, President Chávez warned us that there was not much time left to implement the socialism envisaged by Karl Marx, saying, and I quote: ‘I think that time is short, I think that there will be nothing beyond the 21st century if we do not change the world’s course in this century, I think that the phrase of Karl Marx is today more valid and dramatic than ever, there is hardly any time left: socialism or death, but real death – of the entire human species and of life on planet earth, because capitalism is destroying the planet, capitalism is destroying life on earth, capitalism is destroying the ecological equilibrium of the planet; the destructive development of the capitalist model is putting an end to life on earth. I believe it’s now or never’.”
She went on to speak of the great efforts being made by Chavez’s successor, President Maduro, to overcome an avalanche of attacks from United States’ imperialism – a struggle that continues every day.
After the speech flowers were laid on the grave and Dermot Hudson presented the floral tribute on behalf of the NCP at the ceremony. Finally the Internationale