INTRODUCTION: Portuguese Communist Party leader Alvaro Cunhal has said that the people of Zaire should be able to decide their own destiny without foreign intervention.
GV EXTERIOR Communist Party Headquarters in Paris (MUTE)
SV INTERIOR (MUTE) Newsmen
CU Portuguese Communist Party leader Alvaro Cunhal speaking in French
SV (MUTE) Newsmen
CU Cunhal continues speaking
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Portuguese Communist Party leader Alvaro Cunhal has said that the people of Zaire should be able to decide their own destiny without foreign intervention. He was speaking at a news conference in Paris on Friday (15 April).
SYNOPSIS: The main purpose of Senhor Cunhal's visit to Paris was to discuss the strengthening of ties between the French and Portuguese Communist parties. Afterwards he spoke to newsmen at the French Communist Party headquarters.
First he spoke about the situation of the Communist Party inside Portugal. Senhor Cunhal said the party was well aware that it could not guarantee democracy acting on its own. He said there was no single party in Portugal which could guarantee that. So, the Communists supported a system based on social and political alliances as the best way to ensure the development of democracy. There was no doubt on this score because the attitude of the Portuguese Communist Party was well known, he added.
Senhor Cunhal said it had stated its position many times. The Communist could envisage only one political union in Portugal whose efforts could bring democracy - an agreement between the socialists and communists.
Turning to the subject of Zaire, Senhor Cunhal said its people alone had the right to determine their future. He added that there should be no foreign intervention because the current unrest was an internal struggle, to be resolved by those it concerned in it.
He said, it was most important that the people of Zaire should exercise the cardinal right to appoint their own leaders. This right of self-determination without interference was one which had cropped up repeatedly in recent history. He added that it was not the fate of one country alone that was at risk in Zaire. The situation there could jeopardise both the independence of neighbouring Angola and the stability of its government.
In conclusion Senhor Cunhal said the Angolan people had earned their independence after a hard and dangerous struggle. He also said that his Party thought it would be a mistake for anyone to believe that Angolan independence could be snuffed out.