By SONIA BOSHKO – Recording Secretary
|Top: Michael Lucas giving the main report at the Presidium, with Viktor Bourenkov, Frank Trampus and Angelo D'Angelo.
Middle: Viktor Bourenkov, Chair of the Soviet Society for Friendship with Foreign Countries, giving a report of the work of the Soviet Society.
Bottom: Some of the 32 delegates following the many reports given during the meeting.
Executive members gathered for this important meeting at the Friendship House in Toronto in order to exchange opinions, discuss the points on the agenda and propose activities for the future work of the Friendship Societies.
Attending were 9 Executive members from the US Friends of Soviet People and, Editorial Board of NSC – Victor Bourenkov, Chairman of the Soviet Society for Friendship with Foreign Countries from Moscow, and the Editorial Board of the Russian Edition of NSC – plus 14 Executive members of the Canadian Friends of Soviet People and Editorial Board of NSC.
After the introduction of all the members attending, the Main Report was given by Michael Lucas, Chairman and Editor who touched upon some problems that are encountered in publishing the Russian Edition of NSC; the need to re-establish the many former branches of the Friendship Society in Canada, USA and for the Soviet comrades to establish new Soviet Friendship Societies in former Soviet Republics.
He also touched on the history of the Friendship House in Toronto – not to be swayed by some proposals that the name, "Soviet" should be out of our name since there is no longer the Soviet Union. He outlined the history as to why the Third World Congress was cancelled in Moscow for 2007.
He also commented as to the problems encountered against the NSC by some revisionist communist parties. Much effort and great results are achieved by the redesigned NSC Web page, and it's now even more of an effective tool for friendship and solidarity with Soviet people.
The question of holding the Third World Congress was discussed and the opinion was to hold it in Chile in April of 2011. The final decision will be made by all Executive members of the International Council in the 14 countries.
In his remarks, Victor Bourenkov gave a detailed overview of the Soviet Friendship Society- its structure, its growth, its problems and unity with other organizations. He also elaborated on the present political and economic situation in Russia and the growing struggles by more and more young people who demonstrate, hold pickets and publish newspapers such as "Bumbarash and Sadovoye Kolco"
Victor offered suggestions for future improvements in NSC our editions, plus a promise to send more articles, photographs of events and to urge the trade union representatives to write about their ongoing struggle.
The Report of Dr. Adelard Paquin, Editor of French Edition of NSC was read by Michael Lucas since Dr. Paquin, due to an operation was unable to be present.
He said that the situation in the world has changed drastically and news stages of imperialism are surfacing as predicted by Marx. Serious debate and study must occur, including the works of Marx, Lenin and Stalin. We must understand the uneven development of the economic and politics of the capitalist countries.
The orientation of our Friendship Societies must be the resurrection of Socialism and of the USSR. With this orientation, our aims can be achieved. We must provoke the readers of NSC to take part in these discussions, thus providing a forum for the debate of socialist principles. We must not stray from this noble task! Unity is the Key!
Angelo D'Angelo, Chairman of the US Friends of Soviet People reported on the work of the Friendship Society, their plans for expansion and the success of their Cable TV Program twice per month, where they show Soviet films for a very extensive audience of the new Russian immigrants on Staten Island and he urged others to try and establish the Cable TV program.
He reported that they publish a Friendship Bulletin and spreading it out extensively. Angelo had also some doubts and criticism about the "Project for a Socialist Manifesto".
Daniel Elash reported on plans for saving the Soviet films and how to transfer them into videos and DVD's and had already e-mailed photos of these films and gathered the titles as well as outlining the logistical problems, plus offering his time and expertise to get them converted.
|Top: Dr. Angelo D'Angelo, Chairman of the US Friends of Soviet People, reporting on activities.
Bottom: George Gruenthal, NSC webmaster, discussing the future of NSC and its expanded web page.
|All delegates took a very active part in discussions. On left are Willy Velazquez and Fallou Gueye, from the US Friends of Soviet People|
The report by Pavel Krasnov and the "Project of a New Socialist Manifesto" sparked much discussion and sometimes hot debate, with proposed amendments, criticism as well as praise. The first part was published in September NSC and received great accolades. The Second part came under criticism.
It was decided to publish the other revised part in the October NSC and on the NSC Web-Page. The complete Manifesto will be sent to all members of the International Council for their decision.
Our Youth Committee venture of establishing the NSC Facebook was debated, with pros and cons of this new venture. It was decided to continue.
Another hotly discussed topic was of how best to save the over 200 Soviet documentary films that were to be disposed off by the CPUSA and are now on the West Coast of the USA. The US comrades and Canadian comrades agreed that these Soviet films must saved and processed into videos and DVDs for our use to promote the USSR and Socialism, but to save these historical documentary films for the sake of history as well.
Problems of climate-controlled storage, transportation to Canada, conversion costs and border-crossing problems were discussed. When these problems will be resolved, the finances will be found in order to have this historical work accomplished.
There was discussion about giving even more help to Michael Lucas the Editor of NSC and commitment of time that is required for NSC to be published each month. This question was not resolved and it will be discussed again.
There was also a discussion as how best to increase our NSC subscribers all over the world, since we need both a printed version and a web page NSC.
It was also discussed and agreed upon that we shall help the Russian Edition of NSC to the best of our abilities. It was also reaffirmed unanimously that the name of our world central body should be the "International Council for Friendship and Solidarity with Soviet People".
A trade union observer from Cuba was Salvador Escalante Batista who reported on the trade union activities, the life in Cuba where all the workers have an input and debate all proposals of the government. He reported on how the US Blockade of Cuba and its devastating effect it has on the Cuban economy, causing hardships with necessary budget cuts and some public services had to be cut.
Despite all of this, Cuba has free heath care and helping with its experts in all parts of the world – free. He hoped that soon the USSR will be reborn and Socialism will again free the people from Capitalism and its US imperialist master.
|Mike Celi, Canada , and Daniel Elash, USA
It was proposed to the International Council that the Third World Congress should be held in Santiago, Chile in April of 2011.
An Invitation that was asked of Ray O Light to present, was read, discussed and will be sent from this Canada-USA-USSR Meeting to "All members of the Communist Parties, Progressive Organizations and individuals who love freedom, justice, equality and peace" to build international cooperation and unity, solidarity with all anti-imperialist forces struggling against imperialism.
In the presentation of 'What does the future hold?" I asked as to where we came from, where we are, and how we can better direct ourselves as to where we want to be!
I outlined in short term the history of the USSR since 1917, the nationalization, and abolishment of private ownership of the means of production, collectivization and the building of Socialism. The role of the media, the daily brainwashing of the population, lack of all-round education of the other side's system and the desperate need of unity.
We have to define the movement more clearly to the uninformed that are under the daily barrage of capitalist propaganda. For this we need financial support, plus support from other progressive forces.
But above all, we need UNITY of all progressive forces!
|Top: Salvador Escalante Batista, our special guest from Cuba, gave an overview of the present situation in Cuba.
Second row: Kosta Parousis, our musical performer, after playing and singing, together with Viktor Bourenkov, sang many Soviet songs.
Third row: Another guest from Cuba, Carmen Godinez, joined Kosta and rendered Cuban and Russian songs for all to enjoy.
Bottom: Helen Long, Steve Sajban, Canadian delegates, enjoying the entertainment after a tasty buffet and drinks were served and many toasts were made.
|There were much discussion and hot exchanges of opinions by all.
Bottom left: Lloyd Redstone NSC proof reader.
Bottom right: Helen Lucas thanking all for their moral and financial help!
Kosta Parousis our Singing Troubador entertained us with songs and
then we had the Cuban guests sing. Ray and Elash sang in English the
Soviet National Anthem that was translated from Russian by Paul Robeson.
After the conclusion of our Meeting, we drank many toasts to our future successes, to Socialism and to the resurrection of the USSR!
Everyone stood up to sing the International