Few sparks at Socialsit International parley
"Frankly speaking, I do not know what will become of humanity in the '80s," Willy Brandt, presidnt of the Socialist international, told the first session of the Nov. 13-16 SI congress in Madrid. His opening sentence was the keynote for an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand speech that roused little fire among the delegates.
The mood was surprisingly subdued for the first socialist congress to be held on Spanisn soil since Francisco Franco suppressed the socialists, communists, and anti-fascists, in the infamous 1930s prelude to World War II.
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party leader Felipe Gonzales did note how much the occation meant to the Spanish party of post-Franco Spain -- and Mr. Brandt referred with satisfaction to the similar evolution to democracy in neihboring Portugal. The acknowledgments struck few sparks among the delegates, however, many of whom come from a generation that views the Spanish Civil War as ancient history.
Mr. Brandt said he hoped the Russians (whom he referred to only as "those who feel concerned about the development" in Poland) "will continue to resist the temptation to be guided by dangerous ideas." He noted briefly the Socialists' condemnation of intervention in Afghanistan and referred to Sociallists' attempts to help free the American hostages in Iran. He added that the US must also realize its responsibility to prevent the carrying out of the death sentence in South Korea against opposition politician Kim Dae Jung.