AKEL LOUCAIDES SPEECH OCTOBER REV 7 Nov 2014 [En]

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1 AKEL LOUCAIDES SPEECH OCTOBER REV 7 Nov 2014 [En] The Russian October, the Red October of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, 97 years after the Great October Socialist Revolution, is and will remain one of the milestones of world history. In defiance of the times, almost a hundred years later, the ideas that inspired and led to the construction of the first socialist state in the world, have not only not faded, but on the contrary continue to shine and keep the visions of tens of millions of people all over the world alive, people who are struggling against injustice, exploitation and oppression. The aftermath of the first historical attempt at building socialism was undeniably a major setback in the struggle of the communist and workers movement for a qualitatively superior socialist 1 / 17

2 society. It did not however also signal the end of socialist ideology or the end of history, as certain circles and forces were quick to celebrate. Capitalism, in its highest imperialist stage, immediately took advantage of the vacuum created which is the reason why since then it acts more and more aggressively against the peoples and workers. However, by doing so it is further intensifying the inherent contradictions of the system itself. To overcome and survive these contradictions as a socio-political system, it continues to be nourished by the blood and human sacrifice of many people, civilian women and children, who are become prey of the unjust imperialist wars and interventions. Capitalism continues to be nourished by the pain and tears of millions of oppressed, impoverished and marginalized people of this world, who are being devastated by the drive of relentless drive and greed for more and bigger profits of the multinational monopolies. The capitalist system survives and manages to overcome the recurrent crises, by creating new areas of poverty and deprivation, aggravating the unequal distribution of wealth and intensifying the predatory exploitation of countries and peoples. Consequently, the brutal and inhuman face of capitalism and its inherent contradictions, by definition continue to create not only the need for organized class resistance through the struggles of working people against this unfair and exploitative system, but also create the conditions for its overthrow. In short, it is capitalism s inborn contradictions that continue to generate and reproduce the prospect of its own overthrow, whilst simultaneously keeping the messages conveyed by October and the noble ideals and values of socialism alive and topical. The Russian October Revolution was the result precisely of the accumulation and intensification of the contradictions of capitalism, not only in Russia but throughout the world. At the same time, it was both the culmination of a long and complex revolutionary process. Russia at that time suffered from many feudal remnants, but developed rapidly on the road of 2 / 17

3 capitalism. The country s growth rates were higher than other developed capitalist states. Since the beginning of the 20th century monopolies had emerged in Russia. Millions of workers began to congregate in the cities who worked in industries. The quality of the Russian proletariat, steeled in fierce class and political struggles, was enviable. Capitalism with all its contradictions was present in Russia since the early 20th century. The feudal remnants further exacerbated these contradictions. The co-existence of state-monopoly capitalism on the one hand with semi-feudal relations in the countryside and the Tsarist regime on the other, created an explosive mixture. The First World War acted as a catalyst. It accelerated the process of capitalist development, but also deepened and exacerbated the existing contradictions; economic, political, institutional and ideological contradictions. It revealed the failure and incapacity of the Tsarist regime. It hastened its decay and deterioration. It liberated the working class and peasantry from any delusions that persisted about the Tsar. The revolutionary situation led to the first explosion through the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917, which resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy. That revolution, which was largely a spontaneous and unorganized outburst of the people, did not solve the country s main problems. The ruling class may have seized power, but was unable to solve the country s real problems. Neither could it, nor did it want to solve even the bourgeois democratic tasks life itself demanded. The ruling class refused to give a radical solution to the problem of land because it sought the support and alliance of the landowners. It refused to end the war because it relied on the support of its allies, the imperialists. Lenin elaborated a plan for a peaceful transition in the second, namely socialist stage of the revolution known as the April Theses which refutes those who insist that socialism is imposed only through arms. Lenin called for the Soviets to take all the power for the forces that were in favour of socialism to implement their program peacefully, given that they would gain the majority in the Soviets. The slogan All Power to the Soviets! became the banner of the revolutionary events and demonstrations in the spring and summer of The old order of Russia reacted violently. The riot police opened fire on the mass demonstrations in July killing many demonstrators. A wave of Right-wing terror was unleashed. An attempt was made to outlaw the Bolshevik Party. Lenin was forced to flee temporarily to Finland. The Party continued the struggle in conditions of persecution and anti-communist rage. The situation that had evolved forced the Bolsheviks to end their attempt at a peaceful evolution of the revolution. The preparations for an armed uprising began. The slogan All Power to the Soviets! was temporarily withdrawn. Leninism teaches that slogans must serve a flexible tactic 3 / 17

4 without coercing the political struggle. But even then, in the preparation of an armed uprising, the first priority was to win the hearts and minds of the majority in the Soviets because as Leninism teaches us, a revolutionary party only manages to achieve its objectives when it gains the majority of the working people, the majority of the people. In a letter sent in September 1917 to the Central Committee of the Party, Lenin stresses three preconditions for the uprising s successful conclusion: For the uprising to succeed it cannot and must not be based on conspiracy, neither on a party, but on the vanguard class. It must be based on the revolutionary upsurge of the people. It must be carried out at such a critical time, where the activity of the vanguard elements of the population is at the maximum and the indecisiveness in the enemy s camp are more pronounced. All these conditions exist, Lenin added. The Bolsheviks continued the policy of enlightening the masses in the factories, neighbourhoods, military barracks, in the frontline and rear of the war by putting forth the basic position that only socialism can solve Russia s fundamental problems. Based on the principle of recalling, in the autumn of 1917 the workers and soldiers disappointed by the social democrats and right wing Socialist Revolutionaries delegates, recall them en masse and in their place sent Bolshevik representatives who follow a consistent revolutionary line. Consequently, on the eve of the October Revolution, the majority in the Soviets passes over to join the Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. Subsequently, the slogan All Power to the Soviets! comes back with even greater intensity. 4 / 17

5 The extreme pro-monarchy Right-wing attempts suddenly to seize power and put an end to the revolution. General Kornilov s troops marches against Petrograd. The Bolsheviks did not waver for a moment. They fight Kornilov to save the revolution from the greatest danger threatening it, even if this would give a breath life to the provisional government. This is another Leninist lesson, namely that at every moment during the struggle you focus on the principal/essence and the decisive, even if this means making some temporary compromise. The defeat of Kornilov accelerates developments. On the morning of 24th October (6th November according to the old calendar) the armed uprising begins. The Red Guard made up of workers and soldiers occupies all the strategic positions of the capital Petrograd. By the following evening, the only area not under the control of the revolutionary forces is the Winter Palace itself, the seat of the provisional government of the bourgeois and landowner classes. The armed revolution in Petrograd is virtually bloodless. The Avrora cruiser fires a cannon shot, signalling the attack on the Winter Palace. The Winter Palace is overrun and seized in midnight 25th to 26th October. Meanwhile, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets proclaimed that power has passed entirely into the hands of the Soviets. Lenin submits a proposal and the Congress adopts the Decree on Peace, which terminates Russia s participation in the imperialist war and proposes to all parties engaged in the war a democratic peace without compensations and annexations of territories. Lenin s proposal for the Decree on Land is approved, which nationalizes the land of the landlords and grants it to the peasants. The first Soviet government is formed headed by Lenin which besides the Bolsheviks also includes the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, a fact that completely refutes another distortion of bourgeois propaganda that socialism by definition supposedly means a one-party system. The Soviet government proclaims the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination. Overnight then, the socialist revolution solved the issue of peace and land and ceded the right of self-determination to the peoples of Russia. In one night, the Soviet government did what the bourgeois-landowner provisional government could not and did not want to do. The issue of peace, the land question and the question of self-determination were not issues of a socialist character. However, they became the vehicle of the socialist revolution. This is another great timeless lesson of Leninism. The revolutionary party advances forward by solving the issues that the concrete historical moment at a given and concrete time set before it; issues that concern and trouble the people. The revolutionary Party does not just proceed with visions and proclamations, but also through the struggle to promote the solution of the people s real existing problems. 5 / 17

6 Comrades, Today s anniversary provides us with the opportunity to evaluate and draw lessons from the Great October Revolution itself, but also from the 70 year-old path of socialism in Europe. We do so however not to engage in an endless, introverted and theoretical search for the causes and pretexts. Our Party has discussed these issues at the time it had to and mainly in the manner it should have without any aphorisms and levelling approaches, with objectivity and a self-critical disposition; without in any way being masochists, but without any intention of concealing mistakes, shortcomings, distortions and deviations from the basic principles of our ideology, but also keeping quiet about crimes that were committed in the name of Marxism- Leninism. Socialism after the October victory was built in extremely adverse conditions, without the prior example of a positive or negative experience. Surrounded by hostile forces that were constantly lurking, having as its starting point an economy in ruins, given that the bloody civil war had completely destroyed all that had been left standing from the First World War. Despite all this, socialism unleashed enormous creative forces and an unprecedented revolutionary enthusiasm which managed to achieve miracles. Under the guidance of the Communist Party, the Revolution had turned the Soviet Union into a powerful, industrially advanced country, which upgraded the quality of life of the Soviet people. There were big steps in the field of culture, education, health and social welfare. The Soviet Union became the bulwark on which Hitler fascism was crushed. In countries where socialism prevailed after the end of the Second World War, the peoples of these countries also registered tremendous progress. The whole world thanks to socialism avoided a third world war. The opposing force in the figure of the socialist community for decades restrained imperialism s aggression. The fear of a possible socialist revolution restrained the appetite of big capital and facilitated workers in capitalist countries in their own struggles to achieve their own notable socio-economic and political gains. The existence of the socialist community and the assistance it generously offered to peoples struggling for national independence was one of the most essential factors that led to the collapse of the colonial system of imperialism. We here in Cyprus have experienced first-hand the importance of the support and solidarity of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries in our struggle to preserve the independence of our country. And today in the absence of the Soviet Union we also know first-hand what it s like to struggle for the reunification of your homeland you within the context of the so-called new order. 6 / 17

7 There is of course the other side of the coin, that is to say the mistakes and deviations from our ideology which we must not sweep under the carpet. Instead we must continue to draw lessons and conclusions from them, so that we avoid them in how we operate in our political action, in our social and class struggles and in our relationship with the people and workers. In having a critical stand towards the first historical attempt at building socialism, we increase our credibility and further strengthen our position in the ideological struggle and in the projection and defence of socialist ideals to which we remain, and shall remain, faithful till the very end, not from dogmatism, something which in any case is incompatible with Marxist-Leninist ideology. We remain, and shall remain, faithful till the end because the principles and values which we serve are all that is most human and real in the long history of this world, but also because life itself is vindicating daily socialist ideology, totally refuting the apologists of capitalism. One only needs to make a simple comparison between the current capitalist reality and the realities that existed under socialism, despite its distortions and errors. Today millions of working people are losing their jobs, along with their human dignity. The word unemployment was unknown in the socialist countries. Today millions of people are losing even their homes, while socialism with the assistance of the state, despite whatever problems, covered the needs for housing of the people and homeless was unheard of. Today the welfare state is being dissolved in the name of the exit from the crisis, in contrast to socialism where the welfare state and social welfare was the centre of attention and was constantly being reinforced. Today rights such as education and health are being sacrificed for the sake of the market and 7 / 17

8 profit, whereas free education and free health for the whole population was socialism s greatest achievement. Today pensions and the hard labour of an entire life are being squandered. Under socialism, the elderly safeguarded, retirement was guaranteed and nobody worried about whether one could live with dignity in old age. Today when expenditure on culture is considered an unnecessary luxury and in the name of market subculture is thriving, we recall that the production quality culture with the participation of millions of people, and with the assistance of the socialist state has experienced remarkable peaks in the socialist countries. Now that the uncertainty and anxiety about the next day is depressing reality for millions of our fellow human beings, we recall that perhaps the greatest conquest of socialism was the feeling of security and confidence for tomorrow. In short, what the current conditions, but even under normal conditions of capitalist development seem distant dream, the real socialism were realities. Comrades, Today s anniversary offers us the opportunity to evaluate and draw lessons from the Great October Revolution itself, but also from the 70 year-old course of socialism in Europe, but not however to lead ourselves into an endless, introverted and theoretical search for causes and consequences. Our Party has discussed these issues at the right time and chiefly in the manner it should have without any aphorisms and levelling approaches, in an objective and self-critical way. Without in any way acting as masochists, but without any intention of covering up and concealing errors, omissions, distortions and deviations from the fundamental principles of our ideology, but also crimes committed in the name of Marxism Leninism. 8 / 17

9 Socialism after the victory of the October Revolution was built in extremely difficult conditions, without any previous positive or negative experience, surrounded by hostile forces that were constantly looming to pounce. It began building socialism with a completely ruined economy after the bloody civil war that had destroyed everything standing upright from the First World War. Despite all this, socialism liberated enormous creative forces and an unprecedented revolutionary enthusiasm which managed to achieve miracles. Under the guidance of the Communist Party the revolution turned the Soviet Union into a strong, industrially advanced country, which upgraded the Soviet people s quality of life. The Soviet Union became the bulwark which crushed Hitler fascism. In countries where socialism had prevailed after the end of the Second World War, the peoples of these countries also recorded tremendous progress, but also the whole world thanks to socialism avoided a third world war. The opposing pole as expressed by the socialist community for decades restrained imperialism s aggressiveness. The awe of a possible socialist revolution restrained big capital s appetite and helped working people in the capitalist countries in their own struggles and in achieving their own noteworthy socio-economic and political gains. The existence of the socialist community and the help it generously offered to the peoples struggling for national independence was one of the most crucial factors that led to the collapse of the colonial system of imperialism. We here in Cyprus have experienced first-hand the importance of the solidarity given by the Soviet Union and the socialist countries in our struggle to preserve the independence of our country. Today too in the absence of the Soviet Union we also know first-hand what it means to struggle for the reunification of your homeland within the context of the so-called new order. There is of course the other side of the coin as well the mistakes and deviations from our ideology which we must not erase. On the contrary, we must continue to draw lessons from these mistakes and deviations as well to avoid them in how we operate in our political action, in our social and class struggles and in our relationship with the people and workers. Having a critical attitude towards the first historical attempt at building socialism, we enhance our credibility and further strengthen our position in the ideological struggle, in the promotion and defence of socialist ideals. We remained and will remain faithful to the ideals of socialism to the end not because of dogmatism, which anyway is incompatible with Marxist- Leninist ideology. We shall remain faithful to the ideals of socialism because the principles and values which we 9 / 17

10 serve are the most human and real born in the long history of this world, but also because life itself is vindicating socialist ideology on a daily basis, totally refuting the arguments of capitalism s apologists. You only have to make a simple comparison of the current capitalist reality with the realities that existed under socialism, despite its distortions and errors. Today millions of people are losing their jobs along with their human dignity. The word unemployment was unknown in the socialist countries. Today millions of people are even losing their homes, while in socialism with the assistance of the state, despite whatever problems, people s housing needs were covered and the phenomenon of homeless people didn t exist. Today the welfare state is being dismantled in the name of the exit from the crisis, in contrast to socialism that the welfare state and social welfare were at the centre of attention and was constantly being reinforced. Today education and health are being sacrificed for the sake of the market and profit, whereas free education and free health for the whole population was one of socialism s greatest achievements. Today pensions and the labours of an entire life are being squandered. Under socialism, the elderly were safeguarded, retirement and pensions were guaranteed nobody worried about whether one could live with dignity in old age. Today when expenditure on culture are considered as a needless luxury and in the name of market subculture is flourishing, we recall that the production of quality culture with the participation of millions of people, and with the assistance of the socialist state experienced remarkable achievements in the socialist countries. 10 / 17

11 Today when the uncertainty and anxiety about the day after is the depressing reality for millions of our fellow human beings, we recall that perhaps the greatest gain of socialism was the feeling of security and certainty for the future. In short, what in the current conditions, but even under normal conditions of capitalist development seems some distant dream, in existing socialism it was a reality. Comrades, If capitalism s apologists find it somewhat difficult to defend the current capitalist reality when compared to the gains achieved by existing socialism, where they find it extremely difficult to do so is when they are called upon to answer the question whether capitalism can indeed be the future, providing solutions to the enormous challenges facing humanity; challenges such as the question of peace, democracy, freedom and people s liberation from their all their oppression; such as the issue of social justice and equality, the eradication of poverty, social exclusion and poverty, the effective protection of the environment and the need for sustainable development. Their only reply is to refer to the metaphysical by projecting the cheap excuse that this is how the world is meant to be and that it will never change, because such is the nature of people. Those who call us, inter alia, utopians because we believe in a better and fairer world, subsequently invoke fate and destiny, to explain why billions of people must live in poverty, destitution, exploitation, misery and insecurity. However, if there is one undeniable truth it is that everything changes according to the philosopher Heraclitus. However, in which direction is the world changing? It is certainly changing in the direction that serves the ultimate value and driving force of the 11 / 17

12 capitalist system, that is to say ensuring more and more profits for the privileged minority of capitalists at the expense of the two main sources of their wealth the working people and the environment. We live on a planet inhabited by 7 billion people. On this planet, fewer than 2,000 people own property, which according to the Forbes List has risen sharply to $ 6.4 trillion, when at the same time 50% of the world s population are denied access to basic goods for human existence. We live in a world where the development of the productive capacities could ensure that everyone can have access to all basic goods but 1/6 of humanity is a victim of malnutrition. The following findings may sound exaggerated, but they reflect the living reality: - Just 4% of the wealth of the 225 richest capitalists would be sufficient to ensure food for all the inhabitants of the Earth. - The property of the seven richest capitalists would be enough to eliminate poverty forever. - The 356 richest dynasties in the world enjoy wealth that exceeds the annual income of 40% of humanity. - Just 740 multinationals control 80% of global wealth! - Just 147 of these multinational companies themselves own 40% of the world s wealth! Comrades, These enormous social and economic inequalities reflect the phenomenon of barbarism humanity is suffering and not in an integrated manner it should be noted. The increasingly growing wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of the multinational 12 / 17

13 monopolies, allowing them to control and rule the world, not always through juntas and coup d états. They now have the so-called markets in their hands to blackmail and impose their own selfish interests, punishing entire peoples if they dare to resist their insatiable appetites. They have the power to intervene in the internal affairs of countries and in a precise way, without being seen at all, to organize various so-called revolutions of various colours in order to decide and determine the developments and orientations of states and peoples. They do not hesitate to cooperate even with neo-nazis to achieve their goals, as happened this year in Ukraine, simultaneously targeting Communists, which the imperialists have never stopped representing a serious danger to their interests They have the enormous power of the mass media and mass subculture in their hands so that they can shape or dampen people s consciousness. However they are still forced, within the framework of the new world order, to continue their old and well-known practices of unjust, imperialist wars and military interventions under the pretext of promoting democracy and human rights, the war against terrorism and tackling humanitarian crises. This is precisely what they have been doing lately, bringing democracy, peace and prosperity to the peoples of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Palestinian Gaza through the endless slaughter of these countries peoples. It is indeed true that they need to their war industry to flourish so that the turnover and profits of billions for multinationals can be maintained, but also because some peoples refuse to yield and submit such as the heroic people of Palestine, as well as the heroic people of Cuba resolutely defending the socialist revolution, paving the way for the social and national radicalization in a number of countries in Latin America, with a clear left orientation. Comrades, Red October shocked not only Russia but the whole world as well. It was the starting point for unprecedented developments and events. The founding of the Communist Party of Cyprus, whose worthy successor since 1941 is the Progressive Party of Working People AKEL, was another product of the October Revolution. 13 / 17

14 In its history spanning almost 90 years, AKEL, having as its guide it s Marxist Leninist ideology and despite all the persecution, imprisonment, terror and murder of our comrades, managed to become a leading force in Cyprus, decisively influencing the political and social life and affairs in our country. AKEL has and maintains strong, unbreakable bonds with the people and the people of labour, the youth, women, farmers, the people of letters, arts and culture, with the popular strata of Cypriot society in general. This is because AKEL was always next to and together with the people and workers. We struggled and achieved significant economic and social gains and quite rightly, even our political opponent, have from time to time acknowledged AKEL s significant contribution to our people s social progress and prosperity. The struggles waged by AKEL for freedom and democracy, as well as the struggle for unity and friendship between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots against chauvinism and intolerance, are also widely recognized. This is the reason why AKEL s roots, watered with the blood and sweat of our pioneering comrades and martyr/heroes, have penetrated deep, very deep into the land of Cyprus. This is the reason why when socialism was defeated in Eastern Europe and the Parties of our own ideological type were yielding and betraying ideologically or shrinking dramatically, our people kept AKEL upright and proud, indeed reinforcing its strength even further. Those who were miserably disappointed then thought they had found a golden opportunity from July 2011 onwards to fulfil the goal of significantly reducing AKEL s strength, so that it could no longer be able to influence our country s political and social developments. The political and economic establishment used almost all the means and instruments at its disposal to attack and hurt AKEL, with an unprecedented unethical even immoral way. The fierce war against our Party continued with great intensity right up to the European elections last June. 14 / 17

15 AKEL, which according to its enemies is a remnant of history, though wounded as a result of the merciless attacks it has suffered, has once again not yielded. The people have protected and kept it strong, reaffirming its leading role. However, the satisfactory under the circumstances result for our Party, has not in any way led us to be complacent. Our main priority remains to make those necessary changes in the Party s functioning and activity. Our goal is to address shortcomings, weaknesses and problems that have appeared more intensively in the previous period and have facilitated the Party s enemies in their organised attempt to attack and weaken AKEL. We want the upcoming 22th Party Congress, due to be held in June 2015, to objectively be the main vehicle for achieving this goal. The objective is closely bound up with another central task and priority of ours, which is the strengthening and effective intervention of AKEL in the entire spectrum of developments and unprecedented challenges the Cypriot people are facing. At this precise time when Cyprus Troika lenders and the government of Anastasiades and the governing Rally DISY party are attempting to load the cost of the capitalist and banking crisis on the shoulders of the working people and the vulnerable groups of the population, as AKEL we have a duty and an obligation to build up and reinforce the resistance to the Memoranda austerity policies. In the attempt of the government and Troika to abolish all our people s social and labour gains and to sell-off not only our national wealth, but also the primary residence and small business premises of the victims of the banking crisis, as AKEL we must enhance our leading role in forging a broad social and political front that will put an end to the path of impoverishment of our people and the imposition of new punishing measures against it. At this critical juncture of the course of the Cyprus problem, where many people beyond the spectrum of the Left trust AKEL s seriousness and responsibility, we must continue and intensify our efforts to repel Turkey s intransigence and provocations, so that we can pave the way for the liberation and reunification of our homeland. We should also continue to seek a change of direction in government policy, both with regards the stance taken by the President of the Republic with regards foreign policy and in the negotiations. Only then will we regain the lost international credibility and political-diplomatic shielding of the Republic of Cyprus, mitigating the severe damage that we have already suffered which we observe with the facilitation of Turkey s adventurist actions and the creation of faits accomplis in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. 15 / 17

16 Comrades, It is proven that history marches forward, despite whatever temporary setbacks. Besides, the whole history of humanity is the history of class struggle and the change of social systems. Capitalism, despite its resilience and capacity to adapt it has demonstrated, cannot overcome its inherent contradictions. When it emerged replacing feudalism it brought with it what was new, giving an impetus to productive forces in society. As with feudalism too, capitalism has its own expiry date and historical limits. Injustice, poverty, unemployment, exploitation and oppression, war and all that compose capitalist barbarism, cannot and will not be humanity s eternal fate. Only socialism can cut the Gordian knot of capitalist contradictions, leading to the liberation of humanity and to a world of real democracy, justice and peace. Capitalism s apologists are fond of telling us that we are romantic and utopians, while they retain the characteristic of realism for themselves. For them to be realistic means accepting the misery and barbarism of capitalism. For them it is utopian for someone to struggle against injustice and for a better world. We reply that if their own realism is valid, then the slaves would still be slaves, and Red October would have taken place only in the Bolsheviks and Lenin s dreams. The shot fired by the Avrora cruiser though was absolutely real; showing the way forward until today to all those struggling against the darkness of capitalist barbarism, for a better world and for socialism. We have made the start, wrote Lenin on the fourth anniversary of the October Revolution. 16 / 17

17 When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nations will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown. This is the path of honour we have consciously chosen to take and shall continue to march on. Long live the Great October Socialist Revolution! Long live the struggle for peace, social justice, socialism! 17 / 17

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