Part One Part Two Part Four
MLM Line Struggle concerning the struggle in the International Communist Movement on the role of Chairman Gonzalo
|Documentary material on radical themes & occurrences
The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement – RIM – broke when the two-line struggle that had been raging inside the RIM was made public. The principle issues of the debate have been known for a while: the conflicting assessment of the situation in Nepal and the controversy regarding Bob Avakian’s “New Synthesis”. Surprisingly RIM had survived an earlier line struggle the previous decade that was equally significant to the international movement of the day, the political summation of the situation in Peru, the Peace Accord and the Right Opportunist Line (ROL). When PCm Italy, provided a political summation (published in Maoist Road #1) of the RIM starting with its foundation in 1984, they make it clear that the beginning of the end for the RIM was the division that was fermented in the RIM regarding the situation in Peru. It is also clear that the RCP,USA played an especially factionalizing role in the RIM, especially by organizing the CoRIM on factional lines rather than on the basis of political experience, which only hardened the divisions within the organization.
The confusion and uncertainty that arose international, and the contested status of “Gonzalos Thought” was never really resolved and while nobody should charge chairman Gonzalo with the simplifications of many of his supporters in Peru and abroad today, the movement continues to grapple with its relationship with the imprisoned Guzman.
In hindsight, Guzman’s arrest on September 13th 1992 begun the disintegration of the organisation’s struggle. Prior to this there was speculation of when Lima would fall.
Dr. Guzman, there was a greater use of the former philosophy professor’s academic title after his military trial, and other militants, were convicted on October 7th 1992 by a military tribunal in Peru and sentenced to life in prison without parole and fined $25 billion.
Adolfo Olaecha was sadly mistaken when he commented on the capture of the leader of the Sendero Luminoso: “it is a big blow, of course, losing the Chairman. It will delay a few things, but in the end it will change nothing.”
The party had claim “strategic equilibrium” in the struggle against the Peruvian state, the arrests of the Chairman and seven members of the Central Committee, but the lack of contingency proved decisive. The loss of centralised leadership – the charismatic personality and bureaucratically dominant role of its leader – was not something the organisation could absorb and adjust as what followed was a period of confusion and political dissention and factional claims for ascendancy.
Initially supporters abroad responded with protests and mobilisation: A World to Win, magazine of the Maoist Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) published the call to
Move Heaven and Earth to Defend the Life of Chairman Gonzalo!
We Need Comrade Gonzalo at His Post, in the Forefront of the Revolution in Peru and the International Communist Movement! Fight for His Liberation!
— Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, 15 September 1992
National sections of the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán were set up with a founding congress in Duisburg, Germany although its co-ordinating Headquarters was London, the same location for CoRIM.
IEC reached out across a broad range to publicise the imprisonment of Guzman arranging delegations to Peru, producing leaflets, petitions and pamphlets, protests and embassy pickets. A 1994 production , You must tell the world ~ told the story of Dr. Guzman’s capture and imprisonment, in a video-documentary, in Spanish with English subtitles and the international campaign which arose to defend Dr. Guzman’s life and to stand with the struggling people of Peru.
Committee Formed to Defend Abimael Guzman. Prison Legal News November, 1992 p8
Abimael Guzman (also known as Chairman Gonzalo), the leader of the Communist Party of Peru, was captured by Peruvian government troops on September 14, 1992, in Lima, Peru. Mr. Guzman had been sought by government troops since 1980, when the PCP initiated the military aspect of the current people’s war to liberate Peru. The Peruvian government has a long history of torturing and killing PCP members (real or accused) it captures [see Prison Legal News Vol. 3, Nos. 4 and 9]. The Peruvian government is ranked as the leader in human rights violations involving the murder and disappearances of anti-government activists, according to human rights groups.
It is under these circumstances that the International Committee to Defend the Life of Abimael Guzman has been formed. Mr. Guzman is to be tried by a military tribunal where he faces life without parole when he is convicted of “treason”. In April of this year the Peruvian government suspended its constitution and abolished its judiciary. Guzman will not receive anything close to a fair or impartial trial. The government had earlier filed murder and subversion charges against Guzman but the Supreme Court of Peru dismissed the charges for lack of evidence. This led to the Supreme Court being abolished, accused of being soft in the “war on subversion.”
The Committee is urgently seeking to raise funds to help pay the expenses of sending a delegation of lawyers, human rights activists, professors and religious figures to Peru to meet with government officials to ensure Guzman’s physical safety and well-being are assured.
Guzman is in poor health and suffers from serious medical problems. To date he has not been allowed to meet with his physicians. Despite his upcoming show trial he has not been allowed to meet with his lawyer. These will be issues raised with the government.
The Committee is circulating a petition requesting that Guzman not be tried before a military tribunal and that he be allowed access to his lawyers and doctors. Guzman has also demanded that he be treated in accordance with international law concerning the treatment of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.
The Black-Hooded Justice of the Fujimori Dictatorship ~ A World To Win #18 1992
— Statement by the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán on the October 7th Verdict
The “trial” and verdict of Dr Abimael Guzmán represents the trampling of internationally established treaties and conventions governing the treatment of political prisoners. The “trial” took place at break-neck speed, without the opportunity to call witnesses or present a defence. Dr Guzmán was denied the right to consult his attorney, [added text Peruvian Political Prisoners Mistreated – Copy.] All press and observers were banned and an international delegation of attorneys refused admittance. The faces of the judges and prosecutors were hidden behind black hoods. The “trial” and verdict are and must be considered null and void!
From the day of the arrest of Dr Guzmán on September 12th, the Fujimori dictatorship has had only one concern: to permanently silence the leader of the twelve-year insurgency as quickly as possible. Initially Fujimori had threatened to impose the death penalty on Dr Guzmán, though it is banned by the Peruvian Constitution. In the face of widespread opposition in Peru and worldwide, Fujimori has abandoned ideas on an official execution, but there is still every reason to fear an extra-legal execution under the cover of “escape attempt”, “suicide”, or “death by natural causes”. Details of these sordid plans have already appeared in the world press (see the Economist, 19 September).
The notorious record of the Peruvian regime for murdering political prisoners is well known and well documented, from the massacre of hundreds of prisoners at El Fronton prison in 1986 to the cold-blooded murder of more than forty women and men, unarmed prisoners at the Canto Grande prison, as recently as May of this year. International public opinion must help stop the hand of the Peruvian regime from adding Dr Guzmán to their endless list of murdered political prisoners.
The Western powers and the world media they dominate have played a despicable role in aiding and covering over the Fujimori regime. First Dr Guzmán was portrayed all over the world as a dangerous “terrorist” and the “most dangerous man on earth”, while the kangaroo “trial” was organised and every established legal principle was trampled, the “guardians of democracy” remained deafeningly silent.
Despite this worldwide orchestra of lies and hysteria, in the past three weeks a movement has developed around the world with remarkable speed against the threats to Dr Guzmán’s life. It has brought together a broad array of jurists, defenders of human rights, political activists, journalists, and many tens of thousands of ordinary people in countries on every continent. One international delegation has already been in Lima to express the worldwide opposition to this railroad and a second is now assembling there. This movement is expanding daily, and will continue to do so as long as the life, health, humane treatment and that Dr Guzmán are not guaranteed. This movement hold that Dr Guzmán must benefit from the broad international support from which imprisoned opponents of imperialism and reactionary regimes have always benefitted.
Oct 19, 1993
|PCP leader gave a speech to his members calling for a peace accord and an end to the violence. Many were sceptical of this speech and either blamed the government for faking it, or forcing Guzman to make such a speech.
When news of the peace accord broke there was a tested solution: the bifurcation between a person of flesh and blood and his/her abstract intellectual contribution solved a problem for the post-Mao leadership; it could work for admirers of President Gonzalo. The man could make mistakes but Gonzalo Thought remains valid and true. However, the Gonzaloists position that emerged was to deny the weight of evidence, and declare not only the hoax of the ‘Peace Accords’ [which is valid on one level as no negotiation or settlement ever occurred] but that subsequent meetings, letters, books , court appearances and organisational developments like Movadef [The Movement for General Amnesty and National Reconciliation] were state-staged. Hence the demand for unfettered public appearance of the imprisoned Guzman to speak unencumbered. The RIM analysis that emerged was unacceptable in part because it criticised the man, raising questions about the leadership that had been raised to a mystical level in the movement. The person become a political cypher to be defended.
Going beyond a call for a peace accord, a letter signed by four of his lieutenants on Oct. 28, called on guerrillas across the nation to suspend armed actions, “making a maximum effort to avoid such acts and denouncing them roundly and immediately.” It raised the spectre that saving the life of Guzman would become the first priority taking precedence over continuing the insurgency. Most of his followers laid down their arms, but nevertheless, even after Guzman’s capture, PCP factions, notably one known as the Red Path, sought to continue the armed struggle, it appeared that a low-level guerrilla war might persist in isolated areas of Peru for years.
The inability to accept that Guzman had recalibrated his political analysis so that the actions of 1980 had not been on the wave of advance but a period of retreat indicates the dominance of the symbolism of ideology over the notion of ideology as informed by practical theory. The narrative – the ideological stream predating 1992 – was maintained at the cost of a fractured solidarity movement glorious in its sectarian isolation and irrelevance.
In September 1992 President Alberto Fujimori has ordered a propaganda campaign against groups in Europe and the United States that support Peru’s Sendero Luminoso, described as its propaganda and support network abroad. Lima newspapers published an official list of organizations and “terrorist delinquents” accused by Fujimori of representing Sendero in nine foreign countries. Peruvian officials were talking to the governments of friendly countries to see how they can be controlled and countered. In a press conference Fujimori called Guzman’s followers overseas “ambassadors of terror” identifying Luis Arce Borja and Adolfo Olaechea – both in exile, whom assumed the mantle of the leaders of the support movement for the Communist Party of Peru outside of Peruvian borders.
To counter overwhelmingly negative coverage of what was inevitably referred to as the Shining Path / Sendero Luminoso in the American and European press, the solidarity groups tried to present a counter-narrative to the mainstream media reporting. While in exile in Europe, Luis Arce Borja started publishing El Diario International (EDI), an international edition of the sympathetic Lima newspaper, joining a stable of newsletters produced by other solidarity groups.
In labelling the advocacy groups and solidarity activists, the authorities demonstrated the inability of Peruvian diplomats to counter the groups, and second, the unwillingness of host countries to shut them down. A U.S. official stated that the listed groups and people in the United States were not regarded as a problem by U.S. authorities because “as far as we know they haven’t broken any laws.”
The growth in solidarity groups post-date the imprisonment of Chairman Gonzalo; however the Peruvian government’s presentation of an international support network with its “ambassadors of terror” belies the hostility that fractured the solidarity camp with internecine fighting amongst PCP supporter factions abroad. Scathing attacks and accusation made without proof masquerading as forthright criticism and initiating line struggle in its wake. From individuals like Luis Arce Borja, and ADOLFO OLACHEA to the militants in Scandinavian exile in Peru People’s Movement the political attacks upon differences with comrades occurred with each organisation swearing fidelity to the PCP- but critical of other groups, each seemingly equally sectarian in outlook, all against a background of shared opposition to what one group insisted was “CIA/SIN “peace letters” hoax” and “the traitorous campaign of capitulation under the guise of “peace talks”.
The solidarity movement did not take on a mass character.
In the United States, the cause of the PCP had been embraced as an internationalist duty by the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Maoist organization that distributes books, leaflets and posters through Revolution Books, a nationwide network of radical bookstores. It was instrumental in the formation and work of the Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru. There was significant overlap between the CSRP and the Revolutionary Communist Party; the organizer was RCP member, Heriberto Ocasio, a Puerto Rican-born doctor, who indicated that there are chapters in Berkeley, Chicago and New York. Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru. They produced the newsletter, Peru Action & News.
The CSRP, Headquarters in Berkeley, San Francisco, where a local press article commented: “about a dozen activists called the Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru work in a small office under the eye of Mao Tse-tung, who from a poster on the wall exhorts all to follow his leadership.”
Fellow Americans, the Maoist Internationalist Movement had little regard for the “crypto-Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist Party-USA” but then were also hyper-critical of the “MPP-USA, publishers of New Flag magazine, and castigated them as a “cop outfit”:
“MIM has documented, the New Flag editor has engaged in splitting and wrecking, intelligence-gathering, forgery, double-dealing, snitch work, political inconsistencies, defense of capitulation, and defense of the CoRIM. When pieced together, these facts constitute proof that Agent Quispe is a police provocateur.” MIM replies to CoRIM, 8/6/97
In west London-based exile, Adolfo Olaechea, working first around Red Star Information Bureau and agitating by means of the Yenan Society, later grouped in the Maoist London Committee (of Supporters of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement), and settled on the Committee Sol Peru .Independently trying to represent the interests of the PCP, He enjoyed a certain prestige: regarded as a long-time (unofficial) ambassador of the PCP. Doing little to counter that impression that his actions and statements, whichever opinion one may have of them, to a certain degree reflected the standpoint of the PCP – but were not universally acknowledged not even within the marginal realm he operated. He was known for his involvement performing music in a London band called the Musical Guerrilla Army which in 1991 performed at tourist hot-spots (like Covent Garden) and concerts in such places as the Old White House in Brixton and the Emerald Centre in Hammersmith, west London. Typical lyrics were: “The people’s blood has a beautiful aroma…. Chairman Gonzalo, Light of the Masses…. The blood of the armed people nourishes the armed struggle.”
The development of the support movement in Britain was hampered by the earlier experiences that shaped the relationship between activists. There was a small and diverse collection who identified as Maoists to draw upon. Within that number was missing the orthodox anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninists like the RCLB, tainted by its pro-China stance, and other groups who were now politically aligned elsewhere like the RCPB (ML) under the Albanian sway of the Internationalist trend and the CPB (ML) pro-Soviet anglocentric politics. The natural activist consistency that remain were small groups, organisations based in national minority exile communities and non-aligned individuals, amongst the Peruvian militants.
According to Olaechea:
“The representatives of the RCP USA line in this country responded to this initiative by proposing the formation of a local committee in London to support the RIM. This invitation was accepted by the revolutionaries and a series of meetings and contacts with the aim of setting up the London Supporters Committee of the RIM took place.”
Activists based in Britain proved incapable of collaborating in developing the campaign in support of the Peruvian People’s War partly because personal antagonism that were not contained and on the question of strategy there were opposing views on the 7th Congress of the Communist International, holding that the line of the United Front that emerged from this Congress was a ‘revisionist line’!
However political disagreements were aired early in the development of the support movement at the public meeting in London on November 30, 1984. This confrontation saw the International Committee of the RIM continued to function in London refusing to recognise the London Support Committee. Having the administrative centre for RIM in London may have contributed to a lower profile by activists wishing to maintain their freedom of anonymity but the lack of solidarity amongst activists contributed to lack lustre campaigning.
Luis Arce Borja
The Peruvian journalist “LAB” fled Peru, after the closing of El Diario, settled in Brussels (Belgium). Here he launched El Diario International (EDI), and where he worked with the Party of Labour, MPP-France and Co-RIM and IEC. He grew disenchanted with the working relationship and in March 1996, issued the World Mobilization Commission Call for Mobilising for Struggle, which stated:
“…The opportunist leadership of Co-RIM, is the main cause of immobilism
in the international movement of support for the People’s War in Peru.
Since October 1993 their nefarious activities have been geared to
paralysing any show of support for the People’s War and to cast doubts upon
the revolutionary condition of Chairman Gonzalo. Both bureaucratic
organisms, the Co-RIM and the IEC, are not in any way politically and
morally capable to call upon the masses and political organisations to the
defence of the Peruvian revolution.
“No working class individual would listen to or follow the calls of an
eclectic leadership who took a conciliatory position towards the police
fraud for over a year and a half and kept during that time secret relations
with the promoters of the police and capitulators’ plot abroad, a
leadership, moreover, that took steps to pigeonhole documents of the PCP.
“No political organisation abroad can take seriously the proclamations of
the International Emergency Committee (IEC), while the bureaucracy in
charge of that organism is the same bureaucracy in charge of the Co-RIM. No
one with elementary political sense would want to offer their support and
solidarity to Chairman Gonzalo if this must pass through the IEC, an
organism in whose ‘leading body,’ three individuals who are working and
coordinating actions with the Peruvian government remain….Given the
ideo-political considerations above, we issue this call to set up and
organise a WORLD WIDE MOBILISATION COMMISSION (WMC) to defend the Peruvian revolution.”
The wider response was not to rally activists in an organisation but deepen the existing divisions. As one active participant in the cyber-maoist scene recalled of the WMC
“whose creation we both supported, comrade Adolfo Oleachea being one of the initiators of the call for it and I being one of its individual endorsers, but which was later formed in a manner which I found to be quite impermissible and protested against.” Rolf Marten naturally in the summer of 1996. In years to come disillusionment set in with LAB changing perspective [ see 2006 Luis Arce Borja Remnants of a Betrayed Revolution ]
The New Flag also carried its criticism of Luis Arce Borja and Adolfo Olaechea for being two self-serving opportunists who attempt to impose their own bourgeois individualist line over the international solidarity movement. (Volume 4, No. 1, January 1997, p.45)
Internet postings saw Quispe describe El Diario Internacional as “fake” condemning “the opportunists snitches Olaechea and Arce Borja!” while asking “IS OLAECHEA A PLANT OF THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICES?” [Capitals in the original]
Quispe wrote, “CHARLATAN OLAECHEA AND THE ‘MOTHER COURAGE’ ARCE BORJA WILL BE JUSTLY JUDGED BY THE PEOPLE, ONLY THE PEOPLE TRY AND PUNISH THE SNITCHES AND PROVOCATORS.”
Co-thinkers in the Peru People’s Movement (MPP) of Switzerland were equally dismissive of the action and critical of all involved.
“What are LAB and his World Commission of Opportunism after? Looking at this individual’s characteristics, we think LAB, together with his accomplice, the British provocateur Olaechea, aim at spreading confusion and splits between individuals and organizations that honestly support the People’s War in Peru. He focuses his attacks on the PCP-generated abroad, and mainly against the brave comrades of the MPP (USA) who exposed his treacherous position, and who at the same time, have been conducting the struggle against the opportunism of Co-RIM (mainly the “arribista” Avakian.) To this end, LAB launched the call to the World Commission of Opportunism, and gathered (in paper only) the most rotten garbage pile of revisionism (PTB) and reaction (MIM), where he would become the “maximum leader.” (March 1997)
Following the analysis by RIM that Guzman was probably the source of the “Peace Accord” the attack dogs were unleashed to repudiate such traitorous statements:
“the Committee of the RIM (Co-RIM) have been using subterfuge and deception against the People’s War, first by remaining silent in public for about two years in the face of the blatant imperialist psychological operation against the Peruvian revolution and President Gonzalo, while subtly distributing the materials of the intelligence services, the Fujimori call for “peace negotiations” (the Fujimori line) as a “two line struggle within the PCP.” The RCP-USA has distributed these materials widely as “study packs” for a purported “investigation and analysis.” They paid no attention to the public statements and directives of the PCP’s Central Committee denouncing such CIA/Fujimori’s counterfeit materials as counterrevolutionary hoax. Co-RIM’s disguises then and now have had the same purpose: Provide credibility to the low intensity warfare carried out by the intelligence services. Co-RIM stubbornly claims: “It is clear that a struggle of two leadership has surged in the ranks of the Communist Party of Peru.” [Co-RIM’s circular, November 1994.]
The MPP and The New Flag grouping questioning the political claims advanced by RIM:
“The clique in Co-RIM and RCP-USA even attempts to negate that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is the ideology of the international proletariat. They state: “People are taking up the revolutionary science of the RIM: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.” (Revolutionary Worker No. 737, December 26, 1993, center page.) People know that it was in December 1993 when the Co-RIM announced to the world it upheld Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and called it “revolutionary science of the RIM.” However, the reality is that the PCP, through the People’s War, has been upholding and applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, (principally Maoism), and its creative development Gonzalo Thought, since 1981. That is, more than 12 years before RIM! This truth cannot be suppressed any longer. (Volume 2, #1, p.14)
On weaker grounds, loyalists advanced a defence of Great Leadership inherent in their positions on Gonzalo Thought asking whether they were to “spread the same old story of “authoritarianism” or “personality cult”? The position was consistently held:
“To us, Chairman Gonzalo is the Great Leadership of our revolution in Peru, center of Party unity and guarantee of triumph until communism, because he is a Great Leadership based on Gonzalo Thought, the creative application of Maoism to our reality in Peru – based on the whole practical experience of our revolution. It is not, and it has never been the PCP’s position that Gonzalo Thought has universal validity. However, we do insist that 1) Chairman Gonzalo and Gonzalo Thought have had, and continue to have today, a decisive role of undeniable importance in the struggle to defend and apply the principles of Maoism and impose it on world level and 2) Chairman Gonzalo and Gonzalo Thought give contributions to Marxism, like the militarization of the Communist Parties, and “we consider this experience to have universal validity, which is why it is a demand and a necessity that the Communist Parties of the world be militarized”. – Main speech of the Peru People’s Movement at the International conference in Madrid, October 27 2012
The response of RIM was a public polemical piece naming its critics, refuting the “campaign of vicious attacks” by a “the hard core … anti-RIM cabal includes Luis Arce Borja, a Peruvian exile who edits El Diario Internacional, published in Belgium; Adolfo Olaechea, a close ally of Arce, who distributes his publications on the Internet and usually signs himself as the Committee Sol Peru, London; New Flag, an occasional magazine also edited by a Peruvian exile, which comes out in New York City; and a small group in the US called the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM), which, despite its name, has nothing to do with RIM. There are a few other groups and individuals scattered around Western Europe and North America who are more loosely associated with this hard core.” A World To Win (#22, December 1996)
In publishing an article attacking its critics, RIM was drawing lines of demarcation and distancing themselves from what they saw as disruptive fringe elements that had not contribute to building solidarity or support. Those elements were amongst the most vocal in raising the issue of the imprisonment of Guzman.
The response to “Anti-RIM Critics from the Cyberswamp: ‘Virtual Maoism’ and Real Opportunism” from this “hard core” included the observation that demonstrated how divided the potential solidarity forces were, or as RIM described it: “Even while joining forces to attack RIM, they savagely turn on each other from time to time like crabs scrabbling to be top of the heap.” The invective could be entertaining even if not effective in resolution of the disagreements.
“Voina’s statement that “There are in fact no PCP representatives abroad at this time” is actually a stunning admission. If there are no PCP representatives abroad, then that only serves to underscore how the RCP/CoRIM have sought to take advantage of the arrest of Gonzalo to put new organizations in place in Europe to replace those sanctioned while Gonzalo was still free, namely the El Diario of Luis Arce Borja. We instead choose to rally around what was already in place before the arrest of Gonzalo. The RCP/CoRIM’s attempts to do otherwise are a continuation of the split-and-wreck activities that the Peruvian police initiated.”
Accusations continued to fly through cyberspace with the Peru People’s Movement arguing that:
“The RCP attempted to fool international public opinion by presenting themselves as “defending the life of Doctor Abimael Guzman” while simultaneously distributing propaganda in favor of the reactionary call for “peace negotiations.”
The Yankee revisionists, in special those infiltrated in the leadership of MIM and the RCP-USA, believed that they could fool people; these mercenaries believed that the masses of poor and oppressed people are easy to deceive. They believed that they could actively promote “peace negotiations”, presenting President Gonzalo as a traitor capitulating, and distributing counter-revolutionary propaganda, all under the phony cover of “investigating”, upholding the bourgeois sophistry of “peace negotiations are not always bad”, and manipulating “defend the life of Dr. Guzman” for their own selfish interests (collecting money, showing off as “radical revolutionaries”) and thus trafficking with the revolutionary feelings of the masses.”
However the effectiveness and impact of such charges was questionable, not only for the lack of evidenced argument and consistency, but the opposition to RIM was so divided amongst itself, indulging in sectarian rhetoric, hitting out in all directions, creating a confusion that substantiating RIM’s original charges, as missives and counter-charges continued to appear in the warp cyber space they operated.
“Some individuals in Europe use the fight against the opportunists of Co-RIM as a Trojan horse to advance individualistic ideas that are nothing more than revisionist trash. Others follow the Co-RIM to sustain that the two line struggle undertaking by the Party amongst the masses in the midst of the armed struggle is principally the issue of “peace talks” and not the Conquest of Power and the smashing of imperialism and the genocidal regime. That’s also right opportunism. Both are the two sides of the same coin that must be combated based on the principle of Unity-Struggle-Transformation.” The Revolutionary Storm in a CO-RIM teacup. Marxmail List May 10 1996
Both the Peru People’s Movement (PPM) and their support organization in the US, the New Peru Friendship Association, USA, criticized both the Revolutionary Communist Party and later the Kasama Project, operative from 2007-2015, and took the attitude that there is no organized movement for the US proletariat at the time.
However, the PPM has continued to support both Guzmán and the “people’s war.” Guzmán had called for an end to the people’s war and condemn those who continue it as ‘mercenaries for criminal organizations.’ This is totally inconsistent with the stand that the PPM has taken. So if El Diario had it right, to support the people’s war was to support the People’s Guerilla Army that meant supporting Quispe and his leadership even though have made little if any contact with the outside world?
When the Peru People’s Movement claimed representative status, describing itself as generated organization of the PCP for the Party work abroad, the questions was raised whether : “The homepage “solrojo.org” and the Swedish “maoistiskforum.org” publish documents from a “central committee” that does not exist”
“The writers behind the website Sol Rojo – http://www.redsun.org/ – and produce Red Sun Magazine – mainly in Spanish with English translations – pretend to have a functioning central committee fighting for the political line chaired by President Gonzalo. In statement after statement, they have stated that the People’s War is strong and that the party leadership works satisfactorily. That way, people in Peru wonder as “waiting for the party to come back” instead of taking up the struggle to rebuild the party. The conclusion was “Through these lies, the website solrojo.org is politically entirely in the service of US imperialism and the Peruvian reaction.”
The Peru People’s Movement doubted all, operating in the sphere of cybermaoism oblivious to what occurs IRL. Their analysis reflects a blinkered sectarianism at odds with the verifiable evidence at hand so condemned the activities of Guzman’s legal representative as part of the hoax that enveloped the imprisoned leader.
With the collaboration of the rats of the ROL and through a supposed replacement of the scoundrel so-called lawyer Crespo, they have appointed another lawyer, one Carl Peter Erlinder, for the “defense” of Chairman Gonzalo in the Interamerican Human Rights Court. As the masses and the people know, the felon Crespo is today the head of the plan for “amnesty” and an electoral cretin. With these “visits” and with this new lawyer, they aim to wipe themselves clean, to say that the Chairman is sick, among other sophisms and lies, to continue to avoid the public presentation and go on with the hoax of the “peace accords”, a hoax that has been blown to a thousand pieces over and over again by the very development of the people’s war led by the CC of the PCP……, when we celebrate the birthdays of Chairman Mao and Chairman Gonzalo, we take position and say to imperialism, reaction and revisionism, that …….., that once more their tricks shall be crushed and disemboweled; we reaffirm ourselves in that no matter how many farces and malicious stories they invent, no matter how much they want to lead the masses away from the road of the revolution and the people’s war, the people and the class are clear: only with Communist Parties of a new type, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, militarized, that all-embracingly lead people’s wars without wavering in the principles, will we reach the society without classes, the golden communism. PPM December 26, 2013
The more marginal the existence, the more hectoring and grandiose the propaganda claims produced, the more insistent on the entitlement to leadership was made and maintained. The position is that:
It is necessary that each Party and organization analyze and synthesize not only their internal struggles, their whole history of crushing revisionist lines within their ranks, but also that they take position on the history of the struggle within the ICM and the RIM. As part of this process, we point out that the main problem of the RIM has been the problems of the leadership, that is the CoRIM and the hegemonist positions and the destructive role of the RCP (USA) in it. We reject the obscure work of the RCP and its followers to isolate and slander the PCP and its Great leadership Chairman Gonzalo, and their collusion with imperialism and reaction in spreading the hoax of the “peace accords” in Peru. The campaign of isolation against the PCP and its Great leadership, that continues to have repercussions today, objectively forms part of the plans of imperialism, mainly yankee imperialism, against the revolution in Peru. One may agree with the positions of the PCP or not, but what the communists of the world must do today to combat this reactionary plan is to recognize the leadership of the PCP, its Central Committee and the whole Party, that today continues leading the people’s war under difficult circumstances, applying Gonzalo thought.
Madrid, October 19, 2013 | OPEN LETTER TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST MOVEMENT: LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM, UNIVERSAL IDEOLOGY OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT!
On Gonzalo thought unproven claims abound,
“In the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, to the reality on a world scale and within each country, it is necessary to refer to what is now the spearhead of the international communist movement: the Communist Party of Peru and the Gonzalo Thought. The elements of the Gonzalo thought are finding verification in the theoretical and practical advances of Maoist parties and organizations. The “critical assimilation” of them is a necessary condition for the application of Maoism to today’s reality.”
There is also a fundamental question raised by, amongst others, Jose Maria Sison, and repeated in his 2019 interviewed on the 50th Anniversary of Communist Party of the Philippines:
“The CPP has opposed the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) seeking to impose the principle of democratic centralism on communist parties in violation of the principle of equality and independence among them.
At the same time, RIM exaggerated the status and role of the RCPUSA. Since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, communist and workers’ parties have become equal to each other and independent from each other.
There has been no Comintern Executive Committee to treat them as national sections of a world party.”
Others from within the broadly defined international communist movement have also raised criticisms and objections of the paean of praise e,g Stefan Engel of the MLPD. The contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, uncritically evaluated (the revolution in Peru had lost momentum), presented as a Universalist checklist, divorced from analysis of concrete conditions, means what can be applicable can be lost in a mantra of learnt reiteration unthinkingly repeated and lifeless in homages in anniversary speeches. If the contribution of Guzman seems ill-served by those who praise him, former advocates, long spun out of any Maoist orbit with its advocacy of the “new synthesis”, had their own AVAKARIANIST view of the developments:
“These past fourteen years have seen major developments, including the collapse of RIM itself. Not only are some of the forces previously united in RIM now sharply opposed to each other, the previous understanding of revolutionary communism itself has, to borrow Mao Zedong’s term, “divided into two”. One strand of the old Maoism has wound up in a social-democratic liquidation of the core revolutionary principles of Marxism, exemplified tragically in the capitulation of the Maoist leadership in Nepal and the termination of the revolutionary war there. Others from the previous MLM movement are stuck in a dogmatist, religious-like upholding of sterile “Maoist” formulas that are equally devoid of revolutionary content. In opposition to this, Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism has fully emerged, rescuing the scientific kernel of communism while criticizing and repudiating those secondary aspects in the past understanding and actions of communists that have actually gone against communism’s liberatory nature.”
— Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS on http://aworldtowinns.co.uk/
What can be said concerning the struggle in, what consisted itself, the International Communist Movement on the role of Chairman Gonzalo was that it was inconclusive, failing to address some of the issues raised in the theory and practice of the Peruvian revolution. It continues to provoke responses as the Steering Committee of the French organisation OCML-Voie Prolétarienne [Marxist-Leninist Communist Organisation – Proletarian Way] noted in May 1990 expressing support for the Communist Party of Peru “because the positive aspects by far outweigh the reservations and criticisms we are duty bound to raise.” When such reservations were critically raised in its 2017 article “On People’s War in Peru, the betrayal by the leadership of the PCP and the capitulation of Gonzalo”, they argued: “The way we understand the world is guided by dialectical materialism, not romantic idealism!”
An unrelated posting (in August 2018) by frequent commentator on the Democracy & Class Struggle website, Harsh Thakor, Resurrecting Flame of Gonzalo Thought and Peruvian Peoples War, provides a brief survey of some elements that contributed to the reversal in fortune for the Communist Party of Peru at the end of the last century. He begins by stating that:
No doubt Chairman Gonzalo is the greatest Marxist-Leninist-Maoist leader after Chairman Mao…… I disagree it was Gonzalo who wrote the peace letters in Jail after 1992….
In September 2018 a joint declaration from a dozen organisations entitled “In defence of the life of Chairman Gonzalo, hoist higher the flag of Maoism!” stated accurately that:
“RIM was liquidated by revisionism’s handling of the two-line struggle. The maneuver of Avakian was, to state – as a starting point of his “criticism” of the second Right Opportunist Line, revisionist and capitulationist, in Peru – that supposedly “the author would not matter, only the line”, which precisely led to centering the debate on who “the author” was. Or did this miserable not know that the communists of the world would rise when their Great Leadership was questioned? This is how the two-line struggle was derailed. The Problem for the left in the ICM was the hard and complex situation in which the PCP entered after the arrest of Chairman Gonzalo.”
||P.S. Gonzalo and Ultra-left deviation
Recent argument on the internet have focused less on Gonzalo/Guzman and more on those who raise the banner of Gonzalo Thought and how they interpret and what applies in their struggles. It started with an article on the Norwegian blog MLM thoughts commenting on the demise of a small American activist group, raising criticisms of political puritanism and encompassed the position that nobody should charge Chairman Gonzalo with the simplifications of many of his supporters in Peru and abroad. So what it initiated was polemical exchanges on the understanding of the contribution of Chairman Gonzalo and the interpretation and application by some of those activists who identified and support that contribution e.g maosite1917 with counter thesis from the US Red Guard associate, Struggle Sessions. See political puritanism