Peruvian Samizdat

The Peruvian authorities’ legal offensive in December has precedents, there were arrests in a 2014 state crackdown that saw 28 leaders and other activist arrested and some charged with terrorist and drug offenses. The organisation survived and continued to agitate for the rights of prisoners….

“Arrests in Lima” returned to the issue of the Peace letters and Movadet that regarded them as genuine and the beginning point for a recalibrated analysis of political tasks for Peruvian communists.

In the “Chairman’s Politics?” reference was made to announcements and texts issued in the name of the PCP, reflecting support for the strategic reorientation of Movadet that others labelled the Right Opportunist Line ROL. The authenticity and authorship remains uncertain but the coherence of the argumentation suggests a genuine commitment to what they regard as their Chairman’s politics. The earlier four part series, To keep our red flag flying in Peru provided an introductory overview with:

Part 1 – providing sources, both word and web, on the Peruvian struggle

Part 2- An annotated chronology of events

Part 3 – Commentary on the solidarity activities generated after Guzman’s arrest

Part 4 – Documents and texts reproduced of varying viewpoints and analysis.

An unsourced claim in a Norwegian Tjen Folket Media article, argued: Fujimori wished to execute Gonzalo upon his arrest in September 1992, but the Yankee imperialists insisted that this was not tactically advisable. Instead, they needed to use Gonzalo against the people’s war.

Whilst acknowledging the existence of the letter, without accepting it had been authored by Chairman Gonzalo, and recognising the effect of splitting the PCP and causing “enormous confusion and defeatism in the ranks” its analysis is not taken seriously.

 Denounced as a hoax, the position of an unarmed struggle, the analysis of the changed strategic repercussion and arguments to step back from the internal war was quickly dismissed as a betrayal of the revolution.

Loyalists saw such an agreement with a Peace Accord as a means to preserve the Party. That that, what became identified as the ROL, could have originated in the deliberations of Chairman Gonzalo and be criticised as such, had the consequences of militants actually using Gonzalo against Gonzalo.

The militants decided that the armed revolutionary struggle could be continued without the physical governance and decisive political leadership in the conduct of the war of Chairman Gonzalo to guide and direct it. They represented his legacy by drawing on his past instructions and analysis. The loyalists in upholding the Head of the Party followed the new direction attributed to him. These mutually antagonistic wings eventually saw the two-line struggle establish separate organisations both sharing and defending a common heritage, both appealing to the authority of Gonzalo thought for their actions.

A proponent, at different times, of both lines comrade Nancy described it thus:

“This struggle is the most decisive in the history of the Party because a sinister line, the right-wing opportunist line, the bourgeois split line of revisionist essence whose core is a bourgeois military line, opposes the correct course of the class and is the most dangerous line in the history of the Party, therefore that bourgeois split line must be crushed and the split bloc that carries it must be overthrown.”  

Whereas the appearance of new collections by Guzman was welcomed with, ‘long live President Gonzalo’s publication! Unwrap the new moment of unarmed political struggle guided by the Gonzalo Thought strategic, specific and main ideological weapon for the Party!’, from militants there is a generally a silence about the words spoken or attributed to Guzman ever since Chairman Gonzalo’s benchmark “Speech from the Cage” on September 24, 1992:

“We are here in these circumstances. Some think this is a great defeat. They are dreaming! We tell them to keep on dreaming. It is simply a bend, nothing more, a bend in the road! The road is long and we shall arrive. We shall triumph! You shall see it! You shall see it!“

What is reflected in the MPP – Germany site is, in internet terms, a dissident view of the split in the PCP post-1993. Less is heard internationally from the loyalist PCP than overseas-based supporters of protracted people’s war.

Even though the forces that continued the fight has been diluted by political defections in the leadership and rank-and-file desertion, the position of the militants have remain basically the same, expressed again in this 2012 interview with comrade Laura:

“In September 1992, there was the arrest of President Gonzalo and our Party tested in a thousand fights and supported by the undefeated ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Thought Gonzalo, had to face this challenge; in difficult times arise all kinds of monsters, breastfed and sheltered by imperialism, mainly American, as are the revisionists of the “peace  agreement” sheltered in Movadef; these wretched traitors threw into the world, with unbridled efforts, supposed peace, pacification and dialogue, the stupidest idea to poison the class, the masses.”

As the militants tried unsuccessfully to maintain the impetus of the people’s protracted war unleashed a decade earlier, the Gonzalo loyalists new direction kept them in opposition to the Peruvian state as they campaign to shift its hostility and fight its suppression of its civil rights agenda.

Figure 1MOVADEF activists in Lima with a picture of Chairman Gonzalo.

Of Movadef, the organization plays the role of combatting the people’s war by using Gonzalo against Gonzalo according to other self-declared Gonzaloist militants. This criticism is dismissed by the Movadef activists loyal to the imprisoned Guzman and campaigning for amnesty for other PCP militants. Without denigrating the past struggles, speaking in defence at three major state trials of  Guzman/ Gonzalo, Head of the Party and revolution, and in defence of the 1980-1992 Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Gonzalo thought people‘s war, in defence of the Peruvian revolution , they are arguing from a minority position that the

“ struggle for the political solution of the problems derived from the war has guided the general policy of the PCP since 1993 and corresponds to the current development of the contradiction between revolution and counter-revolution that has led to a situation in which neither party can defeat the other definitely. Although the political solution is a necessity for the people, the nation and Peruvian society as a whole, from the beginning there was opposition both from the reaction and within the Party itself, leading to the need to impose it in a long and complex struggle, which continues until now. Part of this campaign is the fight for the freedom of political prisoners, and the clarification of human rights violations at the time of the internal war.”

Voicing the position of supporters of the new direction, who assumed they were applying the just and correct call of Chairman Gonzalo, were two (historic) website , the Movimiento Popular Peru – Alemania  – Some of their  documents were linked in the previously posted THE CHAIRMAN’S POLITICS. More recent postings purporting to being issued in the name of the Central Committee, Communist Party of Peru, and published under the imprint of Ediciones Bandera Roja, can be found at Partido Comunista del Perú 1928 – 2016 (pcp71028.blogspot.com).More documents are available, mainly in Spanish-language editions, with some English and French translations available. Including Guzman’s declaration that “I have nothing to do with Tarata. When will you understand?”

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