IN DEFENCE OF ROBERTO CHIARA

Jj Plant jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk
Thu Oct 3 17:55:00 MDT 1996


Adolfo was asked by a number of subscribers to verify his assertion
that the workers had condemned Roberto Chiara to death. After several
such posts he eventually conceded :

>  Who this famous Chiara may be, I do not know.


He knows nothing of this leading militant, yet supports
unconditionally and unhesitatingly his murder ! And advises me to
acquaint myself better with the facts of the situation in Peru! Poder
Obrero has seen Adolfo's recent posts, and has sent me the attached
statement about Chiara, that helps list members understand the
situation from the point of view of the proletariat. It describes an
active and militant proletariat with a long history of struggle
against the government. This is very different from Adolfo's myth of
a working class unable to fight for itself, and dependent on the
elite forces of the PCP-SL. I take it as axiomatic that Communists
base themselves on the proletariat.

___________________________________________________________


IN DEFENSE OF ROBERTO CHIARA


ROBERTO CHIARA was a very serious worker class militant. He was one
of the most important and combative fighters in the unions.

The most important industrial area in Peru is the route that connects
Lima and Callao. On that route the Diamante shoe factory and the
Moraveco and Inresa metallurgical factories were very important mass
concentrations of workers. All of them were led by so-called
trotskyist forces at different times in the 1970s and 1980s.

Diamante was one of the two biggest shoe factories in Peru and in all
the 1970s and 1980s it had a very militant union (in Peru we have
unions in every factory). In Diamante the main political force was
the "Combatants", a so called trotskyist radical group. Roberto
Chiara was the main leader of that tendency and of the Diamante
factory for around two decades.

The Diamante union organised probably more than a hundred strikes in
all of that years. They organised occupations and constant
confrontation with the police. On 19 July 1977 we had the first 24
hour general strike in many decades and between then and 1990 we had
more than 10 more general strikes. In all of them Diamante was a very
important pillar.

Roberto was in jail many times and he lived in extremely poor
conditions. He left many children and his wife has now to survive in
the worst conditions, living in a shanty town without electricity or
water facilities.When many left wingers became supporters of the
democracy, Roberto continued to be very combative. Inside the
trotskyist movement we have some disagreements with Roberto. We
defended the PCP_Sendero Luminoso against repression and we
were for a united front with it against the state and the bosses.
Nevertheless we were very critical of them.

The PCP-SL didn't have any historic presence among the industrial
workers. The PCP_SL OPPOSED the 19 July general strike and the
biggest strike in peruvian recent history (may 1978) because they
were led by "revisionists". The PCP-SL supporters didn't lead any
union! They openly advocated the destruction of the CGTP (the biggest
Peruvian union confederation, led by the pro-Moscow PCP) and the
People's Assembly (a proto-soviet body in which all the left took
part, except the PCP-SL.)

The PCP_SL, after opposing many strikes in the late 1970s and early
1980s, started to penetrate the Lima unions in the second half of the
1980s. They organised "armed strikes". In reality these were dictats
imposed on the workers.

Any strike must be decided by the workers collectively, in
assemblies. These "armed strikes" were decided by an elite OUTSIDE
the factories and the unions. How do they implement the strikes? The
PCP-SL activists send letters and messages and put up posters and
graffiti. If somebody does not obey their orders he is killed. The
most important sectors which obeyed the "armed strikes" were the
small business and the small transport owners because they were
afraid of being bombed.

We have a difference with Roberto, because Roberto was in favour of
supporting and even organising these strikes. We were in favour of
supporting every strike which was decided in assemblies or even in
union meetings. Among all the trotskyists in Peru, Roberto was
definitively one of the most pro-PCP/SL.

When the PCP/SL: was isolated in the workers movement, Roberto opened
the doors of the Diamante union to them, allowing them to enter the
workers movement on the routes between Lima and Callao.

Nevertheless, Roberto didn't want to join the PCP/SL and he
maintained his differences. The PCP/SL not only wanted supporters but
COMPLETE control. When the PCP/SL achieved to have some people inside
Diamante they decided to kill a person who had helped them so much
but who might still have some differences with them.

Olaechea's false defence.-

In two recent messages from Olaechea he said:

>"I will suggest to Mr. Plant that he familiarises himself more with
>the People's War in Peru before he comes out in such a blatant
>defense of a blackhead and scab like Chiara.  He will only
understand >the real terms of the class struggle in Peru from the
most glaring >fact in evidence from any fair minded  analysis of the
situation:  In >Peru the armed revolution is facing the armed
counter-revolution.  >There is no room for those who play both sides
of the divide, >insinuating themselves to the workers and then
betraying the leaders >of the same workers to the bosses and the
police...


>"in Peru the "comrades" of Moyano (and those of Chaira too)
>are working to SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN the state of the ruling classes.

>"That is a difference of living within a revolutionary situation in
>which armed revolution confronts armed counter-revolution.  There is
>no middle ground there.

>"It is evident that in the case of Chiara - like in all cases where
>snitches have been executed - it was the workers themselves who
>demanded that the PCP would implement the people's justice in that
>case...

>"In synthesis:  If Chiara was executed it was because the working
>people saw through his phoney support and discovered his actions as
a
>police informer.

>"And, most serious of all - even assuming that Chaira may have been
>innocent of the charges against him - that because of that Plant
ends
>up accussing the armed strike as a weapon of compulsion against the
>workers, only goes to show how remote from understanding a
>revolutionary situation the TRotskyst of Mr. Plant's inclination
>really are..."


1- Olaechea described Chiara as a supporter of the capitalist state
which he wasn't.

2- For Olaechea there are only two sides in Peru: the army and the
PCP-SL and if you are not with the PCP-SL you are with the army,
With that logic the PCP-SL KILLED HUNDREDS of trade unionists and
left
activists. THERE ARE COMRADES FROM ALL THE TENDENCIES IN THIS LIST
WHO WERE EXECUTED OR ATTACKED BY THE PCP-SL FORCES.

The main leader of the Peruvian unions, the pro-Moscow Huillca,
general secretary of the CGTP, leaders from the mariateguists (PUM),
pro-China Patria Roja, pro-Albanian Bandera Roja, left Christians,
pro-Castro and pro-Zapatistas guerrillas, etc. were murdered by the
PCP-SL forces.

We don't think that the PCP-SL is the main enemy. We want to unite
all the anti-imperialist forces in one united front. The PCP-SL think
the opposite. If you are not with them you are their enemies. They
even kill their own dissidents.

3- Which assembly said that Chiara had to be executed? Which working
class was consulted? In reality a small elite had the power to decide
in the interest of the working class.

4- For Olaechea

>"even assuming that Chaira may have been
>innocent of the charges against him - that because of that Plant
ends
>up accussing the armed strike as a weapon of compulsion against the
>workers, only goes to show how remote from understanding a
>revolutionary situation the TRotskyst of Mr. Plant's inclination
>really are..."

So, even if Chiara was innocent, Olaechea doesn't care! He is guilty
because Mr. Plant, a person whom Chiara never met him in all his life
and whose existence he never knew about, is defending him after he
was murdered ... so he had to be punished!

Olaechea went further and attack the trotskyist movement.

>" When you see through the fraudulent "Left" organisms in Peru (and
>here not only Trotskysts are hoaxes, but the whole bloody lot and -
>as it transpires from the interviews with the military - they are
>nothing but willing tools of the military High command) your
opinions >will then be more than sheer hot air inspired on abstract
formulas >and may have some value for the concrete situation.  In the
mean >time, you find yourself - whether you have noticed it or not -
in the >same side as VOICE OF AMERICA and the CIA.

>The fact that slander against the revolution is dressed by agents of
>the regime - who are totally despised by the people (Trotskysm in
>Peru has always been riddled with police agents and has no influence
>in the Unions, in the masses or anywhere except as "correspondents"
>with intellectuals abroad like Mr. Plant)"

Trotskyism in Peru was always a small but significant force amongst
the industrial workers. When the PCP was supporting the Presidents
Prado (1939-45) and later Bustamente y Rivero (1945-48) the GOM-POR
denounced the Stalinist for breaking strikes and created a serious
groups amongst the textile and chemical workers. In the late 1950s
the Fertisa factory in Callao was a trotskyist-Posadist base. Since
the late 1960s the trotskyist forces were elected several times as
the leaders of very significant unions:

* Moraveco (the biggest metallurgic factory)
* Inresa (another biggest metallurgic factory)
* Siderperu (the only steel (?) plant with 5,000 workers)
* Southern (the biggest mine in Peru)
* Lusa (one of the biggest chemical industries).
* Diamante, the national federation of Chemical unions, the national
federation of insurance workers, the unions of the biggest banks in
Peru (the banco de Credito, Banco continental), etc.

The trotskyists played a central role in ALL the general strikes from
1977 to 1990.

In contrast, the PCP-SL WAS NEVER A PART OF THE WORKERS MOVEMENT.
Abimael Guzman's group was always a group around students and
teachers in a rural region around Ayacucho. The PCP-SL opposed the
first general strikes and openly called for the destruction of the
main unions and proto-soviets and for the physical murder of the
trade union leaders. One first of May, for example, they placed a
bomb in the middle of the Mayday workers demonstration!

In the late 1980s they started to organise some groups inside the
factories but always as a secondary front, because their main area of
work was amongst the lumpenproletariat and the poor petty
bourgeoisie. Now the PCP-SL has nearly disappeared from the workers
movement.

The PCP-SL is mainly a radical petty bourgeois organisation.

Probably Olaechea will say that Gonzalo didn't capitulate to the
dictatorship and that all of that is a CIA history. Millions of
Peruvians saw Guzman speaking on TV SEVERAL times. That's the same
face, voice and gestures of the man who spoke in the cage when he was
arrested. His handwriting was shown. All the main leaders of the
PCP-SL in jail, "Miriam", Morote, etc. were interviewed on TV. Many
people knew them and it is impossible to create such a big deception.
Today the overwhelmingly majority of the PCP-SL prisoners
(unfortunately) are supporting Fujimori.

The majority of the PCP-SL abandoned the armed struggle. Everywhere
we are watching how former supporters of the "people's war" are now
collaborating with Fujimori. The few militants who continue a small
scale war are a tiny fraction.

We defend them against repression and we don't support the Peruvian
state against them. We call on them not to follow Gonzalo in his
capitulation. At the same time we call them not to give up their arms
but to subordinate their militias to workers and peasant assemblies.
We don't want an elite army which makes war on the backs of the
toilers. We want the self-organisation and self-defense of the masses.


The PCP-SL attitude towards the workers can be shown in the
Curriculum Vitae that Olaechea posted. He claimed that a radical
student mobilisation could replace a soviet. He believes that because
he was a young student in a radical action he played a similar role
to Trotsky who led, in 1905, a WORKERS council with dual power.

In which factory has Olaechea worked ? In which union or workers
strike was he involved, in his entire life? Probably in none.

In 16 years of "peoples' war" he never went to Peru to fight or risk
his hair. The trotskyists in Peru are continuing fighting while
Olaechea's main activity is to write stupid letters every day on his
internet.

Olaechea accussed "the non-entity called "Poder Obrero"" as a "sect
(as tiny and insignificant and tied to the security services and the
bosses as Poder Obrero has always been)".

If Poder Obrero is an "insignificant sect" why does he dedicate so
much space to attacking it? How does he know that it is tied to the
security services and the bosses?

In fact, for Olaechea everybody that is not with him has to be a
police infiltrator or should be labelled with any invention that
comes to mind. Even Quispe and other PCP_SL supporters were slandered
by him.

That is the school of impotence and physical extermination of
opponents.

J. Ruiz

_________________________________
jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk



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