And More Caution! (Very long!)

Vladimir Bilenkin "achekhov at unity.ncsu.edu" at ncsu.edu
Sun Oct 6 20:19:48 MDT 1996


Hugh Rodwell wrote:
>
> Vladimir puts a centrist position in his posting urging caution.
>
> >>       I believe that foreign communists not only have the right but, indeed,
> >the obligation to criticize, if necessary, any anticapitalist revolution in
> >any country, if only because there are no isolated revolutions which do not
> >affect, positively or negatively, the objective and subjective situation
> >of the international proletariat. The Peruvian revolution should not be an
> >exception and can be criticized as any other.
>
> Exactly. And the PCP-SL wing of the revolution acts as if it is *the
> exclusive* revolution, and criticism of it is grounds for a death sentence.
> This is perfectly obvious from Adolfo's postings.
>
> >But one needs to excercise
> >the utmost caution in this to prevent even the slightest possibility of
> >becoming an unwilling tool in the hands of its enemies. This danger is
> >more real in case of Peru because of the years of demonization of the PCP
> >by the bourgeois propaganda machine, the informational iron curtain, and
> >above all, the extremely favorable opportunities for disinformation and
> >psychological war that the Fujimore regime and its US handlers now have
> >as the result of Guzman's capture.
>
> This is true, but the responsibility for potential misuse of this kind lies
> fairly and squarely on the PCP-SL and their anti-Bolshevik,
> anti-proletarian methods. They have much to answer for -- not before the
> imperialists or their local marionettes, but before the working class, the
> peasantry and the pauperized masses.
>
> As for the polemics against Adolfo, there is nothing strange in them.
>
>
> *His only job is to use the internet to write non senses every day.*
>
> Certainly a plausible conclusion. A wee bit exaggerated -- Adolfo
> apparently translates and helps run that rag -- but spot on when it comes
> to the characterization of Adolfo's contributions: "non senses".
>
> >> *is losing his time expending hours each day in writing in the
> >> internet.*
>
> The choice is Adolfo's, the comment is Juan's. Nothing sinister in it.
>
> >> He should cease to insult everybody
>
> Sinister?
>
> >> and should return and help
> >> his comrades risking his skin.
>
> Sometimes exile is a valid option, sometimes not. Obviously Adolfo thinks
> his chances of getting to Peru and surviving there are very poor. This
> gives us reason to doubt the enormous popular support he claims for the
> PCP-SL. But it's not conclusive. Maybe the Party decided he would be better
> employed as an ambassador abroad. Too bad we'll never know.
>
> Of course, it could be that his positions are not the Party line, in which
> case it's perfectly clear why he wouldn't want to even try to return.
>
> You see, Vladimir, it's one thing to defend left-wing fighters against the
> repressive forces of the imperialist lackey state, it's another to treat
> them all as trustworthy comrades. What the PCP-SL really thinks seems to be
> up for grabs at the moment. Adolfo claims to represent its line. But I see
> no reason whatever to give Adolfo the benefit of any doubt on such
> questions.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Hugh

I do not think that Adolfo insists that the revolutionary war of which
he is a part is beyond criticism from foreign communists. But he insists
and rightly so on the right of the revolution to ruthlessly expose the
bogus left as the political agents of the Fujimore regime who wage
disinformation campaign and psychological warfare against the revolution
at home and abroad.

The social nature of this revolution is open to debate and most principled
disagreements.  I know too little about it to take an informed and politically
responsible position.  All I know is that it is not a *bogus* revolution, that
it has genuine mass roots, and that it has been fighting for 16 years in the
backyard of US imperialism, internationally isolated, demonised, yet fiercely
independent.  Well, this is good enough for me to *unconditionally defend*
this revolution from its enemies inside the country and internationally.

As to the charcter of this revolution, let's not forget that untill 1916
Lenin also considered only a bourgeois-democratic revolution for Russia.
He was wrong. Trotsky was right...*in relation to Russia.*

Let me now explain in more detail why I think we should excercise extreme
caution in respect of the latest postings from Peru.  I will analyse a number
of passages from J. Ruiz's and J. Ponce's letters. I will do it not as an
expert on Peruvian politics, because I am not, but simply from the common
sense point of view. None of my suspicions can be conslusive. No final
conclusions are possible in good faith on the basis of a purely textual
analysis and common sense. But one does not need *incontravertible proofs*
in this matter. For me, a serious suspicion is quite enough to disregard
these letters as *possible* provocation.

Let us consider, first, the source of these letters.  At least, one of the
authors, J. Ponce explicitely states that he is writing from Peru.

<<In Peru we live in danger.  We have to protect ourselves from the
police...Olaechea can have his e-mail address wiothout any problem.
He is in the UK for ages....I am a simple and humble militant from Peru.>>

You posted this message on Oct 4, two days after you forwarded to us
Ponce's first msg which according to its address PO <global at uk.pi.net>
originated from England. Now, it is possible, of course, that email PO
operates similar to that of regular mail system, and therefore Ponce can
live anywhere else and still have an email box located in England.

Then Ponce says:

<<Hugh sent to a friend a letter asking for my participation in the debate on
Lima 1963. I am not a member of marxism list, I can't receive it in my
machine and I can't participate straight away.>>

Yet he writes about Adolfo:

<<He doesn't have anybody around him. He most probably
doesn't participate in the British class struggle. *His only job is to use
the internet to write non senses every day*.>>

The obvious question is how Ponce can possibly know that Adolfo "write
non sense every day" if by his own admission he is "not a member of
marxism list" and "can't receive it in (his) machine"?

In his msg posted in the list on Oct 3 at 22:05 US ET, Adolfo wrote
<<That is enough of the PONCE's of Fujimori and the PONCE of
PONCES = ...>>.

Ponce answer was forwarded by Hugh on Oct 4 at 17:42
It read:

<<"That is enough of the PONCE's of Fujimori and the PONCE of
PONCES = Hugh Orwell from MI6 and lately collaborator of SIN as a forwarding
agent for their slanders."

I don't have time for this person. He is a complete charlatan.>>

The letter was signed: J. Ponce
			Lima, 3 October 1996

Now, if we assume that Ponce indeed does not have an access to M1,
then how was it possible for him to read Adolfo's letter and to
answer it on Oct 3 between 22:05 and 24:00 US ET AND Lima time,
i.e. between 3-5 am GMT, and 4-6 am Stockholm time? Who could
forward him a copy of Adolfo's letter during this time interval?

This is still  possible, of course, especially, if Ponce has a contact
in US. Quispe, perhaps?

Now, in his letter forwarded on Oct 6, Ponce refers to Quispe as "the
person in charge of the PCP-SL's very well done Web Page." It seems
to indicate that his "machine" has an Internet browser with graphic
support system. If so he must be able to access Spoon Page. Or am I
wrong? Can you do this from Sweden, Hugh?


Let me now consider some of Ponce's arguments. I'll begin with those
which Hugh seems to agree with, but otherwise I'll do this without any
order (I have no time).

> *His only job is to use the internet to write non senses every day.*
>
> Certainly a plausible conclusion. A wee bit exaggerated -- Adolfo
> apparently translates and helps run that rag -- but spot on when it comes
> to the characterization of Adolfo's contributions: "non senses".

How important is Adolfo's job of using Internet has been recently demonstrated
by the "mysterious" unplugging of the Columbian FARC's Web Page. It's
spokesman commented:

>    Using weapons naturally comes within the logic of the armed struggle.
>    Just fighting through the Internet would be like shooting rubber
>    bullets. Not using it would be like continuing to fight the army with
>    a 12-bore shotgun,"

Last spring, at the hight of his struggle for the right of the Revolution
to speak out in this list, it had 350 subscribers from about 30 countries,
many of whom were politically engaged people.  Wasn't this struggle important
for his mission to break the international isolation of the revolution?
Didn't he have to stand up against the most vicious resistence from the
swamp of this list, and yes, perhaps, even "sinister" attemps to remove
him from the list by a quite real blackmail. I am going to publish some
materials and reflections on this soon.  For now I would simply suggest
that the coming "restructuring of marxism" by the Spoons may be not
unrelated to this topic.

 > >>  *He doesn't have anybody around him.*
>
> Well, he certainly comes across as a voice crying in the wilderness,
> doesn't he? There's not even a unified Maoist front on the Net, let alone
> in reality.
>
> *He most probably doesn't participate in the British class struggle.*
>
> Well, he gives the odd talk at the Stalin Society.

I do not know anything about a "unified Maoist front on the Net" but is
it really relevant, especially, "on the Net?"  From what I have read in the
archive, Adolfo is quite effective in rallying international support for
Peruvian revolution. Isn't this is what his mission is all about?  He does not
participate in the "British class struggle?" Is it *his* mission to do
so?  And even is this is so, how does Ponce know about this? And what in the
world is the "British class struggle" today? Is Adolfo supposed to get involved
with capitalist trade unions? Are there non-capitalist trade unions in Britain?

 >> and should return and help
> >> his comrades risking his skin.
>
> Sometimes exile is a valid option, sometimes not. Obviously Adolfo thinks
> his chances of getting to Peru and surviving there are very poor. This
> gives us reason to doubt the enormous popular support he claims for the
> PCP-SL. But it's not conclusive. Maybe the Party decided he would be better
> employed as an ambassador abroad. Too bad we'll never know.

This sounds a bit cavalier. I do not know what chances for survival
Swedish revolutionaries have now in Sweden, but I would guess that
in Peru Adolfo would have to face torture, and eventually, either
self-betrayal or death.  And why is it "obvious" that Adolfo even thinks
of getting to Peru? Isn't it plausible to think that he's been doing
the duty exactly of the kind he's been supposed to and exactly in the
place where this duty has to be done?  What is the logical relation
between the "enormous popular support" for his party and the chances
for survival in Peru of a man whose pictures are known by heart by
dozens of secret services and whose every step may be followed? Did
not Gonzalo have the support of quite sizable group of determined and
armed men? Did it save him from capture?  Did Lenin actually have to
flee and hide in Finland in 1917? After all, he did have support of
Petrograd workers.

What did the Party decide?  Too bad we'll never know? Well, Adolfo is NOT
a PCP party member. And then, how much, actually, we have the right to know?
How much this list has right to know, with three silent addresses in Peru
and God knows how many in other countries?

> Of course, it could be that his positions are not the Party line, in which
> case it's perfectly clear why he wouldn't want to even try to return.

You know, Hugh, I don't what to believe that you really meant this.
I think you wrote this and some other things of similar kind  because
of Adolfo's grossly unjust, nasty, slanderous references to you. And he's
been picking on you for a long time.  But he IS a stalinist in his ways
about political polemic. You are not. You have loyalty, don't you?

>
> You see, Vladimir, it's one thing to defend left-wing fighters against the
> repressive forces of the imperialist lackey state, it's another to treat
> them all as trustworthy comrades. What the PCP-SL really thinks seems to be
> up for grabs at the moment. Adolfo claims to represent its line. But I see
> no reason whatever to give Adolfo the benefit of any doubt on such
> questions.

You don't have to treat Adolfo as your comrade. What the PCP "really" thinks
neither you nor I can possibly know.  Since you are not a supporter of this
party I do not understand why you need to be concerned if Adolfo represents
its political line or not. But the minimum you and I can and should do is
to make sure that we and this list are not made to serve the repressive
forces against the revolution. Even by the wildest flight of imagination,
I cannot see how Adolfo's position can serve these forces.  But I do see
how the letters from Peru can.

Some more on Adolfo.  Ponce wrote:

<<He (Adolfo-VB)is not part of the British working class movement.
He said that he is favour of killing the Morris, Monks and Scargills.>>

And again:

<<He (Adolfo -VB) also said that the union leaders in Britain, USA, etc.
have to be killed.  Peruvian union leaders more left wing than the socialist
candidates in the USA, than Scargill, than the PRC (Italy), Sinn Feinn
(Ireland), United Left (Spain), Herri Batausna (Basque country), etc. WERE
MURDERED by people like Olaechea...>>

The theme of Adolfo's non-participation in British labor movement
develops in Adolfo's inciting to kill British union leaders. This
is not a joking matter. Did Adolfo say this? Could Adolfo possibly
say something like this, with his political and social experience
of living in Britain for many years?  For me, the only thing to decide
is whether Ponce here directly denounces Adolfo to the British police,
or makes a very dangerous incinuation.

Ponce writes further that Adolfo <<supports the murder of the members of
all the Peruvian leftwing parties, the PSPSL (Gonzalo)...>>

So now Adolfo has indeed no place to go. He has been denounced to the Home
Office as conspiring to kill the flower of British labor, and he has
been denounced to the PCP as conspiring to murder its Chairman. Whose
turn is next? The Spoon Administration?  This "humble anti-stalinist"
could teach a couple of things even Beria's informers!

Yet Ponce also says of Adolfo:
<<He could deny that Gonzalo capitulated to Fujimori and betrayed
his comrades.>>

Can't he put his act together?

<<I am not in favour that Olaechea should return to Peru as prisoner. I would
fight for his freedoms.>>

First, this guy denounces Adolfo to the British police, PCP, AND the
Fujimori regime, and then he promises to fight for his freedom! Don't go,
Adolfovich! I have my doubts about this guy.  He may not even have a gun.

OK. Now about the political part of the letters from Peru. And only from
the commonsensical point of view.

What is the gist here? Ponce denounces Gonzalo for his alleged surrender,
yet he uses Gonzalo to convince PCP fighters to ...subordinate their arms
to some "workers and peasant assembles."  From Trotsky I know that fascism
is nothing but smashing the organizations of the working class. If the
Fujimori regime is fascist then there cannot be any genuine working class
organizations in Peru, except in the territories liberated from this
regime. If Ponce and Hugh agree that Fujimori regime is fascist it is up
to them to explain to us a few things about these "assembles."

One para was of special interest to me:

<<The PCP-SL way is ALIENATING the poor and working class people. With the
destruction of factories and workplaces, with the indiscriminate
assassination of trade union and left leaders and with a violence which is
not organised by the workers themselves, the overwhelmingly majority of the
people are disappointed with the PCP-SL. The real thing is that Fujimori is
*unfortunately* extremely popular in the poorest shanty towns.>>

I can imagine that a revolution can become alienated from the mass of the
people in certain circumstances. But it's a long way from this to a
fascist regime that economically devastated the country becoming "extremely
popular" with the poorest masses.  As a matter of fact, I read just yesterday
an Internet article on the so-called Peruvian middle class, written
>from the mainstream US sociology inspired perspective. here is what it says
about the new "middle class of Peruvian shanty-towns:

''We are currently witnessing the formation of a third middle
class, which is the product of the migrations of the 50s and 60s.
Their faces are more Andean. They gain their space with their own
efforts. They are the new owners of the streets in Lima, their bad
taste is their own, not borrowed from anybody else,'' he says.

''They drive buses and taxis...They are small entrepreneurs who
studied in the universities opened to the masses. They are the
ones who buy and sell - and they vote for Fujimori. They live and
move between barbarism and modernity. With them, the supposed
innocence and neutrality of the middle class has come to an end.''

What Ponce says then is half truth. The shanty-towns is also an arena
of class struugle. I know this type from today's Russia. They are small
sell-and-run people, squeezed between the big sharks and the empoverished
masses.  And they voted for Eltsyn 100%. Soon they may become the crack
troops of Russian fascism.

Ponce writes:

<<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.>>

Will you, Hugh, be willing to give your "benefit of a doubt" to the
PCP "line" formulated in the underground dungeon, with the help of the most
advanced technics of torture developed by US specialists?

And again:

<<More than 90% of the thousands of PCP-SL prisoners are in favour of
the "peace agreement" with Fujimori... These militants decided to capitulate
because they saw that the PCP-SL armed struggle was a disaster and that the
PCP-SL instead of taking power, is extremely isolated.>>

Do you agree with the logic of this argument, Hugh? How many of those
Left oppositionists came back from Stalin's prisons in the 30s and
repented because the prison regime helped them to appreciate the wisdom of
the Great Leader?  Are you sure that you forwarded this "with pride
and confidence in the general correctness of the analysis being
presented?"

Ponce writes:

<<In fact, the PCP-Shinning Path is in decline.
Most of their members left the arm struggle and the supporters of Gonzalo's
National Agreement are collaborating actively with Fujimori against the
left.>>

<<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.>>

<<The PCP-SL is ten times smaller now than in 1989-91. Feliciano's
PCP-SL doesn't control any provincial city. It's an extreme marginal
force which is no longer consider a threat to the state.>>

Well, here is some recent facts from the bourgeois press:

<<In just the last week, Shining Path, believed to have been
largely crippled by the capture in Sep. 1992 of its historic
leader, Abimael Guzman Reynoso has struck hard against key
military targets.

The group bombed a police station charged with protecting the
Peruvian Congress and the house of the military chief of Upper
Huallaga Amazon region. Last Wednesday, the group also
assassinated a prominent Lima community leader, Epifanio
Santamaria Rodriguez.

Such actions have reportedly led to the government's
considering extending a state of emergency in Lima and several
provinces.

Referring to the guerrilla group's sudden resurgence, Anne
Manuel, associate director of Human Rights Watch/Americas, says
''it shows that the 'iron fist' that Fujimori referred to as his
chosen weapon against Shining Path not only violates human rights,
but is not effective in the long run.''>>.

<<LIMA, Aug 12 (IPS) - A sudden resurgence of guerrilla activity in
the central jungles of Peru shows the Shining Path rebel movement
is still in business, despite government claims the movement was
crushed more than two years ago,  political observers say.

Shining Path activities resumed earlier this year when
guerillas planting a car bomb outside the Lima barracks of riot
police barracks and the home of a General in charge of troops in
the jungle area.

A week ago, the insurgents carried out an operation proving
they are once more capable of a high level of coordination and
strength: they took over Aucayacu, a 15,000 strong town in the
heart of the coca producing central jungle area, for five hours.

President Alberto Fujimori then made a morale-boosting trip to
Aucayacu on Thursday and announced authorities were reopening the
counterinsurgency base which existed there until 1995.
In Aucayacu, Fujimori pointed out the army would limit itself
to carrying out counterinsurgency action, which means it will no
longer have anything to do with controlling drug smuggling,
observers said.>>

Some "marginal force" we have in Peru now! And this is after the
terrible losses of the last years, and the decimation of the
revolutionary leadership! Adolfo, send us in Russia a dozen of your
revolutionary  organizers, and things will get rolling again
over there.

Finally, Ponce advises:

<<To Adolfo we only ask to be more humbled, to don't slander other people and
to do some practical work amongst the Peruvian masses. It is good that he
could translate documents for the PCP but a cadre like him, which claim to
be the leader of a Soviet in Peruvian capital when he was only 20 years
old, is losing his time expending hours each day in writing in the
internet. He should cease to insult everybody and should return and help
his comrades risking his skin.>>

Adolfo, WE ask you to do exactly the opposite. Do not be humble. Use your
powerful language to tear the enemies of your revolution into pieces. Do
"lose" your time spreading the truth about the revolution around the world
by the Internet.  DO NOT get yourself into the hands of Fujimori's torturers!
And may be some day you will yet become the Chairman of Lima Soviet.


Vladimir


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