FWD : Poder Obrero replies to Vladimir

Jj Plant jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Oct 9 23:57:00 MDT 1996

The following is forwarded from Poder Obrero :

Response to Vlad.

"This is good enough for me to *unconditionally defend*this revolution from its
enemies inside the country and internationally."

Which is the Peruvian revolution?

In Peru there is more than one armed group claiming to lead the revolution. The
PCPSL and the MRTA, instead of making a co-ordination,
like in Colombia or El Salvador, are at war. Now, the two PCPSL factions are
also in war.

We are for a workers revolution based on workers and peasant councils and
militias. The PCPSL is AGAINST such a revolution.

What is your attitude in relation to palestine or Sri lanka? In Sri lanka we
have to defend the Tamil Tigers and the JVP despite the fact that these forces
killed many trotskyists, left-wingers and trade unionists. We have to defend
them against the state repression but also we need to defend the workers
organisations against them.

In Palestine Hamas is the most active opposition to Israel. We are defending
them against Zionism. Nevertheless, Hamas is against womens liberation and for
a theocratic society.

In Palestine and Sri lanka we advocate united front actions with the petit
bourgeois opposition. We ask them not to attack the workers and we defend the
workers and womens organisations against them.

In Peru we have a similar situation. The PCPSL is an anti-working class
organisation. They call for the BOYCOTT OF THE BIGGEST GENERAL STRIKES, the
strikes that push the junta to withdraw. They call for the DESTRUCTION of the
workers and popular organisations. They kill tens of trade unionists.

We need to defend the PCPSL against state repression while at the same time we
need to defend the workers organisations against it.

The PCPSL are not the pre-1917 Bolsheviks or the SRs. The PCP is the party
which supported Stalinist counter-revolution. It's the party that supported the
Peruvian pro-imperialist regimes in the 1940s which repressed the strikes. In
1964 the PCP was divided in two. The Maoists considered the 1968-75 Nasserite
junta as "fascist". The PCPSL was created in 1970-71 as a more sectarian and
petit bourgeois maoist sect.

In the 1970s we had the biggest process of trade unionisation and militancy in
the workers and peasant movement. The CGTP (biggest trade union confederation)
became a mass force led by stalinists but also committed to many strikes. The
Miners Union, the SUTEP (teachers), the CCP (Peasant unions) and other mass
unions were developing. In that process the PCPSL WAS COMPLETELY ABSENT.

The PCPSL called for the DESTRUCTION of these bodies. Later in the 1980s
they tried to be inside the SUTEP in order to divide it. The PCPSL was not part
of the massive peasant land occupations in south, central and north Peru in the
early 1960s (which were led by Hugo Blanco, Juan Quesada or Genero Ledesma).
Gonzalo and the Maoists didn't support the
MIR and the ELN castroite guerrilla in the mid-1960s for purely sectarian

In 1977-80 we had FIVE GENERAL STRIKES. The PCPSL was against the creation of a
United Struggle Committee and called for the boycott of all of these strikes.

The PCPSL actions started in Ayacucho. In 1960s and 1970s there were massive
land occupations. The PCPSL didn't have that method. They controlled the
villages with a very secretive and militarised apparatus. In the late 1980s
they managed to grow because of the betrayals of United Left. The PCPSL became
a very important force in the Huallaga river, when they defended the coca
peasants against the state and for better deals with the mafiosi.

The PCPSL is not the only guerrilla group in Peru. Another important force is
the MRTA. The MRTA made more spectacular actions and were more linked with
unions and the United Left. They managed to capture a very significant city in
the jungle (Juanjui) and they created a sort of regular army without masks.
Today they are nearly finished. We heavily disagree with the MRTA because they
try to substitute themselves for the working class with militarist actions.

Vladimir said that in Peru it is very probable that most of the PCPSL
prisoners capitulated to Fujimori due to similar tortures as in Hitler or
Stalin times. Of course many people capitulated due to such pressures.
Nevertheless, I want to call the attention of Vladimir to the following

In the 1980s the PCPSL and MRTA prisoners didn't capitulate at all to
the state. Only after 1993, when Gonzalo decided to capitulate to Fujimori,
thousands of PCPSL prisoners decided to support the "peace agreement" and are
being progressively liberated to fight for these policies outside the jails.
The MRTA prisoners, on the contrary, are still denouncing the regime and the
PCPSL as traitors. Polay, the main leader of the MRTA, is in jail under
terrible psychological torture. Nevertheless he and all the MRTA leadership,
despite that his party was crushed, are maintaining their positions.

 Peru is not a fascist state. The PCPSL characterised ALL the Peruvian
regimes (the pseudo-nationalist elected Belaunde in 1963-68, the "socialist"
nasserite junta in 1968-75, the new junta in 1975-80, the new reactionary
bourgeois democracy which had 16 years, 4  elected Presidents, including the
"anti-IMF" clown Garcia and the semi-dictator Fujimori) as "fascists". They
also accused the trotskyists, as you saw in the debate, as "fascists". The only
kind of regime which ceased to be "fascist" is, according to Gonzalo, the
Fujimori regime which is now considered a government which achieved several
progressive steps.Peru is a bourgeois semi-colonial parliamentary system in
which there are relatively freedoms and also selective repression.

In Peru the main task is to reorganise the unions and fight for a united
front for all the workers, peasant and popular organisations to resist the IMF
policies and to smash them. The PCPSL is against that because they are against
the unions and popular organisations and because they think that everybody is

Vlad, ask "Is it *his* (Olaechea) 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?"

The best way to organise solidarity with the Peruvian workers is appealing to
the international workers movement. We have to be inside the unions of the
imperialist world to try to win the workers for a revolutionary project. Of
course the British trade unions are pro-capitalist, but if we abandon them we
are helping capitalism to survive.

"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  organisers, and things will get rolling again
over there."

Vlad, you are wrong. The PCPSL is having some presence and they will have
some presence for much more time. The problem is that they are in retreat
and that, because of their sectarian tactics, they are marginalised. They
could control some areas but they are not a danger to the establishment. In
Colombia the guerrillas have more than 40 years and there is a sort of
co-existence between them and the state. That's the problem in Peru. We can be
in a process of Colombianisation. A guerrilla which is incapable of taking
power and which the regime could use to justify the repression on the workers

Vlad asked the PCPSL to send comrades to Russia. Of course that the
situation would heavily change if you would have a party like the PCPSL in
power. You only have to be back into the 1930s which is the model that
openly the PCPSL is advocating for Russia.

We defended the USSR, despite Stalin's terror, against imperialism like we are
defending the PCPSL, MRTA and every anti-imperialist fighter against
repression, but we also defended the working class against them. That's
trotskyist policy in Russia and in Peru.

Last question. If Olaechea wants to justify 3 decades of self-exile from
Peru, that's his right. If he want to continue translating the PCPSL
documents that's his right. It's good that the European and North American
people could receive that materials because in Peru it is very difficult to
find them. You could be in jail if the police discover that you have some of
them in your house.

We are only trying to compare the life of so-called trotskyist militants who
were in strikes, confrontations with the police, in jail, etc. (whom
Olaechea called fascists or CIA agents) with the comfortable
position of somebody that was *never* part of the Peruvian workers' movement
and tries to lie to the European audience that he was the great leader of a
non-existent soviet in Lima (1963). He was in exile for 3 decades because he
didn't want to fight in his own country or in the workers movement of his new
country. If he wants to proclaim himself as the voice of the Peruvian
revolution, the Peruvian revolutionaries have all the right to denounce his
lies, slanders and openly defend against the murder of trotskyist militants.

Poder Obrero

jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk

     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list