(even fewer) words about Moreno - Reply to Jose

Armand Diego causebellum at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 3 22:46:00 MDT 2002


I has to admit it, Jose.  Your portrait of Moreno was
very insightful taking into consideration that you met
Moreno for a short period of time.

Putting aside your own positions on Cuba, Peronism and
so on, most of the things you said about Moreno's
personality ring true.

I forwarded your e-mail to a friend of mine who was
very close to Moreno and here are some excerpts of his
comments to your posting:

-------- forwarded message -------

I would add few additional things:

Moreno was one of the few "leaders" I saw in several
occasions to stop in the middle of a debate and say
something along the lines "You convince me, I think I
was wrong."

In his book "Conversations with Nahuel Moreno" he
admitted that many times he made "absolute true" too
rigid a rule in debates and thus lost very valuable
comrades who should have remained united by more
important things than temporary, even if they were
important, differences.

During a debate with Gunther Frank (or is it Franck?,
not sure about the spelling) in Buenos Aires, several
members of the MAS, speaking from the floor, attacked
Frank for having a "pessimistic attitude about the
revolutionary perspectives of the period."

The speakers equated Frank's analysis with certain
reluctance to support a revolutionary outcome to
society's ills.  Moreno, at one point, interrupted
briefly the flow of the speakers and told those
comrades to be respectful with the speakers and
clarifying that having differences in analysis did not
equate to denying the revolutionary credentials of

Moreno, Mandel, Hansen, Bensaid ... and many others
had something more in common that present time
Trotskyist leaders don't seem to appreciate or
practice.  They will fight fiercely against each other
but they would be very friendly, open and accessible
with each other.  Mandel, Maitan, LO's leaders and
many others rendered a tremendous set of speeches and
letters of appreciation for Moreno when he died.

I was asked to talk to Mandel personally when Moreno
died to deliver the message and invite him to his
funeral.  Mandel was really shocked with the news and
was visibly moved and saddened.

I believe the comments from Jose Perez about the
criticism of the SWP from Moreno after the break of
the TLF are accurate, but he fails to grasp the
essential of Moreno's method.

Moreno established an alliance with the SWP - in which
his forces were ostensibly larger than those of the
SWP internationally (3 to 1 at the time)- on a parity
basis and allowed Hansen and others to take the lead
at international gatherings.

More no always had criticisms of certain aspects of
the SWP politics during the anti-war period, Cuba,
etcetera.  But he operated with the method of the
united front.  He saw the Mandelist pro-guerrilla
positions as the main danger for the Fourth
International in that period.  He was willing to sign
an agreement with the SWP or anyone else in the US(FI)
against those policies.

All the other differences, while still there, were not
as significant as their agreement to save the FI from
degeneration because the foquista praxis of the
Mandel-Maitan block.

This united front method was typical of Moreno's
approach to the Peronist left, other Trotskyist
forces, other left wing parties and even Cuba during
the first period of the OLAS or the FSLN when he
brokered the agreement with the FSLN to send
international brigades.

This method was also present when he forged the Parity
Committee with the Lambertist in 1980 and when he was
instrumental in developing the idea of the workers
party in Brazil or the FOCEP in Peru.

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