[Marxism] El Che

Anthony Boynton northbogota at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 15 08:50:05 MDT 2007

El Che. Nestor is correct
about this in my opinion. War, including guerrilla war, is a continuation of
politics by other means. Guerrilla war has been successful in a few countries
with very particular political and social conditions. The three most notable
cases probably are the Mexican, Chinese and Cuban revolutions. Absent the very
special conditions which make guerrilla war a strategy capable of taking power,
it has led to destruction of generations of revolutionary minded youth. This
has been the case in most countries of Latin America.


The most important elements of
success for guerrilla war are A) deep crisis and demoralization within the
ruling class, and its military force B) Deep loss of confidence in the ruling
class's ability to lead among the poor and working people of a country.


In Colombia, where some of the
conditions for successful guerrilla struggle existed, it has led to the tragic
dead ends of the ELN and the FARC. Both built armed forces capable of defeating
the Colombian military regularly in almost every battle, but incapable of
winning popular support. 


In both cases initial popular
support was lost as the two guerrilla forces proved incapable of protecting
their unarmed supports from massacre by paramilitary death squads. Popular support
was further eroded by the military strategy of attacking the countries
infrastructure, particularly the idiotic tactic of blowing up parts of the electric
power grid.


The tactic of capturing
hostages for ransom was another blow against the popular support of the
guerrilla armies here, especially when its use became so wide spread that
"middle class" farmers and small business people were being


This tactic fueled the growth
of the paramilitary organizations who actually gained popular support in the
regions where the ELN and FARC had once been influential. That support extended
especially through the large family networks which exist in the small towns and
rural regions, so that even if a hostage was relatively well off, many of his
cousins may not have been. 


Reliance on the drug business
for financial resources has also hurt the ELN and FARC, but not to the degree
that many people think. In the countryside where coca is grown FARC and ELN
protection actually was a source of some popular support.  However, drug money has probably contributed
in other less visible ways to the growing isolation of the FARC and ELN, not
least in allowing them to think that they could act independently of the needs
of the masses since they could substitute money for popular support.



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