Revolutionary Worker #1097, April 8, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
The visit by the 7th IEC delegation to Peru has focused new attention on the unjust and intolerable prison isolation of Chairman Gonzalo (Abimael Guzmán) of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP). As we go to press, the delegates have begun their work. The delegation is a concrete manifestation of the international support for the oppressed people in Peru and their struggle against the vicious suppression of revolutionaries by the U.S.-backed Peruvian rulers. Clearly, the work of the 7th IEC delegation is of vital importance to the masses in Peru as well as to people worldwide.
With the initiation of the People's War in May 1980, the Communist Party of Peru, a participating party in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), raised the red flag of proletarian revolution in the highlands of the Andes mountains. In the 21 years since then, through all the twists and turns of struggle, the PCP has led the masses to rise up in arms against the reactionary classes and their imperialist masters--always keeping in mind the goal of seizing state power for the proletariat and the oppressed of Peru as part of the whole world proletarian revolution.
In response, the Peruvian rulers, working closely with their U.S. imperialist backers, have carried out a brutal counter-insurgency against the PCP and the revolutionary masses. Peruvian troops and death squads have massacred peasants in rural areas and revolutionary prisoners, as well as people in the cities. Peru's jails hold thousands of political prisoners and prisoners of war who are subjected to torture and brutality.
In the early 1990s, the U.S. imperialists worked directly with Peru's notorious political police to target the leaders of the PCP. Vladimiro Montesinos, Fujimori's right-hand man who controlled the secret police, was a long-time CIA operative in Peru. As a result of a massive manhunt led and funded by the CIA, Chairman Gonzalo was taken prisoner in September 1992. He was quickly convicted by a military court with masked, faceless judges--without even a pretense of a "fair trial."
Chairman Gonzalo's last verifiable public contact was on September 24, 1992, when the Fujimori regime placed him in a cage in front of a crowd of reactionary press. But in the clutches of the enemy, Chairman Gonzalo made a powerful speech describing his capture as a "bend in the road" on the tortuous path toward victory and calling for continuation of the People's War. Since then, he has been held in isolation at a specially built prison at Callao.
In the face of the "bend in the road" and the Peruvian regime's savage efforts to crush the revolution, the Communist Party of Peru, led by its Central Committee, continued the People's War. It was in this context that, in 1993, the Fujimori regime attributed to Chairman Gonzalo a call for negotiations to reach a "peace accord" to end the People's War. The regime released letters and videos--which Fujimori attributed to Chairman Gonzalo--calling for negotiations and a peace accord with the government. But the Fujimori regime--well-known for its murders, lies, and torture of political prisoners--continued to keep Chairman Gonzalo under conditions of isolation. Under such conditions, the indirect and unverifiable communications attributed to Chairman Gonzalo could not be taken as representative of his thinking. Worldwide, the demand arose to "Break the Isolation of Chairman Gonzalo."
The PCP has tackled the difficult period following the capture of Chairman Gonzalo with revolutionary optimism, sacrifice, and hard struggle. Under the leadership of its Central Committee, the PCP has continued to defend and maintain the People's War--combating the government's brutal counter-revolutionary attacks, including the 1999 arrest of Comrade Feliciano, who had stepped forward after Chairman Gonzalo's capture to lead the Party. The PCP Central Committee has also waged a life-and-death struggle against a Right Opportunist Line which emerged from within the Party and argued for peace accords to end the People's War. The RIM has supported and participated in the fight against the Right Opportunist Line.
The Fujimori regime and the proponents of the Right Opportunist Line maintained that Chairman Gonzalo himself called for peace accords. But as the 1995 call by the RIM, "Rally to Defend Our Red Flag Flying in Peru," pointed out, "It is clear that the negotiations line runs contrary to the basic line of the PCP which has led the People's War forward and which was forged under the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo. It is important to continue to try to determine Chairman Gonzalo's current views. The key question, however, is the line, not its author."
Today, Fujimori--who claimed that he would put an end to the Maoist People's War--and his spymaster, Montesinos, are both gone from the scene in Peru, pushed out by infighting within Peru's ruling class and by the calculations and manipulations of the dominating imperialist powers. Scandal and intrigue at the top have led to new exposures of some of the vicious crimes of the Fujimori regime. Rivals within the Peruvian bourgeoisie are loudly expressing public outrage at the corruption of the Fujimori-Montesinos era, as they scramble to be anointed by the U.S. for the presidency in the upcoming elections.
But regardless of who wins the election, the class nature of the Peruvian state will not change. The Peruvian regime will still represent the power of big capitalists and landlords who work with their U.S. imperialist overlords to rob and pillage the masses of people. Despite whatever makeover the imperialists and reactionaries apply to the Peruvian regime, they cannot hide the rot that lies at the core of the power structure. All this will continue to give rise to the conditions and necessity for people's war.
As the PCP has emphasized, the old Peruvian state must be destroyed and domination by imperialism must be swept aside in order for a new society to be built--a society that really serves the needs of the people and contributes to the world revolution. And this new liberated society can be brought into being only through a revolutionary war that relies on the masses and genuinely puts power in the hands of the oppressed--a Maoist people's war.
The People's War in Peru is precious to all those around the world who crave a different world. And people everywhere must rally to defend and support the People's War in Peru. An important part of such support is to oppose the vicious suppression of PCP prisoners in Peru's hellish dungeons. The 7th IEC delegation's trip to Peru expresses the demand of people around the world to break the isolation of Chairman Gonzalo and end the brutal conditions faced by thousands of political prisoners in Peru.
Support the People's War in Peru!
Defend the Life
of Chairman Gonzalo,
Fight to Break the Isolation!
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