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Peoples war of Peru(33rd anniversary)-Gonzalo the greatest Marxist of our time
From 1980 to 1992 the PCP led the greatest peoples war after the Chinese Communist Party .Whatever be the errors in theory and practice the peoples war was a lesson to all the proletarian revolutionaries worldwide .No protracted War resembled the Chinese revolution led by Com Mao as the Sendero Luminoso and it will be written in red letters in the annals of history.It was remarakable the way the P.C.P’s army could engulf the cities from the countryside and resist the enemy forces.It’s achievement in that period was comparable to that of the Vietnamese against the Americans.Imagine fighting when being on the border of a great military superpower and with support of no Socialist Country.Com Gonzalo made some outstanding contribution stowards developing MaoTse Tung’s military theories and combining them with the massline.In the 1988 plenum he demonstrated his mastery of Maoist theory not only in the military line but also on the question of party building.Revolutionary force s demaracated this movement as the outstanding revolutionary war in the World.Without heistaion the author calls Com Gonzalo as the greatest Marxist leader after Comrade Mao.He brilliantly innovated de-centralisation in the military strategy. Quoting Bhavin in June 2003 of the C.P.I(M.L.) Naxalbari “After the Chinese revolution led by CPC under the leadership of Mao, it is only in Peru and Nepal that we see the concrete application of strategic planning and that too in a creative manner. Based on this understanding PCP Chairman Gonzalo established the axes, sub-axes, and the directions and lines of movement, so as tomaintain the strategic direction of war. This was done after a thorough study of history of social relations, ast wars, political, military and economic conditions, terrain etc. Next on the basis of this National Military Plan was formulated, which was strategically centralised and tactically decentralised guided by the Maoist understanding of linking strategy and tactics, strategic operational plans were formulated. Every committee below it formulated their own strategic operational plans based on the strategic operational plan followed by the entire party. All military plans are based on thorough reconnaissance and careful study of the situation of the enemy and our forces, and are guided by the political strategy and the military strategy. (From PCP Base Document,p43) The strategic centralistion and tactical decentralisation gives full play to the lower committees to decide specific struggles to be carried out in their area, based on the guidelines.”
One of the most significant aspects of the peoples war was the preparatory stages initiated to build it.From 1970 to 1979 no armed action was launched but the peoples preparatory schools were launched to prepare for the peoples War.An Important contribution of Gonzalo is also the 2 line struggle to re-organize the party in 1965.With remarkable skill the PCP combined the armed struggle with the mass movements,forming people’s mass organizations.The peoples Guerilla Army formed in 1983 had remarakable similarity with that of the Chinese Red Army in the 1930’s.The village committees formed displayed great democratic functioning.Some of the most heroic armed actions were launched implementing Com Mao’s theory of protracted Peoples War.The PCPled P.G.A would comeback facing any setback like launching daylight in the most hazardous of storms .Although Peru had several neo-colonial features one of the most remarkable aspects was the way the P.C.P carried out the peoles war inspite of such a high urban population.the War actually gave credit to Mao’s theory of protracted peoples war in semi-colonial countries.I recommend readers to read the article ‘Red Flag flying in Peru ‘ in the 1990 edition of a ‘World to win’It brilliantly summarizes the military actions in ambushing military patrols and in creating revolutionary power in the countryside.Peasant committees were formed in late 1982 where land was seized from landlords and distributed to poor peasants,relying on the massline.From building peasnt committees guerilla Zones were built into base areas.A superb action was launched in 1982 on the prison of Ayacucho,after which Edith Lagos was martyred.In 1986 the peoples war entered the phase of building base areas.New revolutionary political power was not created.Peoples Commitees were established taking into account the subjective forces.The Commitees comprised 5 members-called commissioners.They were chosen by representatives of the village mass organzaitions of poor peasants,labourers,women,intellectuals,youth an d children.The secretary represented the party and the proletariat.The commissioner,also a party member was in charge of the defence of the political power,by the local organized people,into militias.Finally the commissioner of production and economy organizes the new production relations,supervising the dividing of the land.He alos organizes the production directly owned by the committee.The security commissioner was in charge of police functions The job of the committee was to creat a new politics,new economis,new culture in the countryside,as part of preparing to be able to do so on a countrwide scale.
In 1983 the PCP had formed the Organizing Committee for a New Democratic Peoples Republic.In the cities ,with the situation different from the villages a Revolutionary Peoples Defence Movement was created “ with the goal of mobilizing the masses to resist and to rsaie their struggles to a higher level-peoles war .Snaty town dwellesr were mobilized .The Revolutionary Peoples DEfence Movement called for armed shutdowns in Ayacucho lasting 3 days in 1988.The armed shutdowns later rocked Lima and the capital was shaken in November 1989 and March 1990.On the eve of the November strike,the traditional day of the daed’ about 3000 families of the prisoners of war marched into Lima in honour of the fallen heroes of the p[eoples war.On 21st August another shutdown was launched following Fujimori’s price hikes with leafleting at markets,factories,schools.etc.
The documents of the PCP had remarkable similarities with those of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930’s.Where the P.C.P showed weaknesses was their formulation of the Peoples Guerilla Army doing the mass work in the cities and weakness in developing urban work.Pre-revolutionary China did not face the onslaught of neo-colonialism or multi-nationals like Peru which had stronger impact of Capitalism.Com Mao had a more analytical understanding of work in the towns which is revealed in the writings of the C.C.P.on work in the yellow Unions.There is alos an overemphasis of Com Gonzalo on the military aspect in his writings as against the overall question of the mass line and the proletarian party.A term like ‘militarization of the party’ was used which is erroneous to me as the party is not a military organization.He also stated that it is the stage of ‘principally Maoim’ which is an error as it undestaimates Com Lenin’s dcefinition of era of Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution.A kind of Personality cult was formed around Com Gonzalo and the introduction of Gonzalo Thought is questionable.Another error is stating that ‘boycott of parliamemtray elections’ is the strategic path of Revolution and that extra-parliamentary tactics can never be deployed.This is counter to the views of Lenin or Mao.However the author asses a lineage in Gonzalo thought although in the end its form was distorted from the mass line.In the period of Gonzalo itself there was an attempt to copy the Chinese party experience in toto.There was alos over –emphasis on bureaucrat-capitalism.Although there was a preparatory stae and adequate base of revolutionary mass organization or movement was not created.There was alos an under-esatimation of the strength of the enemy forces.
After the arrest of Gonzalo the movement received a setback but the documents of the P.C.P. revealed there was virtually no setback to the peoples WarSympathisers upto 2001 felt that the War was winning.However morally there ws great setback and conflict had seriously abrupted within the forces of the CORIM and the M.P.P.Strangely it was the MPP that supported negotiations.
MILITARY LINE-COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU(1988 P.C.P.document)
Upholding, defending, and applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, President Gonzalo established the military line of the Party. In the First Expanded National Conference of November, 1979, it was agreed upon as being central to the general political line and it is now being developed through the People’s War.
President Gonzalo has persistently integrated the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with the concrete practice of the Peruvian revolution, combating and crushing revisionism and the right opportunist line. By applying dialectical materialism to the question of war, the military line also expresses the philosophical thought of President Gonzalo and summarizes the laws of war, of revolutionary war in general, and the specific laws of the revolutionary war in Peru. The military line is vital to our ideological, political, military, economic, and cultural work and permits us to differentiate between the proletarian military line and the bourgeois military line.
The military line consists of the laws that govern the People’s War for the conquest of Power and its defense. It contains three elements:
1. People’s war, specified in our case as unified People’s War, principally in the countryside, with its complement in the city;
2. Construction of the revolutionary armed forces, applied here as the People’s Guerilla Army, which has the particularity of incorporating the militia in order to advance towards the sea of armed masses, and;
3. Strategy and tactics that are formed through the encirclement and annihilation campaigns and the counter-campaigns of encirclement and annihilation. In our case this element is specified by applying political and military plans that have a political and military strategy developed in campaigns with specific objectives.
I. THE PEOPLE’S WAR
1. ON THE PEOPLE’S WAR IN PERU.
President Gonzalo, reaffirming himself on the universal law of revolutionary violence, follows the military theory of the proletariat established by Chairman Mao: The people’s war has universal validity and is applicable in all types of countries, in accordance with the conditions of each revolution. The World People’s War is the principal form of struggle that the proletariat and the oppressed peoples of the world should launch to oppose imperialist world war. The people’s war is a war of the masses and can only be accomplished by mobilizing the masses and being supported by them. He says: “The masses give us everything, from the crusts of bread that are taken from their own mouths to their precious blood which stirs jointly with that of the combatants and militants, which nourishes the road of the People’s War for the New Power.”
The masses should be organized into armed units in the People’s Guerilla Army. In the rural Base Areas all the men and women of each People’s Committee are organized militarily. In the cities, the People’s Guerrilla Army also acts and is bound more and more to the masses in the various new organizations in and for the People’s War. The Revolutionary Movement in Defense of the People is the realization of the Front in the cities. Its objective is to mobilize the masses in resistance, to serve the war, and serve the future insurrection.
He holds that in order to carry forward the People’s War we must take into account four fundamental problems:
1. The ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism that must be specified as a guiding thought, therefore we base ourselves on the Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, primarily the latter;
2. The need for the Communist Party of Peru that leads the People’s War;
3. The People’s War specified as a peasant war that follows the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside; and
4. Base Areas or the New Power, the construction of the Base Areas, which is the essence of the path of surrounding the cities from the countryside.
He analyzes the historical process of our people and demonstrates that they have always struggled, that it “has been nurtured and advanced through revolutionary violence. It is through this violence, in its diverse forms and degrees, that our people have conquered their economic gains [reivindicaciones], rights, and freedoms, since nothing fell from the sky, nor was it handed out. ‘Damn the words of traitors’; everything was won in fact through revolutionary violence, in ardent battles against the reactionary violence; that is how the eight hour day was won, our lands were conquered and defended, our rights were won and tyrants were overthrown. Revolutionary violence is, therefore, the very essence of our historical process… it is easy to understand that the development and victory of the Peruvian revolution, of our democratic revolution, the emancipation of the people and the class, will be achieved solely through the greatest revolutionary war of our people, raising the masses in arms through the People’s War”.
He draws the historical lesson that these political and military realities have defined the major transformations in the country. First comes the military deed and later political change. This shows once again that war is the continuation of politics by other means. He teaches us how the masses of our people have fought against exploitation. Since the VII century, in which the Peruvian state emerged, the masses have combated oppression and exploitation. The Incan empire established its domination through wars of conquest which culminated in the battle of Yahuarpampa [Quechua for "bloodfields"--Trans.] against the Chancas Predominant cultural group in the region of Ayacucho and Apurímac.. The empire further expanded through war. This is a political and military fact.
The conquest by the Spanish crown was another political and military fact that was imposed, crushing the resistance of the indigenous people and using the infightings among the conquered. However, we should highlight among others the struggle of Manco Inca, who led a rebellion against the Spanish.
The imposition of the Vice-royalty was another political and military fact that was used to crush the conquistadors themselves. To maintain itself it had to face large peasant uprisings such as the one led by Juan Santos Atahualpa, and in 1780 the powerful movement of Túpac Amaru that raised 100 thousand men, extending from Cusco and Puno into Bolivia, putting the dominance of the Vice-royalty at serious risk, having repercussions in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico and thus shaking up the American continent. While the movement was defeated, it had weakened and undermined the Vice-royalty, thus preparing the conditions for Emancipation. To see its class character, we should recall that Túpac Amaru was a cacique. [A cacique was a chief of the indias in the area of Cusco, appointed by the Viceroy--Trans.]
The Emancipation was another military and political fact and has three moments: First, in the XVIII Century, peasant uprisings, Túpac Amaru, for example; second, the uprisings in the cities, such as that of Francisco de Zela in Tacna and the guerrillas, especially those of Cangallo and Yauyos among many others; third, confrontations of large armies that ended with the liberating epics of San Martín and Bolivar in the battle of Ayacucho in 1824. It is important to understand that even though the Emancipation was led by the creoles [criollos], it had the merit of breaking the domination of the Spanish crown; that San Martín was a great military strategist and Bolivar proved to be both a political and military strategist. Both of them fought for the emancipation of several American countries without seeking personal gain, showing that to serve a great cause we must always put the general interest first and never the personal, and they did so without being Communists.
In the Republic the landlords remained in power but facing with fire and blood great peasant struggles, among them those of Atusparia and Uscho Pedro, or that of Llaccolla Autsparia, Uscho Pedro, and Llaccolla were leaders of rebellions in southern Peru. in Ocros. Here we have the dark chapter of the war with Chile where both countries faced each other manipulated by the interests of the English and the French that were seeking our wealth in guano and nitrates. This was a war that halted the incipient capitalist development of the country and revealed the dirty role of the dominant classes, part of which capitulated to Chile. But one must emphasize the heroic resistance of the masses against the invader in defense of the people and territorial integrity, a resistance that was especially strong in the mountainous Central and Southern regions of the of the country where guerrillas were formed; Cáceres [Andres A. Caceres organized a strong guerrilla movement against the invaders--Trans.], who was a landowner-soldier, played an important role in that circumstance.
The war with Chile was waged from 1879 to 1883, and it led to the collapse of the Peruvian economy. Shortly thereafter, in 1895 it entered the beginning of bureaucratic capitalism that initiates the development of contemporary Peruvian society. As the XIX Century passes, Peru goes from a colony to a semi-colony and from feudal to semi-feudal. Bureaucratic capitalism bound to Yankee imperialism begins to develop, thus replacing the English one. Finally, the modern proletariat emerges which changes the terms of the political struggle.
From this historical process the following lessons are drawn:
The people have always struggled, they are not peaceful and they apply revolutionary violence with the means at hand.
The peasant struggles are those which have most shaken the foundations of society, and these struggles have not triumphed because they lacked the leadership of the proletariat represented by the Communist Party.
The political and military deeds determine the major social changes.
From the position of the military line, contemporary Peru has three moments linked to the appearance of the proletariat that founds its Party to conquer Power through revolutionary violence, specifying its road, which is synthesized in the process of the military line of the Party.
The first moment. (1895 to 1945) The Communist Party of Peru is constituted and, concerning the military line, Mariátegui establishes the “Indication and outline of the road.” The heroic workers’ struggles for better wages, the eight hour day, for decent working conditions, the peasant movements for lands and the agricultural proletarian movements of the southern Sierra, and the movements to reform the university, led to a complex sharpening of the class struggle in which the Peruvian proletariat matured and in which Mariátegui founded the Communist Party of Peru, on October 7, 1928, under the banner of Marxism-Leninism.
Mariátegui pointed out and outlined fundamental ideas on revolutionary violence. He said: “There is no revolution that is moderate, balanced, calm, placid.” “Power is conquered through violence… it is preserved only through dictatorship.” He conceived the revolutionary war as being protracted in nature: “A revolution can only be fulfilled after many years. Frequently it has alternating periods of predominance of either the revolutionary forces or the forces of counter-revolution.” He established the relationship between politics and war; understanding that the revolution generates an army of a new type with its own tasks different from those of the exploiters; he also understood the nature of the peasantry and the vital participation of the working class in a leading role, that the revolution will come from the Andes, that “with the demolition of the latifundista feudalism, the urban capitalism will lack forces to resist the growing working class”; that in order to make revolution, guns, a program and doctrine are needed. He conceived the revolution as a total war in which there is a conjunction of political, social, military, economic and moral elements, and that each faction puts in tension and mobilizes all the resources that it can. He totally rejected the electoral road.
Mariátegui died in April, 1930. The Right led by Ravines is going to usurp the leadership of the Party and the questioning and denial of Mariátegui’s road occurs. They invoke insurrection in words but degenerate into electoralism. The so-called “Constitutional Congress” of the Party in 1942 sanctions the tactics of capitulation of the “National Union”, both in internal politics as well as internationally. The Party is influenced by Browderite ideas, a predecessor of contemporary revisionism, where there is a clear abandonment of revolutionary violence and an electoral tactic is promoted focussing on the “National Democratic Front”. Nevertheless, the red line in the Party struggled to defending the Marxist-Leninist positions, although it was bitterly resisted and the internal struggles were resolved through expulsions.
The second moment. (1945 to 1980) The Communist Party of Peru is reconstituted, and with respect to the military line, President Gonzalo establishes the “Definition and Basis of the Road”. This second moment has two parts: The first, in the period from 1945 to 1963, which is one of “New impulses for the development of the Party and the beginnings of the struggle against revisionism.” The second part, from 1963 to 1980, is one of the “Establishment of the general political line and reconstitution of the Party”.
In the first part of the second moment, by the mid-1950s, the struggle for reactivating the Party that had remained unfinished after Odría’s coup d’état begins. Afterwards, the Party starts the opening step in the struggle against revisionism. This process occurs in the midst of the repercussions of the Cuban revolution. At the same time, at the world level, the unfolding of the struggle between Marxism and revisionism begins. The revolutionary road is discussed, the armed struggle is discussed again and, in the IV Congress of the Party, in 1962, it is agreed that in Peru the so-called “two roads” are feasible: “The peaceful road and the violent one.” Also, “the revolution can follow the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside or from the city to the countryside.” But in spite of this talk, the Party in essence was hanging on to the old electoral strategy then taking the form of the so-called “National Liberation Front.” This was the revisionism of Khrushchev. At this time the political positions of President Gonzalo began to emerge, laying the foundations of the red line which adhered to the positions of Chairman Mao in the struggle between Marxism and revisionism.
In the second part of the second moment, from 1963 to 1980, we have the “Establishment of the general political line and reconstitution of the Party”, this task was carried forward by President Gonzalo in constituting the red fraction of the Party in an intensive struggle of more than fifteen years and through three political strategies:
From 1963 to 1969 he guided the red fraction under the political strategy of following the “Road of surrounding the cities from the countryside.” From 1969 to 1976 he led the Party with the political strategy of “Reconstitution of the Party for the People’s War.” From 1976 to 1979 there was the political strategy of “Complete the Reconstitution and Establish Bases” for the beginning of the armed struggle.
During the first strategic period following the “Road of surrounding the cities from the countryside,” the Communists of Peru are profoundly shaken by the struggle between Marxism and revisionism, and Marxist positions seep into the organization. In the 1960s there is a great peasant movement that mobilized 300 to 500 thousand peasants which fought for land but that was precluded from the armed struggle by a revisionist leadership; a great movement of labor strikes occurs in the working class, and the university struggle is developed to a higher level. All these events had repercussions on the Party and President Gonzalo forged the red fraction in Ayacucho, with clear ideas that the Party must seizing power, and that it must be based on Marxist theory.
A frontal struggle is unleashed against revisionism that had its center in the Soviet Union, and adheres firmly to the positions of the Chinese Communist Party and principally with those of Chairman Mao. He sustained that: “The countryside is in a powerful revolutionary ferment”, “we must lend special attention to the countryside and to the poor peasants”, that “our revolution will be from the countryside to the city.” In the IV National Conference of January, 1964, he met with the different bases of the Party to expel revisionism and its crusty representatives Jorge del Prado, Acosta and Juan Barrio. Our Party is going to be one of the first in breaking and expelling revisionism from its ranks.
President Gonzalo began to consolidate the Party in the Regional Committee of Ayacucho; the center of Party work was focused in the countryside; in the city he organized the poor masses in the Neighborhoods’ Federation, and reorganized the Revolutionary Student Front. But what is of transcendental importance, is that despite the opposition of the new central leadership, President Gonzalo applying a Party agreement launched the “Special Work”, which was the military work of the Regional Committees by giving them three functions: political, military, and logistical.
Afterwards, in sharp two-line struggle against the positions of the central leadership that wanted to control the military work, he combated militarism, mercenaryism and foquismo. [Refers to the "foco" theory of Che Guerara--Trans.] In these circumstances the guerrillas of the MIR [Movement of the Revolutionary Left--Trans.] develop, a position that expressed the struggle of our people from a petit-bourgeois outlook, which follows a militaristic line and ignores the Party. In spite of being out of step with the rise of the peasants, this movement showed the feasibility of the perspective of armed struggle, provided that it was led by a just and correct line under the leadership of the Party. For that reason, President Gonzalo was opposed to dissolving the Party in order to tail the MIR and the ELN [National Liberation Army--Trans.] in a supposed Front.
At the September 1967 meeting of the Expanded Political Bureau, he outlined a Strategic Plan which contained a set of measures that the Central Committee had to take for the construction of the three instruments, having as its principal task the forming of the armed forces that was agreed upon at the V National Conference of 1965. This occurs in the midst of a factional struggle where most notably the fractions of “Patria Roja” and of the Right liquidationism of Paredes contended for the leadership of the Party. Paredes intended to replay the tactic of tailing a faction of the big bourgeoisie, while those of “Patria Roja” went on to plunge into Right opportunism.
During the second political strategy of “Reconstitute the Party for the Peoples’ War,” President Gonzalo outlined the underlying revisionism within the Party and that its reconstitution on the Basis of Party Unity, upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought, the thought of Mariátegui and the general political line was necessary. These positions were opposed by the aforementioned fractions. The mishandling of the two-line struggle by Paredes is going to lead to the break-up of the Party. President Gonzalo understood the need for the reconstitution of the Party and the need for waging an internal struggle to make it a reality by sweeping away revisionism, as evidenced by the editorials he wrote in Bandera Roja [Official journal of the PCP--Trans.] of December 1967, “Develop in Depth the Internal Struggle,” and that of April 1968, “Deepen and Intensify the Internal Struggle in Revolutionary Practice.” He worked tirelessly for the channeling of revolutionary violence in a people’s war, for the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside, thus accomplishing the principal task demanded by the Party:
The construction of the revolutionary armed forces. He proposed that the indispensable base in this undertaking was the development of revolutionary peasant work, that without good work in the peasant masses, that is, work guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought and led by the Communist Party, there cannot be a development of the armed forces nor of the People’s War. Afterward, he proposed that the Party must not only retake the continuing validity of Mariátegui’s thought, but must also develop it.
He established the Agrarian Program of the Party in May of 1969. In 1972, the Strategic Plan of the Regional Committee of Ayacucho was established. Right liquidationism is defeated, and in the Party two fractions remain: the red fraction fundamentally in Ayacucho, led by President Gonzalo, and the “Bolshevik” fraction, acting mainly in Lima. This second one developed a left liquidationist line, a form of revisionism that isolated the Party from the masses. Their conception was that fascism could not be fought, that a correct line was sufficient. They had a military line that was opposed to the People’s War. They were crushed in 1975 and their leaders fled.
During the third political strategy to “Complete the Reconstitution and to Establish Bases” to begin the armed struggle, the problem was to finish, to consider the Reconstitution of the Party as complete, and to establish bases to begin the armed struggle. This issue was settled in the VII Plenum of April, 1977, in which all the Party worked under the slogan of “Construction serving the armed struggle”, in struggle against the seeds of a right opportunist line (ROL), which sustained that Velasco [Military regime from 1968-1972--Trans.] had made the agrarian reform, that there was a need to organize the peasants in connection with the Peasant Federation of Peru and that the People’s War needed to be waged for the “deepest claims of the masses”, forgetting about the problems of land and of power. In the cities, they developed “workerism”, focusing the class in labor unions [gremialismo] and opposed to the class playing its leading role. Once these positions were crushed, President Gonzalo launched the “National Plan of Construction” in June of 1977; dozens of cadre were sent to the countryside in the interests of the strategic needs of the People’s War and to build Regional Committees taking into account the future Bases Areas. In the VIII Plenum of July of 1978, the “Outline for the Armed Struggle” was established. In essence, this outlined outlined that the People’s War in Peru must be developed as a unified whole in both the countryside as well as in the city, with the countryside being the principal theater of armed actions, following the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside. Furthermore, it must take into account the historical social process of the country, especially the military aspect, the importance of the Sierra and principally from the Central and Southern part in our history, the importance of the Capital, and the need to pace Peru within the context of Latin America, in South America particularly, and within the international context and the world revolution. All the Party was put into a general reorganization, placing the countryside as central to develop the principal form of struggle and organization. Thus, the basis of the construction of the three instruments of the revolution was laid down.
In synthesis, the entire process of Reconstitution led us to a Party of a new type prepared to begin the People’s War and to lead it until the conquest of power countrywide. In this process the historical contingent was forged, who with the ideology of the proletariat under the leadership of President Gonzalo was prepared to assume the conquest of Power through the People’s War.
The third moment. (1980 to the present) The Party begins to lead the People’s War. Its military line is formed with the “Application and development of the Road.” This third moment has four milestones:
3. Initiation; and
4. Development of the guerrilla war.
1) Definition. In essence, the Party takes up the historic and transcendental agreement of initiating the People’s War in Peru, which was agreed upon in the IX Expanded Plenum of June, 1979. This agreement was achieved in the midst of three intense struggles: The first was against the right opportunist line that was opposed to beginning the armed struggle, denying the revolutionary situation and declaring its conditions as nonexistent, and that there was a condition of “stability.” After the expulsion of this line, the Party agreed upon a new stage and a new goal. The second struggle was against a new Rightist line that believed that the armed struggle was impossible, that it was a “dream”, that there was no need of taking up that agreement because it was a matter of principle. The third struggle was with the divergences in the Left [the left line within the PCP--Trans.], one in which the details were discussed on how to develop the People’s War. It was established that the proletarian position was President Gonzalo’s and therefore was the one which should be implemented; all the Party made a commitment to be guided by the leadership of President Gonzalo.
Concerning the organization of the armed forces, it was agreed to form military cadres, specific groups for action and to undermine the reactionary forces, aiming at soldiers. In strategy and tactics, the organic system was restated.
2) Preparation. In this milestone event, the Program of the Party is sanctioned, along with the general political line of the Peruvian revolution and the Party statues. Problems related to political strategy, revolutionary violence, the People’s War and the Party, the Army and Front United are resolved. The following Decision is assumed: “Forge the First Company in Deeds! Let violence flourish towards the initiation and development of the armed struggle; we open with lead and offer our blood to write the new chapter of the history of the Party and of our people forging the First Company in deeds. Peru, December 3, 1979.”
The Party prepared the armed struggle dealing with two problems: 1) Problems of Political Strategy that give both the content and the objectives of the People’s War in perspective and in the short term, as well as the guidelines that the People’s War should have, the military plans and the construction of the three instruments and their ties with the new Power; 2) The Initiation of the armed struggle. This decisive and essential problem had merited the most special attention from President Gonzalo, who established the “Plan of Initiation” guided by the slogan “Initiate the armed struggle!” that was the gist of the principal politics that had to be developed militarily. Its contents included:
First, the political tasks that had to be fulfilled during the initiation of the armed struggle, to boycott the elections, to promote militarily the armed struggle for the land and to establish the bases for the new conquests, especially the new Power;
Second, forms of struggle: guerrilla warfare, sabotage, propaganda, armed agitation, and selective annihilation;
Third, organizational and military forms: armed detachments, with or without modern weapons;
Fourth, a chronology, date of the initiation and duration of the Plan, and simultaneous actions for specific dates.
The Preparation began with the struggle against the Rightist positions within the Party that were denying the revolutionary conditions, and they were saying that the Party was not prepared or that the masses would not lend us support. The leader of these positions deserted and they were crushed.
3) Initiation. On May 17, 1980, the People’s War in Peru began. It “was a defiant political blow of transcendental significance that, displaying rebellious red flags and hoisting hammers and sickles, proclaimed: ‘It is right to rebel’ and ‘Power grows from the barrel of a gun.’ It summoned the people, especially the poor peasantry, to stand up in arms, to light the bonfire and to shake the Andes, to write the new history in the fields and hidden features of our tumultuous geography, to tear down the rotten walls of the oppressive order, to conquer the summits, to storm the heavens with guns to open the new dawn. The beginnings were modest, almost without modern weapons. It was fought, it was advanced and it was built from the small to the large and from the weak material and initial fire came the great turbulent fire and mighty roar that grows, sowing revolution and exploding into ever more impetuous People’s War.”
This third milestone lasted from May to December of 1980, resolving the problem of how to initiate the armed struggle, of going from the times of peace to the times of war. In this context, the militarization of the Party through actions and the masterful Plan of Initiation were key. This was how the new was born: the principal form of struggle, the armed struggle and the principal form of organization, the detachments and squads. The most outstanding actions in the field were the guerrilla actions of Ayrabamba and Aysarca [localities in Ayacucho--Trans.] and, in the city, setting fire to the Municipal Building of San Martín [a district in Lima--Trans.]. The boycott of the elections by the people of Chuschi was the action that initiated the beginning of the People’s War. This plan was fulfilled, defeating the Rightist positions that were saying that the Plan was “Hoxhite” and that the actions were centered in the city. Their arguments confused appearances with reality and distorted the essence of the struggle, since reactionary propaganda gave big headlines to the sabotages in the cities and minimized the actions in the countryside. It is a characteristic of the People’s War in Peru to make the countryside the principal theater of action and the cities a necessary complement.
4) Development of the guerrilla war. It has been fulfilled through three military plans: To deploy guerrilla warfare, to Conquer Bases and to Develop Bases.
Regarding the Deployment of guerrilla warfare. This was completed by a plan that lasted from May 1981 to December 1982 and had a pilot period in January 1981. The slogan “Open guerrilla zones serving as Base Areas” implied an ideological-political leap by putting Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, guiding thought of President Gonzalo as the basis of party unity. Militarily, they opened the guerrilla war throughout the country seeking to “Capture weapons and the means for war, stir up the countryside with armed actions and go forward toward the Base Areas.” These plans were partially completed with the last one, “Go forward”, being the link with the subsequent plan. It advanced by razing the feudal relationships of production aiming against the gamonales [semi-feudal landlords--Trans.] as the spearhead and fighting against the joint police operations. A multitude of assaults on police posts and selective annihilation of gamonales were carried out, generating a great mass mobilization of peasants that volunteered themselves for the militia, giving rise to a power vacuum for the reactionaries. The People’s Committees emerged, which grew and multiplied. Their appearance defines the Base Areas.
We should emphasize actions such as the assault on the city jail of Ayacucho where the First Company acted for the first time, occupying the city and freeing tens of prisoners of war; the assaults on the police posts of Vilcashuamán, of Totos, of San José de Secce; the sabotages to the power grid and communication lines; the razings like those of Pincos, Toxama, Allpachaca, Huayllapampa among others. In the cities, there were the sabotages to bureaucratic capitalism and to imperialism, as well as support to strikes by armed actions.
Here the Rightist positions that were combated were those of personal power and fealty and the retreat from actions. Deploying the guerrilla war gave us the most important conquest: The new Power, the clandestine People’s Committees that are the backbone of the Base Areas.
In the face of the advance of the People’s War, the reactionary government of Belaúnde launched from the very beginning the persecution, repression, torture, the imprisonment and death of the militants, fighters and the masses. They have mounted independent police operations and jointly with their police forces, Civil Guards, Republican Guards, Investigative Police, along with the counterinsurgency corps known as the “sinchis”. They promulgated the D.L. [Decreed Law -- Trans.] No. 046, a truly terrorist law that violates the most elementary principles of bourgeois criminal law. But the result of all their plans has been the most categorical failure, the masses rejected and resisted their aggression. The emergence of the new Power broke the reticence of the government of Belaúnde, which from the beginning minimized the problem to maintain their bogus democratic facade and strengthened the class necessities of the two exploiters, the big bourgeoisie and landlords under the protection of Yankee imperialism. Belaunde then entrusted the armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), the backbone of the State, to reestablish public order with the support of the police forces, imposing a state of emergency under political-military control in the regions of Ayacucho and Apurímac, from December of 1982 until today (1988).
President Gonzalo, with the development of the People’s War and the counter-revolutionary response that implied a qualitative leap, outlined the Great Plan of Conquering Bases in the Expanded Central Committee from January to March 1983 where four political tasks were defined: a general reorganization of the Party, the creation of the People’s Guerrilla Army and the Revolutionary Defense Front of the People and their consolidation as People’s Committees in the countryside and as the Revolutionary Defense Movement of the People in the cities and the Military Plan of Conquering Bases. Politically, the contradiction between the new State and old State was advancing under the slogan of “Defend, Develop and Build” the Base Areas. A sharp armed conflict developed in which the reactionaries struggled to re-establish the old Power and the revolution struggled to counter-establish the new Power. This is what we call the struggle between restoration and counter-restoration encompassing the years 1983 and 1984. Military plans were specified for the zones applying the tactics of encircling and striking the enemy’s weak point. Two successful campaigns were completed in which the new Power was tempered passing its first test of fire; the Party was forged and the People’s Guerrilla Army was developed.
The reactionary armed forces pursued the counter-revolutionary war, following the concepts of their Yankee imperialist master, theories established by their experience in counter-revolutionary war, mainly extracted from Vietnam and particularly drawn from the combat against the armed struggle in Latin America, especially in Central America. That is the basic theoretical source combined with the “anti-terrorist” experience of Israel and its counterpart in Argentina, along with the Federal Republic of Germany and its advisors in Taiwan, Spain, etc. This adds to their experience of the few months of anti-guerrilla struggle of 1965 and the more limited experience of fighting in La Convención [a province in Cusco where there was guerrilla struggle in 1965]. The operations are under the direction of the Joint Command of the armed forces that acts according to the will of the National Defense Council headed by the President, today under Alan García, who holds direct responsibility. This counter-revolutionary strategy has been defeated many times. It has been crushed and defeated completely and thoroughly by the People’s War, showing to the world again and again the superiority of the strategy of the proletariat over that of imperialism.
A summary of the specific policies that were applied by the genocidal government: masses against masses; genocide, mass graves; disappearances of entire villages. In sum, they unleashed the white terror in the countryside, especially in Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Apurímac. The result of this genocide is eight thousand seven hundred Peruvians dead. Of these, four thousand seven hundred of the murdered were the poorest and the most exploited, mainly peasants and in the neighborhoods and slums of the cities, where four thousand disappeared. This genocide has not produced the result they wanted; it did not crush the People’s War. On the contrary, “the People’s War grows stronger, developing and striking powerful blows”, evidence of what Chairman Mao taught, that repression is what arouses and feeds the revolution.
Within the Plan of Conquering Bases is the “Plan of the Great Leap” that is subject to the specific political strategy of “Two Republics are expressed, two roads, two axes” and the military strategy of “generalize the guerrilla warfare.” Four successful campaigns were carried out under the political guidelines of: “Open our political space”, “Against the general elections of 1985, disrupt and destabilize them and impede them wherever feasible”, “Against the ascension to power by the new Aprista government,” and “Undermine the fascist and corporativist Aprista assembly.” The People’s War developed in the region of Ayacucho, Huancavelica, and Apurímac and was expanded to Pasco, Huánuco and San Martín, covering an area from the department of Cajamarca, on the border with Ecuador in the Northwest, to Puno on the border with Bolivia in the Southeast of the country, striking and shaking-up the cities, especially in the capital. The People’s War fundamentally takes place in the sierra, the historical axis of Peruvian society and its most backward and poorest part, by transforming it into the grand theater of the revolutionary war. It advanced to the edge of the jungle and to the headlands of the coast. Thus, the People’s War was not conceived in a single region was developed simultaneously in several regions, although in unequal form, with the principal area that can vary as necessary. All activities were conceived within a strategically centralized and a tactically decentralized plan.
Among the most salient actions, we see the blows to the anti-guerrilla bases in the department of Ayacucho; the destruction of the counter-subversive settlements [nucleamientos] disruptions in the establishment of the local micro- regions; in Huancavelica the demolition of the electrical grid and the destruction of the highway system; the destruction of the agricultural cooperatives Cinto and Vichincha with cattle redistribution and appropriation of lands; breakthroughs in Apurímac. In the Central region, there were ambushes such as in Michivilca, sabotage to the substation of Centromín [state mining corporation--Trans.], sabotage to SAIS [state-run cooperative] Túpac Amaru. In the North, land seizures under the slogan “Seize the Land!” that mobilized 160 thousand peasants and confiscated 320 thousand hectares, mostly pastures, and 12 thousand head of livestock; sabotage to the oil pipeline “Norperuano”, and to the headquarters of the APRA in the city of Trujillo. In the South, the land seizures mobilized more than 10 thousand peasants; in Huallaga, an assault on the police post of Aucayacu, destruction of the large company Tealero, ambush of the Republican Guards; in Metropolitan Lima, sabotages against the embassy of the Russian social-imperialists, against dozens of local offices of the APRA party, against banks and factories, all leading to a state of emergency with military control in February of 1986.
Alan García Pérez continued the counter-revolutionary policy of his predecessor and sought to crush the People’s War through genocides such as those of Accomarca, Llocllapampa, Umaru and Bellavista in the countryside. In the capital of the Republic, he unleashed two genocides against the prisoners of war, the first on the 4th of October, 1985, where 30 militants and combatants were annihilated in the shining trench [refers to a prison--Trans.] of Lurigancho. That did not break the heroic resistance of the prisoners of war who, with their blood, formed the Day of the Prisoner of War. On the 19 of June, 1986, the most vile and despicable premeditated crime was unleashed to crush the People’s War and to annihilate the prisoners of war, who with a ferocious resistance inflicted the most serious political, military, and moral rout to the genocidal Aprista government. This brought out and defined their dilemma of serving the bureaucratic faction of the big bourgeoisie, in order to develop corporativist fascism, García and the Aprista party remaining forever bathed in the blood of the genocide. Thus the Day of Heroism was formed with the monumental trilogy of 250 dead in the shining trenches of combat of El Fronton, Lurigancho, and Callao.
We unmask and condemn opportunism and revisionism in its various incarnations: The pro-Russian, the pro-Chinese, the false Mariateguists, all those who have acted and continue to act as informers, tailing after the counter-revolution, denying and combating the People’s War and branding it as terrorism, repeating what Reagan and the Peruvian and world reactionaries say. They can never hope to prove their accusations and simply hurl adjectives and condemn violence “whatever the source,” and continue with their old electoral posturing with the aim of hoodwinking the people with parliamentary cretinism, sinking further each day into the embrace of the old order, their rotten parliament, their electoral farces, their constitution and their laws, living in quivering fear and reverential dread before the reactionary armed forces and the bluster of the old State. We condemn the groveling attitude and capitulation of Barrantes Lingán and others of his ilk [secuaces y compinches].
Since 1983, the political strategy of the Great Plan of Conquering Bases was completed through two campaigns of defending, developing and building Parts I and II, and of the Plan for the Great Leap with its four campaigns up to December of 1986. These plans show us the advance of the People’s War, that we are solidly linked to the masses, contrary to everything they say, since the facts are undeniable. The People’s War has conquered an area that is being extended through the Sierra, the Jungle and the Coast, marching vigorously and strong, building what is new and opening the future. The Base Areas which are the foundation of the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside have been already established.
The Great Plan of Developing Bases. This has a special role in the People’s War since the essence of the People’s War is to develop support; therefore the Great Plan of Developing Bases has to do with the construction of the new Power and its development, it has to do with the perspective that is being opened for the conquest of power countrywide. The political strategy is to develop Base Areas and the military strategy is to develop the People’s War serving the world revolution, a plan that is being fulfilled through a pilot plan.
The triumph of the revolution begets and crushes a powerful counter-revolution. We are entering decisive years in which the APRA government continues without having a strategic plan; they talk of a “new strategy” but there is none. What remains is only greater repression: Political, economic, and social laws, strengthening the military to facilitate the actions of the armed forces to unleash new genocides under new conditions, for us as well as for them. For us, the genocide under way presents itself under new circumstances. We have passed through the genocide of 1983 and 1984 that demonstrated the great popular repudiation and the strengthening of the revolution. The reaction can only apply genocide, but that will strengthen the People’s War. There might be initial withdrawals or inflections, but we will prevail by persisting in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, in our politics of the five developments, in the invincibility of the People’s War and in the support of the people who make history always under the leadership of the Communist Party.
On the concrete situations and possibilities that are presented us in the new Great Plan of Developing Bases we must be aware of:
1. Armed groups such as the MRTA and the CRP [the short-lived People's Revolutionary Commando--Trans.] have appeared. They have been recast and they do not have a definite Marxist conception. Thus, they march to serve imperialism, social-imperialism, and the supposedly fascist dialogue to which they have already given unilateral truces.
2. APRA has already begun to unfold fascism and corporativism. It faces serious and increasing difficulties, such as its growing and sinuous collusion and contention with the comprador bourgeoisie, among other more important contradictions.
3. The class struggle sharpens and intensifies more, the masses begin to defend themselves and resist; if social explosions occur in the urban areas, they could be used by social-imperialism and the reactionaries in general, through their political representatives.
4. A coup d’etat is possible at any moment. The same García Pérez may promote a self-coup in order to preserve his political future.
5. In perspective, the reactionaries can also play with an Allende-type government, using the Aprista Barrantes or someone similar; within this possibility one must consider the sinister role of the United Left.
6. The Peruvian State has border problems that can be inflamed at any moment, as is shown by the experience of other Latin American countries. This problem must be seriously addressed.
7. The sending of Yankee troops is already a real fact and not a simple possibility. Their presence is linked to a similar presence in other countries, especially on the border and it must be seen in the context of military measures taken by Brazil.
8. The imperialist wars and their aggressions continue to increase. The World War for hegemony between the USA and the USSR continues being prepared through collusion and contention of a global dimension. Consequently, the People’s War is a peremptory necessity and the world People’s War is an inevitable perspective.
All these possibilities must be taken seriously into account to handle the People’s War with politics in command, and, particularly with an eye toward the conquest of power countrywide that may present itself and which must be taken up. For all these reasons, we must be ideologically, politically and organizationally prepared.
The First Campaign of the Pilot Plan of the Great Plan of Developing Bases has meant the largest shake-up with national and international repercussions. It is fracturing the old State more and more, which had never been shaken up this way by anyone in Peru. Now it is up to us to fulfil the historical and political necessity of “Finish by brilliantly establishing a historical milestone!” in the Second Campaign. Understand that the Pilot Plan is like the initial battle of the Great Plan of Developing Bases.
In conclusion, after close to eight years of People’s War we have completed more than forty five thousand actions that reveal their high quality; the militarized Party has been tempered; the People’s Guerrilla Army has been developed and has increased its belligerence; and we have hundreds of organizations of the new Power with the poorest masses increasingly in support of us. The People’s War has raised the class struggle of our people to its highest form and that impinges on the struggle of the masses themselves, impelling them to be incorporated by leaps and bounds into the People’s War. The “People’s War is turning the country upside down, the ‘old mole’ [el topo viejo] is rotting profoundly in the entrails of the old society. No one can stop it, the future already dwells among us, the old and rotten society is sinking irrevocably, the revolution will prevail. Long Live the People’s War!” Our task is to develop the People’s War serving the world revolution under the banners of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought.
2. THE ROAD OF SURROUNDING THE CITIES FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE AND THE BASE OF REVOLUTIONARY SUPPORT
Chairman Mao established the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside. At its heart are the Base Areas, taking into account that the powerful imperialists and their reactionary Chinese allies were entrenched in the principal cities. If the revolution refused to capitulate and wanted to persevere in the struggle it had to convert the backwards rural zones into advanced and solid Base Areas, into great military, political, economic and cultural bastions of the revolution to fight against the fierce enemy that was assaulting the rural zones using the cities, and to carry the revolution step by step to a complete victory through a protracted war.
True to this basic Maoist thesis, President Gonzalo has established the carrying forward of a unified People’s War where the countryside is the principal theater of armed actions: Since in our country we have an immense majority of peasant masses, that is where we must build the Base Areas. As Chairman Mao said: “The protracted revolutionary struggle supported in such revolutionary base areas is fundamentally a guerrilla war of the peasants led by the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, it is wrong to ignore the necessity of using the rural zones as revolutionary base areas, to disregard the arduous work among the peasants and to neglect the guerrilla war.” Going further, President Gonzalo specifies that in the cities armed actions should be carried forward as a complement, since international experience, as well as our own, demonstrates that this is feasible. He draws lessons from, for example, what happened to the guerrillas in the Philippines which recast themselves in the countryside and left the cities quiet, especially the capital, resulting in the isolation of the guerrillas. In Brazil, the revolutionaries also carried out armed actions in the countryside and city, only they neglected to specify which was principal. In Vietnam, important armed actions were carried out in the cities. Thus, taking into account the peculiarities of the cities in Latin America, where the percentage of the proletariat and of the poor masses in the cities is high, the masses are ready to develop actions complementing those in the countryside. In the cities, however, the New Power or Base Areas are not being built, rather the Front is materialized through the Revolutionary Defense Movement of the People (MRDP) with Resistance Centers that carry out the People’s War and prepare the future insurrection, which will occur when the forces of the countryside assault the cities in combination with the insurrection from within.
The Base Areas are the strategic bases which the guerrilla forces rely on to fulfil their strategic tasks and to achieve the objective of preserving and increasing their forces as well as annihilating and throwing back the enemy. Without such strategic Bases there would not be anything from which to carry out any one of our strategic tasks to reach the war’s objective.
Chairman Mao outlines three reasons for the creation of Base Areas: To have armed forces, to defeat the enemy and to mobilize the masses. These were specified in our People’s War in 1982, when applying the Plan of Deployment the guerrilla war in its role of beating the enemy, we aimed at destroying the old feudal relations of production. Police posts were assaulted, selective annihilation of landlord power was applied, and the police forces abandoned the countryside and were regrouped in the provincial capitals. The authorities of the old Power massively resigned which created a power vacuum, while tens of thousands were mobilized. It is in these conditions that the Base Areas emerged and were specified in the clandestine People’s Committees. Therefore, it is wrong to take the Chinese experience dogmatically since if the conditions were given and principles were in effect, we would have had sufficient reason to build the Base Areas. To agree with this thesis implied a struggle against Rightism that was arguing that we had not defeated large enemy forces, when the problem was that the enemy forces had abandoned the field as a consequence of the rout of their political and military plans.
President Gonzalo has established a system of Base Areas surrounded by guerrilla zones, zones of operations and points of action taking into account the political and social conditions, the history of struggle, the geographical characteristics and the development of the Party, the Army and of the masses.
It is fundamental to support the validity of the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside and its heart, the Base Areas, because with only wandering guerrillas of insurrection the People’s Guerrilla Army would not have the Base Areas as a rearguard that sustains it and neither would the new Power be built. We are totally against foquismo.
3. THE PROTRACTED WAR
The People’s War is protracted because it derives from the correlation between the factors of the enemy and ourselves that are determined by the following four fundamental characteristics: The first is that Peru is a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, one in which a bureaucratic capitalism unfolds. The second is that the enemy is strong; the third is that the People’s Guerrilla Army is weak; and the fourth is that the Communist Party leads the People’s War. From the first and fourth characteristics we can derive that the People’s Guerrilla Army will not grow too rapidly and will not defeat its enemy soon. These peculiarities determine the extended character of the war.
The enemy is strong and we are weak; in that fact resides the danger of our defeat. The enemy has a single advantage–the numerous contingents of its forces and the armaments they rely upon. But every other aspect constitutes their weak points. Their objective is to defend the old and rotten Power of the landlord-bureaucratic State. It has a bourgeois military line; it is a mercenary army. It does not have conscious discipline and its moral is low. It has profound contradictions between officers and soldiers, and it is discredited before the masses. Furthermore, the very base of the reactionary army are of worker and peasant origin, which can disintegrate during the course of an unjust war. Apart from this, the Peruvian armed forces have never won a war and they are expert in defeats. Furthermore, they have repeatedly counted on the support of international reaction, but we count on the support of the oppressed nations, of the peoples of the world and the international proletariat, which are the new forces.
The People’s Guerrilla Army has a single weak point, its insufficient development but the remaining aspects constitute valuable advantages: It carries forward a People’s War to create a new Power; it has a proletarian military line, led absolutely by the Communist Party; it is based on class valor and revolutionary heroism and on a conscious discipline. Its morale is high and there is a close union between officers and soldiers and it is an army composed of the people themselves, mainly poor workers and peasants.
But the objective fact is that there is a large disparity between the forces of the enemy and our forces and for us to go from weak to strong requires a period of time, one in which the defects of the enemy are exposed and our advantages are developed. Therefore, we say that our army is apparently weak but in essence it is strong and the enemy’s army is apparently strong but in essence it is weak. Thus, to go from weak to strong we must carry forward the protracted war and this has three stages: The first is the period of the strategic offensive of the enemy and the strategic defensive of our forces. The second will be the period of the strategic consolidation of the enemy and of our preparation for the counteroffensive. The third will be the period of our strategic counteroffensive and of the strategic withdrawal of the enemy.
President Gonzalo teaches us that the People’s War is protracted, long and bloody but victorious and tells us that the time of its duration will be extended or shortened within the scope of its protracted character. The time will depend on the extent that we fight within the proletarian military line, since Rightism is the principal danger that can cause serious setbacks to the war.
Today, we find ourselves in the period of the strategic offensive of the enemy and of our own strategic defensive. We must strengthen the People’s War by applying guerrilla warfare, establishing bases for the next stage, paying whatever cost is necessary but fighting to minimize it.
II. CONSTRUCTION OF THE PEOPLE’S GUERRILLA ARMY
To wage the People’s War we must count on the principal form of organization, which is the People’s Guerrilla Army, since the backbone of the old State is the reactionary armed forces and to destroy the old State one must first destroy its reactionary army. The Party must count on a powerful army: “Without a peoples’ army the people have nothing,” as Chairman Mao taught us.
The construction of the Army is seen in the line of construction based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought. In synthesis, President Gonzalo has contributed in bringing the incorporation of the militia into the People’s Guerrilla Army. Its creation is a step toward the sea of armed masses and the solution of going from disorganized masses to masses who are militarily organized.
III. STRATEGY AND TACTICS
President Gonzalo emphasizes seven points on strategy and tactics of Chairman Mao specifying some of them. We must pay close attention to these in order to lead the People’s War.
1. On Strategy and Tactics.
He departs from Chairman Mao’s thesis that the task of strategy as a science is to study the laws of leading military operations that influence the situation of the war in its entirety. The task of the science of campaigns and tactics is to study the laws of leading military operations of a partial character. He makes a strategic development of how to wage the war in each zone and in the country as a whole, taking into account its ties to the international situation. He outlined for us the axes, sub-axes, directions of movement and lines of movements which permit us to maintain the strategic course of the war under any circumstances and to face all types of political and military operations that the counter-revolution launches. On this basis he established the National Military Plan that is strategically centralized and tactically decentralized, departing from the premise that all plans reflect an ideology, that they must reflect both the reality and vagaries it must express. Taking up Stalin, he links strategy with tactics and establishes the strategic-operational Plans that are the concrete way that strategy is linked to tactical operations. As a result, each Committee must elaborate its strategic-operational plans within the strategic-operational Plan common to the entire Party.
The correct disposition emanates from the just decision of the commander; all military plans must be based on the indispensable recognition and careful study of the situation of the enemy, the actual situation and the interrelationship of both. That is, we must always keep in mind “the two hills”; we must be guided by a political strategy and by a military strategy.
For the elaboration of the Plans always take into account the following general features:
1. The international class struggle between revolution and counter-revolution; ideology; the international communist movement; the RIM.
2. The class struggle in the country; the counter-revolution.
3. The development of the People’s War; its balance; laws and lessons.
4. The need for investigation.
5. The People’s War and its construction.
6. The People’s War and the masses.
7. The two-line struggle.
8. Programming and Chronology.
9. Attitude and slogans. “Rise above the difficulties and conquer greater victories!”
In almost eight years of the People’s War, we have had four plans: Plan of Initiation; Plan of Developing the People’s War; Plan of Conquering Bases; and, Plan of Developing Bases.
2. The basic principle of the war.
All the orienting principles of military operations originate with a single basic principle: do everything possible to preserve our own forces and to annihilate the enemy’s forces. All war imposes a price, sometimes it is extremely high. To preserve our own forces, we must annihilate those of the enemy; but to annihilate the enemy, we must pay a price in order to preserve the whole. President Gonzalo teaches us that one must be prepared to pay the highest cost of the war, but we should fight so that it will always be the smallest possible cost. It is a contradiction and the problem resides in attitude and good planning. It is mainly a question of leadership. He forged us in the “challenge to the death”, in “revolutionary heroism” and in “conquer laurels in death.” In war we always see the two aspects, the destructive and the constructive and the principal aspect is the second one.
3. The guerrilla tactics or basic tactics.
“When the enemy advances, we retreat; when the enemy is stalled, we harass him; when the enemy is tired, we attack him; when the enemy withdraws, we pursue him.” This basic tactic must be incorporated and applied, maneuvering around the enemy and seeking his weak point to smash it.
4. Campaigns of “encirclement and annihilation” and the counter- campaigns, principal form of the People’s War.
It is a law that the counter-revolution in seeking to crush the revolution unleashes campaigns of “encirclement and annihilation” against each unit of the People’s Guerrilla Army or against the Base Areas. The operations of the People’s Guerrilla Army adopt the form of counter-campaigns and Chairman Mao has established nine steps to crush a campaign of “encirclement and annihilation”:
1. The active defense;
2. The preparation of a counter-campaign;
3. The strategic withdrawal;
4. The strategic counteroffensive;
5. The initiation of the counteroffensive;
6. The concentration of forces;
7. The mobile war;
8. The war of rapid decision; and,
9. The war of annihilation.
President Gonzalo, applying this law to the conditions of our People’s War, has outlined the five parts of the campaign which permit us to defeat the political and military plans of the reactionaries. Each campaign has a specific political and military objective, fulfilled by the element of surprise, attacking them when we want, where we want and as we want. He also specified the five steps that must follow each military action always serving the political objective, opposing the criteria of action for action’s sake. He stresses the importance of differentiating between the essence and the appearance of the enemy’s movements. He has also established for us the four forms of struggle of the People’s War:
1. Guerrilla action with its two forms, the assault and the ambush;
3. selective annihilation; and
4. Propaganda and armed agitation, as well as its diverse methods.
5. The strategic role of guerrilla warfare.
Chairman Mao raised guerrilla warfare to a strategic level. Prior to him, it was only considered as a tactical problem that did not decide the outcome of the war; but even though the guerrilla war does not decide the war’s outcome because this requires conventional warfare, it fulfils a series of strategic tasks that carry forward to the favorable outcome of the war. We conceive guerrilla war on a vast scale, generalized guerrilla warfare that must support the protracted and bloody war. From there, we apply the six strategic problems of guerrilla warfare:
1. Initiative, flexibility and planning in the realization of offensive operations within the defensive war, battles of rapid decision within the protracted war and operations in the exterior lines within the war in the interior lines.
2. Coordination with the regular warfare.
3. Creation of Base Areas.
4. Strategic defense and strategic assault in the guerrilla war.
5. Transformation of the guerrilla war into mobile warfare.
6. Relationships of command.
6. The ten military principles.
In December 1947 Chairman Mao masterfully synthesized the just and correct strategic line followed in more than 20 years of People’s War in 10 military principles. This is seen in his article: “The current situation and our tasks,” Third part. We apply these principles and it is very important to broaden their application.
7. Brilliant summary of strategy and tactics.
Chairman Mao has summarized in a brilliant way the strategy and the tactics of the People’s War in the following phrase: “You fight your way and we’ll fight ours: We fight when we can win and we retreat when we cannot.”
“In other words, you are supported by modern armament and we by the popular masses with a high level of revolutionary conscience; you fight to the fullest with your superiority, and we fight with ours. You have your combat methods and we have ours. When you want to assault us, you are not permitted to do so and cannot even find us. But when we attack you, we reach the target, we inflict accurate, sure blows and we annihilate it. When we can annihilate it, we do so with deliberate decision; when we can not annihilate it, neither do we allow ourselves to be annihilated by you. To not fight when there is a possibility of winning is opportunism. To persist in fighting when there is no possibility of winning is adventurism. Our strategic orientation and tactics are based on our will to fight. Our recognition of the need for retreating is based first of all on our recognition of the need for fighting. When we retreat, we always do so with an eye to future combat so that we may finally and thoroughly annihilate the enemy. Only by supporting ourselves in the broad popular masses can we bring about these strategies and tactics. And in applying them, we can put into full play the superiority of people’s war and confine the enemy to the passive position of being beaten, although they are superior in equipment and no matter what means they employ. We always preserve the initiative in our hands.”
From “Long Live the victory of the People’s War!”, September 1965.
The application of this principle allows us to demonstrate the invincibility of the superior strategy of the People’s War, because the proletariat as the last class in history has created its own superior form of war and no other class, including the bourgeoisie with its greatest political and military strategists, are capable of defeating it. The reactionaries dream about elaborating “superior strategies” to the People’s War, but are condemned to failure since they are against history. Our People’s War after nearly eight years blazes victoriously, demonstrating the invincibility of the People’s War.
As militants of the Communist Party of Peru, we assume completely and thoroughly the military line of the Party, established by President Gonzalo, which based on the highest creation of the international proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, has specified our military line with Gonzalo Thought, endowing us with an invincible weapon, the unified People’s War principally in the countryside together with the city as a complement. As the principal form of struggle we carry it forward, it is a bright torch before the world, proclaiming the universal validity of the forever living Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
LONG LIVE THE MILITARY LINE OF THE PARTY!
THE PEOPLE’S WAR IS INVINCIBLE!