President Gonzalo dies after three decades in prison
Abimail Guzman (Gonzalo) died at the age of 86 after spending almost three decades in prison. He led the Communist Party of Peru for more than three decades and 10 years led the People’s War in Peru before being arrested in 1992. However, the People’s War in Peru was defeated because of the emergence of the right opportunist line. But this does not reduce the historical importance and lasting role of the Communist Party of Peru under Gonzalo’s leadership played in the revival of communism (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) in the world following the defeat of the Chinese revolution. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, Gonzalo built the Communist Party of Peru based on the ideas of Mao Zedong Thought, playing a significant role in the struggle against Deng and Hoxha revisionism.
Gonzalo and the party under his leadership launched the People’s War in Peru in the early 1980s. In his renowned interview with El Diario Gonzalo stated, we started the People’s War, and the People’s War expanded our understanding of Maoism, and we were able to train a new generation of experienced cadres and create a new people’s power. The People’s War in Peru engaged a wide section of the toiling masses on the path of the revolutionary struggle. In the liberated areas, under the PCP leadership, People’s Committees had been established to exercise the political power of the proletariat and peasantry. In these areas, feudal land ownership was abolished, and land reform took place, according to which land was distributed and equal ownership provided to both peasant men and women. On the other hand, revolutionary social reforms, especially concerning the social and political emancipation of women and indigenous peoples were undertaken. The progressive and emancipatory potential of the People’s War attracted more revolutionary women to the ranks of the People’s Army, and the Party, where communist women played a leadership role at all levels, including at the party central committee and the politburo. The People’s War in Peru enhanced the political consciousness of the masses and widely engaged in the destruction of the old oppressive social relations and the construction of new and emancipatory social relations. The People’s War in Peru under the leadership of the PCP played a significant role in the global promotion of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, elevating the spirit of communist struggle and greatly enhanced the revolutionary prestige of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.
Additionally, the Communist Party of Peru, under the leadership of President Gonzalo, played an important role in accepting Maoism, as the third stage of the proletarian revolutionary science and ideology, in the 1986 party congress document. This was an important milestone in the way of the 1993 expanded RIM meeting in which the document Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was adopted.
Unfortunately, with the arrest of President Gonzalo in 1991, the Communist Party and the People’s War suffered serious setbacks. Comrade Gonzalo’s historic speech from inside the cage, in which he called for the continuation of the struggle, was a response to these setbacks; however, it could not remedy the harmful consequences of the setback for the Party and the People’s war. With the arrest of other party cadres, a right opportunist line emerged within the party and in prisons seeking to negotiate with the regime to end the People’s War. The aftermath of this significantly weakened the PCP and the People’s War, and the party suffered internal divisions and internal strife, leading to the collapse of the People’s War.
On the other hand, the party’s formulation of “Gonzalo thought”, which was described as a creative application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the context of Peru, carried serious deviations that no other member of the RIM accepted. In addition to “Gonzalo Thought”, the thesis of “principally Maoism” promoted by the Communist Party of Peru, which attributed special importance to Mao’s contribution over the contributions of Marx and Lenin, was a serious deviation. The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan in numerous articles have highlighted the deviation of “Gonzalo Thought” and “principally Maoism” of the Communist Party of Peru, as we have taken a stance against Avakianite post-MLM revisionism and the Prachanda-Bhattarai revisionism.
Before the serious deviations and the emergence of the right opportunist line that emerged in the Communist Party of Peru in the mid-1990s, which led to the defeat of the Peoples War, the party played a leading role in the international movement for more than two decades. The People’s War in Peru was a source of encouragement and strength for the international communist movement during the 1980s, and its theoretical and practical achievements enriched the international communist movement’s theory and practice. The extremely valuable role of President Gonzalo before his arrest, in leading the Communist Party and advancing the People’s War, cannot be ignored.
Following Gonzalo’s arrest in 1992, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement launched an international campaign in defense of Gonzalo’s life. It became a historically memorable campaign in defense of a communist leader, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism. On the other hand, what the death of Comrade Gonzalo after spending 30 years in prison highlights is the repressive role of the reactionary regime in Peru, with the complicity of US imperialism, which imposes servitude and oppression on the Peruvian masses. The revolutionary struggles of Comrade Gonzalo in enduring three decades of imprisonment will remain exemplary in the revolutionary struggles of the Peruvian people. The death of Comrade Gonzalo in prison, after enduring three decades of suffering, sends the message that the struggle against reaction and imperialism requires sacrifice and hardship, which revolutionary communists are ready to bear. Chairman Gonzalo’s example also teaches us that revolutionary struggle requires careful application of revolutionary thought and its constant demarcation from revisionism, opportunism, and deviations. Only then can it be used as a weapon for world revolution and liberating the masses from oppression and exploitation. The death of Comrade Gonzalo inside the prison will forever imprint the stain of stigma on the foreheads of reaction and capitalism, and the memory of the great revolutionary will be immortalized forever.
Long live Comrade Gonzalo!
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Death to capitalism and imperialism!
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
13 September 2021