A WORLD TO WIN    #20   (1995)



Build the Seizure of Power Amidst People's War!


Excerpts from an important document of the 2nd Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru, in 1991. This document sheds light on how the People's War develops through twists and turns - AWTW.

Preparatory Session

... On the particular conditions. We know the facts; the problem consists in analyzing them correctly and learning from them. Once more it is demonstrated that the Party, its leaders and Chairman Gonzalo specifically and principally know how to navigate and stear the ship through storms in turbulent waters. Chairman Mao teaches us that all developments generate disequilibrium, and this, as well as struggle, is absolute. As a result, we must learn to deal with disequilibrium; but what is implied by dealing with it? Draw out its laws, for if the laws which govern the process are understood, be they simple or complex, it can be dealt with and these laws can be applied to transform reality to benefit the proletariat and the people and serve the revolution. Our glorious perspective of seizing power will be the finishing stroke for the democratic revolution, and we will immediately begin the socialist revolution, and that interval of blood and victory will be one of profound disequilibrium; even after we seize power there will be troubles and tempestuous winds. Thus these types of situations strengthen us; that is, this is how communists are forged, in turbulence and difficulty, never in calm. It is said that he/she wins who endures to the end and we know how to endure to the end because we have the true ideology: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, which arms our souls and hands with the incontrovertible truth. Disequilibrium, however slight or profound it might be, forges, tempers and steels us. Chairman Mao said: "In difficult times, we should bear in mind our successes, see our brilliant future and pluck up our courage." Today communism is being attacked around the world and also here in our country by the lackeys of imperialism and the followers of foreign revisionist masters. What to apply? Maoism, unleash the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought campaign to crush this sinister counter-revolutionary counteroffensive that is converging from imperialism and revisionism. Our Party is at a new moment in the war, higher, more complex, more victorious, and the Plenum's particular circumstances reflect this. What we confront is nothing more than part of the disequilibrium, and it is forging us for the truly complex moments that all revolutions must go through. Communism teaches us to be prepared for defeats. Chairman Mao says that whoever doesn't understand victories and defeats doesn't understand war....

Questions of military strategy: "The protracted war and its three stages"

"The three specific stages of the protracted People's War in Peru. Strategic equilibrium and preparation for the counteroffensive: the enemy tries to recover positions to maintain its system; the Party prepares the strategic offensive by Building the Seizure of Power. The reaction needs to annihilate the People's War and the Party, while the people must build the seizure of power."

Note well the stages of protracted war. Chairman Mao teaches that People's War goes through three stages: strategic defensive, strategic equilibrium, and strategic offensive. This theory is not exclusive to the anti-Japanese War but rather a component part of the theory of People's War. We must see how the particularities of these stages are reflected in our People's War, and what specific characteristics each one of these stages adopts.

It is of great significance to have defined and proven in reality and here to officially affirm that we are in the second stage of the People's War, a new stage: strategic equilibrium. Chairman Mao defines it as the stage where the enemy as well as the revolutionary forces take positions and prepare themselves for the decisive battles which will take place in the strategic offensive. In point 37 of "On Protracted War," referring to the enemy, he says "they will try to safeguard the occupied areas", and referring to the revolutionary forces, he says "our guerrilla war will develop extensively in the first stage, and many base areas will be established seriously threatening the enemy's consolidation of the occupied areas, and so in the second stage, there will be widespread fighting." He later continues, "the duration of this stage will depend on the degree of change in the balance of forces between us and the enemy and on the changes in the international situation...." "This second stage will be the transitional stage of the entire war; it will be the most trying period but also the pivotal one."

We have specified: "Strategic equilibrium and preparation for the counteroffensive: the enemy tries to recover positions to maintain its system; the Party prepares the strategic offensive by Building the Seizure of Power. The reaction needs to annihilate the People's War and the Party, while the people must build the seizure of power." We think that given the development of our People's War and the situation of the counter-revolution, these are the points that characterize both belligerent parties. Peruvian reaction must "regain positions" on all levels, principally politically; where we have generated a power vacuum we have built the New Power, we have the People's Committees and Base Areas, we exercise Power. Even in the cities, we decree an armed strike and the masses follow the voice of the Party. The reactionaries themselves see that the old state doesn't extend to many areas in the countryside and in others it can't rule. Even worse, the lower and deeper basic masses and the people as a whole feel more and more that the old state doesn't satisfy their elementary needs for food, health and education, and we must draw attention to this more clearly. The old state is worm-eaten to its foundations, incapable of fulfilling its specific functions, and a state that doesn't fulfill its role loses credibility before the masses and is undermined. The current regime, the new government which leads the old state, represents the big, principally comprador bourgeoisie and the landlords and is the most unabashedly pro-Yankee imperialist. It has taken office in worse conditions than the prior government. It is much more discredited. It lacks a majority in parliament. It doesn't have a party and the so-called Cambio 90 lacks cohesion. For example, the leaders of the old state see themselves subjected to the growing strength of the executive branch, the main laws are dictated by decree and since the first government of Belaunde, they have been ruling like this, abusing article 211, section 20 of the Peruvian Constitution. The parliament is stripped of its role of passing laws and supervising the budget. Fujimori has attacked the judicial branch since he took office, and every day there is flagrant violation of their own rules, laws and constitution. The contradictions between the factions and groups of the big bourgeoisie have deepened in the midst of collusion and contention. They cannot, and will not, be able to resolve the economic crisis. Moreover, it is going to worsen. The counterinsurgency war becomes a war without prisoners, genocide, as they vent their rage against the masses. The armed forces commit murder and do not respect even the most basic so-called human rights. Regarding the entire national territory, 2/3 is under a state of emergency, and the Communist Party of Peru through People's War controls and influences wide areas, mainly in the countryside. In addition to all this there is the Party's work abroad and the international repercussions of the People's War in Peru. To summarize, their state is in serious danger.

The only way in which the enemy can regain political and military positions to save its state is to wipe us out. Looking at any serious study of the People's War in Peru, and even the most simplistic commentaries, for example that of Ayacucho Congressman J. Valencia, we see that they refer to either the absence or the weakness of their old state, to which must be added the continuous resignations of old authorities.

Since the Congress, we have been planning to build the seizure of power and we are building that seizure. Strategic equilibrium is a political fact, not a mere slogan. We are building the seizure of power. Why did this demand arise urgently at this time? We have already passed through four stages in the leap from guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare, and this shows how the process develops; the problem is that if they don't wipe us out, we'll wipe them out. The reactionaries need to destroy the People's War, we need to build the seizure of power. When a mouthpiece like Raul Gonzalez says "There is still time," that proves even the reaction realizes this fact. His declarations are in the magazine Gestión of the beginning of the current month. The reaction plans to annihilate us but doubt corrodes them, such that the IDL (Institute of Legal Defence) considers that this possibility exists before the end of Fujimori's government. Also generals like Arciniegas, Renjifo and Jarama publicly declare that the Party is preparing to take power. That they recognize it as an objective fact is extremely telling.

Note here that we are not saying that it will only be the Party's task to build that seizure. It is also that of the people. The Party's situation and the growing explosiveness of the masses, justly and correctly analyzed and specified in our programme, are intimately linked. There is no separation at any point. If we look at the "three bases and three guidelines" we have another example: "Strengthen the People's Guerrilla Army, especially build the main forces," "Develop the New Power and Build Open People's Committees", and leading the three are the references to the Party, "Strengthen the Construction and Forge Cadre." We also point out "prepare the strategic offensive through Building the Seizure of Power", as being part of strategic equilibrium. It is here that the basis is laid for the coming stage: our strategic offensive.

All of these elements demonstrate a political fact. We insist, it is a material fact, real, existing in practice, in society, in the class struggle of the country, in the People's War and from there we reflect it in ideas. Make it known to the people and grasp it: We have entered the stage of strategic equilibrium.

"The three stages of revolutionary civil war have different characteristics than in anti-imperialist wars of resistance. In the former, the strategic defensive is more prolonged and goes from guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare, which is principal."

Here the point is that the three stages of the People's War don't occur solely in the war of anti-imperialist resistance but rather in all of the specific forms of the People's War, for example in our revolutionary civil war and in each period of the People's War. It is part of the general theory of the People's War. It doesn't apply exclusively to the anti-Japanese war in China. Therefore, these characteristics differ in the three stages. They occur in one way in the civil war period and another way in the period of the anti-imperialist resistance. In the civil war, the strategic defensive of the revolution is more prolonged and also goes on to develop from guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare, this being principal. Third, taking into account what Chairman Mao teaches in "Strategic Defensive and the Strategic Offensive in Guerrilla War" and which we have dealt with in the document of the Second Plenum Preparatory Session, page 390, the defensive and the offensive occur in all battles and campaigns.

The three stages of protracted war have different characteristics in each period. For example, the defensive is different in anti-imperialist war. There the defensive is brief. It is not the same as in civil war. During civil war the defensive is longer; our war today is a civil war and we have gone over from the strategic defensive to strategic equilibrium. Thus, if direct imperialist aggression were to occur, it would signify a change in the principal contradiction, and the nature of the war would change from that of civil war to anti-imperialist war. It would become a national war which is when many more masses take part in the revolution. The majority unite. For example, if 5,000 or 20,000 men invade with all the materiel at their disposal, it would be a powerful, bloody, imperialist offensive and this would imply our retreat. We would go on the defensive, but this defensive would be shorter than that which occurred in the civil war, when we began the People's War. Besides, it would not be the same. We would have more favourable circumstances for the seizure of power than during ILA [the beginning of the armed struggle]. If the anti-imperialist war of resistance occurs once we are in strategic equilibrium, we would go over to a distinct strategic defensive, and, by means of successive and more developed defensives and offensives, we would reach the strategic offensive and the seizure of power. It could happen that imperialism would become involved once we are in the strategic offensive; then too we would be on the strategic defensive for a time. But this would be necessarily brief and we would return to the offensive and seize power. The defensive in a civil war is not the same as in an anti-imperialist war. In the anti-imperialist war the imperialist offensive is devastating, powerful and bloody and generates a strategic defensive within the strategic equilibrium or within the strategic offensive. The strategic defensives are not the same, each has its own specific strategy, always applying offensive operations, each has its own characteristics, but the strategic defensive is shorter in the anti-imperialist war because in changing the principal contradiction and the character of the war, it unites a broader majority of the people more deeply and firmly, and at the same time international support grows and becomes more powerful.

Another change occuring at present is that guerrilla warfare is giving way to mobile warfare, which will become the principal form, but not the only form. The guerrilla war will continue developing as fundamental for the immediate future.

"The protracted character derives from the correlation of three situations: 1. ours; 2. that of the enemy; and 3. the international situation. The last is the one which now and in the immediate future presents problems, but aside from the fact that revolution will more concretely express its condition as the main trend spurred on by the counterrevolution itself, the principal thing is to rely on our own efforts and seize power to serve the development of the world revolution. We will continue to develop our own socialist revolution building socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat."

Of the three situations the problem is the international one, but the principal thing is us. The seizure of power in the entire country is in our hands. This seizure by the Party will be in the service of the world proletarian revolution. We will proceed immediately to the socialist revolution, build it, develop it, as well as set up and defend the dictatorship of the proletariat until, through cultural revolutions, we reach communism.

The international factor, even though not principal, is basic, and we should grasp that although today it presents problems, in the immediate future revolution will express its character as the main trend, spurred on by the counterrevolution itself. We can triumph without revolution being on the offensive on the world level. Some say, "How can we triumph alone in the world?" They don't see that, as Chairman Mao says, the main thing is to rely on our own efforts, that that is the way to advance and will be decisive. This will necessarily accelerate the international situation....

"Campaigns of encirclement and annihilation. Countercampaigns, principal form. Through them, broadening and developing them, principally by maintaining the initiative, we have reached the strategic equilibrium. We have not suffered any great defeat. We prepare ourselves to prevent this. But if it does happen (which would require major direct or indirect action by U.S. imperialism), it would only be a partial and relative defeat within a perspective of developing the People's War aimed against Yankee imperialism and its puppets within the context of national polarization moving toward the seizure of power. In addition the international situation and above all proletarian internationalism and the support of the peoples of the world will be expressed more broadly and resolutely."

In ten years of People's War we have expanded through these campaigns and countercampaigns of encirclement and annihilation. What we have to see here are the particularities of our case. This process has brought us to a new stage. We have passed through campaigns and countercampaigns of encirclement and annihilation from the strategic defensive to the stage of strategic equilibrium.

Militarily speaking, retaining the initiative has been key. Since the beginning of the armed struggle we have set political and military objectives for ourselves and we have met them. No one can show that we have not obtained our objectives, that the New Power doesn't exist in the diverse forms of People's Committees, from the Organizing Committees to the Open People's Committees. It is evident that the enemy aims to annihilate the commissioners [of the Open People's Committees] trying to destroy the New Power. The existence of the People's Guerrilla Army, with its platoons, companies and battalions, is so real that the newspapers even report about it. If it does not exist, why do they write "300 storm or attack this or that barracks"? There are main forces, local forces and militia rooted among the masses - if not, who are they fighting and why do they destroy villages and slums accusing them of being "senderistas"? And who leads all this? The Party. And who sustains these apparatuses? The masses. Are they phantoms? The fact that one or another mouthpiece for Yankee imperialism and Peruvian reaction is paid to deny the truth is so common in the old and rotten bourgeois systems that it should not surprise us. Now that we have entered strategic equilibrium, they say, "It cannot be!" "It's impossible!" etc., etc. But the process will continue unfolding and will not stop just because some shills dejectedly wail and rack their brains to deny it.

Going back to "we have not suffered any big defeats. We prepare ourselves to prevent this." Until today this process has developed with successes and setbacks. We have lived through hard times, like the years 1983-84, without a single big defeat. Nevertheless, we think that in the same way that the revolution develops and grows powerful, the counterrevolution also learns, as it applies plans, tactics, etc. We know they are preparing the involvement of Yankee imperialism. The greatest quantity of coca in the world is grown in Peru (together with Bolivia we have 90% of the coca fields). The biggest consumer of cocaine is Yankee imperialism, and it deals with drug trafficking with military action, as part of its global interests. If we add that in Peru a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought People's War is unfolding which has communism as its final objective, then the problems and dangers are even greater for imperialism. The basic point is that here there is a confrontation between revolution and counterrevolution. Here Marxism is being applied, the World Revolution; the Peruvian People's War is the beacon of hope for the communists, proletarians and peoples of the world. For these reasons it is extremely important that we strengthen ourselves ideologically and politically in the best way possible, and that we prepare on all levels, principally militarily, for a direct or indirect invasion by Yankee imperialism. If imperialism directly invades us it will be Yankee imperialism. Then we will have as our main enemy the superpower that seeks hegemony, the big gendarme. We know this and we are not afraid. But this doesn't mean that we have forgotten the other imperialist superpower, the USSR, which is the skinny dog we should also take aim at. While today it has problems, it is still a main enemy. Of course, we never forget the imperialist powers. We always take into account the contradictions in the imperialist camp and make use of them, especially in a national anti-imperialist war. We have solemnly promised to never lay down our weapons until we have reached communism, to persist in the struggle for communism even if the superpowers or other powers come, armed to the teeth with their powerful weapons. We communists know what we want and why we are struggling. Nothing should or can stop us from fulfilling the Party's objective to serve the people, the proletariat and the world revolution.

Let us teach the masses that Yankee imperialism and the reactionaries are paper tigers, not to fear imperialism, to be prepared ideologically and militarily. We know how to build tunnels. In China they provided a great experience which was later also successfully applied in Vietnam. It is possible to develop "tunnel warfare" and, moreover, Chairman Mao taught that their construction is a strategic guideline. We have been digging tunnels since 1983. Today we should develop them. It is key.

If imperialism invades, it will do so with enormous propaganda, to justify its occupation and ravaging of the people. Behind talk of ending drug trafficking or crushing communism and defending "democracy," its deeds would be those of imperialist aggression, an unjust war, a great massacre, and cruel and sinister destruction. Starting today, we should denounce this. We do not fear this, rather it makes us stronger. What they are doing in the Persian Gulf, their arrogance, invading and murdering to the point of genocide and with great cynicism (they have bombed an oppressed people like never before) is an example of the monstrous barbarism that imperialism, Yankee imperialism in particular, harbours in its very entrails.

If during the strategic offensive, Yankee imperialism should directly intervene with all the bloody ferocity that its monopolist, parasitic and dying conditions allow, we would be in a situation of going on the defensive. But that would not change the stage of strategic offensive. Our defensive would imply a strategic retreat in order to counterattack. Obviously they would hit us and the masses hard, but we would retreat, then regroup, outflank them and concentrate on their weak points and annihilate them, bit by bit, until we defeat them and throw them out. It would be an arduous and bloody task, but these would be magnificent conditions to unite the immense masses of people and lead a war of national liberation against imperialism, a prelude to the seizure of power throughout the country which also would mean overthrowing the imposed puppet regime. There would be greatly heightened polarization: on one side the imperialists and the pro-imperialists, all of the big bourgeoisie and its partners, the feudal landlords and their lackeys; on the other, the classes that make up the people, the patriots and all the anti-imperialists. We would continue to grow through superior offensives and successive, ever higher levels of campaigns and countercampaigns, finally going over to insurrection and the seizure of power in the entire country.

We should also consider the different forms of imperialist intervention, direct or indirect, through other countries or by applying its "low intensity warfare." They accumulate forces, and come in as "advisors" giving "help", responding to "terrorist aggression", or they might intervene after we seize power, using pro-imperialist elements and armed groups to systematically undermine us, waiting for the opportunity to reverse the situation with a counter-revolutionary coup. Because of that we should prepare ourselves to seize and defend power with People's War. The Yankees do not want to get bogged down in a Vietnam war, a protracted type of war, which does not suit them. They prefer quick, decisive action to "restore order" and to "help" their lackeys with pacification. We should be prepared for various types and methods of imperialist aggression, mainly Yankee. They could dislodge us from areas and even regions fundamental to our struggle, but they will not crush the People's War. It would seem to be a great defeat, but it would be nothing more than the logical course of imperialist aggression. We would continue to learn and apply the principles of People's War. We would fall back to other regions and areas and we would return more steeled than ever to recover them. We would return more tested and closer to the seizure and defence of power throughout the country. This defeat then would only be partial and relative within the perspective of developing the People's War, aimed principally against Yankee imperialism and its puppets, within the national polarization moving toward the seizure of power throughout the country. That is how we unfold the strategic offensive. As to the cost, we are as always prepared to pay the highest cost, but we shall struggle to ensure that it is as low as possible, applying the principles of the People's War. In facing imperialism, as in everything, we maintain strategic firmness and tactical flexibility according to the specific existing conditions.

Also, in such conditions, proletarian internationalism and the support of the peoples of the world would be broader and more determined. The counter-revolutionary action of imperialism will itself generate the anti-imperialist action of the proletariat and the people of the world....