A WORLD TO WIN    #22   (1996)


Document of the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement

Twists and Turns in the Two-Line Struggle

The following is an excerpt from a document circulated to the parties and organizations of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement in November 1995. It is being released in hopes of furthering the struggle against the Right Opportunist Line. - AWTW

On the "About Face" of Margie Clavo

As you will recall, in late March of this year Margie Clavo was arrested in Peru along with a number of others accused of being leaders or members of the Communist Party of Peru. She was accused of being "Comrade Nancy", a leading member of the PCP Central Committee.

Shortly after her arrest, Clavo was presented to the press. At that time she called on the Party and the masses to "Persist! Persist! Persist!" in the People's War. She had been identified as a leading figure in the PCP Central Committee which has vigourously opposed the call for peace accords and has insisted on the need to carry the People's War through to victory. CoRIM publicized Clavo's call to "Persist, Persist Persist" and called upon the parties and organizations of our Movement to defend her.

It is thus a most unpleasant duty to inform comrades and friends that it appears that Margie Clavo has abandoned her previously correct position and has been won to support the call for a peace accord.

Of course, it is impossible to know all of the conditions under which this "conversion" took place. The bestiality of the Fujimori regime is well documented and as we pointed out at the time of Clavo's arrest, the Peruvian authorities said that "she was tougher than we thought" but that they would "wrench it out of her". She, like Chairman Gonzalo and a number of other prominent PCP prisoners, has been kept completely cut off from lawyers, family and supporters and guarded in specially constructed isolation cells. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to consider such a position a product of her free will and reasoned judgement. Nevertheless, the appearance of Clavo in a televised interview in that country leaves little doubt that her position has changed, regardless of the circumstances which brought it about.

An article appeared in the Peruvian press which quotes at length from her interview. Of particular note is Clavo's claim to have spoken on several occasions with Chairman Gonzalo whom she "credits" with winning her to support the peace accords.

In the aftermath of the Clavo interview, supporters of the Right Opportunist Line in the PCP of seeking a peace accord have circulated a leaflet claiming that Chairman Gonzalo has issued another "instruction" to supporters abroad commenting on the Clavo interview and including a paragraph quoting Clavo which did not appear in the press accounts in which she makes a "self criticism" for allegedly "deceiving RIM" about the nature of the peace accords.

It is hardly necessary to point to the seriousness of this situation. First of all, the fact that a major leader of the Central Committee has changed her position and is now supporting the Right Opportunist Line is itself a significant blow to the Party leadership. Moreover, her claim to have met with Chairman Gonzalo further strengthens suppositions that Chairman Gonzalo is indeed proposing the line of seeking a peace accord.

In the Call to "Rally to the Defence of our Red Flag Flying in Peru", CoRIM took a firm and unequivocal stand against the proposed negotiations for a peace accord and in favour of continuing the People's War, through whatever necessary steps, to nationwide victory. As noted above, the entire RIM has endorsed this basic position. There is nothing in the arguments presented by Clavo to cause the carefully considered position of our Movement to be called into question.

Supporters of the peace accords argue that Chairman Gonzalo's capture has made it impossible for the People's War to continue to victory and that, furthermore, his alleged support for the peace accords is proof enough of the validity of this approach. Now, with the capitulation of Margie Clavo and her claims to have spoken with Comrade Gonzalo, we are seeing a new offensive by the supporters of the Right Opportunist Line, hoping to breathe new life into the so-called "struggle for a peace accord", undermine the authority of and discredit the Central Committee of the Party, disorganize and demoralize the revolutionary ranks and drive a wedge between the PCP and RIM. We fully expect these efforts to continue and sharpen in the coming months.

Our fundamental answer to this offensive of the Right Opportunist Line is to grasp even more firmly the correct line adopted by CoRIM and the Movement as concentrated in the Call of 28 March 1995 and to strive even harder to carry out the measures indicated in that Call. The Call (and together with it, the other important material of the two-line struggle, notably the criticism of "Asumir" prepared by the Union of Communists of Iran (Sarbedaran) in response to a request by CoRIM) provides the basic orientation necessary to respond forcefully to the Right Opportunist Line.

As for the claims that Chairman Gonzalo is promoting the "struggle for a peace accord", the 28 March Call is quite clear. It points out that, "It is important to continue to try to determine Chairman Gonzalo's current views. The key question, however, is the line, not its author." Furthermore, the Call points out that, "It is precisely this process of `from the masses to the masses' and the Party's chain of knowledge based on its system of democratic centralism that the regime is severing through the isolation of Chairman Gonzalo."

The tremendous respect with which our entire Movement holds Chairman Gonzalo for his far-sighted leadership in initiating and waging the People's War, his contributions to the political and ideological development of our Movement and the courageous stand he took upon his capture in no way lessens our responsibility to make our political evaluation based upon the concrete analysis of concrete conditions and in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. History has shown that even important leaders of the proletariat who had made real and lasting contributions to our struggle can become champions of a wrong line. While conclusive proof of Chairman Gonzalo's support for the "struggle for a peace accord" is still lacking, even if such proof were to reach us it should not and will not push us off the path we have, in full consciousness, elected.

The renewed offensive of the Right Opportunist Line in the PCP and the increased possibility of Chairman Gonzalo's involvement in this line does, however, require that the whole Movement more vigourously take up this question. We have noted that some tendencies still exist to underestimate the importance of the two-line struggle in the PCP, to see it as something of the past, or to believe that it is enough to passively support the position of CoRIM. Comrades, this is dangerous thinking! The Right Opportunist Line which, whatever its motives, would destroy the great accomplishments of the People's War, is of immediate and direct concern to our Movement in its entirety. The political issues at stake in the two-line struggle in Peru are present throughout our Movement as well, albeit in different forms. Furthermore, it is not at all unlikely that the further repercussions of the two-line struggle in Peru may raise questions even more sharply in the minds of the revolutionary masses and cadres.

It is neither possible nor correct to take an approach of "waiting for the storm to blow over", that is, of avoiding directly confronting the different questions of the two-line struggle including those that are difficult or make us uncomfortable. We must follow the policy of advancing through turbulent waters and we must maintain the orientation of "turning a bad thing into a good thing": that is, defeating the Right Opportunist Line and, as our Call puts it, using the furnace of two-line struggle "as a great school of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, revealing the difference between real and sham Marxism and helping the revolutionaries around the world to understand the necessities of the hour and to fulfill them".

Our previous efforts have not been enough, and, furthermore, new questions are emerging. So we should redouble our efforts. We want to broaden our efforts and take the issues of this struggle out beyond the ranks of our participating parties and organizations to broader sections of the revolutionary movements and the masses. This process is far from over. New questions and problems are emerging and more are likely to emerge in the coming months. Our own clarity and firm grasp of the correct line and, on that basis, our solid resolution to support the Central Committee of the PCP in carrying forward the two-line struggle and the People's War, remain key.

We also hope that comrades and friends will carry out a vigorous correspondence with the Committee of RIM on all aspects of the two-line struggle and that they will contribute to fulfilling our collective responsibilities.


In summary, it can be said that the difficult situation that faces the Communist Party of Peru and thus our whole Movement is far from resolved. The Report of the 10th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, under Mao's leadership, stressed:

"Chairman Mao teaches us that 'the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything'. If one's line is incorrect, one's downfall is inevitable, even with the control of the central, local and army leadership. If one's line is correct, even if one has not a single soldier at first, there will be soldiers, and even if there is no political power, political power will be gained. This is borne out by the historical experience of our Party and by that of the international communist movement since the time of Marx....The crux of the matter is line. This is an irrefutable truth."

Today we can see that in Peru the tremendous advances won through so many years of struggle and sacrifice are threatened by the Right Opportunist Line which would abandon the People's War. At the same time, it is the victory of the correct line in the two-line struggle which will enable the revolutionary forces in Peru to fully overcome the difficulties posed by the capture of Chairman Gonzalo and the emergence of the Right Opportunist Line and advance toward the nationwide seizure of power. Our Movement is not a passive "observer" in this process - we have an important role to play. The Committee calls once again on all the participating parties and organizations of the Movement and its supporters to carry out our pledge in our Call:

"It is the internationalist duty of our Movement as a whole, as well as of the Committee as the embryonic political centre of RIM, to contribute all we can to the waging of the two-line struggle against the Right Opportunist Line of negotiations for a peace accord, to assisting the Central Committee of the PCP in carrying out this two-line struggle on the strongest basis and with the most powerful effect, to help strengthen the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist leadership and line guiding the People's War in Peru and carrying it forward on that basis, through whatever twists and turns, toward the goal of nationwide political power and the ultimate goal of communism, worldwide."