Building a revolutionary Left in Chile

The MIR, Popular Unity, and
 Chile’s prerevolutionary moment

September 2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the military coup that brought down the reformist socialist government of President Salvador Allende in Chile. Allende refused to leave la Moneda, the presidential palace, and was murdered by General Augusto Pinochet’s military forces. In the following weeks, thousands of militants were rounded up and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by Pinochet’s forces. The experience of Allende’s Popular Unity government, and its relationship to the socialist project, has been debated ever since.

As a political alternative to reformism, the Revolutionary Left Movement (known by its initials in Spanish, MIR) was founded in the mid-1960s amidst an international upsurge of the revolutionary and anti-imperialist Left. MIR never joined the Popular Unity government led by communists and socialists, but was an important factor in the development of the revolutionary process unleashed by Allende’s electoral victory.

Victor Toro, currently an immigrant rights and anti-foreclosure activist in the Bronx, New York, was a labor leader who helped found the MIR, and later became a leading housing activist during the government of Popular Unity. For his activism during these years, the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet imprisoned, tortured, and exiled him. Victor left Chile in 1977, making his way to the United States in 1984. Since 2011, he has been fighting the US government’s effort to deport him because of his undocumented status.

On September 11, 2013, Victor spoke to Orlando Sepúlveda about the foundation of the MIR, the Popular Unity period, the role of revolutionaries during those years, and prospects for Chilean elections, scheduled in November 2013.

Let’s begin with the founding of the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR). When the MIR was founded halfway through the 1960s, there were already two mass left-wing parties, the Communist Party (PC) and the Socialist Party (PS). Why was it necessary to start a new revolutionary party in Chile? 

The Chilean Left’s origins can be traced back to before the twentieth century, and it has had the opportunity to develop various alternatives based in the social and popular struggles of the epoch. Both traditional parties of the Left, the Socialists and the Communists, are products of these struggles and, at times, have helped these struggles develop, together with the people. However, both parties always maintained a reformist and legalist perspective that has impeded their capacity to advance a more radical path for social change.

One such opportunity arose in 1932 when, amidst a period of political instability and an internal crisis in the bourgeoisie, a rebellion by air force colonel Marmaduke Grove brought about the installation of a socialist republic, which lasted a few weeks. During these events, none of the Left parties could capitalize on the situation in order to advance it further. 

Later, in 1938, communists and socialists participated in a reformist electoral coalition, the Popular Front, alongside liberal and petty bourgeois parties. This led to the election of Pedro Aguirre Cerda, a leader in the Radical Party, as president of the republic. In this coalition the Left parties were infused with bourgeois reformismo, while some important reforms were made in terms of state structures, education, and democracy. The Left then took part in the second and third Popular Fronts, but the cost was enormous. In 1948, the third Radical president, Gabriel González Videla, betrayed his alliance with the Left, declaring the Communist Party illegal and forcing the entire Left to go underground. González Videla was our first experience with the Pinochet sort of government, but in civilian clothing. He tortured and murdered left-wing militants and opened concentration camps, some of which were later used by the Pinochet dictatorship. That’s how these mass parties demonstrated, time and again, their incapacity and their ambiguity with respect to projecting and building an openly socialist model.

The 1950s were years of reaction and capitalist boom, during which conservatives and liberals took turns in power. Starting in 1961, and as a result of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and the anticolonial struggle in many parts of the world, the social and political struggle intensified in Chile. The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) took advantage of this and carried Eduardo Frei Montalva to the presidency in 1964 in the middle of a fervor of social mobilization in Chile, particularly in the countryside, with its slogan for a “Revolution in Liberty.” But this idea was designed by the Kennedy administration’s Alliance for Progress, which proposed this “Revolutions in Liberty” idea as an alternative to the experience developing in Cuba, where Castro had taken power in a successful guerrilla revolution. 

The Chilean campesinos forced the Christian Democratic government to carry out land reform, including social and democratic reforms. The people had already begun to wake up and become political at a higher level. They began to demand more. The revolution in Cuba raised the expectations of the Latin American people. 

It was in this environment that a revolutionary tendency emerged from within the heart of Chilean society. Factions, leaders, strongmen, groups, collectives, and revolutionary nuclei appeared all over the place. All of these initiatives started up with the beginning of the decade and developed a revolutionary character, which came together in concrete form with the founding of the MIR in 1965. Seen in this context, the MIR was a necessary development in the revolutionary struggle. At the same time, the traditional Chilean Left also created Popular Unity (UP) as an alternative for the electoral struggle. 

What were the political forces that participated in the founding of the MIR?

The process of revolutionary reunification which brought about the creation of the MIR merged various left-wing tendencies from that time with groups that had developed their own experiences in Trotskyism, in Maoism, and others in Guevarism or Castroism. As one of the founding leaders of the MIR, Miguel Enríquez, used to say, it was “a bag of revolutionary cats.” But this bag of cats was filled with brilliant men and women with a great capacity for struggle and a tremendous history. For them, it wasn’t a waste of time to have experimented with Trotskyism or Maoism. They came from organizations which had rescued the essence of Marxism, and carried forward its most important lessons and history, including the history of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

One of the groups that participated in the first convention—which 117 compañeros attended—was aligned with Cloratorio Blest, the founder of the Unified Workers Center (CUT). In the 1940s, he was one of the most-respected, clearest and best-prepared leaders, both in terms of political and union experience, and he led the CUT during its strongest years. His participation in the founding of the MIR constituted a very great honor for the nascent movement.

There were compañeros coming from the Popular Socialist Party like Humberto Valenzuela and Luis Vitale, both Trotskyist activists who fought against Stalinism. This was very important at the MIR’s birth because Valenzuela was a municipal workers’ leader and Vitale was an intellectual of great depth who contributed much in terms of elaboration and the production of revolutionary ideas. Also participating in this convention were compañeros from the Revolutionary Marxist Vanguard, like Dr. Sepúlveda who previously had been part of another Trotskyist faction, the Revolutionary Workers Party, of which he became the general secretary. Paradoxically, various leaders from the Maoist tradition also came from the Vanguard such as Martín Salas and a young man by the name of Smirnov. 

Among the youngest sectors of the founding group were Guevarists, Castroists, Marxists, independents, and members of the Socialist Youth—like Miguel Enrique, Bautista van Schouwen, and Luciano Cruz—mostly from Concepción, a city and region with a very rich tradition of worker and popular struggles that was always a very important bastion for the MIR. From Santiago came Sergio Zorrilla, Lumi Videla, Georgina Concha, and Andrés Pascal Allende, the nephew of Salvador Allende, who went on to become the first socialist elected president in the world. 

All of these people brought with them a long history of union and popular struggles. This is very important to state because there are still people who say that the MIR was founded by intellectuals and people who came from the university in an attempt to detract from the very significant presence of Clotario Blest and the other trade unionists, as well as the popular participation in the MIR’s founding. I myself was a union leader in the workers’ neighborhood in the Macul industrial zone, and later I was part of the popular movement.

Even though Popular Unity had been formed, you said that the MIR asserted the need to organize a revolutionary alternative. How was the MIR different and what was its attitude with respect to Popular Unity and its component parties? 

The main difference between the MIR and the UP was that the latter always believed that the bourgeoisie in Chile was different, and that one sector of it had a progressive character, even an anti-imperialist character. This also led them to believe that the Chilean armed forces supported the constitution. This mistaken interpretation of Chilean society led them to believe that a process of democratic reforms was needed in Chile before taking on the building of socialism. In contrast, the MIR considered that there was only one bourgeoisie in Chile, and that what was needed for Chile was a socialist revolution, with a program and strategy aimed at the workers of all sorts and the campesinos taking power using any form of struggle necessary. This programmatic definition marked a big difference with the legalistic Left, which had brought the popular movement one defeat after the other, and was the main reason why the MIR never joined the UP or its government. 

The MIR did not believe that the way to advance the class struggle was through cooperation between the classes, even if it was only temporary. That’s why the MIR proposed the construction of a proletarian revolutionary party and the building of popular power in all sectors wherever there were workers and campesinos: at the popular level, in industry, in the countryside, and in the poor neighborhoods. And the proposals that the MIR made in each battle front were based on the analysis it made of Chilean capitalism at that time. That’s why MIR supported and advocated each instance of workers’ leadership and popular power which arose during the UP government. This was true even when the government’s leading personalities, even the president himself, condemned such instances as the expropriation of industries, worker self-management, expropriation of large estates and their redistribution to landless campesinos, the creation of communal campesino councils, and the development of territorial popular power in the big cities. 

One of the most talked about developments in Chile between 1970 and 1973 was the rise of popular power. Describe popular power for us and how it arose.  

We were living in a prerevolutionary situation in Chile and, like all processes of this nature, in Chile we witnessed various initiatives for alternative forms of power arise, expressions of the development of the struggle for workers power, all aimed at directing the people’s energy. There were three types of initiatives which were, of course, all interrelated. The government promoted the organization of the Committees for Supplies and Prices which served to fight against the black market and shortages. The government also promoted a certain area of social production in which workers were encouraged to participate in co-management. 

Those government parties with the most advanced positions, such as the Socialist Party and the United Movement for Popular Action (MAPU), proposed the creation of the industrial committees (cordones in Spanish), territorial factory groups for coordination and action, for example, but these hardly ever really coalesced into popular power. Better were more developed organizations like the CUT, but there were only rare opportunities to develop struggles beyond trade union demands. What was needed at that moment were organizations that posed the question of power and that took it where they were based. Who would decide what to do and how to do it in businesses and in industries, in the centers of production? The cordones did not, in fact, break with the state. Only in the last moments did they propose this possibility in a letter sent to the president, and this was precisely under the influence of the MIR. 

During the last months, the MIR proposed the creation of Communal Councils, in which the industrial councils and the communal workers comandos [a coordinating body] would be joined together. The latter were another instance of popular power, created in the image of the communal campesino comandos, where the MIR had a large influence. The councils aimed to unite all those discontented with capitalism in order to transform them into a territorial power that could direct and administer power in their commune, region, and center of production. As I said, in the countryside the MIR’s influence was decisive, and the communal campesino comandos were more determined. These were the only forms of popular power that succeeded in organizing regional councils and presented a major threat to the state power and the power of the large landowners. 

However, it must be said, in honor of the truth, that even though popular power did advance significantly it remained incipient. We were proud of popular power’s progress in many places in the country where there were important examples of what it could be to have people administering their own consumer goods, health, housing, culture, and so forth—it was marvelous. But at the national level, the development of popular power was modest. 

In Concepción, the MIR was able to mobilize the whole Left, including the parties that were part of the government—with the exception of the Communist Party, which resisted this effort—into the creation of the first Popular Power Assembly in June of 1972. I think this was the furthest advance of popular power, and the MIR played an essential role. But popular power did not manage to raise itself to the level of a dual power with the bourgeoisie, as the MIR hoped. What we achieved in the prerevolutionary period was an incipient form of popular power, especially in some industrial sectors with the councils and the municipal commands as well as in various campesino and popular sectors in the countryside.

Could you describe daily life and the development of popular consciousness during the prerevolutionary period you have been speaking about?

I always maintained that what happened in Chile between 1970 and 1973 was a prerevolutionary situation, where all the challenges for advancing to a revolution arose, including, for example, the necessity of the appearance of a leading party. All the parties of the Left developed and grew, pushed ahead by an awakening which was multiplied at every stratum of Chilean society. The people who didn’t know anything about socialism before Allende’s triumph very quickly learned about it, understood it, assimilated it, and accepted it. Proof of this can be found in the results of the 1972 municipal elections where the Left’s vote grew. The people participated in a great process of growth, devotion, hope, and sacrifice, supporting the revolutionary process and its leaders, including those who had a reformist character. Salvador Allende was never an orphan, support for him and his government always grew as the people awoke. 

The prerevolutionary process raised the ambitions of every kind of people. If someone dreamed or wanted something, this was the moment to make it happen. In these three years, they advanced more than they had in thirty or forty years. The people learned what they had not learned in forty years. Everything was discussed and debated at every level of society. It was about how to advance the revolution, in a popular manner, simple, but complex. For many years, the people were told they had the right to housing; in the revolutionary period, they demanded housing. They were always told they could manage the factories, and in these three years they did it, and at different levels they administered them and exercised workers’ control. This would have been inconceivable four years before. The bourgeoisie did not let go of power, even though the people pushed them, valiant, disciplined men and women, day by day creating new leaders and social fighters. 

All of this showed that in such a short period, with all the dynamics which are produced, everyone grows, develops, not only organizationally or numerically, but also theoretically. All the groups, parties, and movements had their political schools. Ours was political and military. We began in 1965 with a little more than one hundred compañeros, but by 1972 we already had many thousands. By the time of the military coup, some say that we had 35,000 members, sympathizers, and applicants. Moreover, the MIR carried out its political duties within mass fronts, such as the Revolutionary Workers Front (FTR), the Revolutionary Peoples Movement (MPR), the Revolutionary Campesinos Movement (MCR), the Revolutionary Students Front (FER), and in the special role the MIR played in the city of Concepción in the Independent Universities Movement (MUI). 

You talked about the necessity of the revolutionary party. What do you think was needed for it to emerge?

In the first place, the prerevolutionary situation did not mature into a revolutionary one. Every factor was gradually moving in the opposite direction. The counterrevolution was generating more answers than we were capable of generating for the revolution. That’s just the way it was. At the end, the bourgeois and imperialist forces were more powerful than we were; we did not have the resources. They had all the resources they needed. And when we say imperialism had its hands in the military coup, we’re talking objectively about millions and millions of dollars, according to declassified documents, to support the newspaper El Mercurio, the mouthpiece of the counterrevolution. El Mercurio didn’t need a dime, because at that time, its owners, the Edwards family, were among the richest millionaires in Chile. So under these conditions, no one [to the left of Popular Unity –ed.] had the potential to become a leading force.

Also, Salvador Allende believed that the military would obey the constitution. Popular Unity always thought that the process had to take place by respecting the existing bourgeois democratic canons of old Chilean society without major institutional change, without making a revolution like the one the bourgeoisie itself did in the coup. That was a big part of the responsibility for the defeat. There were reformists and others in the government who were much more committed to that path than President Salvador Allende himself, especially the Communist Party. I believe that, second to imperialism, this militant reformism was also responsible for the fall of Salvador Allende. Salvador Allende saved his legacy with the example he gave on September 11.

The MIR also could not become a leading party because it was an organization that had a very short time span to develop and grow. It made advances, as we said, from 175 to 30,000 [members] in a period of ten years. That’s a lot. We managed to create a policy of alliance with the Left in government. But that was not enough. We had to wrest the popular forces away from the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. Even though we made advances, we weren’t capable of supplanting the existing parties. 

MIR had developed an entire offensive of rank-and-file work in the mass movements, with resources and comrades—both of which were in short supply—dedicated to it. They were inclined to emphasize building first the MIR, and then the labor movement, the national movement, the peasant movement, especially in the Mapuche region. The peasant movement, the MCR, was part of the Mapuche indigenous territories. It was a shortcoming, too, because we put our faith in the campesino work. We were heavily involved in this process of land reform and land occupation around the Mapuche, but the MIR was unable to integrate the struggle in the Mapuche territory with its other work. 

But from a political standpoint, we could have put up a stronger ideological struggle against the reformism of the government of Salvador Allende. And in turn, this would have been a tactic to attract the sectors that seemed a little more advanced, a little more radical. These were many factions of the Socialist Party, the MAPU, and the Christian Left that were closer to us. Even within the Communist Party itself, a section of the youth proved later to be revolutionary. The MIR, understanding all of this, took up several offensive actions. We had a strong growth spurt and displaced the Communist Party in its important working-class strongholds, such as Lota and Coronel, the birthplace of the old Communist Party. MIR took over the two major unions in Lota and Coronel, but we also took over Tomé. 

In those last moments, Allende sought out [MIR leader] Miguel Enriquez and the MIR; not the Communist Party, the main force in UP, nor anyone in the old Socialist Party. No, his last dialogue was with the MIR, when Allende rejected the idea that MIR could come to his rescue. We had a group of militants ready to risk their lives to rescue Allende from La Moneda. We could have relocated him somewhere else so that a stronger resistance could be formed. There were also contacts in the military who were prepared to help. In the end, Allende rejected the plan. And, well, that’s another part of the history that is now known.

MIR made two major decisions before and at the time of the coup. The first was to stage a “tactical retreat,” which proved to be correct and fruitful, because MIR was the only organization that actually put up a resistance after the coup. And the second was for MIR activists not to seek asylum in foreign diplomatic offices, as many other leftists did, but to remain in Chile to struggle against the coup. Can you comment on those decisions?

I want to point out to you that there was no retreat. [During] the period defined as a prerevolutionary period in which MIR took action, in which there was face-to-face struggle in the society, in politics, in ideology, armed actions were not on the agenda. But, yes, preparation. At that point, we did organize many political-military type trainings. We never neglected the need for cadres to be fully developed—ideologically, politically, and militarily—everything. One had to be political and military—which is part of a gradual process of political formation. It was not something that was produced overnight. We’re talking about a small number of people.

So under these conditions, of course, we did not carry out staggered military actions. But we developed a presence in the armed forces. We developed working groups within the armed forces, cells, organizations, and informants. And we managed to have supporters in almost all branches of the armed forces, especially among the NCOs and soldiers. This even included a few atypically honest officers who were against the coup. That’s how we were based, that was the MIR before the military coup.

After the military coup, the amazing thing was that when it happened, it produced the disbanding of the Left. Yes, the main leaders ran to the embassies. And so MIR’s tactic of not taking asylum gave it prestige. The ranks of the MIR received reinforcements because many comrades in the Socialist Party, MAPU, and the Christian Left were left without direction, because their leaderships took asylum in the embassies. Even the Communist Party itself ended up seeking asylum, but maintained some direction from placements in the Central Committee. Yet still, they remained adrift, and many of these people started looking to the MIR, which had taken a position to not seek asylum and to stand with the people as long as the dictatorship lasted. Initially there was a catalyzing moment, a great absorption into the ranks of the MIR [of members of other Left parties] during the dictatorship from 1974 through 1976. But after that, the Communist Party reconstructed its forces, its strength, its leadership, and its direction. It took very strong command of all the militants it had abandoned. The Socialist Party did a little of that as well, and it reemerged with two competing leaderships.

But at this time, this growth, this rather positive image, was, for us, relative. That was because, at the same time that there was a large influx into the MIR, the dictatorship launched its full-on offensive against us. We were being hit from the start. By December 1973 they had already arrested Bautista van Schouwen, one of the main leaders in charge of political education in the MIR, and well, “disappeared” him. Then we suffered one blow after another. 

What happened to the social movements during the military dictatorship? What happened to MIR?

It was not so easy to regroup forces. It was not so easy to revive, once again, the work in social movements. People were terrified; they were scared. But despite this, the MIR continued. Of course [the MIR] had a moral force, a great reservoir of admiration throughout the nation and in all of society because of its politics. First, well, because we always raised criticisms of the government of Salvador Allende; and second, for choosing to stay and fight in Chile. We were the only party that had a new strategy, a new political alliance with a social character [i.e., of working-class forces]. We did not support a cross-class policy of alliance with all the anti-dictatorship forces against the government of Pinochet. We had already characterized the dictatorship as a dictatorship of monopoly capital linked to imperialism and the capitalist mode of production developing throughout the world. We didn’t get caught up in whether this was a gorilla dictatorship or a fascist dictatorship. To us it was always a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie without a last name. There was nothing about it being “neoliberal” or “conservative” or any of that. It was the old bourgeoisie we had known.

So it was not easy. We didn’t always live in times of a boom, when large numbers were joining us. Quite the contrary. We lived through difficult situations in which the entire leadership of the MIR was hit. The death of Miguel Enriquez reduced MIR’s central committee to five or six members in the countryside, led by Hernán Aguilón. So it wasn’t great. 

Afterwards, the MIR managed to rebuild by the 1980s. It began to develop spectacular actions, some expropriations, some hits to DINA [i.e., Chilean secret police] agents. There were many actions. Its military strength was reorganized. At the same time, the social forces established a calendar of monthly protests. In that context urban militias formed that managed to bring together several groups of trained cadres. So there was a process of recomposition up until that time. [That’s when] the debate arose between [MIR leaders Andres] Pascal Allende, Nelson Gutierrez, and Roberto Moreno, who ended up collaborating with the Concertación government [the post-coup government alliance that ruled Chile from 1989 to 2009]. And at one time, if I am well informed, the MIR had been split into three factions: the MIR–Guerrilla Army of the Poor (the EGP), the MIR–Popular Revolutionary Army, and the MIR–Poder Popular. After the fall of Pinochet, there were a lot of alliances with the Communist Party into the alliance Juntos Podemos Más [Together We Can Do More]. That was when the MIR mostly fell apart.

Let’s talk about Chile today. How do you view the coming national elections planned for November 2013? Political experts expect the candidate of the Nueva Mayoría [New Majority] coalition, Socialist Party leader Michelle Bachelet, to defeat the right-wing alliance behind candidate Evelyn Matthei, aligned with current President Sebastian Piñera. 

Well, there is a very important sociopolitical moment raised around the elections in Chile. The first difference is that everything being debated is related to the fortieth anniversary of  the Pinochet coup. The elections have taken second place to this. The elections are not the topic of discussion. People want to know who killed, who murdered, who tortured. And I think that this situation is positive, in my opinion. It is involving an entirely new generation in this debate. So that is not bad. That’s fine. It has even involved children. I have seen forums and debates on television, involving kids who are five years old, seven years old, eight years old. And that’s a good thing that’s come out of it.

Nobody is talking about the forty years with respect to the candidates. The electoral candidates have disappeared from this debate. Bachelet came around wearing a “desaparecido” button on her lapel, but not much beyond that. She can’t open her mouth and talk about what she’s proposing, or in what direction she wants to go.

The same thing has happened with all these other candidates, with all the other political forces. They have tried to forcibly impose this idea of “reconciliation.” The establishment parties will again gradually impose themselves using mass media. But that in itself is a sign that Bachelet’s popularity is media-driven. It’s not as though she has accomplished it as a result of her effective government. It’s not due to the existence of a strong Socialist Party or a strong PPD [Partido por la Democracia, or Party for Democracy], or even of a strong Communist Party, which is now in this New Majority alliance. But they are paying a big cost, as shown once again as they try to make an alliance with sections of the bourgeoisie.

We are clear that the Concertación [New Majority’s predecessor] is not part of the Left. When they talk about them being center-Left, that’s a lie, a sham. They ruled for twenty years using the capitalist mode of production inherited from Pinochet. And they have been sustained and supported by global monopoly capitalism, by the huge multinationals. It is pure capitalism. It’s not neoliberal. This is pure capitalism that Marx taught us about. This is the capitalism that Concertación has been managing. Therefore they are neither Left nor progressive. 

How do you situate the eruption of protest in Chile in the last couple of years with the elections?

First of all, the New Majority is a superficial media movement, from the same old political class that is so discredited. It will be difficult for them to convince a considerable percentage of people who can vote to participate in the elections. You have to take this into account. In the primary elections, 72 percent of people entitled to vote did not vote. Surely this time a larger group will be engaged, but still almost 50 percent will not vote again. And beyond that, there are an infinite number of tendencies, of groups, of small parties, calling to annul the results. 

I think this is entirely legitimate, because the election is held within the framework of a political constitution established by the Pinochet state, where there is no guarantee for voters, or for the candidates. So people will either be not interested and therefore will not vote, or, the most politicized sectors who understand there is no possibility of advancing electorally now will put their emphasis on the struggle to build a new constituent assembly, or to foster popular power, collective power. So they should yield to the social movement to start making the changes required in Chile for better conditions to participate in some electoral process. I don’t rule out elections categorically. But you have to produce that change.

When Bachelet wins, she’ll have forced herself into power against the continuity of a great popular mobilization. And not even the Communist Party can help her stop the struggle of the youth. They are determined to fight for their rights, and they have combined their demands with broader Left demands, like the rights of the Mapuche people and the struggle for the nationalization of copper. It seems to me that more people are radicalizing while some leaders are on the road to degeneration. But the movement will continue. 

That’s the important thing: it will continue. No one in Chile can stop this now. From here forward nobody can stop it. You may lose your momentum, or your forces may begin to reorganize to continue the fight. So yes, I think that the rise of popular struggle is approaching. It’s increasingly more radical because this is a youth movement that had forty years of preparation, forty years of resistance. 

They are the heroic strength, they are the strategic vanguard of the struggle and of the new revolution that must be developed. I’m for supporting a process of unity among all revolutionary social forces as the first step. That means all forces of the people, from workers to campesinos, from the Mapuche to women and the youth. They should build forces of popular power, territorial power, autonomous power, including at a national level. I’m in favor of spending all my energy on supporting the unity of all revolutionaries, so that some form of coordination and direction for the struggle crystallizes.


Transcribed and translated by Bridget Broderick, Todd Chretien, and Orlando Sepúlveda.

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July 2008

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