The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) mourns the passing of Manuel Ruben Abimael “Presidente Gonzalo” Guzman Reinoso, founder and leader of the Partido Comunista Peruano — Sendero Luminoso. We are one with his relatives, friends comrades, and the workers and people of Peru and the world who are grieving his death on September 11 at the age of 86.
Comrade Gonzalo died in jail, in the hands of the ruling exploiting classes of Peru that are subservient to US imperialism. He was imprisoned for 29 years, in a grave-like prison located underground, and this could only have harmed his health and hastened his death. While the Peruvian government and judicial system once allowed dictator and plunderer Alberto Fujimori to be released from prison for humanitarian reasons, they have kept Comrade Gonzalo in prison until his death. In their anger towards this revolutionary Communist, they have exposed the double standards of their neocolonial, bourgeois and ultimately bankrupt system. They continue to inflict so much suffering to the hundreds of political prisoners in Peru.
Comrade Gonzalo belongs to a generation of petty-bourgeois intellectuals and activists who were radicalized in the 1960s by the wave of revolutionary national liberation, anti-imperialist, and socialist struggles in the world. Inspired most especially by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, which was launched in 1966, members of this generation immersed themselves in the struggles of the workers, peasants and indigenous peoples and became revolutionary proletarians.
Like many in his generation of intellectuals and activists in neocolonial countries in the 1970s and 1980s, Comrade Gonzalo joined the Communist Party and struggled against US-backed fascist dictatorships. Again, like many of his fellow revolutionaries in his age group, he grappled with political changes brought about by the so-called transition from dictatorship to democracy ushered in by the US as the dictators that it supported became liabilities because of the formidable armed and unarmed struggles waged by the workers and peoples of these countries.
Comrade Gonzalo creatively championed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the specific context of Peru — theorizing, among others, the revolutionary potential of the indigenous peoples. He is a worthy inheritor to, and successor of, Peruvian Communist revolutionary Jose Carlos Mariategui, who merged Marxism-Leninism with the struggles of the workers, peasants and indigenous peoples of his country and Latin America.
As a Communist revolutionary leader and thinker, Comrade Gonzalo is most important in bringing forth an advance of the revolution in Peru against US imperialism and its allies, the big comprador bourgeoisie and landlord classes, which hold the reins of the Peruvian neocolonial state. His thought and leadership are instrumental for the PCP-Sendero Luminoso’s capability of arousing, organizing and mobilizing millions in the revolutionary struggle. US imperialism and the Peruvian ruling classes had to carry out a fascist counter-revolution, through the dictatorial regime of Fujimori, aided by intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos, in order to quash the revolutionary struggle led by the PCP-Sendero Luminoso and Comrade Gonzalo.
In the course of attacking the revolutionary struggle of the Peruvian workers and people, US imperialism and the Peruvian ruling classes waged a massive campaign of demonization against PCP-Sendero Luminoso and Comrade Gonzalo. When he was captured in 1992, he was presented to the big capitalist media in a cage, wearing a black-and-white striped prisoner’s uniform. Like the lion that he is, he roared loudly in that cage, calling on the PCP-Sendero Luminoso and the Peruvian workers and people to continue the struggle.
The campaign of demonization against him and the PCP-Sendero Luminoso has continued throughout Comrade Gonzalo’s 29 years of cruel imprisonment and is reaching crescendo in the wake of his death. The workers and peoples of the world are called upon to be critical-minded and discerning in evaluating the widespread black propaganda against the said party and revolutionary leader.
Comrade Gonzalo is a proletarian internationalist, who sought to enrich Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with the lessons drawn from the revolutionary struggle in Peru and other countries. He wanted nothing more than revolutionary advances and victories in the struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism in various countries — and energetically contributed to various international fora to this end. He is a standard-bearer of Maoism and people’s war, one of the most vocal in asserting the universal validity of Maoism. He has enriched and preserved Maoism for a new generation of revolutionary Communists the world over.
Comrade Gonzalo’s championing of Maoism and the experience of the Peruvian revolution under his leadership have inspired countless progressives and revolutionaries, socialists and Communists in Peru and all over the world. They use Marxism, Leninism and Maoism to study Comrade Gonzalo’s theory and practice — their strengths and weaknesses, victories and mistakes, advances and retreats — with the spirit of using the lessons in new if essentially unchanged conditions in order to advance the revolutionary struggle forward to victory.
In his death, the imperialists and reactionaries want to bury Comrade Gonzalo in calumny, wishing that he will be painted black in the minds of the workers and peoples of the world, or that he will simply be forgotten. Comrade Gonzalo, however, leaves a treasure-trove of ideas and experiences and an indomitable fighting spirit that the workers and peoples of the world, and their movements and parties, will continue to draw upon in continuing the struggle for national freedom, democracy and socialism. US imperialism and the reactionaries have again killed another great revolutionary, but they will never be able to kill the revolution.
The NDFP raises its clenched fist in revolutionary salute to Comrade Gonzalo — revolutionary proletarian intellectual; Communist fighter, thinker and leader; champion of Maoism, people’s war and international solidarity; a hero of the workers and peoples of Peru and the world.
Revolutionary salute to Abimael “Comrade Gonzalo” Guzman!
Free all political prisoners in Peru!
Down with US imperialism, down with the ruling classes of Peru!
Long live Marxism, Leninism and Maoism!
Long live the workers and people of Peru!
Long live proletarian internationalism!
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is the revolutionary united front organization of the Filipino people fighting for national freedom and for the democratic rights of the people. The NDFP seeks to develop and coordinate all progressive classes, sectors and forces in the Filipino people’s struggle to end the rule of US imperialism and its local allies of big landlords and compradors, and attain national and social liberation.