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THE IMPACT OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICA'S LEFTIST THOUGHT: THE CASE OF THE TROTSKYIST MOVEMENT (1959-1974)

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Abstract

Latin America's Marxist thought starts a new period when Cuban revolutionaries conquer power. The Cuban Revolution influences and defines the political project of Latin America's left-wing politics, promoting significant changes in its practical acting. Amongst the various substrates of the left-wing impacted by this change is the Trotskyist movement, which strives for new theoretical and practical formulations at the same time that it reaffirms its previously adopted positions. This article seeks to comprehend the analysis of Latin American Trotskyism based on two active organizations in the continent: the Latin American Bureau (BLA) and the Latin American Orthodox Trotskyism Secretariat (SLATO). We seek to analyze the specificities of interpretation in these two organizations and its contributions to Latin American Marxism.
THE IMPACT OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IN LATIN
AMERICA'S LEFTIST THOUGHT: THE CASE OF THE
TROTSKYIST MOVEMENT (1959-1974)
Isabella Duarte Pinto Meucci, UNICAMP - CNPq
isameucci@gmail.com
THE IMPACT OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICA'S
LEFTIST THOUGHT: THE CASE OF THE TROTSKIST MOVEMENT (1959-
1974)
Isabella Duarte Pinto Meucci
1
ABSTRACT: Latin America's Marxist thought starts a new period when Cuban
revolutionaries conquer power. The Cuban Revolution influences and defines the
political project of Latin America's left-wing politics, promoting significant changes in
its practical acting. Amongst the various substrates of the left-wing impacted by this
change is the Trotskyist movement, which strives for new theoretical and practical
formulations at the same time that it reaffirms its previously adopted positions. This
article seeks to comprehend the analysis of Latin American Trotskyism based on two
active organizations in the continent: the Latin American Bureau (BLA) and the Latin
American Orthodox Trotskyism Secretariat (SLATO). We seek to analyze the
specificities of interpretation in these two organizations and its contributions to Latin
American Marxism.
KEY-WORDS: Marxism; Trotskyism; Latin America; Cuban Revolution.
INTRODUCTION
The victory of the Cuban revolutionaries inaugurated a new historical moment
for the Latin American Marxist thought. This new period is characterized by the
revision of stagist models of revolution, propagated by the Communist parties, and by
innovations concerning the methods and actors involved in the revolutionary process.
The Cuban Revolution can be seen as one of the elements that characterize political and
ideological definitions of the Latin American left-wings. Taking the influence of the
Cuban revolutionary model as one of the defining elements of the political project of the
left, we understand that these references impregnated the political line of these
organizations and consequently its practical performance. Amongst the many analysis
2
1
Campinas State University (UNICAMP), isameucci@gmail.com, Political Science Master Degree
Student.
2
Amongst those analysis are highlighted: the Castroism (or Guevarism), with the decisive influence of
influenced by the Cuban experience, there is the case of the Trotskyist movement,
which suffered from revisions in its technical elaborations as well as from modifications
in its ranks. To understand the impact of the Cuban Revolution in Latin America's left-
wing, more specifically in the case of the Trotskyist movement, this article seeks
initially to make a brief note on Latin American Marxism, using as a cornerstone the
time divisions proposed by Michel Löwy (1999) in his book O Marxismo na América
Latina: uma antologia de 1909 aos dias atuais. It is important to note that these
different phases are also pointed by Portantiero (1991) in História do Marxismo, who
affirms that a characterization of Latin American Marxism is not possible without the
comprehension of these three different moments. Afterwards, we will seek to
comprehend the formation, consolidation and ruptures of the Latin American
Trotskyism, which has had two active organizations in Latin America: the Latin
American Bureau (BLA) and the Latin American Orthodox Trotskyism Secretariat
(SLATO). Finally, we will analyze the specificities of each interpretation of the Cuban
Revolution inside the Trotskyist movement itself, which was divided in Latin America
as BLA and SLATO.
LATIN AMERICAN MARXISM
The existence of a Latin American Marxist thought must be understood as
surprising when taking into account the difficulties demonstrated by Marx and Engels to
comprehend the reality of Latin America. Even with the considerable volume of texts
wrote by the authors about this continent, their indications present themselves as
rudimentary for considering the application of Marxism in this context (BIANCHI,
2010). It is in this sense that the interpretations proper to the left-wing intellectual
substrates of the Latin American continent have had a certain difficulty to arise and firm
themselves. It was only in the 1920s and 1930s that some important analysis related to a
Marxist political thought initiated, understanding the Latin American revolution as
socialist, democratic and anti-imperialist. One of the most important theoretical
manifestations of this period was that of the Peruvian José Carlos Mariátegui who,
Regis Debray's work Revolução na Revolução (1966); the developmentalist theories of the CEPAL
(Economical Commission for Latin America); the dependency theory with Gunder Frank, Rui Mauro
Marini, Anibal Quijano and Luist Vitale; and, in a minor measure, Maoism.
among many contributions, emphasized that Latin American Marxism should not be just
calco y copia of the European one, but a heroic creation. The most important thing
would be to give life to our own reality, with our own language, to an Indian american
Marxism. Mariátegui was the first one to understand in a Marxist way the Latin
American reality in its specificity. To Aricó (1989), what happened in Peru in the mid
1920s was the production of a Marxism that, for the first time, could be called a Latin
American one.
From the 1930s on, a new period for the Marxist thought is initiated with the rise
of the Communist parties all over the world, making it hegemonic the interpretation that
made evident a revolutionary process by stages, which was defended by the III
International. In this period, characterized as Stalinist, the interpretation was that Latin
America would be in a national-democratic stage (LÖWY, 1999). Unlike Mariátegui's
analysis, this theory was more about a copy of Marxist interpretations overlapped to the
Latin American reality. The Communist parties analysis presented themselves as a
reproduction of manuals in which the different stages of economic and social
development by which Europe had passed were universalized
3
.
However, a new phase would come soon for the Marxist thought of this
continent. In 1959, the Cuban Revolution inaugurates a new period for Latin American
history, constituting also an essential change in Latin American Marxist thought,
representing a theoretical and specially practical twist in the course of the left-wing. It
can be said that none of continent's countries was indifferent to this fact, and probably
the history of the left-wings of each country has had a decisive mark in its trajectory
(SADER, 1991).
Attention must be paid to the fact that in all those periods highlighted above, the
central problem has always been related to the theoretical and methodological questions
which pointed to the application of Marxism into the reality of Latin America. To
comprehend this reality and formulate political strategies, one of the main problems to
be faced is the particularity of the revolution in the continent. According to Löwy
(1999), the emphasis on the question of the nature of the revolution is one of the points
3
It must be noted that even during this time there were creative Marxist investigations, not only inside
but also outside of the official Communist movement. This is the case of the analysis by the Brazilian
Caio Prado Junior (História econômica do Brasil, published in 1945), by the Argentinian Sergio Bagú (A
economia da sociedade colonial, published in 1949) and by the Chilean Marcelo Segall (Desarrollo del
capitalismo en Chile, on 1953). Besides the publications by the Argentinian Trotskyists Nahuel Moreno
(Cuatro tesis sobre la colonización española y portuguesa, on 1957) and Milcíades Peña (Claves para
entender la colonización española en la Argentina, de 1966).
of reference for the study of the evolution of the left-wing thought in Latin America.
This way, a new revolutionary period rises after the Cuban Revolution, since the
question of the nature of the revolution starts being openly discussed by the various
substrates of the left-wing, also altering the practice of these organizations. Streams
considered radical consolidate, at the same time that the idea of a revolution by stages is
broken and the armed conflict is legitimated in certain occasions.
Among the various streams that consolidated during this period is the Trotskyist
movement, which gains new followers mainly because the Cuban Revolution is seen by
many sectors as the accomplishment of the thesis defended by the IV International,
specially the permanent revolution one. Besides that, the critics of the URSS, made
decades before by this stream, now seemed to find strength in the new analysis made
possible by the Cuban revolutionary process.
In this sense, even if Trotskyism is associated to an image of scissions and
divisions, and even if the Trotskyist streams do not demonstrate a quantitative militant
force, its rational nucleus has always echoed the great problems of the period. As
Karepovs (2005) highlights, the Trotskyist organizations and its followers were capable
of formulating contextual and structural examinations of historical, political and
economical character that were instigating and innovative. This way, comprehending the
analysis about the nature of the revolution in the continent - as well as the innovations
brought by the Cuban Revolution to its interpretations - becomes one of the main ways
to understand its contribution to the formation of a political and social thought that is
proper to the intellectual substrates of the Latin American left-wings.
TROTSKYISM IN LATIN AMERICA: BLA AND SLATO
According to Robert Alexander (1973), Trotskyism has been a small but
persistent political strength of the Latin American left-wing since the 1930s. The Latin
Americans have helped Trotsky's IV International being the most lasting of the
international Communist dissident groups. Even so, little serious history has been
written about Trotkyism in any part of the world and close to nothing about its place on
the Latin American republics.
In Latin America, the first Trotskyist groups and parties have originated from
scissions in the Communist parties. To Broué (2005), the history of the Latin American
Left Opposition and IV International differs in some points in relation to the European
because of its pre-history and its diverse context. In this last continent, entire parts of
Communist parties, or at least important fractions of its compositions, have passed to
the the Left Opposition and later to the IV International.
According to Coggiola (1984), the most important Trotskyist scissions in Latin
America
4
have had as cornerstone already existing fractions in the Communist parties.
So they have been created with independence in relation to the Left Opposition. This
way, the fact that the International Opposition converges with important fractions that
have emerged in the Communist parties shows that the formation of the international
Trotskyism is not only due to a fight for power in the URSS, but also as an expression
of a tendency of the whole international Communist and labor movement.
After an initial influx of the Trotskyist movement with the foundation of the IV
International in France in 1938, there were problems related to the Second World War
that made difficult the consolidation of this stream. The Second War has brought
difficulties to the movement due to the problems in communication and also due to the
impact of the death of Trotsky himself in Mexico in 1940. The direction of Latin
America's and the world's Trotskyist movement was managed by the North American
Socialist Workers Party (SWP), which promoted interventions that were both positive
and negative in the continent. In the after-War, Coggiola (1984) highlights the
importance of the Argentinian Trotskyism, which was transformed in a sort of Latin
American center. For being a developed country and for presenting the specificity of the
Peronism, Argentine was in the center of the political set of the time. Two important
groups rise in this period, the Fourth International Group and the Marxist Labor Group,
which distinguished for the elaboration of different analysis on Peronism.
The Fourth International Group was later re-baptized as POR (Revolutionary
Labor Party). Conducted by J. Posadas
5
, it tended to considerate Peronism a bourgeois-
democratic revolution, but it highlighted the necessity of an independent organization of
the labor population and the fidelity to the IV International. On the other hand, the
Marxist Labor Group (GOM), conducted by Nahuel Moreno
6
, sustained that Peronism
4
Cuba, Chile and Brazil.
5
Pseudonymous of Homeromulo Cristalli Frasnelli (1912-1981), member of the Argentinian
Revolutionary Labor Party (POR), director of Latin American Bureau (BLA) and founder of the Posadist
IV International in 1962.
6
Pseudonymous of Hugo Miguel Bressano Capacete (1924-1987), member of the Argentinian Marxist
Labor Group (GOM), director of the Latin American Orthodox Trotskyism Secretariat (SLATO) and later
founder of the International League of Workers Fourth International (LIT QI) in 1982.
was a right-wing reactionary movement, servant to the English imperialism, and that the
Peronist unions were “semi-fascist”. These two groups represented the dispute for the
representation of the IV International in Argentine and the direction of the continent's
Trotskyist movement itself (COGGIOLA, 1984).
In 1951, the III Congress of the Fourth International was marked by a big
turnaround due to the thesis of the director Michel Pablo, which resulted in a total
revision of the Trotskyist program. The Congress has also defined the situation of Latin
America and the existing debate between Posadas and Moreno, declaring the Posadas
group the Argentinian section of the IV International and the responsible for organizing
the Latin American Bureau (BLA) of the International. In the end of 1953, the sections
that were unhappy with Michel Pablo's thesis constitute the International Committee
7
.
That way, the IV International was divided in two independent fractions: the
International Secretariat (SI) and the International Committee (CI). The CI in Latin
America received the support of Moreno's stream, which in 1954 constituted the Latin
American Orthodox Trotskyism Secretariat (SLATO) with headquarters in three
countries: Argentine, Chile and Peru. During the 1950s, the Trotskyist organizations
have influenced various Latin American countries, such as Argentine, Bolivia, Chile,
Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba, besides the nucleus in Colombia, Ecuador and
El Salvador.
BLA and SLATO constituted the main Trotskyist streams of the 1950s in Latin
America, characterizing in the continent a division that presented itself internationally.
According to Löwy (2005), in most of the Latin American countries influenced by
Trotskyism the movements have divided into antagonistic groups and fractions which
organized themselves from the split inside the International, represented by the two
groups. These groups were reduced, with less than a hundred militants, but their radical
position and dedication secured a much bigger influence than its ability of organization.
It must be remembered that much of the isolation of these groups was associated with
military and police repression, and also with the hostility from Stalinists.
During the 1960s, the impacts of the Cuban Revolution have provoked a
reconfiguration in international Trotskyism. To Coggiola (1984), the Revolution
signified a challenge to all possible plans of the Trotskyist movement and it was not
strange that it also provoked changes in its ranks. The International Secretariat (SI) and
7
The French Internationalist Communist Party (PCI), the North American Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
and the Swiss and English fractions of Moreno in Latin America (SLATO).
part
8
of the International Committee (CI) decided for the recovery of the unity and
formed the Unified Secretariat of the Fourth International (SU) in 1963. The reunion
was, in a great deal, a result of the mutual support of both organizations to the resolution
Dynamics of World Revolution by Ernest Mandel and Joseph Hansen and to the Cuban
Revolution.
This reunification promoted changes also in Latin America. Nahuel Moreno's
SLATO saw itself aligned to the SU, while Juan Posadas' BLA did not accept the
unification, proclaiming “its” IV International, declared “Posadist”. Even after
unifications and scissions, the tendencies initiated by BLA and by SLATO continued to
influence the formation of a Trotskyist thought in Latin America, seeing that they
continued producing a significant debate around the events that mobilized the continent.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IN THE TROTSKYIST
MOVEMENT
After the victory of the Cuban revolutionaries, many initiatives involving
different parcels of the left-wing have occurred with the objective of accelerating the
processes of fight for the socialism that developed in various countries. The Cuban
Revolution marks the Latin American and the world's left-wing not only because it
demonstrates that imperialism can be beaten in its own “backyard”, but also because it
breaks with classic patterns of fight followed by the Marxist-Leninist left, centered in
the revolutionary party (BARÃO, 2007).
According to Cantañeda (1994), there are two facts that need to be remembered:
the first is that since 1956 there had occurred incessant armed fight in Latin America;
the second is that in all of the continent's countries the left-wing had been influenced by
Cuba. In the beginning of the 1960s, there have emerged various groups which retook
the path of the rural guerrilla with clear inspiration in the 26th of July Movement: the
FALN (Armed Forces of National Freedom) and MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement)
in Venezuela; the FAR (Revolutionary Armed Forces) and the MR-13 (13h of
November Revolutionary Movement) in Guatemala; the MIR and the ELN (National
8
The Latin American sections associated to the SLATO and the SWP united themselves to the
International Secretariat. The French Internationalist Communist Organization (OCI) by Pierre Lambert
and the English Socialist Labor League (SLL) by Healy did not accept the unification.
Freedom Army) in Peru; the FSLN (National Freedom Sandinist Front) in Nicaragua;
the 14th of June Movement in Dominican Republic and the ELN, by Che Guevara
himself in Bolivia. These two facts show how the Cuban Revolution possesses a strong
meaning concerning the Latin American left-wing as a whole.
Juan Carlos Portantiero (1989), while analyzing the Latin American Marxism,
highlights the crucial role of the Cuban Revolution in the beginning of a new stage in
the continent's Marxism. The author agrees with the assertions which make noteworthy
that the period posterior to 1959 corresponds to a rich activity of the active masses, in a
way that it had not been since the independence wars. That is due to the fact that the
Cuban Revolution had subverted the traditional set of problems established in Latin
America by the Marxist stream, hegemonic until then, that way modifying the manner
in which the revolution was treated by the interpretation of the III International and
fought by the communist parties of the whole continent.
It is in this sense that the Trotskyist interpretations around the Latin American
reality are essential to comprehend this change, since they already presented themselves
as contrary to an stagist model even before the Cuban conquest. The new approaches
made by the Marxist political thought in the continent permeate firstly a discussion that
was already being made in Trotskyism and that, with the Cuban Revolution, has gained
a bigger highlight due to the debate about the methods and actors involved in the
revolutionary process (MARQUES, 2007).
Besides the critique of the stagist model, the Cuban Revolution had also
promoted important innovations. In the Trotskyist movement, the concept of permanent
revolution has gained new contours when the Cuban triumph presented the other
possible reality. As a counterpoint to “socialism in only one country”, the oppositionists
associated with Trotsky were supporters of the permanent revolution theory, idealized
by him in 1906 and updated in 1930 after the failed experience of the Communist
International in China. The theory of the permanent revolution stated that the bourgeois
had stopped being revolutionary and had become conservative, which made it
impossible for this group to accomplish the bourgeois-democratic tasks needed in the
colonial and semi-colonial countries, a thesis preconceived by the Communist
movement. These tasks would now be in charge of the proletariat which, hegemonic,
would not detain itself only on them and would steer to the resolution of anti-capitalist
tasks, transforming the initially democratic revolution into a socialist one, and thus
expanding itself to other countries.
The Cuban Revolution promoted an update of important concepts associated to
the permanent revolution thesis. The guerrilla emerged as an alternative to the direct
action of the masses: the guerrilla movement instead of a party, the action headed to the
countryside and not the city, and the revolutionary actors as students and peasants
instead of the factory workers. However, this whole updating of concepts could not have
taken place without intense debate and dispute inside the Trotskyist ranks themselves,
keeping in mind that the themes in discussion were the new ways of understanding the
revolutionary process and the subjects involved in it.
On January 8th of 1959, seven days after the retake of power in Cuba, the
newspaper Frente Obrero publication of the Uruguayan POR (Partido Obrero
Revolucionario), associated to the BLA publishes as headline a salute to the Cuban
masses, emphasizes the Cuban example to Latin America and defends a guerrilla
warfare tactic:
El POR saluda el triunfo de las masas cubanas, que han
impuesto la caída del régimen de Batista.
Su lucha es una experiencia de valor enorme para el avance de
la lucha de las masas de toda América Latina y abre, en Cuba misma,
un periodo de movilizaciones, de luchas crecientes y avances reales
para las masas.
La táctica de la guerra de guerrillas se ha mostrado para las
masas latinoamericanas como su forma de lucha, contra la que nada
se pueden ni el ejército mercenario ni el imperialismo, la guerra de
guerrillas sera una forma de lucha que desarrollará las masas
latinoamericanas en el próximo periodo, en el avance del proceso
revolucionario en el continente.
La juventud de Cuba ha dado ejemplo de heroismo en su
resistencia desafiando el exterminio físico e las tortura refinadas de
Batista. (…) El movimiento de Fidel Castro fue adquiriendo carácter
social y de liberación nacional, a pesar de sus objetivos limitados.
The same preoccupation is found in a publication of the newspaper Palabra
Obrera in 1963 an Argentinian paper associated to SLATO which dedicates an
edition to the analysis of the Cuban Revolution entitled “Cuban Balance”. In this
edition, it is emphasized the overcoming of the Communist parties and the stagism in
Cuba, the emergence of the world revolution and the natural influence of the revolution
in the whole continent:
Primeramente, la Revolución Cubana superó em su origen al
Partido Comunista y creó una dirección enteramente nueva. Esta
dirección con su inherente honestidad, radicalismo, confianza en la
acción revolucionaria, resolución política y capacidad de aprendisaje,
se ubica en la principal corriente histórica de la revolución, no en la
retaguardia del Stalinismo. Representa el resurgimiento de de la
revolución mundial, no su declinación.
En segundo término la revolución cubana es profunda. Ha
conmovida enormemente a las masas. Esta poderosa fuerza no puede
ser contenido por un viejo grupo Stalinita cuyas referencias incluyen
el apoyo a Batista, no será mientras la dirección castrista permanezca
en el comando. En tercer término el curso natural de la Revolución
Cubana es cruzar las fronteras nacionales y hacer estallar
revoluciones en toda Latinoamerica.
While these first analysis have emphasized the definite overcoming of stagism
and the example of the Cuban masses to all Latin America, the future comprehensions
were permeated by a political and theoretical battle around the guerrilla warfare
movement. One of the exponents of this debate in Latin American Trotskyism is Hugo
González Moscoso
9
who, writing in 1968, has defended guerrilla not only as a tactic but
also as a strategy to be adopted by all the underdeveloped countries. Besides, the fight
of Hugo Blanco
10
in Peru had brought the Latin American Trotskyists the perspective
that the conflicts would assume an armed fight characteristic. In Argentine, the Partido
Revolucionario de los Trabajadores La Verdad (PRT-LV), leaded by Nahuel Moreno,
considered the armed fight in the form of guerrilla as a possibility, but defined that the
laborer insurrection would be better for the movement
11
.
To Löwy (1999), the sympathy of the Trotskyists for the Cuban Revolution and
9
Hugo Gonzalez Moscoso (1922-2010), Bolivian Trotskyist. See: Hugo González Moscoso. The cuban
revolution and its lessons. In: Ernest Mandel (ed.) 50 years of world revolution: an International
Symposium. Nova York: Pathfinder, 1973.
10
Hugo Blanco Galdos (1935-) is a well-known Peruvian politician and leader of the Peasant
Confederation of Peru. Trotskyist, he directed an important peasant rebellion during the first presidency
of Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1963-1968).
11
Partido Revolucionário de los Trabajadores (La Verdad). Informe internacional. Comite Central PRT
(LV), 23 mar. 1969 (mimeo), p.1. (Archivo Leon Trotsky, São Paulo)
the absence of anti-Trotskyist prejudice from the Guevarists has permitted the
establishment of collaborations between both streams, as it has occurred in Chile,
Bolivia and Argentine. In 1969 on the IX World Congress of the Fourth International
Unified Secretariat (QI-SU), this Trotskyist-Guevarist alliance was crystalized when the
guerrilla was favoured, which implied a fractional fight for it to be aplied because
important sectors of the Latin American Trotskyism were contrary to it. According to
Coggiola (1984), the documents of the IX Congress orient the Latin American sections
to the preparation for armed fight including in the countryside in all circumstances,
even if the labor fights occupied the center of the scene. A simplified and optimistic
analysis prevailed, influenced by the localized events of the class fight that were
considered a generalized ascension in the popular movements.
After the IX World Congress of the QI-SU, the Argentinians from PRT (LV)
ellaborated a set of thesis about the Latin American situation, emphasizing that the
revolution displaced itself to the cities and not to the rural guerrilla
12
. The insurrectional
or semi-insurrectional movements that had faced the army and the police, in a much
more efficient manner than the guerrilla had done until then, indicated that the labor
movement - with its strikes, occupations and parades - was back to the political scene.
This situation was also associated to the defeat of a great part of the rural guerrillas
inspired by the Cuban Revolution, being among them the Bolivian one, which ended up
with the death of Ernesto Che Guevara in 1967.
In accordance with the debate that revised the guerrillist line adopted in 1969,
the X World Congress of the QI-SU of 1974 reevaluated the previously adopted
positions and characterized as erroneous the guerrillist tactic, emphasizing that the
revolution had dislocated to the cities and no longer to the rural guerrilla. Since 1971
the resistance to guerrillism inside the IV International had conformed the Leninist
Trotskyist Tendency (TLT), leaded by the North American SWP and the Argentinian
PST, directed by Nahuel Moreno. This tendency had opposed itself to the guerrillist
temptations present in the Fourth International Unified Secretariat and to the
generalization of this kind of politics by the Latin American sections of the
International.
The debate around guerrillism was certainly what provoked the more polemics
and desagreements between the organizations connected to both BLA and SLATO.
12
Partido Revolucionário de los Trabajadores (La Verdad). Proyecto de tesis sobre la situación latino-
americana. Buenos Aires, jul.1969 (mimeo). (Archivo Leon Trotsky, São Paulo)
However, these questions had also been taken to two World Congresses, emphasizing
that this preoccupation was not related only to the Latin American sections. It can be
said that, after the Cuban Revolution, the polemics around guerrillism start being a
preoccupation for the world Trotskyism, many times responsible for scissions in
international level.
Other problems resulting from guerrillism also arose, mainly in relation to the
actors involved in this process and to the displacement of the actions from city to
countryside. With this displacement, the revolutionary actors would be students and
peasants and no longer the workers from factories in the cities. It is noted that right after
the Cuban victory many of these questionings are left aside in the presence of the set of
events in Cuba and of the need for support of the Revolution. However, with the years,
the debates have become more intense and old certainties start being openly questioned.
Other questions brought by the success of the Cuban revolutionaries seem to be
looked at in a less polemic manner. To both the Latin American streams there is no
doubt that the Cuban Revolution is the proof that the stagism propagated by the III
International had been put into discussion in the face of events, and that the idea of a
permanent revolution had gained even more emphasis. Other affirmations that can also
be found in both Latin American Trotskyist sections are the example of Cuba for the
entire continent and the insertion of the Revolution in a bigger scenario, representing
the rebirth of the world revolution.
In this sense, the influence of the Cuban Revolution engenders big debates in the
Trotskyist ranks, both in Latin America and in the rest of the world. In the first years of
the Cuban revolutionary regime, it can be noted that the support to Cuba and its
example are unquestionable, but the guerrillist practice is already questioned, as well as
the actors and the places in which the revolution would take place in the different
countries of the continent. Therefore, this third period of the Latin American Marxism,
opened by the Cuban Revolution, a union between theory and practice still seems to
face problems and the nature of the revolution is still questioned.
The conditions in Cuba have modified themselves systematically since the
victory of the revolutionaries until this period, making the Trotskyist analysis turn to
these changes and reevaluate the previous positions. In this sense, there is a decline in
the influence of the Cuban Revolution both in the Trotskyist debate and in the guerrilla
practice, which had been adopted for a certain period, but characterized as erroneous
afterwards.
FINAL COMMENTS
From the victory of the Revolution to the revision of the guerrillist debate
effectuated in the X Congress of the IV International (QI-SU), the contributions of the
directors and members of the Trotskyist parties have been essential to the
comprehension of the events at the time and of the politics adopted in different
countries. These debates can be considered as part of a rich discussion in the field of the
Latin American Marxist political thought.
The analysis of the Trotskyist movement have presented themselves as contrary
to the stagist model of revolution even before this debate was introduced by the Cuban
Revolution. Therefore, the Cuban conquest has made possible the verification of part of
the Trotskyist thesis and has incorporated important innovations to the concept of
permanent revolution concerning its methods and the subjects involved in this process.
The influence of the Cuban Revolution has been through a period of great
effervescence right after the victory of the revolutionaries and the posterior
modifications of the economical and social structures in Cuba. However this influence
suffers from a moment of decline when the rural guerrillas are defeated in various
countries, at the same time that it occurs an ascension in the labor movement and a
questioning of the regime established in Cuba.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ALEXANDER. Robert Jackson. Trotskysm in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford
University, 1973.
AYERBE, Luis Fernando. A Revolução Cubana. São Paulo: UNESP, 2004.
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Article
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O artigo discute a dificuldade presente para o desenvolvimento de um marxismo latino-americano. Essa dificuldade pode remeter à própria obra de Karl Marx e Friedrich Engels e à filosofia da história que se faz presente em alguns momentos dessa obra. A análise da situação irlandesa e da comuna rural russa, entretanto, permitiram a esses autores e, principalmente a Marx romper com essa filosofia da história. A seguir o artigo discute uma tentativa de interpretação da América Latina e particularmente do Brasil com base na obra de Marx: aquela desenvolvida no âmbito do chamado Seminário d’O Capital. Neste Seminário gestou-se uma forma de apropriação da obra de Marx na qual se destacavam seus aspectos metodológicos. Apesar das importantes contribuições dos autores vinculados a esse seminário, dentre os quais Fernando Henrique Cardoso e sua análise das situações de dependência, essa apropriação da obra de Marx revelou claros limites. Argumenta-se, por último a necessidade do marxismo construir uma unidade profunda entre teoria e prática, pesquisa teórica e pesquisa empírica para superar os impasses da interpretação da América Latina.
Article
Comentarios críticos a los trabajos de Ernesto Che Guevara «La guerra de guerrillas», «Cuba: ¿caso excepcional o vanguardia en la lucha contra el colonialismo?» y «Guerra de guerrillas: un método») Artículo publicado en la revista Estrategia (segunda época). Buenos Aires, 1964. Prólogo a la segunda edición (1986) Dos métodos frente a la revolución latinoamericana constituye una pieza clave del autor ante la Revolución Cubana, a la que calificara como «el más importante acontecimiento latinoamericano en lo que va del siglo, por marcar el comienzo de la revolución socialista en nuestro continente, Estados Unidos y el mundo occidental y por haber dado origen también a una nueva generación y tendencia revolucionaria a escala continental: el castrismo». Ubicado en el campo de esa nueva generación revolucionaria en los comienzos de la década de los años sesenta, Nahuel Moreno comenta críticamente los trabajos del Che Guevara en los que eleva la táctica de la guerra de guerri llas a la categoría de estrategia para todo el continente, negando, de esa manera, la esencia del marxismo que consiste «en partir de la realidad, de lo concreto, para volver a él modificándolo». En otras palabras, sólo con «un estudio profundo, total, de la historia y tradición de cada país, principalmente del movimiento de masas [ que la lucha por el poder por parte de los trabajadores implica una perspectiva inevitable de lucha armada. Y otra cosa muy distinta es poner un signo igual, como lo hicieron el Che y Fidel, entre la ine-vitabilidad de la lucha armada y la generalización de la guerra de guerrillas, o la guerrilla en general, para todo el continente, ignorando olímpicamente la necesidad de los organismos de masas y del partido marxista revolucionario y los aspectos específicos de cada país, cayendo en el esquematismo antimarxista que llevaría a las inmensas derrotas del movimiento revolucionario latinoamericano de aquella generación.
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