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International Socialist Review, Spring 1965


Hugo Blanco Correspondence


From International Socialist Review, Vol.26 No.2, Spring 1965, pp.41-46.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The following letters were published in Argentina by the Marxist magazine Estrategia, Volume One, No.2, edited by Nahuel Moreno. Hugo Blanco’s name appears on the masthead of the magazine as a member of the editorial board. The letters comprise part of an extensive discussion on the tactics and strategy of the revolution in Latin America in which the Cuban experience enters as a very important component.


We have always recognized that many of our positions were abstract. But it is necessary to point out that in spite of their abstract character, those positions were correct. Today, when everyone opens his mouth to point to the agrarian revolution and the seizure of land as the most important phenomenon of Peru – and possibly of Latin America – and accepts Cuzco as the vanguard of that process, it is necessary to remember that it was we who took especial note of this phenomenon and pointed to this perspective. We should not forget that for one second, and in the face of the attacks of the pseudo-revolutionaries, our answer should be the citation of our documents, where we insisted that since Cuzco, a process of agrarian revolution had begun in Peru, that the unionization and the seizure of the land would be uncontainable and even more: we foretold that the main slogan would be “land and votes for the campesino [farm workers]” for this entire period of the Peruvian revolution.

In carrying out this program, we found that all the defeats and setbacks which we suffered were the products of factional and methodological struggle against this method and against the principle of centralized leadership. Without forgetting these hard experiences of actions and errors, we should now try to continue to advance. In order to do so, it is important to consider four fundamental aspects of our activity: first, the danger of falling into propagandism; second, how to develop dual power; third, what our policy should be towards the government; and fourth, how to build the revolutionary party definitively.

1. Building the Party Without Falling into Propagandism

We were the ones who pointed out that our organization was a tendency, and that in order to become a party, it still had far to go.

To the comrades who have remained at liberty, falls the historic task of solving this problem – of transforming our tendency into a true Marxist party, proletarian in content and form. It is in this way that you have heroically battled putchism and exposed its profound meaning – ignorance of the necessity of the party and the mass movement.

You have made efforts in three fundamental aspects: strict centralization and discipline, clearly distinguishing between the party and its militant friends; study of the real nature of our country, synthesized in a program; and essential penetration of the campesino movement. Everything done along these lines by you comrades is of incalculable importance.

But even if these tasks are of fundamental importance, there exists the danger of falling into propagandism, believing that the party is essentially built by recruiting militants and penetrating the movement of the campesinos. Only broadening the sphere of influence of the organization would be a grave error, because a revolutionary party is not measured essentially by the number of its militants and its penetration in the mass movement, but as a qualitative phenomenon. That is to say, recruiting and penetrating are permanent fundamental tasks of our organization, and even more in our country where there haven’t been consciously developed revolutionary cadres, where all we militants were formed in independent ways, almost left to our own initiative. We must recruit the best leaders of the campesinos and of the workers, and at the same time educate them in a method and in a centralized organization, which must be our organization and can be no other.

But that is not enough. Our party would then develop quantitatively and not qualitatively. As important as is that task, is the organization’s conscious confrontation of the tasks before the Peruvian masses in action.

You know better than I do that all revolutionary parties have three basic methods as means for the education of the workers and its vanguard: propaganda, agitation [1] and action. (I leave aside the fundamental importance of theory – to arrive accurately at the essential slogans which tie the party to the mass movement and raise its consciousness – for this is best accomplished internally.)

The development of our organization has revolved around one primary slogan: “Land or Death.” The application of this demand has been picked up among the leadership of the campesino masses, especially by those in the vanguard, the ones of Cuzco: “Take over the land or let us prepare to take the land.” This slogan is used in two stages. The first is when we raise it in an agitational manner to win the campesino base, and we counterpose it to the opportunist program of the Khrushchevite leaders who, by act or deed, are against it. That is the propagandistic and agitational stage, to win the vanguard of the campesino base and to defeat through propaganda the opportunist leadership. The problem arises when we have gone through this stage.

When this happened we find ourselves in a new situation, at a new stage. Propaganda and agitation are over. We have entered the stage of action and the conscious realization of previous propaganda and agitation. If at this stage we continue to pose as the fundamental tasks penetration, recruiting, propagandizing, and agitation for our slogans “land or death,” “let us take over the land,” or better yet, “ let us prepare carefully for the mass take-over of the land,” we commit a crime, that of propagandism, that of becoming commentators and advisors to the mass movement, abandoning our true role as leaders and guides to action of the mass movement. An organization, a revolutionary party is finally just this: those who direct and consciously prepare the actions of the mass movement. A small party that has won leadership in one sector of the campesino movement and answers this question in a centralized manner – how to take over the land and defeat the reaction – is already a revolutionary party, although numerically weak.

This has been the methodology of all the polemics against putchism. Our struggle to build a party had this consideration before any other. Our efforts to transform a movement or tendency into a party were not based only on arguments about numbers, but on qualities. For us, a party was a group of militants, it did not matter how many, who would act with an understanding of the period we are living in in Peru, who would have a program and be perfectly organized. We were a tendency precisely because we did not fulfill these requirements.

In Europe, as Nahuel Moreno has pointed out in his work on the Latin American revolution, the building of the parties was evolutionary. There was theory first, propaganda and recruiting of the vanguard next, agitation later, and action in the end.

Our party cannot be built by following these rules, but by combining them, jumping over stages, or by beginning at the end. This is a consequence of the epoch of our Latin American countries. That is why, without adequately completing the stage of theory or propaganda we are confronted with the stage of action. Whoever responds to this call can accomplish perfectly well and in a parallel form the other tasks of propaganda and agitation – but not vice-versa.

For example, if those of us in Cuzco take the leadership of the campesino movement, consciously answering in an organized manner to the stage that is now opening up, essentially centralizing and organizing the actions, we can continue to grow, propagandizing, agitating and penetrating. But if on the contrary we decide at this stage, in which we are the recognized leadership, to continue to propagandize and to agitate, advancing slogans as a guide to the campesino movement, but not centralizing and leading its actions, we cannot continue growing in an organized manner.

This is the perspective posed to us now, to become at this time the true revolutionary party. We either centralize, organize and direct actions, where we have the leadership of the campesino movement, or disappear as a revolutionary party, as our propaganda and agitation find less and less response.

One clarification is necessary: When we speak of the leadership of the campesino movement we don’t mean the formal act of taking the leadership or recruiting opportunist leaders because our leaders are more loved and honest. We mean taking the leadership because the campesino movement and its vanguard supports our slogans and positions. If we exchange ideas, capturing leading posts with authentic conscious leadership, we are ready.

2. Dual Power in the Countryside and Open Struggle

In the previous chapter we insisted on the thesis that when our organization arrives at real leadership of the campesino movement in a department or zone, there is a qualitative change in our situation, which brings us obligations of a completely new type. We have not defined these new obligations because it would be a serious error to seek to define these new tasks without observing the phenomena from another angle: That of the struggles of the campesinos themselves or, according to the definition we have given the present stage of this struggle in our country, from the angle of the development of dual power in the countryside.

Before anything else, let us observe the process as it is before we take leadership of the campesino movement. This process has been taking place as we foresaw it. The campesinos continue to unionize themselves in a massive manner and continue taking over the lands in all zones of the country. This development of organizing and taking over of the lands is accompanied by two processes, one internal to the campesino movement, the other external. The internal is the struggle for the leadership of the campesino movement between ourselves and the Khrushchevite opportunists. We press for the taking of the land and pose a course of permanent mobilization of the unions, in order to attain the revolutionary objectives of the campesino movement. The opportunists put brakes on the taking of the land and try to channelize it towards negotiations and the most minimum demands of the unions. In that way a ferocious struggle is opened between ourselves and the opportunists for the leadership of the movement.

Parallel with this process, we have outside the campesino movement another force which is decisive – the bourgeois parties and the government itself with its repressive apara-tus. The landowners arm themselves at the same time that their parties pressure the government to adopt a policy of total repression against the campesino movement and particularly against its most outstanding leaders. Sometimes the landowners take action themselves. The government has a much more cautious attitude, but just as reactionary as far as its real aims. It combines negotiations, concessions and promises with repression of the leaders and, at the right time, against the very campesino masses that have taken land. For this repression, detention of the campesino activists and leaders, suppression of the land takeovers, they use the forces of the regime.

As we have said, the landowners are not satisfied with the government’s cautious policy and demand total repression. This provokes friction between the landowners, the government and the big parties of the bourgeoisie. We will discuss them in the next chapter of this letter which deals with our policy towards the government and the different political parties. [2]

What we wish to point out here is that the landlords, as well as the government, do not confront campesino unionization haphazardly. They have a conscious centralized policy of armed repression.

We have insisted on the slogan of “departmental campesino congresses” in order to organize and consciously centralize opposition to this process. This slogan has been, and will continue to be, very useful, much more than the one for a “National Campesino Congress” which was put foward as a centralizing factor of dual power. Dual power takes place in a molecular form, atomized – or what is the same – takes place unconsciously without any central or coordinated path.

The danger exists that in the unconscious development of dual power, the taking of real leadership of the campesino movement by our organization will not signal a qualitative change. Put another way: the process may follow the same pattern even after we have the leadership, and the campesinos may continue to take over the land by the grace of God, without a consciously elaborated central plan. That is, in spite of our leadership, as a matter of fact, dual power will continue unconscious, continue atomized.

This can be said in our terminology: There is the danger that taking the leadership of the campesinos will not change the revolutionary process qualitatively, but only quantitatively. More lands are taken over, we convince many more communes or unions to do so, but nothing else. No new methods, nor centralized plans, consciously orient the overall process.

If it were that way, and unfortunately we think that it is, we would commit a double crime, against the development of the party, and of the campesino movement itself. The taking of the leadership of a campesino movement should mean a total change for the party and for the campesino movement. I insist: This total change, this colossal leap, which should be reflected in a change of our activity and of the unions we lead, can be none other than the transformation of the union or campesino organization into a conscious revolutionary organization.

A union or federation which we come to lead should change qualitatively. Let us begin with a change that is significant given the present stage of our organization: propaganda and agitation. The union should try to take over the radio and publish bulletins and mass newspapers in order to popularize deeply all our slogans.

But this is secondary. What is more important is that when we take the campesino leadership a fundamental change should take place in respect to our own tasks and those of the campesino movement. We should elevate ourselves and transform ourselves into the conscious directors of the revolutionary process. That means elaborating scientifically-thought-out plans and executing them in order to answer the repressive designs of the landowners and of the government and the unconscious action of the masses taking over the land. Our plans, then, should take into account these two questions: how to counter the plans of repression and how to achieve taking over the land.

Concretely, comrades, taking leadership of the campesino movement in a zone or region of our country means to lift ourselves to a new stage, and to raise the campesino organizations to this new task which is neither more nor less than the art of open struggle. Inevitably, open struggle implies an art, a science, a plan, a technique to learn. It means applying a plan based on this technique; it requires a specialized apparatus. All these are the inexorable terms of the revolutionary syllogism in our country. Not to draw the conclusions of this syllogism, is not only to be methodologically inconsequential, incoherent in forms of thought, but something much more serious: charlatans, commentators, propagandists of the agrarian revolution and dual power, but not its leaders or realizers.

That is the stage we have entered, the one which we should have entered a long time ago, if the putchist tendency we all know had not caused a deviation. I will not tire of repeating: The present stage of the class struggle in our country demands of us that we be the organizers, the cen-tralizers, of open struggle of the campesino organizations, which will ensure the development of dual power in the countryside, which will ensure the conscious development of the campesino revolution.

This position was already expressed in our organization when the putchist deviation arose and when the essential task of having a party was posed. We always insisted that the open struggle should be initiated as quickly as possible and, for that, it was indispensable to have a party which would understand dual power, the campesino unions, and the taking over of land.

The criticism of the putchists was that they subordinated the open struggle to preparation and organization completely independent of the mass movement and the development of the party. We posed the contrary: immediate preparation of the open struggle and of the apparatus which would carry it out based on a steeled party intimately tied to the campesino movement and its organizations. Ours was not a fight against open struggle but against putchism. That is why we did not reject the possibility of guerilla warfare; we only posed as a condition the necessity of a party with iron organization, intimately tied to the campesino movement.

There were serious gaps as to the form, organization and methods of the specialized apparatus which would lead this open struggle. Today I have the impression that there should be only one central apparatus which covers all aspects of the open struggle and will depend on the only revolutionary party, sui generis, of the masses that exists in our country: the campesino unions.

When I say revolutionary party I am referring to a fact which I believe definitive. I do not think that in Peru there will arise another organism with the support of the masses that will be capable of directing and calling to revolutionary actions. I do not believe in the possibility of Soviets or large mass parties which could be able to call the revolution, themselves. The unions will play that role. That is the way the historic process has evolved and that is how we must deal with it. It poses before us a serious organizational and tactical problem. I will lay aside, as given, that the first norm of open struggle is secrecy of plans in order to surprise the enemy. Our apparatus will depend on the union, it will base itself and will organize itself on that base using all its fabulous resources, but it will be completely secret. (Or it will have a legal front of a defensive character. This is a technical problem to be resolved on the scene, based on the premise of total secrecy, but rest assured – always depending on the union.)

The Call to Action

The serious problem is another: Who will issue the calls to action – the union with its leadership, or the specialized apparatus? From here, we must proceed with mere hypothesis, and with the certainty that because of the methodologically abstract character of our analysis, this will serve more as a working hypothesis than as a proven truth. Taking this reservation into account, it occurs to me that the unions can assume the legal responsibility of the actions, giving them a defensive rather than offensive character, principally against the detentions of the leaders in the defense of the lands that have been taken over. Defensive actions against the landlords, then, raises the political problem of what we must do in face of the government.

Before turning to that theme, however, it is necessary to sum up the main lesson: Taking the real leadership of the campesino movement means a new stage for the agrarian revolution and for our organization, transforming the campesino organization and ourselves into the leaders and organizers of the open struggle.

3. The Definitive Construction of the Revolutionary Party

All we have expressed, insists on the new role that the unions must play from the time we take their leadership. The unions and federations of the campesinos will play the role of a truly revolutionary party, sui generis, which will organize the taking of power, and before that, the open struggle to destroy the organs of repression of the exploiters. To understand this role, they will be obliged to raise themselves to be revolutionary unions. This new historic category, given the process of class struggle in our country, poses a grave danger: ignorance of the importance of our own party with the consequence that we dissolve ourselves in this large revolutionary organism of the masses.

This danger will be aggravated if we do not count upon a prior organization, strongly organized and centralized, which must be the FIR (Front of the Revolutionary Left), and which we must have now. In this respect, it is fundamental that this iron-disciplined organization know its principal work in the campesino unions. This does not mean that we minimize the importance of our own organization. On the contrary, in Peru we continue to need it, and when we begin to direct the campesino union, we will need a party even more, a centralized organization, which will orient and unite the activities of the revolutionary unions, that will provide national policy and unity to the actions of these unions. That is why we have to develop to the utmost our organization, recruit militants, shape them, organize strongly. Although this will mean having few militants at first, we must not be deterred, since our great tool for the revolutionary mobilization of the masses will be the unions. While the work on the campesino unions goes well, all will go well, as long as the strong building of our organization continues to go on.

The opposite position, “it is enough for us to control the unions, it is not important to build a strong centralized party,” will lead the Peruvian revolution to disaster. The campesino unions, by their own character, are already susceptible to local pressures. Because of their limitations they tend to reconcile themselves to small or large partial victories, and therefore need an organization that will unify the struggles around clear and precise revolutionary objectives of a national character. The only organism that can absorb these local and partial pressures of the great campesino masses is the party, the revolutionary organization.

Only the party is capable of preparing the revolutionary future in the present, and of unifying all these struggles. But in order to achieve this it must be strongly organized and centralized. That is why we sound the alarm of the grave danger that the campesino unions led by us might turn toward syndicalism, attempting to supplant the party with revolutionary unions. On the contrary, the formidable role of these unions obliges strengthening the organization of the revolutionary vanguard specifically, which is its party, so that developing together we will be able to accomplish the fundamental task of this entire period: the taking of power.


Hugo Blanco
January 1964



1. The distinction in Marxist terminology between propaganda and agitation is that the former refers to the dissemination of many ideas to a few people (the vanguard) while the latter refers to a few ideas (slogans) addressed to the mass.

2. In the text of the first letter, published in Estrategia, mention is made of policy towards the government of Belaunde as a point to be developed. It was eliminated from publication, although considered of great importance, in order to keep the entire letter within the framework of “abstract” and “general” characterizations.

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Rosendo’s Answer to Hugo Blanco

On the Open Struggle. I received your document in February. You pose the discussion of this problem. We had also begun the discussion.

Before anything, it is necessary to make clear that “whether we are or are not in agreement with armed struggle” is not under discussion but, “how to begin the open struggle,” – the concrete forms it will take, the methodology, etc.

The central objective of all revolutionary strategy is the conquest of political power. Towards this proposition the FIR struggles for the establishment of a workers and campesino government.

The great masses are the motor-force of all authentic revolution, but it is the party which organizes and leads the masses in the conquest of political power.

In their climb to power, the people find in their way the armed forces, the backbone of the political machine of the exploiting classes. Consequently, the vast masses and the party should be prepared to unleash a revolutionary civil war against a powerful enemy. This poses the necessity of counting upon technical military organisms capable of maneuvering and acting effectively against the armed enemy.

The principle of all authentic revolutionary policy is the mobilization of the masses. Moreover the problem revolves around how to mobilize, organize and lead the masses – through their struggles for their demands – to the level of the open struggle for political power. The merit of the FIR, and in particular of Hugo Blanco, consists in having begun to answer that question practically. This in the case of Peru.

In the countryside we find all the vices of the social system; the campesino masses constitute the most exploited and oppressed social group in the country and, logically, the countryside is the most explosive zone. Conscious of this, the FIR went into the countryside. Today it is the conscious factor in the awakening of the Quechua campesinos (Indians of the Andes).

From Convencion to Sicuani, historical experience is confirming the line. Today the campesino revolution is an historic phenomenon, the development of which is determined by its own laws. It is astride the campesino movement that the FIR should face the open struggle for power. Since the event of La Convencion, the agrarian movement has grown in amplitude and profoundness. Today the unionization, the campesino strikes with their alternating advances and retreats, cover all of Cuzco; and the FIR is the basic political force for centralizing this process. The Federation of Campesinos of Cuzco, led by the FIR, is an authentic mass center. This poses problems for our party.

When the authority of the party is accepted by the organized campesino masses who are struggling for land, in the zone where this occurs there takes place a radical change in the relationship of forces and there is demanded of the party higher forms of struggle. The political leadership must not only continue centralizing the unionization and taking over the lands, teaching the masses how to advance and retreat, but posing the armed defense of the conquests of the campesinos. There, the mass movement is joined in embryonic forms to the open struggle for power.

Open struggle is even more necessary in this stage since the government has delineated an unequivocal policy of violence in answer to the agrarian movement.

Now then. What organism prepares and organizes the open struggle? The union of the campesinos? The party?

What role do militias play? Is it possible to apply the tactic of guerrilla warfare as part of our mass policy in the countryside?

Is the party the organism that resolves the problems that are posed by revolutionary war of the people?

The open struggle is a higher form of mass revolutionary struggle; it supposes the systematic confrontation of the armed forces, and that kind of struggle is carried out by organisms trained and disciplined in the science and art of revolutionary war. So the union will not be able to organize and lead the open struggle. Militias? Guerrillas?

The militia appears as a semi-military organism, generally created by the masses themselves. In armed defense of the land, the militia, if it is not capable of maneuver and movement, will be destroyed by the better armed forces, and upon maneuvering and moving, attacking and disappearing, etc., we enter the arena of the tactic of guerrilla warfare.

This imposes the necessity that the party assiduously study guerrilla warfare. Something more. The party should prepare and gather together chosen nuclei of campesinos in the guerrilla war – in a word, it should establish guerrilla nuclei.

The guerrilla should act in support of the conquests of the campesinos. To the punitive forces that are sent out to repress the campesinos, the guerillas are an organism capable of engaging them in military maneuver, and in that way of diverting the repression towards themselves. Well trained and prepared guerrillas accomplish this task successfully.

If the party knows accurately how to combine its mass policy in the countryside with guerrilla warfare, the campesinos will see in the guerrillas their small insurgent army. They will then give them their sympathy and affection, and will shelter the guerrillas in their midst. This is a dialectical process.

The guerrillas imply the embryonic rise of the open struggle, but for a prolonged period the legal struggle of the masses – in diverse forms – will continue to be the dominant feature. The problem of when the open struggle should become the dominant feature will be worked out in practice.

Those are in general lines, my points of view in respect to the open struggle. Let us begin the discussion solely with the preoccupation of finding the surest road. It is not too much to make clear that my position should not be confused with putchism.


April 6, 1964

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Hugo Blanco’s Answer to Rosendo

The realities of the Cuban and Chinese situations were characterized by the lack of a previous existence of fighting mass organizations. The original armed group was correct to entertain caution with respect to the masses. That determined its nomadic guerrilla character. When it was able to win the confidence and aid of the masses it became stationary.

Within these conditions the guerrillas were the axis of the peoples struggle, the polarizing and organizing nucleus, the political vanguard. Armed groups, organized and prepared independently of the mass movement – since that barely existed –, were the progenitors of the organized mass movements.

In Peru there already exist organizations that group together great masses and in the zones they cover, the people who don’t belong can be counted.

The fundamental question is, do you or do you not believe in the present existence of dual power in the countryside? If you do not believe it exists, you will incline towards the guerrillas, and if you are convinced of its existence, towards the militia.

After April 1962, separated from my comrades, and in spite of the heavy putchist vapors that still floated in my brain, the nagging pressure of reality made me write the report, Liberated Zone Before the Insurrection. Although I believe that it contains some erroneous concepts, its title alone shows how great an impression was made by the development of dual power that had been reached. You also know what I have written on campesino unions. It appears unnecessary to recall these things to a member of the FIR, “the conscious factor in awakening the Quechua campesinos,” as you put it.

I do it because I have a suspicion that your opinions on the open struggle are the fruit of lack of knowledge, and separation from the mass work of the FIR.

For the open struggle, we start premises different from those of Cuba and China and our start must be different ... that is the “dialectical process.”

The guerrillas, as you say, should “win the sympathy” of the campesinos.

The militia is a product of the rise of the campesinos; the masses understand the necessity of open struggle and create the militia; the militia springs from the campesinos and, as such, it is born with their affection and cover. Don’t forget that the campesinos have already agreed to organize defense committees; they are already conscious of their necessity, and they know that they must organize them.

You ask a question, “what organism will prepare and organize the open struggle? The campesino union? The party?” Other questions will help us give the answer: Who led the taking of the lands in Cuzco? The unions or the party? Who took power in Russia? The Soviets or the party? The answer to the three questions is the party, through the organizations of the masses – in our case, through the campesino unions. The only thing lacking is putting it into practice.

“This type of struggle is carried out by organisms trained and disciplined in the science and art of guerrilla warfare. So the union cannot organize or lead the open struggle.” Those organisms are precisely the committees of defense of the revolutionary union led by the party.

I don’t deny the great importance of the party. I recognize that the enormous weakness in ’62 was the lack of the party. That weakness fostered others.

The party should have cells in the campesino unions. This is indispensable if we wish to lead the open struggle well. We should learn from experience; there would have been a different result if there had been a well organized party in Convencion and Lares at least.

That is the negative lesson of this experience.

But we should also learn the positive lesson of the experience. Why did I and my comrades last longer than any other group in spite of the lack of a party, lack of political clarity, lack of technical knowledge, etc? Because we were a group that came out of the campesino union, nourished and covered by its progenitor.

There are many characteristics of our situation that a guerrilla would describe as the “second stage.” We have total knowledge of the population; the several amarillos [stoolies] are known, if they have not been jerked out of the zone (as was done in Qochpampa, Mesada, etc.). Almost the entire population is organized. They will not only economically maintain, protect, inform and feed the armed groups, but much more, there will be times when the whole mass will disarm the enemy (it has already happened), when the entire mass will conduct sabotage and even when the entire mass will fight.

All these characteristics, similar to the “second guerrilla stage,” give the armed group the possibility of remaining stationary within an ultra-favorable population. If problems arise due to excessive persecution of a certain militia, it can be moved to a union in another zone.

One of the fundamental conditions for the struggle of the militias is the area of the zone where the struggle develops. There should be many militias, one per union. Without this condition the militia becomes similar to the guerrilla unit, which the enemy will concentrate on, as well as the union.

Guerrilla Tactics

As to the tactics of guerrilla warfare, I am completely in accord that they should be taught to defense committees. These should not be empiric, and in this respect, the vanguard party has a role to play. All knowledge of guerrilla tactics which can be adapted to our militia strategy must be taken advantage of.

Manco II, for example, who surrounded Cuzco ready to crush it, was abandoned by his troops because the time for planting or harvesting – I don’t remember which – had come for potatoes. None of that interferes with the guerrilla organization. Some can be organized to aid the militias. But the fundamental organism for the open struggle in Peru will be the militia of the unions led by the party.

Let us take all the advantages of the peculiarities of our situation.

We will not part with anything, having advanced so much.

You say, “it is astride the campesino movement that the FIR should face the open struggle for power.” I agree, it was so in Cuba. The difference lies in that they first grabbed the arms and then mounted the horse. We are on the horse but lack the arms. Why get off the horse?

I am sure that if my words don’t convince you, your tie to the masses will; the sooner the better.

Land or Death! WE WILL WIN!


Hugo Blanco
April 7, 1964

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