The ICFI Defends Trotskyism

Liga Comunista (Peru) Breaks with Trotskyism

1. The International Committee of the Fourth International denounces the desertion from its ranks of the leadership of the Peruvian section, the Liga Comunista, and totally rejects the neo-Stalinist, pro-Maoist and petty-bourgeois nationalist perspectives with which these renegades now attack Trotskyism.

2. This split has been provoked by the Liga Comunista’s explicit repudiation of the entire theoretical, political and programmatic foundations of the Trotskyist movement since its birth. Above all, this is expressed in their rejection of the theory of Permanent Revolution, the strategy of world revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the ceding of the leadership of the struggle against imperialism to the corrupt and venal national bourgeoisie in Peru and throughout Latin America.

3. In doing so, they have joined ranks with a virulent international trend of anti-Trotskyist revisionists, which stretches from Jack Barnes, the chief of the US Socialist Workers Party, who has explicitly repudiated Permanent Revolution; to the Australian Pabloites, who have renounced Trotskyism as a whole in order to seek alliances with the Stalinists and Labourites; to, of course, the renegades of the right-wing Healy-Banda-Slaughter clique in the British Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), who have deserted the ICFI in order to defend their mercenary and opportunist capitulation to the bourgeois nationalist regimes in the Middle East and to the Labourite and trade union bureaucracies in Britain itself.

4. With the publication of their split organ, Comunismo, the Liga Comunista has broken all discipline, publicly attacking Trotskyism, the International Committee of the Fourth International and its leaders. Likewise, they have renounced the legitimacy of their own party’s existence, thereby choosing the surest road to political oblivion.

5. This reactionary clique has revealed its foundations to be the rejection of internationalism and the revolutionary role of the working class. In particular, they have launched vitriolic attacks against both the proletariat and the Trotskyist movement in the advanced capitalist countries in the crude style of embittered petty-bourgeois nationalists.

6. While refusing to defend their positions within the Trotskyist movement, boycotting the meeting of the ICFI in May 1986, they are now calling for an open discussion and regroupment with every variety of revisionist, Stalinist and petty-bourgeois nationalist enemy of the movement. The political trajectory of this group is being driven by powerful class forces. Faced point blank with the responsibility and necessity to build the proletarian revolutionary party, independent of the fraudulent “anti-imperialism” of the bourgeois APRA party government of President Alan Garcia and the peasant guerrillaism of the Maoist Sendero Luminoso movement, the Liga Comunista has instead issued a series of documents justifying in advance its capitulation to precisely these forces and abandoning the struggle to resolve the crisis of proletarian revolutionary leadership in Peru.

7. Having been founded as a section of the International Committee on the basis of a principled break with the cen-trism of the French OCI and the lessons of the betrayal of the Bolivian working class in 1971 by the POR of Guillermo Lora, which subordinated itself to the military regime of Gen. J.J. Torres, the Liga Comunista has now been destroyed as a revolutionary organization by the degeneration of its own leadership.

8. This degeneration has been exposed in the unprincipled position taken by this leadership in relation to the struggle within the International Committee against the right-wing nationalist clique of Healy-Banda-Slaughter in the leadership of its oldest section, the WRP.

The secretary general of the Liga Comunista, Lucia Men-doza, had gained her position through an unprincipled personal relation established with G. Healy, who directly inserted her into the political vacuum left first by the exiling of Liga Comunista’s founder, Comrade Sergio, under the military regime of Gen. Velasco, and later by the unprincipled desertion of his successor Emiliano Roberto. After being kept for a long period in England, where she was taken in tow by Healy, she was sent back to Peru as party secretary. Working together with her close associate Oscar Poma, her practice was largely centered on organizing showings of the film, The Palestinian, in Latin America and abandoning any systematic fight for Trotskyism in Peru.

When the crisis erupted in the Workers Revolutionary Party, she was initially reluctant to attend a meeting called by the IC and was engaged in discussions with the Spanish and Greek renegades who joined Healy in deserting the International Committee.

She was finally persuaded to come and after she heard a report from the IC members, changed her position. She supported the October 25 resolution in which the ICFI concluded that roots of the crisis lay in “the prolonged drift of the WRP leadership away from the strategical task of building the world party of socialist revolution towards an increasingly nationalist perspective and practice.” Now she herself has joined with an unprincipled clique in pursuit of just such a perspective and practice in Peru.

9. On December 16 and 17, the Liga Comunista secretary general again joined with the other IC delegates in voting for the suspension of the WRP on charges of carrying out “an historic betrayal of the ICFI and international working class” through “the complete abandonment of the theory of permanent revolution, resulting in the pursuit of unprincipled relations with sections of the colonial bourgeoisie in return for money.” Not only did she vote for this position, but she participated in drafting the IC resolutions and defended them before the membership of the WRP.

10. At her request, delegates of the ICFI traveled to Peru in January 1986 to defend these positions before the Liga Comunista central committee. After a prolonged political struggle, the majority of the committee endorsed the IC decisions. Then Mendoza reversed herself and joined with those who had attacked the IC—led by Oscar Poma and Emiliano Roberto—to overturn the central committee’s positions.

Emiliano Roberto, after deserting the movement for five years, had been brought into the meetings with IC delegates under the totally false pretense of being some sort of a “victim” of Healy. His real political background was consciously concealed. While out of the party, he had established the closest relations with such Stalinist union bureaucrats as Valentin Pacho, participating directly in the betrayal of the struggles of Peruvian state workers. This was endorsed by the Liga Comunista leadership, which sought to build up his reputation while covering up for the Stalinist traitors with whom he was allied.

One month before these proceedings, Emiliano had drafted a document which constituted his first response to the crisis in the IC. It constituted a vitriolic denunciation of the Workers League of North America for its defense of Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. From the outset, Roberto identified his enemies not as Healy, Banda and Slaughter, but rather as those in the IC and the Workers League who were fighting for Trotskyism.

This document was deliberately concealed from the IC delegates only to be published by the Liga Comunista two months later in its magazine, Comunismo.

In it he portrayed the North American working class as an essentially counterrevolutionary force, allied to its own ruling class. This perspective is allied to his demoralized view of an all-powerful US imperialism. He attacks as “monstrous onesidedness” the affirmation of the North American Trotskyists of the Workers League that the class struggle in the US can disrupt the war plans of US imperialism, insisting instead that the American working class was the beneficiary of the invasion of Grenada!

In a subsequent document, Roberto adopted an openly pro-Stalinist position, denouncing the Fourth International for failing to liquidate into the Stalinist bureaucracies and its steadfast insistence on basing itself on the international proletariat: “In China, Eastern Europe, Albania, Yugoslavia,

Vietnam, Korea, etc..... the Trotskyist movement was unable to integrate itself to these revolutions and learn something from this social practice. Instead, it developed a series of non-Marxist rationalizations to preserve its isolation and adaptation to non-revolutionary social forces.”

Roberto was brought back into the leadership on the basis of these counterrevolutionary positions in order to utilize the crisis of the IC as the reason for the Liga Comunista leadership’s break from Trotskyism.

Also published in Comunismo was a document by Oscar Poma, entitled “The Fraud of the Open Letter of 1953,” in which the entire principled foundation of the International Committee and its subsequent struggle against Pabloite revisionism is attacked. “No one denies that there had to be a break with Pablo,” he writes, “but the fundamental question which arises in light of the current crisis of the IC is if the sections which broke with Pablo in 1953 did so as part of the struggle for the construction of the World Party of Socialist Revolution. We believe that the answer is no.”

As was the case with Roberto, at the meeting with the IC delegates, Poma had also concealed his real political views in a cowardly fashion. When he was directly asked whether he had any differences with the IC’s positions, he denied this, claiming that his differences with the suspension of the WRP were merely “tactical” and motivated by his fear that action would cut across discussion required to “expose” the positions of Banda and Slaughter.

This was nothing but a pack of lies! The clique in the leadership of the Liga Comunista had a secret agreement to conceal their real views from both the IC and their own membership because they knew that in an open struggle against these positions, they would have lost their own membership in a split with the IC.

11. After repudiating its support for the IC’s suspension of the WRP and its assessment of the split, the right-wing clique in the Liga Comunista leadership moved swiftly to break off international relations. In March, it refused to allow a delegate of the Workers League who had traveled to Lima to attend a meeting of its central committee and shortly thereafter formally broke off all relations with the secretary of the Comite Socialista, the Ecuadorian sympathizing group which had defended the IC’s positions. In so doing, they ended what had been a long destructive and nationalist abuse of the Comite Socialista which the Liga Comunista leadership parasitically used as a source of funds for its operations in Peru.

12. Now the Liga Comunista has publicly attacked the entire history of the Fourth International, describing it as “an infinite number of purely factional, sectarian and anti-Marxist splits, motivated by the mostly local and national interests of each sect.”

All these renegades make clear that for them, the degeneration of the leadership of the Workers Revolutionary Party and the crisis in the IC had as their source the principles of the Trotskyist movement with which they have now decisively broken. “It is in reality this false struggle for ‘principles’ which characterizes the historical development of the International Committee,” writes Lucia Mendoza.

In his own document, Roberto writes that what he claims was the Trotskyist movement’s isolation from the working class “was transformed not only into a natural medium but a virtue, necessary to maintain orthodoxy.”

This spitting on the principles and history of the party, common to every right-wing opportunist justifying his own capitulation to imperialism, is combined with a reactionary “third worldist” perspective drawn from the Peruvian petty-bourgeoisie. It describes the Trotskyist parties in Europe and America as “isolated, both geographically and politically, from the living development of the world revolution,” and as dominated by “pseudo radical demagoguery by every class of opportunist who had never risked an inch of their skin in the revolution.”

The renegades conclude that the Trotskyist movement is “rooted in social forces totally adverse to the social forces which are objectively revolutionary. Therefore it must be objectively destroyed.”

13. These crude slanders represent nothing more than the Liga Comunista renegades’ open repudiation of the theory of Permanent Revolution and the strategy of World Revolution. Having rejected the international proletariat as a revolutionary force, they have explicitly declared their loyalty to the corrupt and servile national bourgeoisie in Peru and Latin America while calling for regroupment with all manner of revisionist, Stalinist and petty-bourgeois nationalist enemies of the proletarian revolution.

The Liga Comunista leadership now call for a public discussion with what it refers to as “Peruvian and Latin American Trotskyists,” by which it means such revisionists as Hugo Blanco, Ricardo Napuri, Nahuel Moreno and the Posadasites. The aim of such a discussion, they indicate is a regroupment based on a “break with an entire period of the Trotskyist movement in an irreversible way,” and the “orientation towards a revolutionary practice, the likes of which were indicated by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, the first four Congresses of the III International, as well as the later revolutionary experiences in China, Vietnam and others in Latin America.”

This represents an explicit repudiation of Trotskyism. In its place this clique proposes abject capitulation to Stalinism, Maoism and Castroism and the transformation of the Liga Comunista into a secondary agency for the strangulation of the Peruvian working class.

Two years ago, Oscar Poma wrote an article which attacked the peasant guerrillaism of the Maoist Sendero Luminoso movement. In a sycophantic mimicking of Healy’s totally idealist distortion of dialectical materialism, Poma sought to deduce the character of this movement from a statement made by one of its members on the category of contradiction. From this, Poma concluded that Sendero Luminoso had “imposed” guerrilla warfare on the countryside and the peasantry. This right-wing position on the peasantry could only discredit Trotskyism.

Subsequently, the Liga Comunista leadership has swung full circle to uncritical support for Sendero and calls for “maximum unity, through a policy of united front” with the Maoist guerrillas.

14. In their programmatic statement entitled “The Class Struggle in Peru” this is made abundantly clear. They declare that the Peruvian bourgeois government of Alan Garcia—a regime which has attacked the working class, imposed a state of emergency in the capital and continued a brutal “dirty war” in the Andean highlands—is the result of the “confluence” of the “three great classes that make up Peruvian society: the proletariat, the peasantry and finally, the native bourgeoisie, specifically those sectors linked to the internal market or so-called non-traditional exports.”

It now repeats the same Stalinist theories which have led to bloody defeats of the working class from China in 1927 to the Chilean catastrophe of 1973 and the Argentine coup of 1976. On this basis, the Liga Comunista leadership has converted itself into nothing more than a secondary agency of Stalinism for the betrayal of the Peruvian socialist revolution.

15. The International Committee of the Fourth International calls upon all genuine Trotskyists in the ranks of the Liga Comunista to repudiate this counterrevolutionary policy, break with the right-wing petty-bourgeois nationalist clique and contact the ICFI to carry forward the fight for the construction of the Peruvian section in irreconcilable struggle for the perspective of Trotskyism and Permanent Revolution.