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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

There are many fine tributes to Chairman Gonzalo and we are posting some of them here

There are many fine tributes written on Chairman Gonzalo, who died on September 11. I don’t have room to post all of the full articles here but I do plan to use this article to provide introductions into some of the better written obits, followed by their links. I will post more intros and links from the more interesting sites that I find. –Steve Otto


Obituary: Chairman Gonzalo

By Joshua Moufawad Paul

On the same date as the 1973 coup in Chile, one of the great revolutionaries of the 21st Century, Abimael Guzmán ("Gonzalo"), has passed away at 86 after having spent nearly three decades incarcerated. As the Chair of the Communist Party of Peru's (PCP) Central Committee, Gonzalo was responsible for leading the People's War in Peru and initiating the theorization of Maoism as a third stage of revolutionary science. Moreover, the now defunct Revolutionary Internationalist Movement responsible for crystallizing Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (as opposed to "Mao Zedong Thought") was only able to reach the ideological and organizational heights it once had due to the participation and influence of the Gonzalo-led PCP. For those of us who all ourselves "Maoists" because we recognize Maoism as a development in the same sense that Leninism was (however we position ourselves in the international debate about the meaning of MLM now) there is no avoiding or denying the significance of Gonzalo.

As I have said in different ways and multiple times, what do we make of the fact that right when capitalism was declaring itself the "end of history" and trumpeting the defeat of communism, the revolutionaries in Peru launched a People's War and declared a renewal of communism by stating that there was a new stage in revolutionary science? At the very least we should recognize it as heroic, and for those of us who are Maoists we should recognize it as a theoretical milestone.


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Tribute to Chairman Gonzalo


By Harsh Thakor


Chairman Gonzalo or Abimael Guzman is no more. His was not a natural death but an assassination by the Peruvian state. Exactly 29 years ago on September 12th he was captured by the Peruvian police and placed in the Callao prison.Inspite of a sustained worldwide campaign to demand his release, the Peruvian state kept him entrenched within the jail walls. This testified that a leader like Gonzalo threatened the very backbone of the neo-colonial regimes.

No movement in the world caused such tremors in the camp of the ruling dictatorial regimes in the last 4 decades as the Shining path led by Gonzalo and the PCP.Gonzalo was denied the rights promised within a bourgeoisie democracy, morally being denied political prisoner status.

Gonzalo may be gone but his spirit is not dead and buried, which still shimmers in every corner of the globe. I do not ascribe to ‘Gonzalo Thought’ as being Universal but I would still classify Abimael Guzman as one of the greatest Marxist-Leninist leaders and theoreticians after the death of Chairman Mao. No Marxist leader as methodically re-organised a Communist party or so clinically paved the path for undertaking armed struggle. Chairman Gonzalo turned the spark of Maoism into a Prairie fire in unparalleled proportions after the death of Mao, traversing regions unexplored. Since Mao no Marxist took creativity to such untraversed   regions or gave such a striking blow to revisionism. Every cadre should in detail study how Gonzalo confronted opportunist trends to knit the party together. In my lifetime no Marxist leader has inducted spiritual change within the oppressed masses at the magnitude of Gonzalo. He literally emblazoned the hearts of millions like red spark illuminating within ,taking the boiling point of indignation to a crescendo. Gonzalo revealed shades of genius when building the party schools to confront revisionism and in confronting all trends negating peoples War. No Comrade did as much justice to upholding the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution or the military teachings of Mao. In the period of the Peruvian peoples War since Chairman Mao there was no leader who led a revolutionary struggle creating such tremors in the enemy camp at such magnitude or come so much within touching distance of overthrowing the oppressive rulers.Gonzalo exhibited touches of genius when penetrating the shanty tows or slum areas, and thus not mechanically copying the Chinese experience. Above all he prove that Marxism-Leninism was a creative ideology .Gonzalo gave a striking blow to revisionism of the Dengist and Khruschevite variety as no other leader and ignited the spark of Marxism-Leninism -Maoism in regions unparalleled in his lifetime.

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Long live the memory of Presidente Gonzalo!



The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) expresses deepest sympathies to the workers, peasants and all the oppressed classes and sectors of Peru over the demise of revolutionary leader Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, the renowned Presidente Gonzalo, founder and leader of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP). Comrade Gonzalo died in prison at the age of 86.

We denounce the Peruvian government for having subjected Comrade Gonzalo to prolonged persecution through physical and mental torture since capturing him in 1992. He and his comrades were made to undergo repeated illegal trials. The reactionaries refused to heed the clamor to release him despite his nearly 30 years of imprisonment inside the fascist dungeons. His lifetime imprisonment was cruel and extreme punishment for having founded the PCP and initiated and led the people’s armed resistance against the reactionary ruling system in Peru and the fascist Fujimori regime. He is a martyr to the just revolutionary cause and struggle of the Peruvian people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, for new democracy and the socialist cause.

While the CPP does not fully subscribe to the ideas propounded by Gonzalo and his followers, we believe he deserves recognition for his promotion and defense of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He gave the best years of his life and sacrificed for the proletariat and oppressed masses of Peru, and their aspirations for national and social liberation. During the 1980s, the Sendero Luminoso—the Shining Path—was one of the brightest stars of armed resistance around the world.

For the rest copy and past this:

Revolutionary salute to Abimael ‘Comrade Gonzalo’ Guzman!

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.

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In 2018 I wrote a rebuttal to an article by the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan which they called;

A Glimpse at the Joint International Statement of the Eight Latin American Maoist Parties and Organizations.

In that article they wrote about struggling against Gonzalo thought and its supporters. They were quite negative about Chairman Gonzalo and his supporters, partially blaming them for the fall of the Revolutionary International Movement:

-Steve Otto


“The following is a preliminary review of the latter. In this preliminary review, shortcomings, errors, and deviations have merely been highlighted and a brief commentary has been provided….

At this moment claiming a further evolution of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is baseless, whether these claims are the revisionism of “Prachanda Path” and “Avakian’s New Synthesis” or the deviationism of “Gonzalo Thought.” Our party has always emphasized that premature assertions such as Gonzalo Thought, Prachanda Path, and the Avakianite New Synthesis are historically responsible for the collapse of RIM…..

Therefore, it is necessary that––alongside the principled theoretical, ideological and political struggles based on MLM against Avakian’s New Synthesis and Prachanda Path revisionisms––a struggle should also be waged against the deviation that has emerged as Gonzalo Thought. The C(M)PA is no longer obliged to keep the struggles against the latter internal but deems it totally necessary to begin carrying out such a struggle at the international level.”


It was for this reason that I was surprised at the positive statements the C(M)PA posted recently about the death of Chairman Gonzalo. But Gonzalo has died and perhaps C(M)PA realizes it is important for all on the Maoist left to come together and defend the accomplishments of the Communist Party of Peru and the rebellion they created against the capitalist system. I was pleasantly surprised:


President Gonzalo dies after three decades in prison

Abimail Guzman (Gonzalo) died at the age of 86 after spending almost three decades in prison. He led the Communist Party of Peru for more than three decades and 10 years led the People's War in Peru before being arrested in 1992. However, the People's War in Peru was defeated because of the emergence of the right opportunist line. But this does not reduce the historical importance and lasting role of the Communist Party of Peru under Gonzalo's leadership played in the revival of communism (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) in the world following the defeat of the Chinese revolution. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, Gonzalo built the Communist Party of Peru based on the ideas of Mao Zedong Thought, playing a significant role in the struggle against Deng and Hoxha revisionism.

Gonzalo and the party under his leadership launched the People's War in Peru in the early 1980s. In his renowned interview with El Diario Gonzalo stated, we started the People's War, and the People's War expanded our understanding of Maoism, and we were able to train a new generation of experienced cadres and create a new people’s power. The People's War in Peru engaged a wide section of the toiling masses on the path of the revolutionary struggle. In the liberated areas, under the PCP leadership, People’s Committees had been established to exercise the political power of the proletariat and peasantry. In these areas, feudal land ownership was abolished, and land reform took place, according to which land was distributed and equal ownership provided to both peasant men and women. On the other hand, revolutionary social reforms, especially concerning the social and political emancipation of women and indigenous peoples were undertaken. The progressive and emancipatory potential of the People's War attracted more revolutionary women to the ranks of the People's Army, and the Party, where communist women played a leadership role at all levels, including at the party central committee and the politburo. The People's War in Peru enhanced the political consciousness of the masses and widely engaged in the destruction of the old oppressive social relations and the construction of new and emancipatory social relations. The People's War in Peru under the leadership of the PCP played a significant role in the global promotion of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, elevating the spirit of communist struggle and greatly enhanced the revolutionary prestige of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.

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