Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Committee, Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization

Palante Editorial

First Published: Palante, Vol. 4, No. 15, July 21, 1972
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

During June 30, July 1, 2, and 3 Young Lords Party held its first and last Congress.

A year ago we decided to hold a congress so that the whole membership of the Party would sum up all the work and experiences of the 3 years since we began to organize in 1969, in order to make the decisions of how to carry out our work in the future and in order to rename our organization the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Party. The Congress changed from this original plan and this is what this editorial is about, but first we want to thank, first all the mass organizations, the Workers Federation, the Committees to Defend the Community, The Third World Student League, The Puerto Rican Student Union and the Women’s Union, for helping us to understand through our common practices, the errors we were making. But more important for staying with the Young Lords Party in the struggle, both during the good and the hard times. All mass organizations participated in the Congress. Second, we are gratified to the revolutionary organizations of the United States and Puerto Rico who also participated. The Black Workers Congress, Revolutionary Union, I Wor Kuen, Kalayaan, J-Town Collective, Rising Up Angry, Los Siete de la Raza, Spirit of Logos, El Comite, Venceremos, El Gremio Puertorriqueno de Trabajadores (Puerto Rican Workers Guild), Kokua Hawaii, and the comrades from the Albanian Affairs Study Group.

Juan Gonzalez, member of the Central Committee, opened the Congress announcing the program and explaining briefly the changes that would come about during the next days. We showed the film “The People Rise Up” (about the history and development of the YLP).

Next day, Gloria Fontanez and Pablo Yoruba Guzman from the Central Committee, opened the Congress with the presentation of the Resolutions, which were to be approved by the people after waging ideological struggle during the workshops and during the closed meeting of the YLP.

The 4 part resolution was:
1. The World Situation
2. History of the YLP
3. Our tasks
4. Suggestions for a new Central Committee (this last part was not presented to the general body).

The Resolutions will be published in a pamphlet along with the speeches by the organizations–I Wor Kuen, Black Workers Congress, Revolutionary Union, and a report on the anti-imperialist meeting, all of which will be out soon. Look for the ad in Palante.

Briefly, during the first part of the Resolution on the world situation, we explained that the people have 2 main enemies: the U.S. with its imperialist system that attacks and exploits and robs the fruit of the labor of poor and working people in general, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

And the second enemy, the Soviet Union who has betrayed the socialist revolution where workers took power in 1917 under the leadership of the Bolsheviks and the great leader V. Lenin. Today the Soviet Union represents social-imperialism. In Russia, they defeated the Socialist Revolution to build capitalism, these liars are the center of world revisionism and today they compete with the U.S. to divide the world.

The other principal point of this part of the resolution is our analysis of Puerto Rico and the United States. In this part we mainly concentrated on struggles in Puerto Rico against the North American imperialism, and the struggles within the United States.

Later we went into the second part of the Resolution, the history of the ideological struggle, class struggle within the organization. In this analysis we were able to see that our organization has made many contributions, especially in raising consciousness inside the U.S., about the National Liberation of Puerto Rico. We have also mobilized the people many times to fight against the exploitation of the poor people, especially the Puerto Rican part in New York, Philadelphia, Bridgeport, and Boston.

In the 3 years of our history the Young Lords Party gathered many young people, unemployed, permanently unemployed, students and a small number of workers. With this base, we began to work and the ideas that developed were mainly petty-bourgeois ideas of right opportunism or left opportunism and extremism. These ideas were shown, for example, during a struggle waged by right opportunists, like Felipe Luciano, during the first stage of our development; and they wanted us to ally with the cultural nationalists, people who say they work for the people, Blacks, Puerto Ricans, but who in reality are reactionaries that are only after their own interests, wealth and fans, like Leroy Jones.

These ideas were defeated. Later more right opportunist ideas came up, during a struggle against the study of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse Tung thought, the ideology that best represents the interest of the universal working class. At the same time, left extremism was being developed and this was seen in the way we dressed, as if we were an army, our way of talking, of living, so different from the rest of the working people. We also believed that the permanently unemployed (lumpen) were the vanguard of the revolution, when in reality the only class that can lead the revolution is the working class.

These ideas of left wing extremism went on developing to the point that after the split with Chicago YLO, we decided to become a party. This idea hurt us a lot because we were not dealing with reality, with what we were, a progressive anti-imperialist organization, learning how we have to struggle but representing the interests of the lower petty bourgeoisie. Believing we were a party we began to have attitudes that we were the vanguard of this struggle. In December, 1970, we made another error when we decided our nation was divided 1/3 inside the U.S. and 2/3 in Puerto Rico.

This idea begins the period of left opportunism. Puerto Rico is not a divided nation. Puerto Rico is a nation in Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Ricans inside the U.S. are an oppressed national minority part of the North American working class. But we didn’t understand this when we took that decision.

Instead we began to organize in Puerto Rico many times the same way we organized in the United States, still organizing out of the working class. We organized for a year and that year we had the split when both branches in Puerto Rico with the exception of 2 cadres, split on May 21st, 1972. Some of the comrades were waging struggle around some of the mistaken positions we were defending.

Nevertheless the director of the division, Fi Ortiz, took a right opportunist position who, while he criticized the YLP position of left opportunism, stated at the same time that PSP represented the party of the working class, when the party of the working class has not yet been built.

In these 3 years, we have learned a lot, the class struggle within the organization, our commitment to change in any way necessary to defeat the united states government, in the interest of the poor and working people in general; the split that came up, all this made it clear that we were not a party and that our line and practice had to change. For this reason we are not the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Party.

In the next Palante, we will explain why we chose the new name and our tasks, how we will continue to struggle, and how we will correct our errors in practice, forwarding our strong principles.

We will also announce the new Central Committee.