Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

MINP-El Comité

On Our 10th Anniversary

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 5, No. 5, July-August 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Cling to the masses, share their struggles. Learn from them. Unite with them. This is the first and foremost condition for carrying out the revolutionaries’ historic mission. Only thus will we be able to prepare ourselves and the people for a prolonged effort. Mario Roberto Santucho

For our organization, MINP-El Comité, these words by the assassinated Secretary-General of Argentina’s Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT) address one of the key elements which allow for the growth and consolidation of any revolutionary organization: its relationship to the masses. As we approach the tenth anniversary of our organization, we recognize the crucial role that this perspective has played in the process of formation and consolidation of MINP-El Comité.

MINP-El Comité formed initially in the summer of 1970 as a Latin community group. We participated in the struggles of working people for decent, low-income housing. Today, ten years later, our organization has become a Marxist-Leninist formation, struggling alongside like-minded groups and individuals to make the necessary and possible contributions required of the revolutionary movement in this period. We are committed to the process of class struggle which will bring down the bankrupt social and economic system this society is based on. On its ruins we want to see built a genuinely just and democratic society–a socialist society.

We did not come to view socialism as the alternative to the plight of working people in this country merely as an outgrowth of our own experiences in community organizing. We were influenced to move in that direction also as a result of our participation in the Puerto Rican movement which sprang forth in the early 70’s in support of independence and socialism for Puerto Rico. In addition, bur decision was conditioned by the politics and social practice of some of the minority grassroots movements of that period, such as the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords–who openly called for a society organized on socialist principles. Finally, our embrace of socialism was inspired by the Cuban and Vietnamese people and their heroic and successful struggles to free themselves from U.S. imperialism.

The examples of Cuba and Vietnam, along with our early support for Puerto Rico’s independence, led us to understand that we were part of a worldwide movement composed of the exploited and oppressed throughout the world. Over the years, armed with this understanding as a key aspect, we have made international solidarity tasks an important part of our work–particularly with the struggles of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In our early years, during our involvement in the squatters movement and bilingual education struggles in lower and upper Manhattan, we came to experience the limitations of the day-today struggle for reforms. These limitations are inherent in a struggle unguided by a vision of a different society. Our social practice in predominantly Latin communities and our own ethnic background led us study the history of Puerto Rico and later on to address the role and tasks of Puerto Ricans in this country. It was our efforts to address these questions that moved us most concretely in the direction of Marxism.

Our study of Marxism and our transformation to a Marxist-Leninist organization was not an easy process. It generated much internal ideological struggle regarding the necessity of studying Marxism and also regarding our commitment to Puerto Rico’s independence and its relationship to the class struggle in this society. The people who engaged in this struggle were not academic Marxists. The individuals that composed El Comité in its early years, as well as those who predominately compose it today, came from Puerto Rican or other Latin working class backgrounds. Most did not have a history of study or intellectual preparation. In fact, many were high school dropouts and products of the substandard education that working people receive in this society.

Despite these limitations we struggled to grapple with our study. In the process, we discovered the depth of our own intellectual capacities and the nature of Marxism-Leninism: a science of and for working class people reflecting their needs, aspirations and experience. In addition, the experience of our study and social practice made clear the need to transform our organization into one whose members, whose cadre would be armed with Marxism-Leninism and characterized by a high level of commitment to the working class and its short and long-range interests.

Besides these important lessons, our studies led us to understand that the overwhelming majority of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. were integrated into the social-economic reality of this society and did not form part of the nation of Puerto Rico. They were a national minority in the United States. On the one hand, this clearly established that our primary responsibility as Marxist-Leninists was to advance the class conscious participation of the Puerto Rican national minority in the revolutionary process in this country. We would do this in the process of contributing to the formation of a revolutionary party of the entire working class. On the other hand, it confirmed that as Marxist-Leninists, along with other Marxist-Leninists, we had a responsibility to organize and consolidate class-conscious support among the North American people for Puerto Rico’s independence. Our organization today is more than ever consolidated on these positions.

As we look forward to commemorating our tenth anniversary, our interest is to learn from our history so that we can better contribute to the class-conscious organization of the U.S. working class. If anything summarizes our history, it is the slogan adopted by our First Assembly, which was to Forge the Cadre Among the Masses. If we do this effectively and continue to strengthen the ideological and political capacities of our membership, then our organization will deepen its role in the revolutionary process.