Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

El Comité/MINP

El Comité-M.I.N.P. Completes its First Assembly

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 3, No. 10, November-December 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On November 4th, our organization completed its First Assembly by inviting ail of its membership, friends and comrades to attend the Assembly’s Closing Session. The main purpose of this session was to present a general summary of our work in the past three years, an outline of our new political program, and to introduce a representative body of the organization’s newly-elected leadership. November 4th marked the culmination of the formative stage of El Comité-M.I.N.P. At the same time, it set the base for the next stage in our organization’s growth and development, a stage characterized by our slogan, “Forge the Cadre Among the Masses.” This is the conception that will guide our organization in the next period.

The following paragraphs are taken from the Welcoming Message to the Assembly by the outgoing Central Committee:

...In October of 1977, our Central Committee evaluated the situation of our organization and made the decision that we begin the process of preparation that would culminate in our organization’s First Assembly. In February of this year, we entered into the pre-Assembly period, a period of intense study and discussion throughout the entire organization. At the same time we continued to share in the lives and struggles of the people in our work places and in the communities where we lived.

In these past nine months we have evaluated and summed up the work and experiences of El Comité—M.I.N.P. since our Formative Assembly in January, 1975. Based on this evaluation, and in accordance with our understanding of the national and international situation today, we have determined the program, strategy and tactics to guide our organization for the next period of time.

The period since our Formative Assembly has been a period of grow tit and maturation for our organization, a period in which we have broadened our ranks and increased our respect and influence among the masses. All present here today are witnesses to an event of great significance for our organization, for today we begin a new stage in which we will deepen our integration among the struggles of the working class and oppressed sectors as well as further contribute to the process of building a revolutionary party of the Proletariat in this country. It is this party that will lead the working class and its allies to the only political alternative that upholds their interests and aspirations: socialism....

The program of the day began with the dedication of the assembly to our outgoing First Secretary, Federico Lora. Companero Lora left the United States a year and one-half ago to integrate directly into the revolutionary process in Puerto Rico. During this period, the comrade maintained his position of leadership within the organization. With the convening of the First Assembly, however, the organization officially accepted Companero Lora’s resignation from El Comité-M.I.N.P.

The dedication expressed t h e organization’s deep appreciation of the contributions Companero Lora has made in the past 8 years, both to El Comité-M.I.N.P., in particular, and to the revolutionary process in the U.S. in general. While the dedication emphasized Federico’s key role within El Comité, it also made it clear that Federico’s contributions could not be separated from the overall growth and development of El Comité, first as a community organization and then as M.I.N.P., a Marxist-Leninist formation. Federico himself made, this point during his speech to the Closing Session when he said: “I understand that all you have said are my contributions to El Comité...are in reality contributions from all of you to me. In the process, you made of me a better person, you made of me a revolutionary....”

The program continued with the introduction of 7 members of the new Central Committee, including First Secretary, Victor M. Quintana, and Sub-Secretary, Frank Vergara.

During the course of the program, the names were read and thanks given to all those organizations and individuals who had sub-milted solidarity statements to the Assembly. Several of the messages were read, in particular the message from Miguel Cabrera, a Teamsters organizer in Puerto Rico, presently being framed for the murder of corporate lawyer, Alan H. Randall. A statement of solidarity was also presented by Miguel Baez, a member of the Central Committee of the Movimiento Socialista Popular (M.S.P.).

In February, 1978, the first issue of a new theoretical journal appeared in Puerto Rico, Pensamiento Critico. Its purpose was and is to be a forum for comradely ideological debate on the key questions facing the revolutionary, independence and workers movements in Puerto Rico. Since that lime, our organization has taken some responsibility for distributing Pensamiento Critico in this country as well as contributing several articles. Angel Agosto, editor of the journal and a former member of the Political Commission of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party was invited to the Closing Session and asked to utilize the opportunity to talk about present conditions in Puerto Rico. Agosto’s presentation focused on an economic-political analysis of Puerto Rico today.

There were several cultural performances during the activity. The first was the reading of a poem by Karen Slotnick, “For El Comité-M.I.N.P. on its First Assembly.” The first verse follows:

It’s autumn and the earth is turning
back into itself
for rest and renewal.
But for us,
this is the first day of spring,
a new beginning in a universe
of new beginnings...

A cultural group from the Union of Democratic Filipinos (K.D.P.) sang two songs, one from the revolutionary struggle in the Phillipines, and the other composed by the group itself about the role of the masses in history. In addition, a movie was shown, “Rompiendo Puertas” (Break and Enter), which filmed the struggle of the squatters movement on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the early 1970s. It was this movement that in the summer of 1970 inspired a group of young Latins to form an organization dedicated to helping the community fight for its rights. This was the beginning of El Comité.

The final presentation of the day was the message from the Central Committee, which summed up the work of M.I.N.P. since its Formative Assembly and established the direction of its work for the next period.

The activity concluded by the singing of “La Borinquena” (the national anthem of Puerto Rico) and the singing of “The International.”

The following pages are excerpts from the presentations made at the Closing Session. Complete versions of the Dedication, Presentation from the outgoing First Secretary, and Message from the Central Committee will be available at the end of December in pamphlet form. The pamphlet will include both the English and Spanish translations. Angel Agosto’s speech will be available in a separate pamphlet.