Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Build El Clarin, Fight National Oppression

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 45, November 20, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The current campaign to build The Call is also a campaign to build its Spanish edition, EI Clarin.

Latino peoples are fighting police repression, deportations, and a host of other attacks – we need to cover more of these struggles. We need to deepen our exposure of the imperialist system as responsible for their oppression, popularize our program for liberation, and take these views out to hundreds of new readers.

In order to be the voice of the people’s struggle, our newspaper has to speak the people’s language. Since the beginning of its existence six years, ago, our newspaper has been published in Spanish as well as English. Spanish is spoken by 17 million people in the U.S. today, the most widely used language next to English.

One way imperialism tries to maintain its grip over the Latino peoples is, to suppress their language and culture. By fighting for the equality of language, the CPML aims a blow at this national oppression. At the same time we are making available to Spanish-speaking workers, a communist analysis of their oppression. We want to win this growing section of the working class firmly to, the side of revolution.

A good example of the use of El Clarin was at Gerry Manufacturing, a garment shop in Denver. Because the pay is low and working conditions bad, many unskilled, undocumented Mexican workers are forced to take jobs there. About one and a half years ago, the INS launched a deportation raid at Gerry’s.

In most of the nearly one million deportation cases last year, undocumented workers were thrown out of the country without a hearing. But EI Clarinhad been sold at Gerry for some time, and a number of workers were “regular” readers. When, in the raid, five women were apprehended by the migra, they knew from reading about similar cases that deportations can be fought with broad support and militant actions. They demanded a hearing.

The Clarin supported the women’s stand against discrimination. Articles reporting on the developments in the struggle, including the formation of a Gerry defense committee. The articles, some written by workers there, were used in the plant and in the community to mobilize others.

As a result of the mass struggle, the women were able to win a partial victory – the company agreed that the women could retain their jobs, pending the outcome of a hearing.

But the struggle at Gerry’s did not end here. Even if this one case ends in victory, the fight for the rights of immigrant workers and for better conditions for all workers there will continue. This was also part of the Clarin’s role, to expose why the system is scapegoating foreign-born workers and show how national oppression can be eliminated altogether by overthrowing this system and building socialism.

Another example of El Clarin’s role is the struggle around the murder of the Diaz family in Philadelphia. Eight members of this Puerto Rican family were burned to death in a neighborhood where houses like theirs are being bought up by wealthy land speculators.

EI Clarinreported this holocaust on its front page and sent hundreds of extra copies to be distributed among the Puerto Ricans in Philly The paper has linked this particular atrocity to the systematic national oppression of Puerto Ricans on the island as well as in the U.S. and called for support for the Puerto Rican struggle among workers of all nationalities.

The current campaign to build El Clarin has called attention to the need for many more efforts like this. It has also highlighted weaknesses in The Call/EI Clarin’s coverage. For example, the paper hasn’t done enough to explain why Puerto Rico should be independent.

We also want to improve our use of concrete experiences in explaining tile road to liberation for all the Spanish-speaking nationalities. Clarin readers want more specific guidance on questions like what would regional autonomy mean concretely for Chicanos in L.A. and Puerto Ricans in the barrios of Bridgeport, Conn., or how do we fight for political power.

These weaknesses are tied to our need to distribute the paper much more broadly. In Indiana, a recent Clarin Day resulted in the selling of more than 100 papers in two hours.


This victory showed how open Latinos are to revolutionary ideas. Evidence of this was the many Latinos who attended the CPML anniversary in June in Chicago. Militant fighters from all across the country, many of these people were first introduced to the Party through its newspaper.

Part of the campaign to build El Clarin is the need to develop a network of correspondents who can report regularly on the day-to-day struggles of the Latino peoples, both here and abroad. These correspondents can also enrich the paper with the language and culture of the diverse Spanish-speaking people.

By boldly distributing the Clarin, then consistently following up with those who are most interested, we can establish more Clarin discussion groups, distribution networks and correspondents. In these ways the paper will be better able to speak to the questions on the minds of Latino people and to become a weapon in their struggle for liberation.