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International Socialist Review, Summer 1964


Political Crisis Splits Chilean CP


From International Socialist Review, Vol.24 No.3, Summer 1964, p.73.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


WORLD OUTLOOK, April 3 – In the middle of February the twentieth congress of the Chilean Socialist Party was held. The bureaucracy refused to seat the regularly elected delegates from Santiago, Concepcion and other provinces who had organized an “Opposition” on a platform, demanding a revolutionary attitude corresponding to the feelings of the rank and file and greater militancy in the presidential campaign of Salvador Allende. This Socialist Opposition has been called “pro-China” or “pro-Pekin,” because of its critical attitude toward the slogan of the “peaceful and parliamentary road” supported by the reformist leadership.

The bureaucratic leadership won the congress but did not resolve the crisis facing the Socialist Party. As a result of the reformist resolutions adopted by the congress, significant sectors of activists split from the party.

The Socialist Youth of Concepcion broke away with an appeal for “preparation of a National Founding Congress of the Revolutionary Socialist Party.”

In the province of Talca, sixteen sections, of about 300 members, had already split. In the provinces of Maule and Linares, various others broke with the Socialist Party. Likewise in the province of Coquimbo, about 100 left, most of them leaders of the working class.

In Valdivia a city councilman walked out. In Llanquihue, the Socialist Youth made a public declaration that it was splitting with the bureaucracy. In Santiago, Waldo Grez broke publicly. He is one of the main leaders of the “Opposition” and secretary of San Miguel, the most important working-class zone of the country. Some dozens of militants joined him there in similar action on March 22.

The crisis in the Chilean Socialist Party is not a mere struggle between wings of the bureaucracy, one rightist the other leftist. It reflects the contradiction between the revolutionary aspirations of the ranks and the reformist policies of the leadership. Behind this is the much greater crisis that has shaken the whole traditional political superstructure since the Cuban revolution. The Chilean Communist Party is affected like the Socialist Party but, for the moment, to a lesser degree.

As a result of the crisis in the Socialist Party, the socialist groups that broke away (Talca, Coquimbo, Santiago, Concepcion) met at the beginning of March with the Movimiento Revolucionario Comunista, a fusion of young Communists who broke with the Communist party over the Sino-Soviet conflict, a group around the magazine Polemica, and the Trot-skyists of the Partido Obrero Revolucionario.

The groups signed a document which, among other things, called for the following:

  1. To convoke a Founding Congress of all the revolutionary sectors and elements for May 1, 1964, in the city of Talca with the aim of creating a Revolutionary Socialist Party.
  2. To set up an Organizing Commission with representatives from the supporting organizations and those that may adhere during the revolutionary preparatory process for the congress.
  3. To appeal to all the revolutionary Marxist groups, sectors and elements to join in creating this party.
  4. To express our support for the popular candidacy of Salvador Allende, developing a revolutionary tendency in the movement of the Allendist masses.

Documents are being prepared to serve as the basis for the unification of these groups and it can be anticipated that the Marxist-Leninist program and tactic of struggle that will be worked out, will mark a step forward in overcoming the crisis of leadership for the Chilean proletariat.

The possibility is close at hand for the formation of a relatively strong revolutionary Marxist party. This process of revolutionary regroupment, opened in the final analysis by the impact of the Cuban revolution, offers to revolutionary Marxists a wide perspective for the construction of the party and Latin-American socialism.

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