Revolution in Nepal inspires us
– Eugenio Gastiasoro, Central Committee Member,
Communist Revolutionary Party of Argentina
Argentina and Nepal are far from each other. Argentina is in South America, in the South-western Hemisphere, whereas Nepal is in North-Eastern Hemisphere. But both the countries are under developed and dominated by imperialism. The other similarity is Communism and people's struggles against all types of oppression is a fundamental feature of Argentina as well as Nepal, thus demonstrating that Communist culture is really an international culture. The Peoples War in Nepal has been an inspiration to revolutionaries and communists the world over. We have interviewed a central committee member of Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina.
Please tell us about Argentina, its geographical situation, population, class contradictions, problems and people's struggle?
- Argentina is a big country, without a big population, with almost 40 million people, mainly concentrated in the cities, 80% of the population is in the cities; of this population, most are workers, 16 million economic workers, half are salaried laborers: 4 million workers and four million employed, and the others little producers and traders mainly. Argentina is a country dependent on imperialism, and its an underdeveloped country. We have to fight dependency and latifundia (large estates), and so people are fighting against the ruling class, imperialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and the landowners, and there are many popular uprisings inside the country and in the cities also. The peoples uprisings unite with agrarian rebellions against the government because of the large taxes and so forth. In Argentina, from north to south there is a great variety of climate, and the central area has the most important and most concentrated population. Buenos Aires is the largest city, and has twelve million people in the entire metropolitan area.
Can you tell us about your party in Argentina?
- Our party is the Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina, Marxist Leninist Maoist. For us it was very important to preserve our identity as Maoist because we suffered military dictatorship; the dominant class, when they thought they were losing their power, used the military and used the dictatorship- there were 30,000 disappeared persons, worse than Pinochet in Chile, but not as bad as Indonesia. And we remained in Argentina underground, and we had support because the revisionist party does not show a way to the people for liberation, so the Maoists appealed to the people, to adapt to the Argentinian reality, to help the people and to fight against the dictatorship; we remained mainly because of principles and going to the masses and the lower roots. Argentina is a dependent country, where various imperialists dispute domination like in other countries in Latin America, but historically in Argentina the situation is still semi colonial; we had a war and because we lost this war, the military dictatorship could not form a government and so the bourgeois parties arranged with the military to form a government, and this is the condition that exists until now.
We hear that a leftist party is leading the government in Argentina. How does your party see the government and its policies?
- Its not a leftist party, its a comprador bourgeois party, the party is like a Social Democratic party but in Argentina it is a mixture of something like the Congress party…They want to get close to Russia and China to confront the US but it is not to liberate the people, but to give grab more power in Argentina to balance US power, and so they act for the people; but it is not pro US but more pro Europe, Russia and China; but to some people in the world it may look like a leftist government, but for us, we have more dependence, because we have US and British dependence and now we have to work for Russia, China, and Europe also, where Germany and France have weight also. This is a bad thing but it is also a good thing because when they are united its bad for us because we cannot fight them all together, but when they fight each other, we can find a way between their fights, and raise the peoples revolt, with the agrarian rebellion.. The Peoples uprisings are very important and can overthrow governments, and when they fight between themselves the people can get some space to put forward their own proposals, preparing the army for insurrection for revolutionary democratic power.. Argentina is the birth place of Che Guevara. Che is famous in Nepal. How is he taken in Argentina? How does your party evaluate his work?
- Che is very important in Argentina, also in Latin America, because not only was he was born there, but he fought in the time when the Soviet Union started revisionism, and he was against that, and so he helped the Cuban revolution, and had a dream to make revolution in Latin American. People said it was not possible because it is the back yard of the US, but he showed it was possible in Cuba. And so he, at that time, with many people, asked what happened in the Soviet Union, as it was the first country where the Proletariat was in power; many did not know what happened in the USSR, we didn't know, but the first to say was Mao Zedong in China, but we didn't know too much, we are far from China. Also Che Guevara questioned the method of the Soviet Union; when they said they would help him to start a revolution in Bolivia, but then they didn't help but they helped imperialism. It was so hard for us but it taught us we don't have to believe in the Soviet Union and the false Communists, the revisionists who are working for the bourgeoisie and not for the Proletariat; so then after Czechoslovakia, and during the Vietnam war when they used imperialism at the end of the war, they were kicked out of Vietnam, and the Nixon government collapsed. In 1972 they divided the world at Helsinki, and Soviet social imperialism was working with the Argentinean army, and the US was working with the Pinochet army in Chile; and so we have this dictatorship like Ethiopia. Argentina provided the USSR with grains and food to help the invasion of Afghanistan, and we almost had a war with Chile because of these things. We had a confrontation, with two dictatorships, one from USSR and one from the US, but then they started a war against England and lost the war.
How do you feel to be in Nepal where a Communist Party had waged people's war for more than a decade?
- I am very happy to be here, this is the first time I have come here, our party wants to make a relationship with CPN (Maoist) because we think it is very important for us, because we are an undeveloped country, and it is very important to learn from Nepal, because you are ahead in the revolution against the monarchy, to throw down the monarchy, for a way to get a democratic republic; that could open way to a People Republic, because the Maoists were crucial to overthrow the tyranny, because the bourgeois parties were always thinking about a constitutional monarchy.
When did you hear about the Maoist movement in Nepal?
- We didn't hear much about the Maoist in Nepal. The media do not write much, so we do not hear much, but it became important after the royal massacre, and after that Maoists were fighting to overthrow the monarchy. CPN-M had a peoples army to fight and make a united front against the monarchy, to overthrow the monarchy, so we heard news about the proposal for a constituent assembly to advance to the change you want. The first thing we read that CPN-M organized the peasants to get their rights, and to liberate them. From outside you cannot see how and what are the conditions, and the things that are changing, the only way we can know is to come here. We are too far. The media in Argentina and Latin America don't cover much about Nepal.
Nepal and Argentina are very far from each other. How do you feel to be in Nepal?
- Because we work for the proletarian and the poor people, we have to the same goal, and we have the same ideology, Marxism-Leninism- Maoism, we have the five great teachers, although they had some wrongs because they were also human, but they are our fathers and they teach us and we fight for the same goals, and we can learn, and we can talk to each other and advance to the same goal; because our goal is to finish oppression and exploitation all over the world. Imperialism oppresses everyone. We may not do the same as you have done in Nepal but we can learn from the experiences of the revolution in Nepal. US, Russian, Chinese, European imperialism are the same, the Europeans say they are better capitalists than the US, but they are the same.
The Latin American nations are unifying against US imperialism. Can you briefly tell us about this?
- In Latin America we have a growing mass uprising against domination, principally US domination. Imperialism is unifying us, then we have the other imperialism, and many people fight against this from Maoists to the national bourgeoisie, as well as the comprador bourgeoisie who look to Europe, China, or Russia. There are more advanced processes in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. Bolivia is probably the most important because the aboriginal (Adivasi or indigenous) people are rising, and they have an aboriginal president. Venezuela is also important, but it is like Sukarno in Indonesia, with the national bourgeoisie and some of comprador bourgeoisie who want to go with Russia and China, and so that is the problem we had before. When we pushed the US out of the door, the other comes in from the windows. Its difficult for the revolution, and the weakness of the Maoist now. The Maoist are not strong enough to even forward this process, to stop the national bourgeoisie or the comprador bourgeoisie leading the government. The Argentinean government allows demonstrations against the free trade association, but for the people to get profit from this, it is not easy, they must fight.
Capitalism is in crisis again these days. The capitalist system is facing a grave crisis. How do you analyze this? Do you think the conditions for socialism are favorable?
- Capitalism is a system that exploits and oppresses people, and imperialism discharges the crisis against our peoples, against our economies, and it is a bad thing for our people; but at the same time it is a good thing that the people know what capitalism is. And if the Maoist Communist can show the masses a possibility of another way, another way from capitalism…Capitalis m brings hunger, poverty, exploitation, and the crisis shows what capitalism is; but capitalism will not go down by itself, you have to overthrow it. This will give us a chance to tell the people that we need to overthrow capitalism, to save our nation and people.
Can the experiences of Nepal be useful for revolutionaries in Argentina and Latin America?
- You had to overthrow the monarchy and establish a democratic federal republic, in Argentina we need to advance to a democratic revolution against imperialism and landlords; we think that the experience of Nepal will be very useful for us. We think we have to make our own way in Argentina but the Nepal way can help and be an inspiration for us.
Latin America has a very rich history of struggles and revolution. What is the situation now?
- The papers do not say anything about Nepal, they don't even say anything about Latin American uprisings; mainly in Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, people are fighting. Its like a new wave of mass uprising, not the same as the 70s but in the consciousness of the people there has been an advance against military forces backed by the oligarchies, comprador bourgeoisie; people have learnt from that experience, and the uprisings in the 21st century will be much bigger than before.
In 1982, the Britain had invaded in Argentina's Falkland with the help of Gurkha soldiers. What do you feel when you come to the country of Gurkha soldiers?
Gurka soldiers have been fighting for a long time for the British as employees. They also fought in Malvinas (Falklands) Island. They were there as employees. We don't think that Gurkhas want to dominate us, or are against us. They were sent against us as employees of Great Britain. No people in Argentina have negative feelings against the Gurkhas. We understand that Gurkhas were sent there not for Nepal but for British Imperialism.
Interviewed by- Dipak Sapkota.