Since the arrest in 1992 of Abimael Guzmán, famous under the name of Gonzalo, imperialism has acted in a very precise way. Everything was done to raise confusion about him, to avoid at any price that his ideas would be spread. Here is an explanation of the situation.
1. a) Gonzalo is in the hands of the enemy
When a communist is in prison, he is in the hands of the enemy, which can lie and use all methods to support its own reactionary struggle. Zt the end of the 1970's, imperialist West Germany proceeded for example to the “suicide” of numerous members of the Red Army Fraction.
So, naturally, it is not possible to trust the enemy to know about a comrade's point of view. Even a public presentation has to be suspected of manipulation: the comrade could be put on drugs, for example. Unless we can see a frank support for the counter-revolution, or on the contrary a clash with the reaction, it is not possible to understand properly the situation.
1. b) Gonzalo was seen publicly only two times since his arrest
The bourgeoisie can not think, but tactically it can understood some points and learn from its mistakes. Especially, the murder of Ernesto “Che” Guevara after his arrest, in 1967 in Bolivia, has been considered as an error, as it was used afterwards by armed revisionism to develop a cult about him.
Therefore, the first step of the reaction was, on the 24th of September 1992, to put Gonzalo in cage, to show him dressed in it in a black and white striped prisoner uniform. The goal was to show him as a fool, but in the front of the press, Gonzalo raised his voice and made a famous speech, calling to follow the people's war and to go beyond what was only a bend in the road.
The results were of course very bad for imperialism, and since then, Gonzalo was shown publicly only once since then, on the 5th of November 2004. In the front of the press, Gonzalo turned his backs on the judges and shout slogans in favor of the Communist Party of Peru and the armed struggle - the microphones were cut off, and then the press couldn't be present at all any more.
2. a) The “peace letters”
From the communist point of view, nothing more can be said about Gonzalo's situation. All the rest is speculation, and this is precisely what the reaction wanted: raising doubts, speculation, capitulation.
In September 1993, the Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori read letters calling for peace that should have been written by Gonzalo. Then, a wave of documents came out, signed allegedly by numerous cadres of the Communist Party of Peru and Gonzalo, calling to maintain the struggle but to change the form, which means rejecting armed struggle and fighting for a peace agreement.
This would be the product of a “strategic” understanding by the direction in jail, through rounds of conversations. This was presented not a as retreat at all, but as a leap in the new conditions.
2. b) The nature of the “peace letters”
The problem is easy to understand: this call for a peace agreement goes in a sense which is contrary to what Gonzalo said publicly a year before. Not only that: it is the contrary to what Gonzalo explained in the precedent decade.
A central aspect is here the negation of the semi-feudal aspect as the main aspect (an aspect stressed in a common document by the CPMLM of Bangladesh and France), or in fact as an aspect in itself. Like in Nepal, the line of capitulation says that the interests of the country class are submitted to the interests of a nation in transformation, in “modernization”. When the semi-feudal aspect is negated, “modernization” is then “justified”, like the hoxhaists does.
And, of course, this is exactly conform to what wanted both the Peruvian regime and the international bourgeoisie, that was already speaking in all his press of the cruel and criminal “shining path”.
3. a) The reaction to the “peace letters” in Peru
In Peru appeared what was then called a ROL, a Right Opportunist Line, which supported the “peace letters”; then came a Left Opportunist Line, and also a legal party, MOVADEF, that just knew a repression some days ago.
An interesting fact is here that we can see the same situation as during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China: the rightists pretend to uphold the leader, the leftists to go over him because he's said to have betrayed his own line.
The genuine communists faced and still face a very hard situation, where Gonzalo Thought, in its national aspect as the revolutionary path for Peru, in particular in connection with Mariategui, is terribly fought by the reaction and its allies.
3. b) The reaction to the “peace letters” at the international level
At the international level, the support to the people's war in Peru, that began to be really important, practically collapsed. It was the Peru People's Movement (MPP), generated by the Communist Party of Peru for the work abroad, which maintained the flames, even it faced numerous splits both rightist (for example in Germany and France) and leftist (for example in Switzerland and France).
Some voices were raised affirming that Gonzalo was behind it, in particular the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. A conspiracy of silence won anyway more and more in the International Communist Movement, negating Gonzalo and his teachings.
4. a) The position of the MPP
The MPP worked closely to the Communist Party of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist) and the Italian Rossoperaio (which became the Maoist Communist Party of Italy), who then gave up the MPP and Gonzalo to support the people's war in Nepal, and a long time after it collapsed the one in India.
The MPP went more and more isolated; in 2013, it worked closely with the Communist Party of Ecuador – Reconstruction Committee, but this new organization collapsed since. More important, the MPP didn't promote the question of the Thought.
This comes, accordingly the CPMLM of France, from its confusion between line and fraction.
4. b) Upholding the Thought
Promoting the question of the Thought was done by organizations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium and France, publishing a document called “Guiding Thought of revolution: the heart of Maoism”, containing questions and answers on individuals who have been the carriers of the Guiding Thought.
This understanding was possible because of a deep work on the international signification of Gonzalo's Thought, which has two aspects: the national one, and the international one. Each Thought has two aspects.
The CPMLM of Bangladesh recently said, in a correct manner:
“GUIDING THOUGHT is related to a particular country. But many aspects of a particular GUIDING THOUGHT can be universally applicable. For example, comrade Siraj Sikder said that a semi colony may have a colony. It is universally applicable. But not all the theories of comrade Siraj Sikder is universally applicable. In this context, Gonzalo Thought is the most advanced after chairman Mao, It defined the term Maoism and theory of people’s war. But still we are not saying that the whole Gonzalo thought is universally applicable. At the same time, Gonzalo Thought or any other thought can develop itself to Ism.”
Therefore, the question of the situation of Gonzalo is a central concern for the comrades in Peru, because it is directly in touch with their own Guiding Thought. In the others countries, it is secondary, because it is the own Guiding Thought which is the main aspect – even if it takes necessarily in account, in its substance, the universal aspects of Gonzalo Thought.