The Peruvian Revolution: Concepts and Perspectives


  • Luis F. de la Puente Uceda
  • Rodolfo B. Arrigorriaga





The following article by the Secretary General of the Peruvian Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) was sent to us "from one of the guerrilla encampments in the Cordillera de los Andes of Peru." Monthly Review is proud to publish in both its English and Spanish editions this authoritative report on the background, progress, and objectives of what is potentially one of the most important of Latin American revolutionary movements. The article shows that the Peruvian Revolution is now moving along the path pioneered by the Cubans and more recently entered upon by the guerrilla movements of Guatemala, Venezuela, and Colombia. More than ever, the prospect looms up of a united Latin American Revolution fighting against imperialist domination and for a great federation of socialist states. We take this opportunity to congratulate and extend fraternal greetings to the Peruvian revolutionaries. At the same time, it seems desirable to point out one respect in which we cannot agree with the analysis of Dr. de la Puente Uceda. Like many other commentators on Latin American affairs, he describes Peruvian society as being in part "feudal" or "semi-feudal." His analysis of the country's class structure emphasizes, however, that there are no serious conflicts between the big landowners of the countryside and the urban industrial, financial, and commercial bourgeoisie—which would hardly be the case if the former were in fact "feudal." The truth is that the big landowners of Peru, as well as of all the other countries of Latin America, however feudal-appearing may be their relations with their workers, are wholly oriented toward the world and national markets and plan their production solely with a view to maximizing their profits. Their situation and mode of behavior, in other words, is typically capitalist, and it can only lead to confusion to introduce the concept of "feudalism" in analyzing their class position and historical role. The translation from Spanish is by Rodolfo B. Arrigorriaga. —The Editors