Nearly two years after a US-backed coup d’état toppled the social democratic presidency of Manuel Zaleya, and amid increasing political and economic repression, the Partido Comunista de Honduras was refounded earlier this year after twenty-one years of dormancy. This is a news report carried in the Venezuelan Communist Party journal, Tribuna Popular, and translated by W.T. Whitney Jr. at MLToday.com. Commentary follows.
Tegucigalpa, April 18, 2011.
In a proclamation directed to the Honduran people and the peoples of the world, the Communist Party of Honduras (PCH) announced its organic reactivation. This took place as the culmination of a clandestine celebration of the Party’s 5th Congress approving its bylaws and political program.
The document circulated on the internet points out that, “On this 9th and 10th of April, 2011, someplace within the country, we have celebrated the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party of Honduras (PCH), reactivating its organic structures and approving its bylaws and political program.”
“We do not return as a pretentious vanguard or as masters of a solution to the national crisis, but as serious critics and direct enemies of the world capitalist system in general and the subservient national capitalist system in particular,” the communists say.
In their proclamation, the Honduran communists adhere to the “anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, anti-oligarchic, and anti-clerical spirit of Francisco Morazan.” They recognize him as among the great liberators “that inspire our struggle,” they emphasize.
“We reiterate our decision to be with the Honduran people in their struggle for refoundation of the country, as also with the struggle of all peoples of the world for their definitive liberation and true independence, their resistance to imperialism and to various modes of exploitation and oppression of humanity.”
In their program, they reiterate their “decision to be with the Honduran people in their struggle for refoundation of the country, as also with the struggle of all peoples of the world for their definitive liberation and true independence, their resistance to imperialism and to various modes of exploitation and oppression of humanity.”
The document they circulated indicated, “The times have changed, and also Honduran awareness of protest and demands. Now the banner is hoisted of a worthy homeland. People are neither afraid nor scared off by anti communist media campaigns. On the contrary, they now show their interest, disposition, and aspiration for a just, socialist system of social-economic production as a response and solution to the degenerate and rotten system of capitalist production that offers humankind only suffering and sorrow.”
“We encourage all our comrades to keep up their active participation in different organizations struggling with dignity for the good of our people. We especially would urge on those active participants with the National Front for Popular Resistance contributing in all areas to processes of unity. They promote tolerance and reject any attempt or action aimed at manipulation through making unilateral decisions. Our main duty is to assure the greatest popular participation in this broad, revolutionary project of the Honduran people,” they declare.
Finally they say: “We call upon all those whose revolutionary vision takes in the construction of socialism to join our ranks.”
The Communist Party of Honduras was founded on October 10, 1954 with origins in the Honduran Revolutionary Democratic Party. Never a legal party, it had a strong presence in the labor movement, especially with the banana workers. In 1990, the Communist Party of Honduras dissolved and joined with the Patriotic Renovation Party.
In terms of context, it is important to note the reorganizing of the Honduran CP reflects increasing class consciousness on the part of the Honduran masses and their growing determination in the face of conflict with the reactionary, lackey, coup regime. This in and of itself is great news.
The article itself has some bright spots beyond that. Their frequent mention of imperialism and capitalism and clear international intent reflects the actual nature of the struggle faced by the global, Third World-centered proletariat. In line with the Communist critique, the CP of Honduras seems to be aiming at building a explicitly revolutionary organization alongside and independent of existing mass organizations. Beyond this, the article is rather brief and doesn’t give a clear presentation of their line.
Their comments about not being pretentious vanguards no doubt reflects decades of internecine violence between opposing ‘vanguards’ in various Latin American countries; the culty, commandist forms various post-Leninist tendencies have taken; or the problematic nature of how some have taken the term in an exclusive manner. However, being a Communist revolutionary is different from being a critic. It is being a critic in the most radical way, to being a leading force in revolution.
In this regard, it would be worthwhile for groups like the PCH to have a serious criticism of imperialism that goes beyond slogans. In particular, it is important for groups like the PCH to not misconceive First Worlders as part of the exploited proletariat, lest they give the impression Hondurans and other Third Worlders can attain for themselves a lifestyle more leisurely and consumptive through another manner than exploitation. Saying that Amerikans are exploited means Amerikans, under a revolutionary redistribution of wealth and power, would receive more than they already have and that everyone else should receive an amount roughly equal to this.
RAIM’s approach is based on reality: the great masses of Amerikans are part of exploiting classes via their relationship to imperialist exploitation of the Third World. The First World is in its entirety the product of imperialism, and Third World socialism (the cure to imperialism, in a sense) will look much differently.
In line with this, Communists tend to be more than ‘anti-capitalists’ or anti-imperialist social-democrats. As mentioned before, the Communist ethos is one of leading the people through revolutionary struggle. In this regard, it is interesting to see what direction the newly reformed PCH will take: specifically, if they will be able to organize the Honduran masses as part of an effort to overthrow the current regime and institute another one based on broad principles social justice, class struggle and anti-imperialism.
– Nick Brown