Archive for the ‘FOCOISM’ Category

Book Prepared by the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) Crticising Focoism.


Over 15 years after his murder by CIA-trained soldiers, the image of Che Guevara retains a certain power among the revolutionary-minded. To many he still seems the man of action who cut through the endless excuses and equivocations of the old-line revisionist parties in Latin America. More than a few profess to see important differences between Guevara and Fidel Castro, who, in the period after Guevara’s death, steered Cuba ever more firmly into an open and passionate embrace of the Soviet Union. Others even liken Guevara to Mao Tsetung.* And with Guevara’s influence so too goes the influence of focoism, the military and political doctrine which he developed and attempted to implement, and which was systematized into the book Revolution in the Revolution? by Guevara’s erstwhile acolyte Régis Debray.

Yet appearance and essence stand at odds in Che Guevara. Ever ready to criticize and denounce revisionism in public forums, he predicated his entire project on the support of the revisionist parties and the Soviet Union; constantly calling attention to the vulnerability of the U.S. to revolutionary initiatives, he resisted rallying forth the most massive and potentially powerful revolutionary forces on the Latin American continent. Indeed, in the end, Guevara set himself in opposition to revolution internationally.

Because Guevara is associated with the revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s, and because he fell from the bullets of agents of U.S. imperialism, such an assertion is bound to evoke emotion. Yet emotion and sentiment must be put aside. Guevarism retains influence as a political line, and while the Soviets (and Cubans) internationally often tend to rely more on elements within the armed forces to carry out their strategy of armed revisionism, they pay no small attention to the directions and activities of the neo-Guevarist groups. Particularly in situations of acute political crisis, efforts are made to both foster these neo-Guevarist forces and bring them more firmly on board the overall revisionist project. Because of all this, Guevarism (and Guevara himself) must be scientifically evaluated in terms of its objective social role. This article will examine the military and political line of Guevarism, its conception of revolution, and its social and material roots. Central to it will be unraveling the paradox of Che Guevara – the foe of revisionism who maligns it the better to rely on it.

* E.g., the almost routine characterization by bourgeois scholars of the 1966-70 period in Cuba as the “Mao-Guevara period,” or the revolutionary writings of George Jackson which point to “men who read Mao, Che and Fanon” as the revolutionary element among prisoners.

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