Juan Perón on Revolutionary and Guerrilla Warfare


(From Anuario “Las Bases” (1969), pages 25 and 26.

Quoted from El Libro Rojo de Perón (Buenos Aires: A. Peña Lillo, 1973)

The “revolutionary war” is a global phenomenon by which the youth have put back into movement the arrested revolution.

For a quarter of a century, the Justicialist Revolution in Argentina promoted a popular transformative movement without bloodshed that, responding to its evolution, has given birth to a “third position” that is equally distant ideologically from the dominant imperialisms and from the system they tried to impose throughout the world.  The international synarchy, that harbors the imperialist interests in both zones, has promoted a “modus vivendi” that in the name of “coexistence,” opposes any other evolution that is not within the ideologies or systems imposed by them. So, the reaction of both imperialisms is characterized by violent domination, whether it is economic, military, or both at the same time, as we have been given evidence for in Latin America, in the zone of the Russian satellite states, or more specifically in Santo Domingo and Czechoslovakia.

The revolution that the people yearn for, as a consequence of an unavoidable evolution, thus has been detained by the force of both reactions.  The people, like water falling onto the surface of the Earth, are a force of Nature that follows the same strategy that always works. What is happening in today’s world is nothing but the dynamic development of these suppressed forces.  The “revolutionary war,” launched in the world as an expression of that forces is the means of action that fights with the force of the people against the violence of the organized reaction.

If the people set out with an organized force for an energetic and violent struggle, it is a question of civil war and the collision would have to produce a climatic battle, but when these circumstance do not come to pass, the people begin a dispersed struggle that, in thousands of small combats, achieves the wearing away and decomposition of the enemy, and that, in sum, can come to have the same affect as the aforementioned battle.  There has been much talk of guerrilla warfare as if one is dealing with a contemporary invention; guerrilla warfare is as old as warfare itself and very probably has been the first form of warfare. It is nothing more than a form of fighting that responds to the characteristics earlier enunciated. The method by which it is realized is given its own characteristic because the circumstances of the struggle suggest the means and the forms of its execution.

The methods, you can contemplate two classes of action: those that are coordinated, carried out by organizations conducted with unity of conception and action, to those that come together locally or regionally, creating autonomous initiatives that take advantage of events capable of generating action.  Outside of such organized and directed operations, this type of struggle utilizes individual action: each combatant, outside of those that form part of the organizations, is obliged to realize every day, in every place and circumstance, an active struggle for the determined mission and objective. When collective action is put into action by means of agreed upon actions and local and individual action enters into play, the integral struggle breaks loose, which, even if dispersed in time and space, if realized with decisiveness and perseverance, will not be long before bearing fruit.  Generally, one does not try to meet violence with violence, but rather with skill, hitting “when and where it hurts.” It is a sort of insidious struggle for which the people are particularly adept if they learn to use their true strength.

(Translated by T.M. Edsall)

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