From En Marcha
Central Organ of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
Special Edition for its 34th Anniversary
August, 1998

In the beginning we were 18

It has been 34 years of your presence which, year by year, in rays of light, Marxism-Leninism has been extended among the masses of workers and the people. Since 1964, Ecuador has not been the same. We are the living voice of transformations and changes, of bold struggle and combat for the establishment of socialism and communism.

A tenacious struggle against revisionism

In the 1960s, the contradictions within the old Communist Party between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists were sharpening. The rightist line, whose chief exponent was Pedro Saad, the General Secretary of the Party, introduced the ideas of conciliation and abandonment of principles from the 20th Congress of the CPSU, held in February, 1956. They tried by all means to get the Party to adopt what the revisionist clique of the Soviet Union proclaimed as the General Line of the International Communist Movement: the thesis of peaceful transition to socialism, the parliamentary road, the party "of the whole people," the international division of labor, peaceful coexistence with imperialism.

In this atmosphere of bitter ideological struggle and contradictions within the PCE [Communist Party of Ecuador], its 7th National Congress was held in Guayaquil from March 9-13, 1962. This Congress became a triumph of the Marxist-Leninist theses over the reformist and right-opportunist positions.

"The revolutionary line, the watchword of the seizure of power by the working class and its allies as a present and immediate task and the non-peaceful road for the Ecuadorian revolution were approved by acclamation and in an atmosphere of exultation and joy by the more than 200 delegates attending the historic 7th Ordinary Congress of the Party."

The revisionists, with Pedro Saad at their head, did not dare to put forward their points of view to the Party Congress. With great cunning they criticized themselves and promised to correct their errors and to struggle for the revolution. This shameless maneuver of the revisionists had an effect on the delegates, who did not realize the deception and allowed Saad and the others to continue in the leadership of the Party due to a minimum difference of votes.

After the 7th Congress, the differences deepened regarding the following points: on the present task of the working class and its allies for the seizure of political power; the road for the Ecuadorian revolution; the role of the peasantry; whether the revolutionary line of the 7th Congress was to be applied or not. Together with these differences there were also others related to the forms and methods of struggle in the mass movement and to the application or not of the norms of Leninist organization in the life of the Party.

The revisionists went along the road of treason against the line and unity of the Party and called a rigged Plenum of the Central Committee in May of 1963. With clumsy maneuvers, blackmail and violating the statutory proceedings they dissolved the Provincial Committee of Pichincha, sanctioning with expulsion the revolutionary members of the Central Committee, provincial leaders of the youth and of the bases.

The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party Arises

In May of 1963, we Marxist-Leninist communists broke with revisionism and with a firm step began the mobilization of all the members throughout the country to build a new Party, free of revisionist bonds, with a Political Line consistent with Marxist-Leninist principles, which in theory and practice had been discarded by the revisionist leaders of the old "Communist" Party.

While these events were taking place the dictatorship of July 11, 1963, was imposed, an anti-communist dictatorship. The founders of the Party had to carry out their revolutionary work underground. In this period some emissaries of the revisionist leadership appeared, calling for "unity," but things had gone very far and unity was no longer possible with those who had renounced a proletarian position. The idea of organizing a Congress of the Marxist-Leninists was maturing.

In the city of Guayaquil, in July of 1964, the Marxist-Leninists of the Party had met to analyze the documents for the Congress. A denunciation caused the house in which they were to be surrounded by a huge police cordon. The comrades escaped over the roofs of the neighboring houses. The holding of the Congress had to be postponed for 15 days.

On August 1, 1964, when the anti-communist dictatorship grew more severe, our Party arose as an alternative for the proletariat. From the beginning they wanted to annihilate us, but the attempts of imperialism and the ruling classes were in vain. They were not able to take the fortress, much less to destroy it.

The Congress was organized in Pascuales, Guayas Province, in the house of a friend of the Party. In the evening and night of August 1-2, 1964, a handful of revolutionaries, 18 representatives from the different provinces of the country, approved the elaboration of a Political Line, an open and public denunciation against all the revisionists to be presented on a national and international level. The Leadership of the Party was elected.

Under harsh conditions of clandestinity, "between palm shoots and bamboo," the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador, PCMLE, was born, raising the red flag of the working class, the flag of the Paris Commune and of the Soviets. It has been 34 years and the example of Rafael Larrea, Milton Reyes, Miguel Pozo, Rosita Paredes, Jorge Tinoco, Miguel Campoverde, KlÚver Palma, Victor Alvarado, Carlos Castro, Freddy Arias, David Guevara and others fallen in struggle lives on and amplifies the voice of the proletariat. We say we are present, we are firm... and the revolution advances.

Extracts from the First Manifesto that the PCMLE directed to the working class and the people:

"We are firmly convinced of the correctness of Marxism-Leninism and, therefore, we are sure that this doctrine will advance and will win...

"...We Ecuadorian communists declare that we are opposed to revisionism, against which we will struggle firmly, faithful to Marxism-Leninism, whose purity we will defend and for whose practical application to the Ecuadorian reality we will work persistently...

"...We are firmly convinced that the revolutionaries of all countries, confronting all obstacles which may arise along the way, will know how to defeat all opportunist ideological currents and to lead the people against imperialism and all reactionaries to defeat them: by the shining road of the revolution...

"...The revolution is nothing but the struggle of the whole people to overthrow the old system of exploitation of man by man and to replace it by setting up a new and more just system which breaks with the old relations of production and permits the more rapid and abundant development of the productive forces for the benefit of the whole society...

"...It is well known that violence is always utilized by the ruling classes to repress the peoples and to try to maintain the regime of exploitation and privilege; this obliges the people to resort to their own violence, only by means of which is it possible to crush the reactionary conspiracy and to set up the revolutionary power of the working class and peasants, who are defending and fighting for the interests of the whole people and the Nation...

"...We need a unity based on principles: a unity around the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism, a unity to make the Revolution...

"...The proletariat can not make use of the old machinery of the Bourgeois State if it wants to consolidate its power and push forward the revolution; to establish its domination, the proletariat must first destroy by force the whole reactionary state apparatus of the bourgeoisie and replace it with a new state apparatus, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the Revolutionary Dictatorship of its own class..."

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