Monday, May 29, 2017

Hugo Blanco [Galdós]: Zapatistan ecological socialist

As the Verso Radical Diary reminds us, on this date in 1963, “Peruvian revolutionary Hugo Blanco [b. 1934] is captured after leading a ‘Land or Death’ peasant uprising that sparked the country’s first agrarian reform. Blanco was spared from execution thanks to pleas from Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Che Guevara, and others.”

“To be a revolutionary is to love the world, to love life, to be happy.”—Hugo Blanco, “To My People,” written from El Frontón penal colony [‘Island of Hell’]. Blanco was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but was released after serving eight years. On Blanco’s life after exile and return to Peru, see this article from 2011 in the New Internationalist

Further Reading: Hugo Blanco, Land or Death: The Peasant Struggle in Peru (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1972) [Other books and articles penned by Blanco are found in his Wikipedia entry.]; and Jeffrey M. Paige, Agrarian Revolution (New York: The Free Press, 1975) [This work places the struggle of Peruvian peasants in its wider socio-economic and political context.] 

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