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January 25, 2006

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FMLN statement on Schafik Handal

The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front FMLN

With profound pain we express to the Salvadoran people, to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the people of the rest of the world, that compañero Jorge Schafik Hándal, leader of our party, died on Tuesday, January 24 at 5:00 pm, after a myocardium heart attack that he suffered in the International Airport of El Salvador, upon his return from Bolivia, where he participated in the inauguration of President Evo Morales.

Schafik, from his youth, decided to dedicate his life to the popular struggle against the military dictatorships and for the end of the conditions of poverty and marginalization that the Salvadoran people have suffered for centuries. He struggled as a student organizer, social activist, revolutionary militant, political theorist and an excellent leader of the people. For this, he suffered persecution, imprisonment, torture, exile and all types of attacks. When the political and electoral struggle against militarism and for democracy was blocked by repression and fraud, Schafik rose to the challenge of the circumstances that the moment demanded, playing a key role in the unification of the left and in the subsequent unfolding of the revolutionary armed struggle. Founder of the FMLN, he was a member of its General Command, carrying out strategic, political-military, and diplomatic tasks, inside and outside of the battle fronts, for the entire 12 years that the revolutionary war lasted.

He participated in various diologues in search of peace and directed the Negotiating Committee of the FMLN, which after two years of arduous work sponsored by the Secretary General of the UN, brought an end to the war in El Salvador, via the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992.

An untiring fighter for the political and institutional transformations delineated in the Peace Accords, Schafik dedicated all of his energy and political talents to making democracy, respect for human rights, social justice and the state of law a reality in El Salvador.

In the post-war period he served as the first General Coordinator of the FMLN, when it converted into a political party, being a fundamental piece in the construction and unfolding of the enormous political, electoral and social force that our party is today.

Serving as a legislator for three consecutive terms, he converted his seat in the Legislative Assembly into a real battle trench in favor of the poor, the persecuted and the marginalized of El Salvador, denouncing the injustices, corruption, abuses, imperialist wars and violations of the laws, the Constitution and International Law. His legislative office was always open to take in citizens from various social sectors and from every corner of the country who sought him out looking to get help, advice and protection.

An internationalist, he practiced solidarity with the people of the world that fight for freedom, development and respect for their sovereignty and national independence. He was always present accompanying the freedom struggles of the people of Cuba, Palestine, Venezuela, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bolivia, Vietnam, Iraq and others that suffer or have suffered imperialist aggression.

Schafik Hándal has been, is and will continue to be a national treasure, for giving himself to the struggle for democracy, justice and socialism. An example of moral strength, the truth was always his weapon. An incorruptible man, with unbreakable principles and at the same time, profoundly human.

The loss of Schafik leaves an enormous hole in El Salvador. The FMLN takes on the legacy of values, principles and the example that we inherit from Schafik. We uphold before the Salvadoran people and the people of the world our strong commitment to continue fighting, with energy and determination, for the ideals of compañero Schafik Jorge Hándal.

To his son and daughters, and his wife Tania and his whole family, we express our pain and solidarity.

------Political Commission of the FMLN---------
San Salvador, El Salvador, January 24, 2006


------
Translated by Brad Sigal
bradsigal@gmail.com

FRSO/Fight Back statement on Hándal

NOTE: Freedom Road Socialist Organization split into two groupings, one that adopted ML politics with a refusal to acknowledge revisionism in the Soviet Union, China or in the international communist movement, and another which has continued with the "crisis in socialism" and "left refoundation" line. The following statement is from the Midwest-centered ML grouping that prints the newspaper Fightback.
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Statement from Freedom Road Socialist Organization on the Death of Schafik Hándal

On the occasion of the death of comrade Schafik Hándal, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization offers our condolences to the leaders and members of the FMLN, and to the people of El Salvador for this profound loss of such an important historic figure. Schafik Hándal led a life of unwavering commitment to liberation of the people of El Salvador. His self-sacrifice in the service of the oppressed and exploited will inspire us all.

While he spent his entire life as a leader in the revolutionary movement in El Salvador, Schafik was also an internationalist, always supporting progressive movements around the world and opposing imperialism right up through his principled and strong opposition to El Salvador's participation in the U.S. war against the Iraqi people.

Schafik Hándal gave the whole of his life to the struggle. He joined the fight against military dictatorship as a student, joined the Communist Party, and went on to lead the Communist Party and the FMLN through the many twists and turns and many dark years of vicious repression and civil war that the revolutionary movement in El Salvador has faced. His example inspired many revolutionaries and progressives here in the United States.

Members of our organization have worked for many years in support of the revolutionary movement in El Salvador, and the example of Schafik Hándal's life and work inspires us to continue to support the revolutionary movement there. And his example of serving the people, with courage and determination serves as a call for those of us in the U.S. to fight monopoly capitalism and to struggle for a socialist future here.

The life of Schafik Hándal proves the paying:"There are those who struggle for a day, and they are good. But there are those who struggle for a lifetime, and they are indispensable."

Long live the spirit of Schafik Hándal!

http://www.frso.org/about/statements/2006/schafik.htm

the burningman

I guess this bait passed unflamed.

One of the things that becomes hard for me to figure is how to assess and relate to formations like the FMLN.

Here is an organization that is unquestionably the representative of (at least the best aspirations of) the Salvadoran people. They fought a hard civil war against imperial brutality often beyond reckoning.

Although various organized forces combined forces to launch the national liberation forces, a pro-Soviet orientation was real -- including all that meant...

I'm an opinionated motherfucker, it's true. But there are questions I haven't been able to suss out.

This is one.

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