Argentina: Footprints Along the Silence. Trotskyism Against the Triple A and the Dictatorship

By Martín Carcione

The Socialist Workers Party (PST) was one of the most important organizations of the Argentine left in the 1970s. In a decade marked by huge workers’ struggles as well as hard repressive blows, it had the ability to advance and retreat together with the working class and the mass movement, building a solid structure of cadres and militants.

Those of us who come from its tradition and vindicate its history, such as the MST, are publishing a new edition of Rastros en el silencio. El trotskismo frente a la Triple A y la dictadura (Footprints Along the Silence. Trotskyism Against the Triple A and the Dictatorship) through La Montaña socialist editions. It is a tribute to the comrades who built the PST, in many cases, lost their lives in that task.

The story told by its protagonists

Rastros has a characteristic that makes it unique, it is a book built on the basis of the story of those who were part of the construction of the PST, intervening in the main workers’ struggles of the period, faced with the repression of the fascist gangs organized under the protection of the Peronist government and then by the brutal genocidal dictatorship, developing in that process a dynamic party and an international current with an active participation in dozens of countries. The characteristics, the method and the politics of the PST come to life through the voice of some of the protagonists, who suffered imprisonment, exile or living underground.

Another feature to highlight is the plurality of these voices

The first edition of Rastros came to light in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the coup, 15 years later, after thousands of young people have joined the fight to transform everything, this new edition strengthens a key aspect of the construction of a revolutionary political tool, its anchorage in tradition, the common thread with the struggles that have allowed Trotskyism to become today undoubtedly the most dynamic current of the left in Argentina while other currents that were very strong in the 1970s, practically do not exist on the national political scene or some of its militants, who then spoke of a socialist motherland, today command the ranks of the government or the bourgeois opposition.

Without looking any further, as could be seen at the March 24 mobilization, it was largely due to the presence of Trotskyism that the Plaza de Mayo was filled on this 45th anniversary of the military coup, while those other sectors called for demobilization.

We are not exaggerating if we say that in the history of the PST, recounted in Rastros, we will find an important part of the explanation for this dissimilar development in the broad field of the left.

A tool to strengthen the construction of our party and our international

This new edition of Rastros adds new testimonies to those already collected in 2006, expands the registry of images, completes and delves into recovering all the murdered and disappeared comrades (a task that can always be improved) and presents us with interesting opinion articles from esteemed comrades on different aspects of the book and debates that are presented today around the analysis of those years.

These opinions, from different perspectives, take up the importance of recovering the tradition of struggle of the PST at the service of facing current political challenges and problems, such as the continuity of the struggle in defense of human rights, the profound transformation of society in a socialist sense and polemics within the left itself.

This, in addition to an important documentary contribution on the planning and execution of the repression during the Peronist government and during the dictatorship, declassified documents of the US State Department and a complete glossary, make up a book that is a useful tool for the struggle, for educating and, why not, for stoking the flames of the fight to storm the heavens. If we understand that even in the worst moments our party and our program lived and was strengthened, today that the world is crossed by rebellions and revolutions, there is nothing left but to continue fighting with fury until we triumph, as our comrade Nahuel Moreno said, because we can triumph, there is no god who has written that we cannot.