Natalio Pérez. Communist, Mexican in diaspora, occasional photographer and occasional graphic designer. My blog features mostly original content about radical politics and Latin America, with some personal stories and attempts at witty social commentary mixed in. Coming to you live from Oakland, CA.
This song is a constant reference point for me when I explain what I mean when I say that revolutionaries need to be politically agile and willing to learn how to “swim in stormy waters.”
In Memorandum Militar 1-79, Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy sings some helpful tips on tactics and strategy mean to be disseminated during the 1979 Nicaraguan insurrection which ultimately overthrew the Somoza dynasty. Since most of the population was illiterate at the time, the Sandinista Front had to find innovative ways to train people to defeat the substantially better-armed National Guard. The Mejia Godoy brothers were like “hey, why don’t we make some songs teaching people how to field strip rifles and shit?” They did, and it was a massive contribution to only the second successful revolution in Latin America, and one of the only revolutions in history to come to power largely via urban insurrection.
The lyrics are built into the video so that you can follow along!
Minimanual Of The Urban Guerrilla is a book written by Brazilian guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella in June 1969. It consists of advices on how to disrupt and overthrow an authoritarian regime aiming a revolution. The text has been banned in many countries, but remains in printing and bookshelves in several others, including the United States.