Roque Dalton was a Salvadorian revolutionary poet and martyr. We are posting this poem, as relevant as ever, because of the way “ultra-leftist” is used as a slur thrown about by revisionists. Revisionists like the ones who killed comrade Roque for holding the correct revolutionary line.
who didn’t understand the cross and more advanced culture
and didn’t want to bow down before the Crown of Spain
and rose up in the mountains
with weapons in their hands
against the conquistador.
Those who nourished the flame
of native rebellion for 300 colonial years
and died hunted in the mountains or by the vile
garrot or on the gallows
and refused to peaceably co-exist with the feudal lord
in the bosom of estates and land allotments.
Pedro Pablo Castillo and the communards of 1814
who expropriated guns from the San Salvador military
and aimed them at the oppressors of the people.
On the other hand
Matias Delgado and the illustrious landowners of 1821
were not ultraleftists because they won independence by peaceful means
although Independence was most of all for themselves
and the poor Central Americans remained down below
exploited, humiliated, starved, deceived, and dependent
Anastasio Aquino was
because with huiscoyol lances and cannons of wood
he incited the Nonualcos against the central government
he didn’t seize power because he didn’t know he’d won the war
after having invented the ambush
and legislated like a Marxist on this side of the Lempa River
and expropriated everything from the San Vicente rich
who’d hidden their gold under the petticoats of Saint Joseph.
Don Chico Morazan also was
and at the Central American level at that.
almost didn’t make it
had it not occurred to him to lead the troops
and fire lead at Walker’s gringo filibusterers
From that point there was a long period
when Salvadoran revolutionaries quit being ultraleftists
and became as decent as the bourgeoisie
before bourgeois conservatism’s pressures
along with bourgeois liberalism and the bourgeois constitution
and bourgeois expropriation of the common land
the enthronement of the bourgeois God Coffee
more omnipotent with respect to the Republic
than its symbol of wood and curls
called nothing less than Savior of the World.
Everything went along very well
until that ultraleftist Farabundo Marti appeared
leading an ultraleftist Salvadoran Communist Party
which had a bunch of militant ultraleftists,
including Feliciano Ama Timoteo Lue Chico Sanchez
Vicente Tadeo Alfonso Zapata and Mario Luna, among others.
They weren’t able to be ultraleftists to the end
because they didn’t have the wherewithal
and 30,000 of them were assassinated.
In 1944 there was another epidemic of ultraleftism
when even the military was infected and rose up on April 2nd
against the tyrant Martinez
with the ultraleftist assent of all the people.
A national ultraleftist strike
ended with the assassin regime
dedicated to gunning down
the April 2nd ultraleftists.
One of them was so ultraleftist and uncompromising
that even with one eye gone and crushed bones and testicles
he told the priest who came to hear his confession
that his spirit hadn’t failed him, merely his body,
Victor Manuel Marin was his name.
Poem by Roque Dalton