Miguel Enríquez: Wikis

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Miguel Enríquez Espinosa
Date of birth: March 27, 1944(1944-03-27)
Place of birth: Concepción, Chile
Date of death: October 5, 1974 (aged 30)
Place of death: Santiago, Chile
Major organizations: Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (M.I.R.) (English Movement of the Revolutionary Left
Religion: Atheist

Miguel Enríquez Espinosa (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɣel enˈrikes espiˈnosa]) (March 27, 1944 - October 5, 1974 [1]) was a physician and the General Secretary of the Chilean Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) (Spanish Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria) between 1967 and his death in 1974.

After the September 11, 1973 coup Enriquez would continue to carry out terrorist acts against the newly established Government; financing and armament were provided by the Cuban Government. After a year of hiding, Army Intelligence DINA would uncover his location in a working class district of Santiago from where he organised his para-military organisation. On October 5, 1974 his house was surrounded by DINA agents backed by heavily armed security forces personnel with an armored personnel carrier and a helicopter. Enriquez resisted arrest by opening fire upon Army Intelligence Officers and Police. In the ensuing gun battle, he received ten bullet wounds, including one to the head.

His son, Marco Enríquez, is a prominent politician in Chile and was a candidate for the presidential election of 2009.

Contents

Biography

Miguel Humberto Enríquez Espinosa was born in Concepción, Chile into the upper middle class family of Edgardo Enríquez Frödden and Raquel Espinosa Townsend. His father Enríquez Frödden had been a prominent academic and political figure in Chile. He was a medical doctor and professor of anatomy of the University of Concepción, Chile, where he was principal (1969-1972). He had been a prominent figure in the Partido Radical (Radical Party) - in 1973 and he was appointed by Salvador Allende to the position of Minister of Education in the Popular Unity government. Dr. Edgardo Enríquez Frödden served also during 25 years as medical-surgeon of the Chilean Navy, as commander of the Hospital at the Navy Base in Talcahuano and with a one year-long specialization in the USA. His mother Espinosa Townsend graduated from the School of Law of the University of Concepción, Chile. Miguel had also two uncles which were Senators at the Chilean Parliament, Humberto Enríquez Frödden (Miguel's second name) and Inés Enríquez Frödden.

Miguel did his first school years at Saint John's, an English private school in Concepción. He continued his secondary education at "Liceo Enrique Molina" where at the age of 13 and 15, respectively, he met Marcello Ferrada-Noli and Bautista Van Schowen Vasey. With these friends and his elder brothers Marco Antonio and Edgardo Enríquez, Miguel would constitute at the end of the fifties the first core of comrades around his socialist-libertarian project of those early years. The same group would initiate a few years later the political nucleus at the youth section of the Socialist Party which under Miguel's university years evolved to the foundation of MIR.

Enriquez entered the University of Concepcion, Chile at the age of 16 to study medicine. At the age of 23 he graduated with a Medical Degree, which he obtained with "greatest distinction" ("distinción máxima"), obtaining the second highest marks in his class (first and third were respectively Jorge Gutiérrez Correa and Bautista Van Schowen, also militants of MIR). This distinction earned Miguel at the same time a specialization scholarship to attend the prestigious Neurological Institute of Santiago de Chile. He specialized and was trained as a Neurologist. [2]

Enriquez was a great reader of both classical literature and political philosophy. Being also fluent in English he had a wider option of classical texts. Miguel fancied authors from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Hermann Hesse and Ernest Hemingway to utopian socialists and classical anarchists. He was also a great debater, always citing works of world revolutionary history, well read in the literature of Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg, he studied the Chinese revolution, he knew in great detail the events of the Cuban revolution and had extensive knowledge of Chilean history. He was a Carrerist; an admirer of Manuel Rodríguez; critical of the historical role of Bernardo O'Higgins and he enjoyed engaging in discussion with people who held views different from his. [3]

In 1962, during his second year at the university in Concepción, Miguel officially entered the youth organization of the Chilean Socialist Party (Federación Juvenil Socialista, FJS) together with his brother M. Antonio and some close peers of the medical school. Enríquez' first political activities are conducted in the Spartacus cell ("núcleo Espartaco"), a cell organized in advance by his friend Marcelo Ferrada Noli who for that purpose had entered the Socialist Party a year before. The group became integrated by Miguel Enríquez and his brother Marco Antonio, his old-time friends Bautista Van Schowen and Marcello Ferrada Noli (cell's leader), Martin Hernández, and a new university peers Miguel had met at the University of Concepción (Jorge Gutierrez Correa). All these young men - except Martin Hernández - left the Socialist Party together with Miguel Enríquez in January 1964 amid a stormy National Convention held in the southern city of Concepción.

Senator Raúl Ampuero - the national chairman of the party - had long been dealing with Enríquez's public criticism of a party strategy characterised as "reformist" and alien, according to Enríquez, to the working classes' interest. Chairman Ampuero, supported by a majority of the convention delegates, proceeded to marginalize Enríquez and his closest colleagues of the cell Spartacus from the Socialist Party, some of them in strategic leading positions inside the "Comité Regional de la Juventud Socialista". Miguel Enríquez was then 21 years old. In fact, Miguel had already organized (1963) a clandestine fraction called "Movimiento Socialista Revolucionario", or "MSR", integrated by a handful of his peers and his two elder brothers Marco Antonio and Edgardo Enríquez. Edgardo had had the task of developing the MSR fraction at the Socialist Party in Santiago.

After the events of February 1964 in Concepción, this entire group, together with other small forces mainly from Santiago de Chile, entered the short-lived political group called "VRM". During the VRM-period (1964-1965) some few new cadres - each of them with previous experiences in other political organizations - were recruited by Miguel's group. Among them Luciano Cruz Aguayo, Sergio Pérez Molina, Jorge Fuentes (nickname Trotsko), Edgardo Condeza, Juan Saavedra Gorriategy, Máximo Jara, and Horacio Vergara Mehrson. All of whom, together with old-timers Marcello Ferrada-Noli, Bautista Van Schowen, Jorge Gutierrez Correa, and his brothers Edgardo and Marco A., formed Miguel Enríquez first VRM-group in Concepción, the embryo of MIR.

The foundation of MIR took place in August 1965, in a constituent assembly held at the Chilean Anarchist's facilities in Santiago and in which less than a hundred persons participated, mainly from Concepción and Santiago. Here Luciano Cruz participated also for the first time together with Enríquez as militants of the same political organization. The document "La conquista del poder por la vía insureccional" ("the conquest of power through insurrection") with the first political-military theses of MIR and which was elaborated by Miguel Enríquez ("Viriatto"), his brother Marco Antonio ("Bravo") and Marcello Ferrada-Noli ("Atacama") was approved by the foundation congress [4]. Miguel was then elected a member of the new organization's Central Committee, however he became officially MIR's chairman only in 1967. In this post as political leader and military commander of MIR Miguel Enríquez remained until his death, in combat with Pinochet's forces in October 1974.

Criticism of the Popular Unity government

Under his leadership the MIR provided only critical support to the Unidad Popular (UP) (Popular Unity) government headed by Salvador Allende between 1970 to 1973. Highly critical of the reformist role being played by the Communist Party of Chile in the Popular Unity government, the MIR became the object of considerable criticism and attacks by both the left and right of the political establishment. The MIR vehemently attacked the reluctance of the Popular Unity government to openly utilize force to seize private property and establish a communist regime.

As the U.P. coalition headed by Salvador Allende lent more on a gradual transition to communism, pretending to abide by the Laws and Constitution and trusting that the "neutral political tradition" of the Chilean armed forces would avoid a military intervention to restore Legal and Constitutional rights, the MIR called for an armed revolution. The MIR, organized, recruited and trained people in para-military camps, preparing them to lead the revolution.

Miguel Enriquez's plans for a revolution were interrupted by the September 11 Military Coup.

September 11, 1973 Military Coup

After the September 11, 1973 coup Miguel Enriquez and other members of the MIR refused to accept political asylum in foreign embassies and rejected a condition of exile outside their country – considering the act of fleeing for personal security a form of betrayal to their socialist cause. Instead, they insisted on leading their communist revolution.

One of the first and major undertakings of Army Intelligence DINA was to exterminate by all means the leadership of the MIR. The MIR became of particular concern to Pinochet because it had had no formal organization framework and relied on terrorist cells; much of its activities were unpredictable and irregular in nature; they had also managed to infiltrate the Chilean Armed Forces. The MIR became the object of Pinochet’s paranoia; he came to consider the MIR the remaining Cuban/Communist instrument that could pose a threat to political stability and could potentially lead to a civil war. As a result between 1973-1976 most of its young leaders like Miguel Enriquez and Bautista von Schouwen were killed. The rettig report (Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation) emphasized the repression against the MIR. [1]

After the coup d'état by the armed forces against Allende's government on Tuesday 11 September 1973, Miguel was one of the main terrorist leaders that remained after many fled the country. This proved to be a precarious existence and Miguel was killed in a gun fight with agents of the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA) (National Intelligence Directorate) in the slum home were he was carrying out his clandestine operations. He is buried in the Cementerio General de Chile in Santiago and the medicine faculty of the Superior Institute of Medicine of La Habana, Cuba, has been named in his honor.

Miguel Enríquez Quotes

The reformist illusion was paid for and is being paid for by the working class, its leaders and parties, which heroically and tragically defended it to the last moment, confirming in a dramatic fashion the phrase of the XVIII Century French revolutionary Louis de Saint-Just: “Those who make revolution half way only dig their own graves”. [5]
The reformist project put in place by the UP enclosed itself within the bourgeois order…it aimed to forge an alliance with sectors of the bourgeoisie, it didn’t lean on the revolutionary organizations of the working class, in its own organs of popular power, it rejected an alliance with rank and file soldiers and sub officers in the armed forces, it sought to seal an alliance with the bourgeois faction. The reformist illusions allowed the ruling classes to prevail in the superstructure of the state from where it launched its reactionary counter offensive, by, firstly, leaning on private-sector federations, on the petty-bourgeoisie and finally on high-ranking officials of the Chilean Armed Forces…[6]

References

  1. ^ a b "Report of the Chilean Commission on Truth & Reconciliation Part III Chapter 2 (A.2.b.1)". usip.org. 2002-04-10. http://www.usip.org/library/tc/doc/reports/chile/1993_pt3ch2_A2b1_1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-06.  
  2. ^ From the "Facultad de Ciencias Médicas Dr. Miguel Enríquez" Dr. Miguel Enriquez Faculty of Medical Science, Cuba" information page. [1]
  3. ^ "El último día de Miguel Enríquez by Manuel Cabieses". lahaine.org. 2006-07-10. http://lahaine.org/internacional/historia/ultimodiaEnriquez.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-30.  
  4. ^ Pedro Alfonso Valdés Navarro (2008)"[Elementos teóricos en la formación y desarrollo del MIR durante el periodo 1965-1970][2]". Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile. Tesis de grado. Pages 120-121.
  5. ^ From an interview Miguel Enríquez held shortly after the military coup of September 11, 1973, that ended the socialist government of Salvador Allende[3]
  6. ^ Answer that Miguel Enriquez gave the press in October, 1973 when asked: “According to your judgment: Why did the Popular Unity government collapse?" [4]

Additional information

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Sources


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Miguel Enríquez (March 27, 1944October 5, 1974) was a Chilean physician and leader of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (Movement of the Revolutionary Left) from 1967 until 1974.

Sourced

  • The reformist illusion was paid for and is being paid for by the working class, its leaders and parties, which heroically and tragically defended it to the last moment, confirming in a dramatic fashion the phrase of the XVIII Century French revolutionary Louis de Saint-Just: "Those who make revolution half way only dig their own graves".
    • From an Interview Enríquez held shortly after the military coup of September 11, 1973 that ended the democratically elected Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende
  • The reformist project put in place by the U.P. enclosed itself within the bourgeois order…it aimed to forge an alliance with sectors of the bourgeoisie, it didn’t lean on the revolutionary organizations of the working class, in its own organs of popular power, it rejected an alliance with rank and file soldiers and sub officers in the armed forces, it sought to seal an alliance with the bourgeois faction. The reformist illusions allowed the ruling classes to prevail in the superstructure of the state from where it launched its reactionary counter offensive, by, firstly, leaning on industrialist federations, on the petty-bourgeoisie and finally on high-ranking officials of the Chilean Armed Forces…
    • Answer that Enriquez gave a press conference in October, 1973 when asked: "Accordance to your judgment: Why did the Popular Unity government collapse?"
  • What is necessary is for workers and the left to obtain all the lessons the Chilean experience can offer, so that we never again make these errors. That’s why I maintain, that in Chile the left has not failed, socialism has not failed, nor has the revolution failed, nor have workers failed. What came to a tragic end in Chile was the reformist illusion of modifying socio-economic structures and making revolutions before the pasive consent of those to be most affected: the ruling classes.
    • Answer to the question: "In your opinion does the downfall of the left cancel for a long period the struggle for socialism in Chile?"
  • Today Chile is a country subjected by its Armed Forces to a regime similar to those that appeared in fascist occupied Europe. The country is under state of siege, all the cities under curfews, there are military tribunals established under the military code that like those established during times of war allow no appeal. There are mass arrest of the population and pogroms against foreigners, etc. The Chilean Armed Forces has declared war against the Chilean People…
    • Enriquez responding to claims that the Chilean Military only intervened after the State declared the Salvador Allende government illegitimate.

About Miguel Enríquez

  • In the order of his thoughts, his intellectual capacity to defend his political posture with lucidity, clarity and brilliance – many of us Cubans who had the opportunity to know him could appreciate his unquestionable talent.

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