Who is who in “Nuevo Curso”?

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The proletariat will only be able to free humanity from the increasingly suffocating chains of world capitalism if its struggle is inspired and fertilised by the critical historical continuity of its communist organisations, that thread that runs from the Communist League in 1848 to the current organisations that identify with the tradition of the communist left. Deprived of this compass, the workers’ reaction against the barbarity and misery imposed by capitalism will be condemned to blind, desperate actions, which may lead to a definitive chain of defeats.

The Nuevo Curso blog tries to pass off the work of Munis as part of the "Communist Left", but Munis never really managed to break with the erroneous approach and orientations of the Left Opposition that would degenerate into Trotskyism, a current that since the 1940s has clearly positioned itself behind the defense of capitalism, together with its big brothers, Stalinism and social democracy.

We responded to this claim with the article “Nuevo Curso and the ’Spanish Communist Left’: what are the origins of the Communist Left?”[1]

“Thus the future world party, if it is to make a real contribution to the communist revolution, can’t take up the heritage of the Left Opposition. It will have to base its programme and its methods of action on the experience of the communist left. There are disagreements among the existing groups who have come out of this tradition, and it is their responsibility to continue confronting these political disagreements so that the new generations can better understand their origins and significance…there exists a common heritage of the communist left which distinguishes it from other left currents which came out of the Communist International. Because of this, anyone who claims to belong to the communist left has the responsibility to know and to make known the history of this component of the workers’ movement, its origins in reaction to the degeneration of the parties of the Communist International, and the different branches which compose it (the Italian left, the German-Dutch left etc). It is above all important to draw out very precisely the historic contours of the communist left and the differences which separate it from other left currents of the past, notably the Trotskyist current”.

This article, written in August 2019, has been totally ignored by Nuevo Curso. The sound of its silence has resounded loudly in the ears of all of us who defend the heritage and critical continuity of the communist left. This is even more shocking when Nuevo Curso publishes a new article every day which deals with every imaginable subject from Netflix, to the Spanish King's Christmas message and the origin of the Christmas festival. However, it has not thought it necessary to devote anything to something as vital as developing arguments to justify its claim to pass off as part of the communist left the more or less critical link between Munis and the Left Opposition that gave rise to Trotskyism.

Our article concluded by saying: “Perhaps we are looking at a sentimental cult of a former proletarian combatant. If that is the case, we must say that it is an enterprise destined to create more confusion because its theses, turned into dogmas, will only distil the worst of his errors… Another possible explanation is that the authentic Communist Left is being attacked with a spam ‘doctrine’ built overnight using the materials of that great revolutionary. If such is the case, it is the obligation of revolutionaries to fight such an imposture with the maximum energy”.

The worst thing about the defeat of the 1917-23 world revolutionary wave is that the gigantic distortion perpetrated by Stalinism was passed off as "communism", "Marxism" and "proletarian principles". Today's revolutionary organisations cannot allow all the heritage that was painfully developed over almost a century by the communist left to be replaced by a spam doctrine based on the confusion and opportunist gangrene that was the Left Opposition. This would be a brutal blow to the perspective of world proletarian revolution.

The origins of Nuevo Curso

In September 2017 we discovered the blog called Nuevo Curso[2], which initially presented itself as being interested in the positions of the communist left and open to debate. That’s at least what NC said in its response to the first letter that the ICC sent them. Here is their reply:

“We don’t see ourselves as a political group, a proto-party or something like that…On the contrary, we see our work as something ‘formative’, in order to aid discussion in the workplaces, among the young, etc, and once we have clarified certain basic elements, serving as a bridge between the new people discovering marxism and the internationalist organisations (essentially the ICT and you, the ICC) who, as we see it, have to be the natural solidifying forces of the future party even though they are very weak today (as, of course, is the entire working class)” [3]

This approach disappeared a few months later, without a detailed and convincing explanation, when NC declared itself to be the continuation of a so-called Spanish Communist Left, the origins of this being Munis and his group, the FOR[4]. We have already pointed out that this claimed ancestry was nothing but a confusion between the communist left and Trotskyism, and that from the standpoint of the continuity of political principles, the positions of NC were not in continuity with those of the communist left, but with Trotskyism or, at best, with attempts to break with Trotskyism[5]. There is thus no programmatic continuity between NC and the communist left.

But what about organic continuity? This is what they originally said about themselves:

Under the blog and the ‘School of Marxism’, we are a small group of five people which has worked and lived together for 15 years in a work cooperative which functions as a community of possessions. This is our way of resisting precarity and earning a living. And also of maintaining a way of life where we can discuss, learn and be useful to our families and friends in a difficult period” (ibid)

And as they also recognised, their main activity was far from being marxist criticism; in general, in the absence of something more concrete, it consisted of devoting their efforts “to making organised work possible in a productive manner (a new cooperative or communitarian movement which would highlight the technological possibility of a de-commodified society, i.e. a communist society[6] (ibid).

On the other hand, in addition to this central nucleus, and apparently coming from different dynamics of reflection and discussion, various groups of young people converged towards this group in several towns[7].

What is surprising is how with such elements, NC’s website presented itself from the beginning by referring to the positions of the communist left. The role of one of the elements who contributed to this is explained in this letter

one of us (ie of the cooperativist nucleus, editor’s note), Gaizka[8], who was one of your contacts in the 1990s, and who, as he said of himself, had learned a lot about marxism from you. The fact that we counted on him and on the library he brought with him was an important part of our process” (ibid).

In fact, this “cooperativist member” appeared at our public meeting in December 2017 on the centenary of the Russian revolution and was someone we already knew, the above-mentioned Gaizka, who in the 90s had taken part in a programmatic discussion with the ICC. At the end of the meeting he told us that he was in contact with a group of young people, to whom he was “giving a marxist formation”, encouraging us to make contact.

Our response to his proposal to make contact was that he should first clarify certain political behaviours which he had not managed to explain in the 90s, and which involved careerist attitudes and a close and long maintained relationship with the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE)[9] at the same time as laying claim to the positions of the communist left[10].

He didn’t reply to this in December 2017, nor, after that, to the four letters we sent to him in similar terms; that’s why, according to the proletarian tradition of trying to clarify these kinds of “obscure” episodes in political life, we are still asking for explanations. In the absence of these explanations, the monitoring of his political activity[11] since we met him shows that links with the PSOE have been maintained.

The uneven path of Gaizka

1992-94: contact with the ICC, and sudden disappearance

In 1992, Gaizka made contact with the ICC, presenting himself as a member of a group called “The Spartacist Union”, which claimed to defend the positions of the German communist left (positions which no longer seem to his taste). In reality, this was essentially him and his partner[12] ; and at this point their acquaintance with the programmatic positions and traditions of the communist left was more an aspiration than a reality.

From the beginning, he was interested in joining our organisation very quickly and felt ill at ease when discussions had to be prolonged to make the necessary clarifications, or when certain of his behaviours were questioned – in particular concerning another element who had joined a discussion circle in Madrid, in which Battaglia Comunista also occasionally participated.

The discussion on his political history also posed problems. Although he told us that he had been in contact with the Socialist Youth (of the PSOE), he showed a sort of fascination with the experience of the kibbutz[13], and made comments which seemed to link him to Borrell[14] and the pro-Israel Socialist lobby[15]. What’s more, Gaizka never clarified his organisational relationship with the PSOE or his break with it.[16]

In 1994, in the ICC, there were debates going on about the problem of the weight of the circle spirit in the workers’ movement since 1968 and on affinity-based relations under the cover of “communitarian” projects for living. During discussions on our principles of organisation, we presented Gaizka with our positions on all this. And it is perhaps for this reason that, when we asked him directly for explanations about the aspects of his trajectory which seemed unclear[17], first of all he didn’t seem at all surprised, despite the fact that we introduced this meeting as a confrontation that was being recorded (we had never recorded a discussion with him before that). And second, he did not give us any explanation at all and disappeared from the milieu of the communist left. Until now!

Links with the PSOE kept up…

What posed questions about Gaizka’s political trajectory was not the fact that, at a certain moment, he had been a sympathiser or militant of the Socialist Youth and that he had not said this clearly; what merited an explanation was the fact that, despite his claims of being convinced by the positions of the communist left, his life history left many traces which revealed a political relationship with people who were or had been high-ranking functionaries in the PSOE.

In 1998-9, he participated as an “adviser”, without ever making precise what this meant, in Borrell’s campaign in the PSOE primaries, as can be seen from some of his accounts on the internet. One of our militants saw him on television in the candidate’s office[18]. Gaizka tried to minimise the question by saying that he was only there as an “office boy” in the campaign, someone that Borrell hadn’t even noticed. But the truth is that certain PSOE leaders, like Miquel Iceta[19] for example, said publicly that they had met Gaizka during this campaign. And it doesn’t seem very logical that the high-ups in the PSOE should go to Borrell to ask him to introduce them to his office boy.

Furthermore, during these same years, Gaizka also participated in a “humanitarian mission” organised by the European Council of Humanitarian Action and Cooperation in Kosovo[20] alongside David Balsa, now president of the Euro-Central American Conference, and formerly president of the European Council of Humanitarian Action and Cooperation. He is a former leader of the Socialist Youth and a former member of the Executive of the Socialist Party in Galicia. In a letter to the Italian Radical Party, Gaizka said that he was “the lad who went to Albania in my place”.

Apart from what this suggests regarding suspicions of a closer relationship between Gaizka and the PSOE than he admitted, this implies an active participation in an imperialist war under the cover of “humanitarian action” and the “rights of man”[21].

In 2003, he was also an adviser in the campaign for the PSOE’s Belloch[22] for the mayor of Zaragoza, and this time he admits: “I was very involved in the campaign of the mayor, Juan Alberto Belloch, to redefine the city as an urban space, as an economic landscape, where there could be a development of types of enterprises linked to real communities, very transnational and hyper-connected”.

In 2004, after the terrorist attacks of 11 March and the national electoral victory of the PSOE, Rafael Estrella wrote a prologue for a book by Gaizka, full of praise for his qualities. This gentleman was a member of the PSOE, a spokesman for the Commission for Foreign Affairs in the Congress of Deputies, and president of the parliamentary assembly of NATO[23]. The book underlined the incapacity of the right-wing Popular Party to understand the Atocha attacks, but there is not one word of criticism of the PSOE. Felipe Gonzalez quoted from it on occasions.

This same PSOE deputy later became Spain’s ambassador in Argentina in 2007 (until 2012) and invited Gaizka to present his book at the embassy, putting him in contact with the political and economic milieu in this country.

Another “patron” who played an important role in Gaizka’s South American adventure was Quico Maňero, of whom he says in a dedication to another of his books: “To Federico Maňero, friend, connector of worlds and so many times a master, who for years has pushed us to ‘live in the dance’ of continents and conversations, received us and took care of us everywhere we went. Without him, we would never have been able to live as neo-Venetians”.

This is what the Izquierda Socialista (a left current in the PSOE) says about this gentleman:

“the branch of REPSOL[24] in (or owned by) Argentina is the affair of Señor Quico Maňero, the former husband of Elena Valenciano[25], a historic leader of the PSOE (general secretary of the Socialist Youth), adviser to enterprises close to Felipe Gonzalez, named in 2005 as a member of the Argentine Administrative Council of REPSOL-YPF. He is currently the object of an inquiry into the Invercaria scandal and the Andalusian funds of the ‘reptiles’ (a financial scandal) from which he received 1.1 million euros[26].

During the same period, in 2005, Gaizka worked for the Jaime Vera Foundation of the PSOE, which traditionally is an institution for forming the party’s political cadres, and it seems that in 2005, this body began an international programme for the formation of cadres with the aim of gaining an influence beyond Spain’s borders. In this context, Gaizka participated in the formation of the “K-Cyberactivists” in Argentina, who supported the campaign of Cristina Kirchner in 2007, when she became the president.

“The idea was born two years ago of a political agreement with the government. It was in 2005, among twenty young people selected by the Casa Rosada (the seat of the Argentine president) to be formed by the Jaime Vera Foundation, the government school of the PSOE leaders, the Spanish Socialist Party. They included the creators of the K-Cyberactivists: the militant Sebastian Lorenzo (www.sebalorenzo.co.ar) and Javier Noguera (nogueradeucuman.blogspot.com), a government secretary of José Alperovich, the governor of TucumánWe were stupefied when he spoke to us about blogs and social networks, declared Noguera to La Nación. This was the least of it: the Spanish ‘professor’ was the worldwide reference for cyberactivism…the same one who, a month ago, accompanied by Rafael Estrella, presented his new book in Buenos Aires[27]

During the years after 2010, and especially after the electoral defeat of the PSOE, there is less proof of involvement with this party.

…And sometimes with right wing liberalism

In fact, before the PSOE’s victory in 2004, Gaizka tried to draw the covers of the PP over himself, and collaborated with the PP Youth, in setting up Los Liberales.org, which according to this organisation would serve “to create a repertoire would bring a bit of order to online Spanish liberalism. This weekend we set ourselves to work and, after several hours in front of the computer, we mapped out what existed on the internet, the product of different liberal and libertarian families (not to be confused with the anarchists) which are sometimes at odds with each other. This is how Los Liberales.org was born, a non-partisan project for liberals and those who are interested in this kind of thought”[28].

This household included people like Jiménez Losantos[29] and his paper Libertad digital, for whom Gaizka wrote several articles, or the Christian liberal conservatives, about whom the others were not sure whether they should be seen as liberals or as part of the extreme right.

As the journalist Ignacio Esolar[30] wrote in the book la Blogoesfera hispana, this club “didn’t last long. Ideological disagreements between the founders put an end to the project”

What is someone like Gaizka doing in a place like the communist left?[31]

An examination of Gaizka’s political Curriculum Vitae clearly shows his close relationship with the PSOE. Since it definitively abandoned the proletarian camp at its extraordinary congress in April 1921[32], the PSOE has a long history in the service of the capitalist state: under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-30) its union the UGT acted as a police informer, snitching on many CNT militants; and Largo Caballero, who acted as a bridge between the PSOE and the UGT, served as an adviser to the dictator. In 1930, the PSOE quickly changed its tune and put itself at the head of the forces which, in 1931, established the Second Republic, where it headed a government in collaboration with the Republicans from 1931 to 1933. It should be noted that during these two years, 1500 workers were killed in the repression of strikes and uprisings. Later on, the PSOE was at the heart of the Popular Front government which led the war effort and the process of militarisation, giving carte blanche to the Stalinist thugs to repress the workers’ uprising in Barcelona in May 1937. With the re-establishment of democracy in 1975, the PSOE was the backbone of the state, becoming the party that would serve longest at the head of government (1982-1996, 2004-2011, and since 2018). The most brutal measures against the conditions of the working class were imposed by PSOE governments, notably the reconversion plans of the 80s which involved the loss of a million jobs, or the programme of social cuts launched by the Zapatero government and which Rajoy’s PP government would continue.

It's with this bastion of the bourgeois state that Gaizka has been collaborating; we are not talking about “rank and file elements”, more or less duped, but with those high up in the party, no more or less than with Borrell who has been named responsible for the foreign policy of the European Commission, and with Belloch who was a minister of the interior, with Estrella who was president of the parliamentary assembly of NATO.

In Gaizka’s CV, you don’t find the slightest trace of firm conviction in the positions of the communist left; to be clear, it’s not as if he has any political convictions at all, since he has not hesitated to flirt at one point with the right-wing camp. The “marxism” of Gaizka is rather a form of “Groucho-marxism”: remember the celebrated comedian Groucho Marx when he quipped: “here are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others in my pocket”.

This is why the question is: what is that has made Gaizka create Nuevo Curso as a “historic” link with the so-called “Spanish Communist Left”? What does this gentleman have to do with its positions, with the historic struggle of the working class?

And in continuity with that, what is a parasitic group like the “International Group of the Communist Left” doing in all this? Certain members of the IGCL were members of the central organ of the ICC in 1992-94 and were au fait with the behaviour of Gaizka at the time, just as they are today since he is the main animator of Nuevo Curso. But they are turning a blind eye to this, keeping quiet and trying to hide his trajectory and declaring that this group is the future of the communist left and things like that.

“Nuevo Curso is a blog of comrades who have begun publishing regularly on the situation and on wider questions, including theoretical issues. Unfortunately, their blog is only in Spanish. The ensemble of positions they defend are class positions which are part of the programmatic framework of the communist left…We are very impressed not only by their affirmation of class positions with no concessions, but also by the ‘marxist quality’ of the comrades’ texts….”[33]

Thus the constitution of Emancipacion as a fully-fledged political group expresses the fact that the international proletariat, although subjugated and very far from being able to push back the various attacks of capital, is tending to resist through struggle and to break out of the ideological grip of capital, and that its revolutionary future remains intact. It expresses the (relative) ‘vitality’ of the proletariat[34].

In the tradition of the workers’ movement, whose historical continuity is represented today by the communist left, principles of organisation, of functioning, of comportment and the honesty of militants are just as important as programmatic principles. Some of the most important congresses in the history of the workers’ movement, like the Hague Congress of 1872, were dedicated to this struggle for the defence of proletarian behaviour (and this despite the fact that the congress took place a year after the Paris Commune and was faced with the necessity to draw out its lessons)[35]. Marx himself dedicated a whole book, which took him more than a year, interrupting his work on Capital, to the defence of proletarian behaviour against the intrigues of Herr Vogt, a Bonapartist agent who organised a campaign of slander against Marx and his comrades. We have recently published an article on the denunciation by Bebel and Liebknecht of the dishonest behaviour of Lassalle and Schweitzer[36]. And in the 20th century, Lenin devoted a book – One Step Forward Two Steps Back – to drawing the lessons of the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party regarding the weight of behaviour alien to the proletariat. We can also cite Trotsky who called upon a jury of honour to defend his integrity against Stalin’s slanders.

The fact that someone who has close links with the high up leaders of the PSOE should suddenly arrive in the camp of the communist left should alert all groups and militants struggling for the historic interests of our class, including those involved in the Nuevo Curso blog who are doing so in good faith, believing that they are fighting for the principles of the communist left.

In 1994, we asked Gaizka to clarify his trajectory and his already dubious associations at the time. He disappeared from the scene. In 2018, after he came back bearing a whole rucksack of contacts in the upper spheres of the PSOE, we again asked him and he stayed silent. For the defence of the communist left, its integrity and its future contribution, we must ask him to account for all this.

ICC  20.1.20


[2] Since June 2019, Nuevo Curso has in fact formed itself into a political group under the name Emancipación, despite the fact that that its blog still operates under the name Nuevo Curso. This evolution does not at all affect the content of this article.

[6] Who can understand this? For our part, we will not try to understand what precisely this kind of activity represents. It’s enough to say for now that despite sticking a “communist” label on it, it’s something which has nothing to do with a real communist or revolutionary activity, as the letter itself recognises, when it says that in order to move towards marxism you have to begin with a critique of this kind of activity.

[7]But for a year and a half or two years, we have begun to notice a change around us. We can talk in a different way and dozens of young people have appeared with a spirit which pleases us very much but who have been falling into the most classic forms of Stalinism or Trotskyism” (from the letter cited by NC, op cit).

[8] In the letter, his real name is used; here we will use the name under which we have known him since the 1990s.

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Socialist_Workers%27_Party

[10] However, we have had no problem – on the contrary – about meeting the groups of young people, and this is what we did with one of them in November 2018.

[11]Under his real name and surname, Gaizka is a public figure on the web, and this allows us to follow his presence and participation in different political initiatives. However we cannot provide all the documentation here without revealing his identity

[12] At the beginning there were other people who left the group

[13] This fascination remains in the most recent discourse of Gaizka, but it is disguised as a defence of the communitarian experience of the kibbutz, in particular in its initial phase at the beginning of the 20th century, without any reference to the political role it has played in the imperialist interests of the state of Israel: “The ‘Indianos’ (ie Gaizka’s commune, editor’s note) are communities similar to the kibbutz (there are no individual savings, the cooperatives themselves are under collective and democratic control etc), but there are important distinctions, such as the absence of a shared national or religious ideology; and they are distributed in several cities rather than being concentrated in a few installations, and an understanding of the fact that certain criteria go beyond economic rationality” (extract from an interview with Gaizka).

[14] An aeronautical engineer and economist, Borrell entered into politics in the 1970s as a militant of the PSOE during the Spanish transition to democracy, and occupied several responsible posts in the government of Felipe Gonzales, first in Economy and Finances as a general secretary for the budget and public expenses (1982-84) and secretary of state for Finances (1984-1991); then in the Council of Ministers with a portfolio for Industry and Transport. In opposition after the general election of 1996, Borrell became in 1998 the PSOE’s designated prime ministerial candidate, but he resigned in 1999. Since then, focused on European politics, he became a member of the European parliament in the period 2004-2009 and became president of the chamber during the first half of the legislature. After retiring from the political front line, he returned to the Council of Ministers in June 2018, with his nomination to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the government led by Pedro Sanchez (Wikipedia) Recently he has been the European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.

[15] In 1969 Borrell was in a kibbutz and his first wife and mother of his two children is of Jewish origin. He is known to be a defender of pro-Israeli interests within the Socialist Party

[16] This is not the only relationship which remains unclear. We have now learned that during the same period he wanted to discuss joining the ICC, he took part in and was the main animator in Spain of the tendency called cyberpunk, and a promoter of cyber activism

[17] Among these issues was the desire for a “communitarian” way of life, which explains his fascination for the kibbutz, and which was present in the Spartacist Union, where there was an attempt to live in common, was one example

[18] In the 1980s an element called “Chenier” was discovered and denounced in our press as an adventurer. Not long afterwards, we saw him working under the orders of the French Socialist Party. This put us on the alert for a possible relation between Gaizka and the PSOE that was much closer than he ever admitted.

[19] General Secretary of the PSC, the Socialist Party of Catalonia; militant of the Socialist Youth and the PSOE since 1978; in 1998-99 Barcelona deputy to the Congress of Deputies.

[20] Since the institution is not very well known, see here a reference to its foundation from the newspaper UH in Mallorca, based on a news item from the Efe agency: https://www.ultimahora.es/noticias/sociedad/1999/03/01/972195/espanol-pr...

[21] It was precisely the war in ex-Yugoslavia (the first bombardments and massacres in Europe since the Second World War) which was waged under the banner of “humanitarianism”; and the NATO air strikes were presented as “helping the population” against the para-militaries. Our position on the 1999 imperialist conflict in Kosovo can be found on our website: https://en.internationalism.org/content/4007/editorial-peace-kosovo-moment-imperialist-war

[22] Juan Alberto Belloch was the minister of Justice and the Interior with Felipe González (1993-96) before taking on the position of mayor of Zaragoza.

[23] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_Parliamentary_Assembly

[24]: REPSOL is the leading Spanish company in the extraction, refining and marketing of oil and its derivatives. It has an important international presence, especially in South America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repsol

[25]  A leader of the PSOE and number two to Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the deceased Minister of the Interior and the authentic “Richelieu” of Socialist governments, who forced the air traffic controllers back to work at the point of a machine gun.

[27] From the journal La Nación, Argentina.

[28] This blog no longer exists so we can’t supply a link, but we do possess relevant screenshots

[29] A journalist who was formerly a militant of the Maoist Bandera Roja group and of the Stalinist party in Catalonia (PSUC), who today supports Vox and the extreme right wing of the PP. He has written for ABC and El Mundo and spoken on Radio COPE. Today he is the animator of the internet journal Libertad and es.radio.

[30] Founder of the journal Público which he then abandoned to promote Dairio.es as its main leader. He is a diarist on the talk-show of the TV chain La Sexta.

[31] “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”. An expression taken from a song by the Madrid group Burning which had a lot of success in the 80s, to the point where a film directed by Fernando Colomo and starring Carmen Maura was based on it.

[32] In this congress there was a split by the last proletarian tendencies still putting up a fight in the PSOE, although it must be recognised that they were very confused (centrist). The theme of this congress was whether or not to join the Third International, which was rejected by 8269 mandates against 5016. The partisans of joining the Comintern left the congress to found the Spanish Communist Workers’ Party.

[33] Revolution or War, no. 9 (IGCL: “New communist voices: Nuevo Curso (Spain) and Workers’ Offensive (United States)”


Defence of the proletarian milieu