Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist Biography - Raised In Poverty, Learned Shoemaking And Politics, Joined The Workers' Movement, Survived His Execution

Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist - Interviewed By Roque Dalton

communist salvador traveled national

In 1966 Mármol traveled to Moscow for the Soviet Communist Party Congress. In May he attended the Czech Communist Party Congress in Prague, where he met the Salvadoran communist poet Roque Dalton. Dalton interviewed Mármol daily and nightly for several weeks. The result was a testimonio, Dalton's transcription of Mármol's dictation. This remarkable first-person account of Mármol's life is regarded as a classic of Latin American autobiographical literature. Mármol declined to speak of his most recent 12 years, out of fear of identifying comrades or providing his enemies with information. Although Mármol's writings, including poems and memoirs, have been lost, several of his letters and an interview are included in the English edition of Miguel Mármol.

Mármol was detained by the Salvadoran authorities in 1968 and in 1970 he was forced underground. Between 1974 and 1976 he traveled to the Soviet Union, returning to El Salvador as a lecturer at the National University. He tried to join the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which was fighting a guerilla war in El Salvador, but was told that, at age 76, he was too old. The CP ordered him into exile for his own safety. Mármol left for Cuba in 1980, just a step ahead of the National Guard.

During the 1980s Mármol traveled to Europe, Mexico, and Nicaragua. He also made his only trip to the United States in 1988. He spoke to university audiences and gatherings of activists, and promoted the English-language edition of Miguel Mármol.

Mármol returned to San Salvador in August of 1992, as the 12-year-long civil war ended. He signed the document that transformed the FMLN from a guerilla army into a legitimate political party. Living with his niece in the back of a tiny store, Mármol watched the fall of communist regimes around the world. He told the Seattle Times, "They aren't real revolutionaries anymore like we were. They're orthodox."


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