Kevin A. Young, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “How Salvadoran Guerrillas Adapted the ‘People’s War’ Strategy”

El Salvador’s guerrillas learned from a broad array of other revolutionary movements. This chapter examines global influences on the largest guerrilla faction, the Fuerzas Populares de Liberación Farabundo Martí (FPL). Chinese and Vietnamese conceptions of “Prolonged Popular War” were especially important in shaping the FPL’s approach to revolution. China and Vietnam informed the group’s emphasis on mass-based political work and on the worker-peasant coalition as the central axis of a revolutionary movement. The FPL adapted these lessons selectively and creatively. Its success depended on its ability to apply global ideologies and strategies in dialogue with El Salvador’s peasants, workers, and students.

Keywords: China; El Salvador: Fuerzas Populares de Liberación Farabundo Martí: guerrillas; peasants; Prolonged Popular War; revolution; Vietnam; worker-peasant coalition