Luís Carlos Prestes 1925
Source: Manifesto da Coluna Prestes;
Translated: by Lucas Fernandes for marxists.org 2015.
Fellow citizens: Today, after fifteen months of bitter fighting – marked daily by all of the anguish which darkens the sad situation of a civil war – having arrived at the heart of Brazil and the banks of the portentous Tocantins, we have the happy opportunity to once again remind our homeland that the patriotic crusade initiated on the fifth of July in the glorious city of Sao Paulo and whose ranks were later added to by the brave sons of the South, has not yet died and will not die, or be overwhelmed by the bayonets of tyranny.
Despite this long peregrination full of sacrifice, we are still animated by the same unshakable faith of the early days of our journey based on the certainty that the majority of Brazilians share with us the ideals of the Revolution and yearn for Brazil to reinstate liberal principles which are inherent to our Constitution. Now, however, the majority of Brazilians are being trampled by a political syndicate without scruples which has seized the fate of the country in order to squander its fortune, bloody its territory and vilify the best of its traditions.
The people can rest assured that the revolutionary soldiers will not surrender until they have seen the death of despotism and intolerance which asphyxiates in delirious oppression the better wishes of the national consciousness!
We know well that the country suffers. So too do the people, with the inevitable procession of violence which accompanies war.
It is necessary however, no matter the cost, for Brazil to once again sustain control of its own fate – whether or not new martyrs must add their blood to the blood already sacrificed by those who have given their lives for the liberation of their homeland.
To retreat at this moment would forsake an ideal, for so many dear companions have made this great sacrifice. Indeed, after such an abjuration would there most certainly be a loss of life and liberty to absolute despotism. Despotism which has not once brought honor to Christianity or the tradition of generosity in our people.
No one wishes to see, however, a desire to wage war on intransigent whims or ambitions.
On the contrary: we want peace, and only for peace would we fight for more than fifteen months.
Furthermore, we want peace without opprobrium, rooted in justice – that is, in short, able to restore to the country a peace of mind which it so desperately needs.
We will surely repel the dark and tragic peace which masks the vilification of the slave’s quarters. Ultimately, if the finality of destiny must represent itself like the last swig of bitter gall to consume, we would prefer, without any hesitancy, the great anguish of being crushed.
Porto Nacional, 19th of October, 1925.
General Miguel Costa
Colonel Luís Carlos Prestes
Colonel Juarez Távora.