Wladimir Pomar (1936-2023)

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By VALTER POMAR*

Pomar's heritage, a heritage worthy of the best revolutionaries, is not the heritage of the family or any group.

1.

Wladimir Pomar would have turned 87 on July 14, 2023. There were plans to celebrate the occasion, calling friends, comrades and the “big family”: 4 great-grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, 7 grandchildren and 4 granddaughters, 3 children and his wife Rachel.

Complications resulting from dysplasia prevented this and made him have a terribly painful end of life, totally different from what he sometimes said he wanted to have and particularly unfair to such a kind fellow, to quote a term from Spinoza, not the philosopher, but that very tall militant, so often seen alongside Lula, especially since the 1989 presidential campaign, which Wladimir helped to coordinate.

Wladimir Ventura Torres Pomar was born in Belém do Pará, in 1936, the son of Catarina Torres and Pedro Pomar, a communist militant at the time persecuted by the Vargas dictatorship.

In 1949, aged 13, Wladimir also became a member of the Communist Party. In the 1950s, he was active in the student movement and the metallurgist union movement. In 1962, he participated in the group that “reorganized” the Communist Party of Brazil.

Arrested in 1964 for resisting the military coup, Wladimir Pomar lived in hiding until 1976, being arrested again in the so-called Massacre da Lapa, when Ângelo Arroyo, João Batista Franco Drummond and his father, Pedro Pomar, lost their lives.

Wladimir Pomar got out of jail in 1979, shortly before the Amnesty. Some time later, he joined the Workers' Party, joining its national executive from 1984 onwards, as secretary for political training. During this period, he was one of the coordinators of the Cajamar Institute, participated in the coordination of Lula's campaign for constituent federal deputy and, in 1989, was general coordinator of the Lula president campaign.

In 1990, Wladimir ended his term in the National Directorate of the PT and, since then, he has not returned to occupy any position in the party structure. He was neither a parliamentarian, nor was he part of any PT government, with the exception of a meteoric passage as an advisor in the city hall of Angra dos Reis (RJ).

However, even without formal positions, Wladimir Pomar continued to collaborate in a militant way with the PT, for example in the Perseu Abramo Foundation and in training activities, in addition to assuming some intelligence tasks in the 1994 presidential campaign.

Except for the short period in which he was professionalized by the Party, Wladimir Pomar earned his living working in the most diverse activities, such as agriculture, handicrafts, maintenance of heavy machinery and locomotives, as a typewriter, reporter, editor, editorial director, translator , consultant and teacher. In other words, Wladimir Pomar was a “professional revolutionary”, not a professional politician.

2.

It is also worth mentioning that Wladimir Pomar had no academic training; he often said that his university degree "was obtained in jail." Jokes aside, it is likely that the absence of academic life has contributed to keeping much of his work in a kind of semi-clandestine, despite being – among other things – one of the first Brazilians to correctly decipher the “Chinese enigma”.

Among the works of Wladimir Pomar, one strand addressed the Marxist dialectic (The Dialectic of History, in four volumes). Another strand addressed themes from the history of Brazil and the Brazilian left. It is the case of Araguaia, the party and the guerrillas quality Pedro Pomar: a life in red; Almost there, Lula and the scare of the elites; A world to win; Brazil, international crisis and project of society; Brazil in 1990 e Era Vargas: the conservative modernization; Letters from the Past; This is also the case of the autobiography entitled the name of life.

The third strand was devoted to the debate on socialism. Wladimir Pomar wrote several studies and books on China, including The Chinese riddle: capitalism or socialism; China, the Dragon of the XNUMXst Century; the chinese revolution (Unesp); China: dispelling myths. He also wrote a trilogy on the theory and practice of attempts to build socialism throughout the XNUMXth century: tearing the curtain, market mirage e The illusion of the innocent.

Wladimir Pomar wrote a lot and part remains unpublished, starting with a letter written in 2005, in which Wladimir Pomar made warnings and harsh criticisms against the conduct of certain leaders and affiliates.

3.

Atheist, Marxist, communist and PT, Wladimir Pomar was recently invited by his friend Beluce Bellucci to write a presentation to the biography of Apolônio de Carvalho, recently published in France. Delivered in March 2023, this was Wladimir's last published text. There it says the following:

“I was about 10 years old when I met Apolônio, right after the end of the Second World War in the 1940s. He had returned from France and was welcomed by the management and by many militants of the then Communist Party of Brazil (PCB), of which my parents were part of it. At the time, more than the aura of hero of the war of resistance against the Nazi troops occupying France, I was impressed by the delicacy with which he treated everyone, including the children who, like me, had been taken to meet him”.

“Later, while the PCB had legal life, my father and Apolônio worked at its headquarters, near Lapa, in the Federal District of Rio de Janeiro. And I became a constant visitor to the place, on the pretext of seeing my father, but mainly to hear Apollonius' accounts of the war and the guerrilla resistance against Nazi troops. Practice that was interrupted when the Communist Party of Brazil had its legal life prohibited and its members had to start to carry out their activities in the same clandestine way that they used during the Vargas dictatorship”.

“Under these conditions, I only resumed contact with Apollonius a few years later. At the time, I was already in high school and had joined the Communist Youth Union - UJC, also clandestine, and already involved in disagreements about the policies that communists should adopt to modify the political system and recover democratic life. At the time, Apolônio was one of the leaders of the PCB who gave “assistance” to the UJC and, due to those differences, he thought it necessary to talk to me about it”.

“We kept in constant contact for about a year. Although our theoretical and practical differences have proved to be varied and, in some cases, profound, Apollonius never tried to impose himself as a “superior leader”. He treated disagreements as a natural part of practical political work, and was primarily interested in the results of practical actions taken to extend political influence among the youth.”

“In several cases, we had agreements that only became evident years later, when the PCB dissolved into various political currents, after the fascist military coup of 1964. In the new conditions created by the military dictatorship, I only found Apolônio again at the end of the 1980, when the dictatorship was forced to carry out a strategic withdrawal and the communists were able to return to “normal” life, although scattered at the time in various parties and political organizations. And in which many of us, including him and me, adopted the PT as the main center of political activity”.

“From then on, I had the opportunity to see him again on different occasions. I remember his solidary presence in the transfer of my father's remains, murdered by agents of the dictatorship. And I always remember having lived with him in numerous PT activities. This, although we agreed that, at that point in life, our ages no longer allowed engagements like those experienced in the past. And that we should, above all, find ways to help new combatants understand the lessons of the past”.

“We still maintained scattered contacts, he in Rio de Janeiro and I in São Paulo. And what impressed me most is that he continued to maintain the same spirit of modesty and struggle, a spirit that is highlighted in the work of the Frenchman Alain Viguier”.

The words with which Wladimir Pomar summed up Apolônio de Carvalho also summarize the attitude of Wladimir himself and of so many other more or less anonymous heroes of the Brazilian people: modesty and struggle.

4.

More than forty years ago, on April 11, 1980, on the occasion of the transfer of his father's remains, Wladimir said the following: “There are finally those who say that Pomar left an inheritance. And truth. He left us the example of his life, a legacy of modesty, uprightness of character, dedication to the working class, the people and his party, an ingrained love of truth, aversion to vanity and constant alertness and combat against his own errors. There are those who want to own this legacy. This claim is an affront to my father, who always fought against exclusivism and the spirit of a sect. Pomar's heritage, a heritage worthy of the best revolutionaries, is not the heritage of the family or any group. She belongs to her entire party, she belongs to all revolutionaries, the working class and the exploited and oppressed people”.

Wladimir Pomar present, now and always!

*Valter Pomar He is a professor at the Federal University of ABC and a member of the National Board of the PT.


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