Comrade Silvia Santos “Pestaña”, ever onward to socialism!

Socialist Left (Argentina)

Note by Socialist Core: We join in the commemoration of the legacy of comrade Silvia Santos, who dedicated her best efforts for more than five decades to the construction of socialism. We continue her struggle for the emancipation of the working class worldwide.

On June 15, our comrade Silvia Santos, known to all as “Pestaña”, passed away in Buenos Aires. She was 74 years old and had been an uninterrupted militant for more than fifty years. In 1969 she joined the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores – PRT La Verdad, the Trotskyist current founded by Nahuel Moreno.

At the age of twenty she began her militancy in the youth of the PRT – La Verdad, in the Faculty of Philosophy. She developed as a party cadre in different regions of the Federal Capital and Greater Buenos Aires. There she was part of a huge group of young cadres who put all their effort for the construction of the Socialist Workers Party, the glorious PST of the 70s. She harvested experience in the turn to the workers’ movement, a fundamental characteristic of the party under the government of Perón and Isabel, with hundreds of militants in the fighting and classist vanguard of the coordinadoras. She faced in the country the risky militancy under the military dictatorship, but already in 1979 she began her first experiences in international tasks, helping to build the party in Bolivia as part of our internationalist politics.

After the fall of the dictatorship, she fulfilled central tasks in the construction of the old MAS, working in the leadership team together with Nahuel Moreno. From there, she was a reference for the central tasks of organization at a time of extraordinary growth, with hundreds of locals throughout the country. She was active in Tucumán during 1986. But already in 1988 she resumed international tasks in Brazil helping in the organization of our sister section of the time, Convergencia Socialista. She returned to Argentina at the time of Alfonsín’s hyperinflation.

In the crisis of our party and the international, at the beginning of the nineties, she was one of the outstanding leaders who helped to reaffirm the continuity of Morenoism as a Trotskyist current based on the construction of organizations with democratic centralism and a national and world revolutionary program. For this reason she travels to Brazil to settle, together with her partner Adolfo Santos.

Her main legacy, Brazil

Since 1992 her militancy focused on the construction of a revolutionary current together with a handful of Brazilian cadres. They founded the Socialist Workers’ Current (CST) of which she was one of its leaders until her return in 2019 to Argentina. During those almost thirty years in Brazil, Silvia deployed a great task building the section of the IWU-FI. And she was part of the leadership team of the international, integrating the International Secretariat until her health allowed it.

She helped to guide the Brazilian party when a group of four parliamentarians of the Workers’ Party (PT) were expelled from that organization for opposing the adjustment plans implemented by the newly elected President Lula. This process, which generated a huge rebellion of PT militants opposed to the pension reform, led in 2004 to the foundation of the Socialism and Freedom Party – PSOL, where the CST played a fundamental role and Silvia Santos became a member of its National Executive.

The deterioration of her health advanced seven years ago, with a diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, an incurable disease. The last three years were spent with this distressing disease. She was cared for, assisted and relieved on a daily basis by her companion Adolfo, who together with her shared leadership tasks in her journey through Brazil. We recognize in comrade Pestaña a militant with very strong values, whose personality stood out for being meticulous in the planning of tasks, besides holding moral values for herself and for others.

From Socialist Left (Izquierda Socialista) we send a big hug to her partner Adolfo and her relatives.
Comrade Silvia Santos “Pestaña”, ever onward to socialism!