Communist Party of Cuba

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Communist Party of Cuba

 

(CPC, Partido Comunista de Cuba), a party founded at a national congress held in Havana in August 1925, following the unification of communist circles and the left faction of the Workers’ Socialist Party of Cuba (established in 1904–05). The party’s founders were C. Baliño and J. A. Mella. As early as 1926 the CPC was outlawed; it went underground and was subject to harsh persecution until September 1938. Despite certain errors of a left-sectarian nature committed during this period, the party was able to create a stable organization and forge a nucleus of leadership cadres. Emerging from the underground at a time when the democratic movement in the country was growing, the CPC formed a bloc with the Revolutionary Union (created not long before) and participated in the elections to the Constituent Assembly in 1939, winning six deputy seats. Communist deputies played a prominent role in the drawing up and adoption of the progressive constitution of 1940.

The CPC and the Revolutionary Union merged in 1940, and the party was renamed the Revolutionary Communist Union. Juan Marinello was elected chairman of the party, and Blas Roca became general secretary. In January 1944 the party was renamed the People’s Socialist Party of Cuba.

The party carried on extensive propaganda work to spread the ideas of Marxism-Leninism among the working people, and its influence among the masses expanded considerably. Aided by the Communists, the working people made important economic gains (partial increases in wages, a prohibition on driving peasant tenants from the land). From 1940 to 1952 the party had its own representatives in congress and in certain local government bodies, and from 1940 to 1944 it had representatives in the coalition government. The right-opportunist deviation that emerged within the party in the middle of 1943 (which arose under the influence of the ideas of the American revisionist E. Browder) was overcome by 1948. The repression of the Communists was renewed in 1946–47, resulting in the deaths of many prominent party figures, including J. Menendez, A. Iglesias, and Fernández Roig.

After the coup d’etat of 1952 and the establishment of the dictatorial Batista y Zaldívar regime, the party vigorously supported the unification of all forces opposed to the government, and it mobilized the masses for the struggle against the dictatorship. In November 1953 the People’s Socialist Party of Cuba was banned. The party participated on a broad scale in the liberation struggle waged by the people of Cuba against the dictatorship. It became a component of the actual bloc of the revolutionary forces that emerged, in the course of that struggle, around the Insurgent Army headed by Fidel Castro Ruz and the political organization the July 26 Movement. The victory of the revolution in 1959 and its progress, particularly the start of drastic social, political, and economic changes, sharpened the class struggle and brought about a clash with US imperialism; it also provided the conditions for the emergence of a single revolutionary party of the Cuban people. In mid-1961 the July 26 Movement, the student-led March 13 Revolutionary Directorate, and the People’s Socialist Party of Cuba merged into the United Revolutionary Organizations (URO) on a Marxist-Leninist platform. In 1962–63 the URO became the United Party of the Socialist Revolution. In October 1965 it was renamed the Communist Party of Cuba, and the Central Committee of the party was set up with the Politburo and Secretariat as its leading bodies.

In December 1975 the First Congress of the CPC was held. It adopted a number of basic decisions on the building of socialism and on the rules and program platform. According to these rules, the party is built on the principles of democratic centralism.

A CPC delegation attended the 1969 international Conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Moscow as an observer. The CPC has 203,000 members (1975). The first secretary of the Central Committee is F. Castro Ruz. The central organ is the paper Granma. The magazine El militante comunista covers organizational and ideological activity.

REFERENCES

Serviat, P. 40 aniversario de la fundación del Partido Comunista [No place, 1965.]
El Partido Marxista-Leninista, vol. 1. [Havana, 1963.]

O. T. DARUSENKOV [12–1609–1; updated]

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