Alvaro Cunhal

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cunhal, Alvaro


Born Nov. 11, 1913, in Coimbra. Leading figure in the Portuguese and international labor movement. The son of a lawyer.

Cunhal studied law at the University of Lisbon from 1931 to 1935, where he organized an illegal group, the League of Friends of the USSR, and a section of the International Organization for Aid to Fighters for the Revolution.

In 1935 he joined the Portuguese Communist Party and headed an illegal Communist student organization. From 1935 to 1940 he was general secretary of the Union of Portuguese Communist Youth. From 1936 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). In 1936–37 he fought in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–39.

From 1938, with interruptions, he was a member of the Secretariat of the PCP Central Committee. Cunhal was active in reorganizing the party from 1940 to 1941 to strengthen and broaden its ties with the masses.

During 1937–38, in 1940, and from 1949 to 1960, Cunhal was in prison, where he was tortured. In January 1960 he escaped with a group of PCP leaders from the fortress of Peniche. In 1961 he became general secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(7.) Jose Pacheco Pereira, Alvaro Cunhal, Uma Biografia Politica.
(27.) On these developments see Victor Pereira, 'Alvaro Cunhal em Paris.
He is the author of Comunismo e Nacionalismo em Portugal--Politica, Cultura e Historia no Seculo XX (2008) and edited Alvaro Cunhal --Politica, Historia e Estetica (2013).
Curiously, the second most popular figure--with 20% of the vote--was Salazar's opponent, Communist party leader Alvaro Cunhal.
He had almost double the votes of second-placed Alvaro Cunhal - formerly secretary-general of the Communist party.
In this rich chapter, he shows the overwhelming and personalistic dominance of PCP leader Alvaro Cunhal on the party for the last four decades, Cunhal's insistence on following a Stalinist course even after that had become outdated and discredited, and how that stance has hurt the party electorally in recent years.
There are some striking omissions, ranging from Joao II, Portugal's greatest king during the age of discoveries, to Alvaro Cunhal, the veteran Communist.
Certainly, the party did not change its strategy as outlined in Rumo a Vitoria--As Tarefas do Partido na Revolucao Democratica e Nacional, the report presented to the sixth party congress held in Kiev in September 1965 by Alvaro Cunhal, the party's charismatic general secretary between 1961 and 1992.
Alvaro Cunhal, in his speech at INATEL stadium, where a May Day demonstration of some 500,000 people was taking place, insisted that both working-class unity with democratic forces and the MFA and the enactment of the PCP's proposed legalisation depended on its participation in the Provisional Government and the country's democratisation.
The objective of the cross-class government, in which the communists Alvaro Cunhal (minister without portfolio) and Avelino Goncalves (labour minister) served alongside social democrats and liberals, was 'to eliminate the state's fascist structures, democratise political life, put an end to colonial war and prepare and carry through elections for the Constitutional Assembly'.
(9.) Alvaro Cunhal, Rumo a Vitoria, Lisboa: edicoes Avante!, 2001.