Communist Party of Uruguay

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Communist Party of Uruguay


(CPU; Partido Comunista del Uruguay), founded in September 1920 by the majority of the delegates to the Eighth Congress of the Uruguayan Socialist Party, who decided in favor of the the party joining the Comintern. The party joined the Comintern the following year, and the Extraordinary Congress (April 1921) decided to rename the party the Communist Party of Uruguay.

Until the early 1930’s, the party’s activity consisted chiefly of Marxist-Leninist propaganda. In the 1930’s the CPU was active in the struggle against the dictatorship of G. Terra. During World War II (1939–45) the influence of the CPU, which actively opposed fascism, grew considerably. However, errors involving the violation of the principles of collective leadership during the postwar years inflicted serious damage on the party. The July Plenum of the National Committee of the CPU (1955) adopted a resolution expelling from the party the general secretary and secretary for organizational questions, and it elected R. Arismendi general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPU. The Sixteenth Congress of the CPU (1955) took further decisive steps to strengthen the party and its leadership. The congress noted that the creation of a mass communist party is the “cardinal problem of the Uruguayan revolution.” The Seventeenth Congress of the CPU (1958) ratified the Programmatic Declaration and political platform of immediate demands, and it also adopted party rules.

Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of Uruguay
1Congresses of the CPU are numbered from the first congress of the Uruguayan Socialist Party, founded in 1896 2The name “Communist Party of Uruguay” was adopted at this congress
Eighth1MontevideoSeptember 1920
Extraordinary2MontevideoApril 1921
ExtraordinaryMontevideoOctober 1923
NinthMontevideoDecember 1924
TenthMontevideoJuly 1927
TwelfthMontevideoJanuary 1938
ThirteenthMontevideoMarch 1940
ExtraordinaryMontevideoAugust 1941
FourteenthMontevideoApril 1944
FifteenthMontevideoMay 1950
SixteenthMontevideoAugust-September 1955
SeventeenthMontevideoAugust 1958
EighteenthMontevideoJune-July 1962
NineteenthMontevideoAugust 1966
TwentiethMontevideoDecember 1970

In 1960 the Communist Party advanced the slogan “unity now,” which has been winning over broad masses of the people. In April 1961 the Workers’ Trade Union Center of Uruguay was formed on the initiative of the party. The Eighteenth Congress of the CPU (1962) called for the creation of a coalition of left-wing forces in order to carry out the agrarian and anti-imperialist revolution. That same year, the Leftist Liberty Front (abbreviated FIdeL) was established. It included the CPU and a number of leftist political groups. In 1964 the National Workers’ Convention, which united the Workers’ Trade Union Center and most of the other trade unions, was created with the active participation of the CPU. The Nineteenth Congress of the CPU (1966) took vigorous steps to further strengthen the party and enhance its fighting capacity and influence among the masses. Between August 1966 and December 1970, 26,000 people joined the party. The Twentieth Congress of the CPU, held in 1970, recognized the necessity of promoting the creation of a Popular Unity Front. In February 1971 the Broad Front was created; it included the Christian Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, the CPU, FIdeL, and other leftist political groups as well as groups that had broken away from traditional parties. In December 1973 the CPU was outlawed by a government decree. In spite of the repressions, it continues to be active.

Delegations of the CPU participated in the work of the International Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in 1957, 1960, and 1969 in Moscow. The CPU approved the documents adopted by the conferences.

The highest party body is the congress; between congresses, it is the Central Committee, which elects the Executive Committee and the Secretariat. The first secretary of the CC of the CPU is R. Arismendi. The central organ is the weekly newspaper Carta Semanal. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPU.)


Arismendi, R. Problemy latinoamerikanskoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Spanish.)
Arismendi, R. Informe de Balance del CC al XX Congreso del PartidoComunista de Uruguay. Montevideo, 1970.
Arismendi, R. Lenin, la revolución y América Latina. Montevideo, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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