Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Communist Party of Cuba: Unveiling the Founding Date

There are doubts, even among militants, about the founding date of the Cuban Communist Party. August 16, 1925? April 16, 1961? October 3, 1965? It is worth clarifying the topic.

On August 16, 1925, the first Communist Party of Cuba was formed, in a location that existed where the Hubert de Blanck theater is located today, in Havana. There were less than 20 delegates and guests from four communist groups. Among its founders, Carlos Baliño López, who accompanied José Martí in the constitution of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, and Julio Antonio Mella, who had such an impact on his generation and on subsequent ones, are always remembered in a special way.

That Party was harshly persecuted. The elected general secretary (José Miguel Pérez) was deported, under the pretext of being Spanish. Several of its members (including Baliño, who died the following year) were arrested. Most of the organization’s existence was clandestine or semi-clandestine. He changed his name several times to evade persecution and imposed prohibitions.

Its members enjoyed high prestige, due to their selflessness, honesty and dedication to the cause. Martyrs of the working class like Jesús Menéndez and Aracelio Iglesias were communists. So were union leaders like Lázaro Peña, or intellectuals of the caliber of Juan Marinello and Carlos Rafael Rodríguez. With their propaganda (the Mil Diez radio station, the Hoy newspaper, and the sale or distribution of books and pamphlets) they sowed ideas.

One of the historical merits of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz was understanding that that Party, no matter how fair its fight, could not lead a revolution that would transform the prevailing system: years of anti-communist propaganda had managed to instill prejudices in large sectors of the population. population that isolated him politically.

That is why Fidel, after Batista’s cunning coup d’état, dedicated himself to establishing a new organization, which ended up being the July 26 Revolutionary Movement, and played the main role in the overthrow of tyranny.

After the victory of the 1st. January 1959, in the midst of an acute class struggle and the early confrontation with the efforts of Yankee imperialism to overthrow the nascent Revolution, Fidel dedicated himself to achieving unity between the three revolutionary forces that had fought the dictatorship: the Popular Socialist Party (psp, name assumed at that time by the former Communist Party), the March 13 Revolutionary Directorate and the July 26 Revolutionary Movement.

It was a gradual, patient process that led to the constitution of the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ori). There was no formal act for this, nor did it happen in one day: the ori were the result of the unitary will of the main leaders of the Revolution, led by Fidel, in the very heat of the struggle.

In March 1962, the Commander in Chief denounced the deviations of sectarianism that had permeated the work of the Ori. From then on, a process of building the Party from the base began, through a method that gave a primary role to the masses, original and unprecedented in the international communist movement, choosing workers from among them to integrate the organization. exemplars. It was also carried out in armed institutions. The organization took the name of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba (Pursc).

Between September 30 and October 3, 1965, important meetings took place with Pursc leaders in the provinces, regions and grassroots organizations. On the 1st day. The Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the organization were officially constituted, which were presented on the 3rd. On that date, the merger of the newspapers Hoy and Revolución into a new medium, Granma, which would be its official organ, was announced, and Fidel read Che’s farewell letter. Furthermore, on October 3, 1965, the change of the Party’s name was approved by acclamation, to show, as Fidel said, “not what we were yesterday, but what we are today and what we will be tomorrow”: Communist Party of Cuba.

Fidel summed it up years later: “This Party is the fruit of the Revolution itself. The Revolution brought the Party to the world, and now the Party carries forward the Revolution.”

Should October 3, 1965 then be identified as the founding date of the Party? At first, this was assumed by the Secretariat of the Central Committee: on February 17, 1973, it agreed to consider “the date of October 3, 1965 as the official founding date of the PCC.” This was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that it was from that moment on that it took its current name.

A part of the Party’s militancy had belonged to the organizations that fought the dictatorship. The psp dated from 1925, the others were from the 1950s. Since the pcc was the result of their merger, what date should be taken as the date of membership in the Party? Who could be considered its founders? The Central Preparatory Commission of the First Congress of the PCC analyzed the issue on November 11, 1975.

The minutes of that meeting reflect that “the question relating to the date that should be adopted as the constitution of our Party was examined, and among the proposals made, that of April 16, 1961, the day on which the character of our Party was proclaimed, was accepted by all.” socialist of our Revolution.

From that historic day, the seniority of its founders in the Party began to be counted. In the First Congress it was endorsed in the Statutes that the militant’s file would reflect when he had joined the psp, the m-26-7 or the Directory, if applicable.

On February 6, 1981, the Secretariat of the Central Committee again addressed the issue of the founding date of the Party. There was a contradiction in that the founders of the Party were considered senior members of the PCC as of April 16, 1961, but the agreement of the Secretariat (from the aforementioned meeting in 1973) had established the official date of founding of the PCC. organization on October 3, 1965.

This contradiction was pointed out by Fidel in the meeting of February 6, 1981: it could not be that the militants had more seniority than the organization to which they belonged. He recalled that, even before April 1961, “the Party was actually organized, a unified leadership.” And the previous agreement of the Secretariat was annulled, agreeing to “approve April 16, 1961 as the official date of founding of the Communist Party of Cuba.”

In this way, the symbolism of the date on which the socialist character of the Revolution was proclaimed was ratified: those who fought in Girón already did so under the flags of socialism.

Fidel referred to the issue on multiple occasions, and reflected it this way in the Central Report to the First Congress of the Party: “A process of integration had already begun in the bases and in the leadership, but after the definitions of December 16, April and the glorious victory of Girón, our Party was in fact born in the close unity of all the revolutionaries and the working people, cemented by the heroism of our working class, which fought and shed its generous blood in defense of the country and the socialism.”

On April 16, modest tributes to Party cadres and workers are held throughout the country. The last three Party Congresses have begun precisely on that day. It is a date that communist militancy makes its own. We have plenty of reasons for this: the Party continues to be the soul of the Cuban Revolution.


(1) A thorough investigation on the subject is the book The First Communist Party of Cuba. Their tactics and strategies. 1925-1935, by Angelina Rojas Blaquier.

(2) Speech at the Balance Assembly of the PCC in the province of Havana, March 20, 1974.

(3) Communication from Jesús Montané Oropesa to the Secretariat, November 15, 1980. Central Archive of the PCC.

(4) Minutes of the meeting of November 11, 1975 of the Central Preparatory Commission of the First Congress. Central Archive of the PCC.

(5) Article 13: “The date of joining any of the revolutionary organizations that participated in the formation of the Communist Party of Cuba is recorded in the party personal file of the militant.” Statutes of the PCC. First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. Memories.

(6) PCC Central Archive. Photocopy of the adopted agreement.

(7) Central Report to the First Congress. Congress Memories.

(8) A very complete investigation of the history of the Party is the book Soul of the Cuban Nation, by Elvis R. Rodríguez Naranjo and Enrique M. Navarro Agüero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *