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for their membership to give full support to the movement by participating in urban terrorist activity. The Party cooperated in the general strike of January 1, 1959 and thus was able to share the victory with the Castro forces. Shortly after, the Communists opened Party offices in some of the major cities, began publishing its newspaper, and helped organize the welcome for Castro when he arrived triumphantly in Havana on January 8.4
The Communists gave Castro full support and cooperation and began to gain influence which was first apparent in the rebel army and in the labor unions. Revolutionary doctrine became a regular feature of army training as Communists lectured on the revolution in the army camps.**
Subsequently, the long-time Party functionaries became prominent in government as Castro appointed them to important posts. Gradually, the Communists replaced 26th of July Movement loyalists in many areas and through Castro's intervention on their behalf, the Communist Party was given greater power in the CTC." By mid-1960, the Communists, taking advantage of their position as the only highly organized political force functioning in the first months of the triumphant revolution, took charge of many organizations and were able to supply the government with needed cadres.
Castro became more closely aligned with the Communists on April 16, 1961, on the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion, when he declared the revolution to be a socialist one. The Party officially gained ascendency over the other revolutionary groups when Castro announced, on July 26, 1961, the merger of the Communist Party (PSP) with the loyal Castroite groups, the 26th of July Movement and the Revolutionary Student Directorate. The new organization called the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations-ORI-was designed to be the preparatory stage for the formation of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution. Old-line Communist leader Anibal Escalante organized the ORI around the PSP nuclei throughout the island and the PSP members became dominant. » The Communists had taken control of the revolution.
On December 1, 1961, perhaps to establish himself as leader of the Communist movement in Latin America and to gain more aid from the Soviet bloc, Castro declared, "I am a Marxist-Leninist, and I shall continue to be one until the last day of my life.”
However, in March 1962 Castro moved against the old-line Communists when he purged the ORI and accused Escalante of favoring PSP members at the expense of the men who began the revolution. Subsequently, in a reorganization of the ORI, the old-guard lost control." In February 1963 the ORI became the United Party of the Socialist Revolution (PURS). Those originally loyal to Castro had control, and Castro's particular ideas on communism became the established doctrine. This organization eventually evolved into the Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965 with the Fidelistas still holding the important positions.
The Communist Party consolidated its position and today stands as an integral and dominant participant in the Cuban government. Castro as First Secretary of the Communist Party, as Prime Minister of the nation, and as commander-inchief of the armed forces is able to control the government through the Communist Party apparatus. Members of the nearly 100-man Central Committee, two-thirds of whom are military men who fought alongside Fidel in the mountains, are considered Fidelistas as are the members of the 8-man Political Bureau. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez is perhaps the only old-line Communist who has any position of influence with Castro and seems to be Castro's chief contact with the Soviet Union. It is very clear that Castro in a very personal way still rules Cuba through his special adaptation of the Communist system.
Extremely important to the success of the Castro government are the Cuban Armed Forces which are involved in many facets of Cuban life. Their importance is illustrated by the fact that eleven of the 24 cabinet posts are held by soldiers.“ The army is under the leadership of Fidel's brother, Raul, as head of the Min. istry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR). The largest group of Com
35 Ibid., p. 400-01.
Ibid., p. 427. 37 Ibid., p. 419. * Ibid., p. 421.
* Halperin, Ernst. The Castro Regime in Cuba. Current History, December, 1966, p. 356. 40 Suarez. Op. cit., p. 141.
Halperin. Op. cit., p. 356. - National Observer, April 26, 1971.
munist Party members in the nation is in the officer corps of the armed forces but the Communist Party hierarchy in the military is subordinate to the military hierarchy. Both, however, are under the control of Fidel. About half of the graduates of the military schools join the Party and most of the rest join the UJC (Communist Youth Union).43
In 1968, Castro began to use the army as a developmental tool and as a convenient source of manpower in the economy. Today, the military is prominent in agricultural production, especially in the sugar industry, in addition to other areas of economic life.
The Cuban people have derived a number of benefits from the Castro government as compared to life under Batista. Castro has practically eliminated illiteracy with two and a half times as many pupils in public schools as under Batista. Some 277,000 of them are on scholarships.“ Health conditions have greatly improved and income distribution has certainly been improved. Tele phone service is free and Castro may be near his goal of rent-free living. However, critics of Castro, among them internationally recognized Communist fig. ures, have been quick to point out the many problems faced by the government.
Castro has asked the Cuban people to make tremendous sacrifices and live under a program of severe economic austerity. Food is rationed and milk is available only to children and the sick. In his 26th of July speech in 1970, Castro was quite frank in admitting that the Cuban economic picture was very bleak and he officially recognized that there was growing discontent because of the deterioration in the standard of living. A critical labor shortage, compounded by a high rate of absenteeism, has resulted in low productivity. One of the reasons given for this deteriorating economic situation was the inefficient use of human and energy resources which went into the struggle to obtain a 10million ton sugar harvest in 1969–70. Critics such as French-Socialist Rene Dumont, once a chief agricultural advisor to Castro, point to economic inefficiency as one of Castro's basic problems. Cuba's 1971 sugar crop totalled 5.9 million tons, one million under the goal set last December and about 700,000 tons under the revised figure set early in May.
The Cuban government is carrying out a campaign to counter the absenteeism and low productivity which has plagued the economy. Earlier in the year, the CTC elected new trade union representatives with the apparent objective of allowing the union leadership to crack down on worker absenteeism and slowdowns. Exiled former labor leaders say that instead of seeking benefits for labor as the CTC originally was designed to do, the organization now will act as a police unit for the state. *
On April 1, 1971, "anti-loafing" or anti-vagrancy law went into effect which made "loafing" a crime punishable by six months to two years in a "rehabilitation center.""
Significant acts of sabotage have also contributed to the nation's economic problems. Among some of the more significant events has been the destruction of one of Cuba's largest match factories and a fire which destroyed a multimillion dollar fish-freezing plant. The government blamed the 195 railroad accidents in the first 11 months of 1970 on negligence. Cuban refugees say that the periodic power failures and power fade-outs, which have become quite common, are the result of fuel shortages and sabotage.
The Cuban government has taken measures against dissidents; the InterAmerican Human Rights Commission issued a report in November 1970 documenting the poor treatment of thousands of political prisoners. In addition, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) still serve as a "spy on your neighbor” organization in addition to their mobilization of the community function.
The arrest of the respected Communist poet Herberto Padilla in February of 1971 indicated that the Castro government is now repressing intellectual dissent. The official organ of the armed forces, Verde Olivo, has condemned "counterrevolutionary" literary efforts. Exiled Cuban intellectuals fear that a "Stalinization" process is underway in Cuba."
13 Burks, David D. Cuba Today. Current History, February 1971, p. 109.
4° OAS. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Second Report on the Situation of Political Prisoners and their Relatives in Cuba. Washington, November 17, 1970.
60 National Observer, April 26, 1971.
Castro's problems have driven him closer than ever before to the Soviet Union. Relations between the two nations have been at times both friendly and strained but ties have been close since Cuba's support of the Czechoslovakian invasion. Trade protocols have been signed, the most recent in February, 1971. Estimates of Soviet aid to Cuba range from one to one and a half million dollars per day; Cuba already owes the Soviet Union more than three billion dollars. The Soviets are becoming increasingly more involved in Cuba's economy through the joint commission which was set up under the February agreement. The commission was created to study Cuba's "economic management and ways to increase the efficiency of the national economy.” 61
In the past few years there has been an increase in Russian military activity in Cuba. Since 1969, Russian naval squadrons, including nuclear submarines, have visited Cuba six times, and exiles report the establishment of a naval base in the Cienfuegos Bay area. In November of 1970, the Soviet Defense Minister pledged that the USSR would give Cuba the "newest weapons and military equipment."
One possible effect of Castro's dependency on the Soviet Union is that the goyernment seems to be moving toward a more traditional Communist stance with regard to revolution in Latin America. In January, 1970, Douglas Bravo, a commander of the Venezuelan Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), charged that Castro had abandoned the guerrilla movement in Latin America."
Castro and the Cuban Revolution are no longer considered the inspiration for the new urban guerrilla movements in Latin America but they serve to illustrate a one-time guerrilla's adaptation of Communism to govern a victorious revolution.
CHILE The Chilean Communist Party is the best organized, and well-disciplined, political party in Chile and as such has been an extremely important factor in the politics of this South American nation since the party's formal establishment 50 years ago. It is principally a party made up of trade union workers but includes segments of the petite bourgeoisie, writers, and artists. The appeal of the Cuban revolution has enabled the Communists to gain adherents from the peasant class." For the greater part of its history the Communist Party has either controlled organized labor or has had a very important voice in the movement. In the early 1920s the Party controlled the Chilean Worker's Federation (Federacion Obrera Chilena) with a membership of 200,000 65 and today a Communist Party member of Congress heads the largest labor organization in the nation, the Workers' Single Central Union (Central Unica de Trabajadores de Chile-CUTCH). The chief rival to the Communists for control of labor has been the Socialist Party although that party has not had the upper hand since a period in the 1930's. **
Except for the several times that it has been outlawed, the Communist Party has been a legitimate political force which has been represented in the Chilean Senate and House of Deputies and constantly courted by rival parties for support in Chile's traditional game of coalition politics. As have most Chilean political parties, the Communists have demonstrated tremendous flexibility and thus have supported all shades of political ideology in the pursuit of their ultimate objectives. Since the mid-1950's the Communists have been cooperating with the Socialist Party and other leftist parties and today constitute an important force in the government of Socialist President Salvador Allende.
The Communist Party, traditionally Marxist and closely adhering to the moderate Moscow line, has always been a rival—bitter at times--of the generally more radical Socialists, who also profess Marxism but are independent of international and ideological ties. Communist participation with the Socialists among other parties in today's ruling coalition called Popular Unity, is understood more clearly from a brief look at the development of both parties in the Chilean political system.
Although originating in the Socialist Workers' Party (PSO) founded in 1912, the Communist Party was formally established in 1921 when the PSO joined the
61 New York Times, February 28, 1971. 52 New York Times, July 13, 1971.
w Gonzalez, Edward. Castro: The Limits of Charisma. Problems of Communism, JulyAugust, 1970, p. 22.
61 Gii, Federico. The Political System of Chile. Boston, Houghton Mimin Company, 1966, 55 Alexander, Op. cit., p. 178. 60 Ibid., p. 177.
Third International and changed its name. 57 The PSO was dominated by the Soviet oriented, pro-Stalinist South American Secretariat but in 1931 a split resulted in the formation of a Trotskyite faction called the Communist Party, Chilean Section. The official Communist Party (PSO) remained loyal to the Moscow line.68 Under the banner of Socialist Revolutionary Action, the Trotskyite wing of the Party backed the candidacy of Colonel Marmaduque Grove in the election campaign of late 1932. The official Communists nominated their own candidate, charging that Grove defended imperialism because he would not advocate the expropriation of all foreign-owned enterprises without indemnification. The Grove forces were the precursors of the Socialist Party which was formed in early 1933. The Trotskyite wing, known as the Left Communist Party after 1933, merged with the Socialist Party in 1937.
The Communists were an important part of the Popular Front coalition of most of the leftist parties which elected moderate Radical Party candidate Pedro Aguirre Cerda in 1938. The Communists, however, chose not to participate in Aguirre's government.
The Socialist Party withdrew from the Popular Front when the organization refused to expel the Communists for their failure to back the allies in the early months of World War II. The Socialists participated in the Aguirre government while the Communists were outlawed by a bill pushed through Congress by the opposition Liberal Party. The Communists however, running under the name of the Proletarian Party, received more votes than ever before in the byelections of March 1941 and surpassed the Socialist Party representation in Congress. The Communists gained strength during this period as internal dissension wracked the Socialists over the question of participation in the faltering Aguirre government.
A major split in Socialist Party ranks occurred in 1944 when Marmaduque Grove formed the Authentic Socialist Party (PSA); the majority of the party, however, remained under Secretary General Salvador Allende who was also Secretary General of the major labor organization, the Chilean Labor Federation (CTC). Allende refused to allow a merger of the Communist and Socialist parties which was advocated by Grove, suspected by some of being sympathetic to the Communists if not a member himself. This dispute carried over to the ranks of labor because of Allende's position. Grove's party, the PSA, subsequently disappeared. After the war, the CTC split into Socialist and Communist factions, with the Communists finally winning the upper hand.
The Communists backed the successful candidacy of Gonzalez Videla in 1946 and were rewarded with three cabinet posts, the first time that they entered a government in Chile and the first time in Latin America that they held ministerial posts with portfolio. As a result, the Communists were able to make great strides in the labor movement during this period.
Rivalry between the Communists and Socialists broke into the open as the Communists, almost as if they had official sanction from the government, began to use terrorist tactics against Socialists and Anarchists, resulting in bloody street clashes." Pressure was brought to bear on Gonzalez Videla and he ousted the Communists from his government. Many Communists were arrested, Communist strikes were broken with the use of Socialist workers, and finally the Communist Party was outlawed in 1948, through the passage of the controversial "Law for the Permanent Defense of Democracy." ®
The passage of this law and repression against the Communists was responsible for another split in Socialist Party ranks just when they were becoming united again. The anti-government faction of the Party broke away to form the Popular Socialist Party (PSP) under the leadership of Raul Ampuero and Senator Salvador Allende in 1948. As the 1952 elections approached, however, the PSP decided to support former dictator Ibanez. Allende, in opposition, switched to the rival Socialist Party of Chile, announced his candidacy, and actively sought support from his former bitter enemies, the Communists. The Communists and dissident factions of the moderate Radical and Democratic Parties
B7 Gil, Op. cit., p. 178.
joined with Allende's Socialist Party of Chile to form the People's Front.7 Sincere Communist support of Allende, however, is questioned because of the low Allende vote and the Communist's mild behavior toward Ibanez.
The Communists under the Ibanez administration worked to regain strength in the labor movement and headed off an attempt by both Socialist parties to unite all non-Communist unions in one confederation. The result was Communist participation in the formation of the Workers' Single Central Union (Central Unica de Trabajadores de Chile--CUTCH) in January 1953, along with the Socialist Party of Chile (Allende), the Popular Socialist Party, the Anarchists, the Social Catholics, and the Radical Party. After a great deal of maneuvering and horse-trading, an executive committee was selected which was composed of four Communists, four representatives of the PSP, four of the PSCh, three Anarchists, one Radical, four Social Catholics, and one independent. The Communists controlled only a few smaller unions but they controlled many of the regional organizations of the CUTCH.
Meanwhile, by 1956, the PSP had joined the opposition to Ibanez and the way to Socialist unity was paved. Prior to the 1957 elections, the parties of the left entered into another alliance, the Popular Action Front (FRAP), with the Communists included. In July 1957, the PSP and the PSCh held a Congress of Unity and the parties were again merged under the Socialist Party.
In the 1958 presidential election, Allende running for the second time came in a close second to conservative-backed Jorge Alessandri. Allende might very well have won the election is an independent candidate from a town near Santiago had not run. The Independent received over 41,000 votes from poor farmers and slum dwellers; if Allende had received these votes, he would have been 8,000 votes ahead of Alessandri.6
The Communists supported Allende's unsuccessful bid for the presidency in the election of 1964 against Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei and their votes were instrumental in Allende's victory in the election of 1970.
The ideology of the Chilean Communist Party is based on the MarxistLeninist philosophy and closely parallels that of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Chilean Communists consider their struggle for power as part of the world revolution of the proletariat using the Russian Revolution as their inspiration. Their program is anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist and includes broad reforms designed to give more power to the people. This program includes full state participation in all economic activities through agrarian reform, nationalization of banks and insurance companies, and strict control of foreign trade. Electoral reforms advocated by the Communist Party include the extension of suffrage to members of the armed forces and police."
The Communists advocate the creation of a unicameral legislature which would have the power to elect the President of the nation, cabinet members, and judges of the courts. They also advocate the establishment of provincial assemblies which were actually provided for in the Constitution of 1925 but never implemented."
The Chilean Communists, never numerically powerful although tremendously important in the labor movement and consequently politics, have concentrated on forming alliances with parties of the Chilean left in their attempt to create a "people's democratic revolution" which would evolve into a full socialist revolution and result in the disappearance of capitalism." As a loyal member of the party directed from Moscow the Communist Party believes that the revolution can take place through peaceful means. The Communist Party's participation in and support of President Allende's Popular Unity is in line with this philosophy.
Some elements of the Socialist Party, the party of President Allende and the dominant party in the Popular Unity government, represent a philosophy and ideology to the left of the Communists. Allende, and the Party in general, espouse the Marxist philosophy without the Communists' Moscow orientation. The Socialist Party is more nationalistic and less doctrinaire, leaving itself great flexibility to adapt to Chile's political climate. As noted above, the Socalist Party in its earlier years included Trotskyite elements and today the Party labels itself
Ibid., p. 205.
70 Ibid., p. 278. Taken from Pizarro, Jorge Jlles. Partido Comunista de Chlle. Santiago, Academia de Ciencias Políticas, 1957, p. 21. 71 Ibid., pp. 278-279. 72 Ibid., pp. 279-280.