Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras.
August 20, 2020
Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras. They understood the value of continuity.
Two exceptional Cubans played a key role in the Party’s founding, Carlos Baliño and Julio Antonio Mella.
The first was a member of a patriotic generation that took to the scrub to wage an armed struggle against Spanish colonialism, and an unconditional friend of José Martí, with whom he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the new organization’s valuable predecessor; while the young Mella, at only 22 years of age, represented the best of the generation that would give continuity to the struggles of Céspedes, Agramonte, Gómez, Maceo and Martí.
The principal mission of these visionary individuals, upon establishing the Party and joining the Third International founded by Vladimir I. Lenin in 1919, was to set about developing a program of demands for workers and campesinos; work actively in trade unions; and defend the rights of women and youth.
This was a difficult era and, on a daily basis, Cuban revolutionaries faced the iron fist of dictator Gerardo Machado, who organized brutal repression of the newly founded organization. The Party’s elected first secretary, José Miguel Pérez, was forced into exile, while other members, like Mella, faced trumped-up charges for crimes they did not commit.
But the nascent organization continued its work valiantly, with the leadership of individuals of the stature of Rubén Martínez Villena and others.
With the world stage dominated by the historic struggle against fascism and the creation of popular anti-imperialist fronts, the Party, known at that time as the Revolutionary Communist Union and later the Popular Socialist Party, defended the people’s rights in the bourgeois parliament.
No less important was its work during the struggle against the Batista dictatorship, under very dangerous conditions, with most efforts carried out underground.
After the triumph of the Revolution, January 1, 1959, under the leadership of Fidel and Blas Roca, a process began to unify the Party and the two political organizations that had carried the most weight in the revolutionary struggle against Batista – the July 26th Movement and the Revolutionary Directorate.
Thus, in 1961, the three groups merged to form the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI), as the antecedent to the constitution in 1963 of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba (PURSC), which on October 3, 1965, adopted the name it has maintained to date, the Communist Party of Cuba.
Since then, our Party has never failed to play a leading role in every struggle, every accomplishment, as the vanguard of Cuban society during the most important moments the nation has faced.
If the Party has earned one merit in its history, it is to have preserved the nation’s unity, which has allowed us to confront persecution, genocidal blockades, wars, and threats of all kinds – and emerge victorious.
For this and other reasons, Fidel described the Party as the soul of the Cuban Revolution, as the organization that synthesizes the dreams and aspirations of a people over more than 100 years of struggle.
Today, as the homeland faces new challenges as a result of the pandemic that is ravaging the world and affecting us, as well, aggravating the impact of the vicious U.S. blockade, the Communist Party of Cuba stands firm and guarantees the historic continuity of the Revolution.