Download printable pdf file | Thesis Contents | Appendices 

Dissident Cuban Communism
The Case of Trotskyism, 1932-1965
[This page copied with perimission from]



TITLE: DISSIDENT CUBAN COMMUNISM: The Case of Trotskyism, 1932-1965.

KEYWORDS: Cuba; Politics; History; Trotskyism; Communism; Socialism; Dissident; Fourth International; Communist International.

ABSTRACT: This thesis focuses on the history of the Trotskyist variant of dissident communism in Cuba. It discusses the theoretical, tactical and organisational development of the Oposición Comunista in the early 1930s, then the Partido Bolchevique Leninista and the Partido Obrero Revolucionario from 1933 until the 1950s, and finally the Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskista), the Trotskyist group which was reconstituted after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

Hitherto, studies originating outside Cuba have generally argued that the Cuban Trotskyists were closer to Joaquín Maurín, the leader of the Bloque Obrero y Campesino in Spain, than to Trotsky. The only substantial Cuban work on the subject has concluded that although the Cuban Trotskyists in the early 1930s constituted a revolutionary force they were at the same time sectarians and divisionists.

In contrast, I argue that while the Cuban Trotskyists attempted to incorporate demands for national liberation into the struggle for socialism, their defining feature was the failure to distinguish clearly between the proletarian and democratic anti-imperialist revolutions. That is, they never unambiguously maintained that the revolution would either be proletarian or it would be defeated, a central tenet of Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. I furthermore contend that this failure to insist on the proletarian nature of the anti-imperialist revolution allows them to be figuratively characterised as post-Trotsky Trotskyists even in the 1930s.

My distinctive argument is based mainly on previously unused archival documents, from both Cuba and further afield, together with the oral and written testimonies of various participants.

Download printable pdf file | Thesis Contents | Appendices