Download printable pdf file | Thesis Contents | Technical Note | Appendix D 

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


Trotskyism in Cuba: A Chronology of Events

August 1925 Foundation of the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC).
December 1925 Julio Antonio Mella goes on hunger strike in prison for which he is subsequently expelled from the PCC.
April 1928 Mella’s pamphlet ¿Qué Es el ARPA? labels Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre ‘the Latin American Chiang Kai-shek’.
January 1929 Mella assassinated in Mexico City.
6 April 1930 International Left Opposition (ILO) established at a meeting in Paris.
October-November The PCC turns to apply the Third Period tactical line after the 1930 intervention of the Communist Party of the United States and the Caribbean Bureau of the Comintern.
July 1931 The first organised opposition within the PCC led by Pedro Varela opposes the party’s ‘red’ trade union line.
August 1931 Opposition arises within the PCC-controlled Ala Izquierda Estudiantil over the party’s position of passive neutrality during the August Revolt led by the bourgeois opposition.
February 1932 Sandalio Junco returns from the Soviet Union. He resumes his work in a leading capacity in the PCC before detaching himself from the party.
August 1932 The Oposición Comunista de Cuba (OCC) is founded.
9 September 1932 Resolution of the Central Committee of the PCC on the Opposition in the PCC signals the expulsion of Junco, Marcos García Villareal and others from the party.
10 May 1933 The Central Committee of the OCC publishes its programmatic document En el Camino de la Revolución. The ILO subsequently states that it conforms with the “general principles of the Left Opposition".
June 1933 Statutes of the OCC published.
July 1933 Trotsky argues that the Comintern is dead for the purposes of revolution.
August 1933 General strike in Havana against the Machado government. The PCC issues a call for a return to work which is ignored.
4 September 1933 Sergeants’ Revolt leads to the installation of the Grau San Martín government with Antonio Guiteras as the Minister of the Interior.
14 September 1933 The Partido Bolchevique Leninista (PBL) is constituted by agreement of the National Conference of the OCC. However, the Guantánamo section refuses to recognise the directives of the PBL’s Central Committee, arguing instead for the creation of an anti-imperialist bloc as an ‘external road’ to the building of a section of the Fourth International in Cuba.
25 September 1933 Manifesto of the PBL’s Central Committee is published in which its formal adherence to a ‘permanentist’ strategy is set out.
29 September 1933 The PBL forms an impromptu bloc with the Grau San Martín government in a violent confrontation with the PCC at a demonstration to mark the return and burial of the Mella’s ashes.
27-28 October 1933 National Plenum of the PBL in Havana at which the party’s programme is approved.
Mid-January 1934 Batista switches the support of the army to Mendieta and forces the resignation of the Grau San Martín government.
4 February 1934 First issue of the PBL’s organ Rayo is published.
July 1934 Emergency National Conference of the PBL ratifies the separation of Junco and others from its Central Committee. Of the original members of the OCC’s Central Committee only two remain.
27 August 1934 A Stalinist paramilitary attack on the offices of the Federación Obrera de La Habana. One death reported.
October 1934 Latin American communist parties take their first steps towards adopting the Popular Front tactical line.
7 October 1934 The Joven Cuba organisation led by Guiteras is constituted.
16 October 1934 Central Committee of the PBL adopts the ‘Resolution on the Present Political Situation and Our Tasks’ recognising the theory of the independence of the democratic anti-imperialist revolution in forming a narrow alliance with Joven Cuba for insurrection.
8 January 1935 Letter from A.J. Muste of the Workers’ Party in the U.S. to the PBL attempts to reorientate the Cuban Trotskyists towards the proletarian anti-imperialist perspective.
January-February A series of meetings of the Central Committee of the PBL expels 1935 García Villareal as General Secretary, replacing him with Gastón Medina.
March 1935 General strike is smashed. The Revolution of the 1930s is defeated.
20 March 1935 Report by Gastón Medina to the International Secretariat of the Fourth International analysing the internal situation of the OCC and PBL from August 1932 to March 1935.
8 May 1935 Guiteras is shot by the Cuban army. Joven Cuba gradually disintegrates.
October 1935 The ‘Political Thesis’ written by Gastón Medina reasserts the PBL’s proletarian anti-imperialist line.
September 1936 PBL publishes the journal Noticiero Bolchevique.
February 1936 PBL holds National Plenum to restructure the party.
21 July 1936 The Spanish Civil War begins.
1936-37 Charles Simeón substitutes Gastón Medina as the PBL’s General Secretary as Medina succumbs to illness, the result of torture in Batista’s jails.
9 January 1937 Trotsky arrives in Mexico.
17 August 1938 Gastón Medina the principal defender of the proletarian anti-imperialist line within the PBL dies.
September 1938 Fourth International formally founded.
Late 1939/early 1940 Simeón expelled from the PBL.
24-25 January 1940 Meeting of the SWP(US) Minority decides to break from the SWP(US). The Brazilian Mario Pedrosa is with the Minority.
May 1940 The official communists support Batista in the Presidential elections.
May 1940 The Cuban Trotskyists form a new Provisional Executive Committee.
19-26 August 1940 Emergency Conference of the Fourth International held in New York.
21 August 1940 Trotsky murdered by the Stalinist agent Ramón Mercader.
19 September 1940 The Partido Obrero Revolucionario (POR) is constituted. The PBL’s Santiago de Cuba branch initially refuses to join the new party. It is only incorporated into the POR in 1941-42.
September 1940 POR launches a newspaper, Cuba Obrera. The last issue appears in August 1941.
8 May 1942 Stalinist gun-squad murders Junco.
July 1942 Batista declares war on the Axis powers and appeals to political parties in Cuba to form a Government of National Unity. The official communists join Batista’s cabinet.
December 1942 At the Third National Congress of the Confederación de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), the POR supports the founding of the Frente Democrático Sindical, a workers’ opposition front inside the CTC, to challenge Stalinist control.
January 1944 Rogelio Benache, the POR’s most talented leader in Oriente dies as a result of past torture in a Batista jail.
May 1944 POR gives ‘critical’ support to Grau San Martín in the Presidential elections.
May 1944 POR launches a newspaper, Revolución Proletaria. The last issue appears in May 1946.
March 1946 The ‘majority’ Havana faction circulate a highly critical Internal Bulletin arguing that the POR has “remained behind the coat-tails” of the Auténticos.
Mid-1946 The POR joins the Movimiento Socialista Revolucionario (MSR) of Rolando Masferrer.
July 1947 Collapse of PSP-Grau San Martín alliance in the light of the outbreak of Cold War is confirmed when the PSP is forcibly evicted from the premises of the CTC.
1948 The POR joins the Acción Revolucionaria Guiteras after the MSR declares its support for Carlos Prío Socorrás, the Auténticos’ candidate in the Presidential election.
10 March 1952 Coup d’état returns Batista to power.
26 July 1953 Group led by Fidel Castro launches assault on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba.
November 1953 The International Committee of the Fourth International is formed. It takes a strong stance against the ‘Pabloism’ of the International Secretariat of the Fourth International.
October 1956 Pablo Díaz, a leading member of the PBL in the late 1930s and the POR in the 1940s joins Castro in Mexico as a member of his General Staff on the Granma yacht.
2 December 1956 Granma lands on Oriente coastline marking the beginning of a two-year guerrilla war.
1 January 1959 Batista flees Cuba and the Revolution begins.
6 February 1960 Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskista) (POR(T)) is constituted.
April 1960 POR(T)’s launches its newspaper Voz Proletaria. Eight issues are produced up to April 1961.
April 1961 Cuban exile invasion force quickly defeated at Playa Girón.
26 May 1961 Issue number ten of Voz Proletaria and the printing plates of Trotsky’s The Permanent Revolution are seized by PSP officials acting on behalf of the National Printing Office and Ministry of Labour.
August 1962 First large-scale arrest of POR(T) members begins.
24-26 August 1962 POR(T) holds its Second National Conference.
September 1962 POR(T) relaunches Voz Proletaria as a fortnightly A4-sized mimeographed bulletin.
October 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis.
1963 United Secretariat of the Fourth International is founded in the light of differences between Trotskyist groups over the nature of the Cuban Revolution.
Early 1964 First charges formally brought against POR(T) members for alleged counter-revolutionary activity. Sentences extend up to nine years imprisonment.
22 March 1965 Che Guevara disappears from public view.
April 1965 The POR(T) formally dissolves itself as a condition for the release of POR(T) members from prison.
October 1965 First meeting of the Central Committee of the new Cuban Communist Party.
January 1966 Castro publicly sides with Moscow in the Sino-Soviet dispute and uses Trotskyism as a surrogate for his attack on Maoism in a speech at the Tri-Continental Conference.
March 1966 Leading members of the POR(T) again imprisoned for continued activity.
December 1973 POR(T) members sentenced to up to 12 years in prison for attempting to reorganise a Trotskyist party.

Download printable pdf file | Thesis Contents | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Appendix D