Spanish Communist Party

   Founded in 1921, the Spanish Communist Party (Partido Comunista de España—PCE) initially championed Leninism and was a loyal Comintern member. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) it was influential in the ultimately unsuccessful Republican struggle against General Francisco Franco’s National Front forces, using its closeness to the Soviet Union to wield huge power within the leftist coalition. Despite consistent state persecution, throughout Franco’s subsequent dictatorship it remained the most effective oppositional force in Spain, and within days of being legalized in 1977 boasted 200,000 members. In that decade, PCE General Secretary Santiago Carrillo began the process of distancing the party from its Leninist past, and toward Eurocommunism. His acceptance of a social democratic outlook caused unrest among Marxist–Leninists within the PCE, prompting in 1982 the curtailment of his stewardship. By 1986 Carrillo’s former opponents within the PCE, many of whom had temporarily deserted the party to form hard-line splinter groups, took the party into the United Left (Izquierda Unida—IU) coalition which duly became Spain’s third largest political group. Under General Secretary Francisco Frutos, at the 2004 election the IU polled 5 percent of the total vote.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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