A first draft of the history of the Puertorrican Communist Party (1934-1990)

The 1920s
Arrival in 1925 at Puerto rico of James Hartfield (Jaime Nevárez Sager) representing the Liga Antiimperialista de las Américas (LADLA) and with support from the Workers (Communist) Party of America (the legal party of the CPUSA). From 1925 to 1927 Jaime Nevárez Sager seeked cooperation with the Puertorrican Nationalist Party and specially with Albizu Campos. In 1927 (march 6) Jaime Nevárez Sager heads the creation of the Liga Comunista de Puerto Rico that would elect Diego Boscana as general secretary. That first Communist Party of Puerto Rico is based in two working class groups based on the cities of Ponce and San Juan. It is presumed by a source that Jaime Nevárez Sager left Puerto Rico sometime in 1927 or shortly after as he was send to a new mission in Colombia (presumably during the United Fruit Company strike of 1928 in Colombia) and as a result it is presumed that the Liga Comunista de Puerto Rico withered away in isolation and with lack of international support.

The 1930s
The Partido Comunista Puertorriqueño (PCP) was founded in 1934 in the year of great sugar cane strikes. This party was integrated in the Communist International and it is mentioned in some detail by the Latin American Secretariat of the Comintern. Has the puertorrican PCP was formed form dissident members of the trade union front Federación Libre de Trabajadores (FLT) linked to the treacherous social-democratic Socialist Party (founded in 1899 and led by Santiago Iglesias Pantín) the party of puertorrican communists naturally led a fight to defeat the Socialist Party and the FLT. The reasons of the conflict of the PCP with the Socialist Party and the FLT are both because the two social-democratic organizations betrayed the working class economic struggles and because they abandoned the struggle for independence of Puerto Rico and effectively became pawns of the colonial regime.

During the whole 1930s a political leader, Luis Muñoz Marín, emerged in Puerto Rico that would lead the foundation of the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD) in 1938. The PPD stole the slogan of the Puertorrican Communist Party of “Pan, tierra, libertad” and stole support from the Puerorrican Nationalist Party by promising the independence of Puerto Rico by parliamentary and peaceful means in contrast with armed struggle of the nacionalistas. In fact Luis Muñoz Marín and the PPD succeded in destroying both the Puertorrican Communist Party that was dominant in the trade unions in the 1940s and the Puerorrican Nationalist Party whose armed struggle never got as strong as the IRA in Ireland for example but whose influence on the masses was always stronger because most of the masses would always prefer armed struggle at least until the end of the Soviet Union and the weakening of revolutionary armed groups in Latin America. PPD was basicly a social-democratic party, a successor of the old Socialist Party (of Puerto Rico) that was colapsing as a result of its betrayal of the independence of Puerto Rico and of the interests of the working class. PPD and Luis Muñoz Marín were very closely linked and were promoted by the U.S. political group around Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal politics of that time. The New Deal backed politics of PPD and Luis Muñoz Marín helped to pacify the puertorrican working class and destroy the revolutionary politics and the militant fight of the Puertorrican Communist Party and its trade union front CGT (Confederación General de Trabajadores) and also helped to destroy the Puerorrican Nationalist Party’s armed uprisings that started in the 1930s and culminated in the 1950s.

The 1940s
The Puertorrican Communist Party (PCPR) takes the key decision to support electorally the newly created PPD of Luis Muñoz Marín arguing that communists are involved in it (probably refering to CGT leaders that were bought with promises of PPD) and that its policies are leftwing and pro-independence of Puerto Rico. This decision is a complete disaster and contributes to destroying both the PCPR and the CGT during the whole 1940s. In that same year of 1940 the CGT (Confederación General de Trabajadores) had just been created and it quickly dominated the trade union movement of Puerto Rico in the following years by destroying the previously dominant FLT (Socialist Party lead). Curiously the CGT was created to destroy the FLT of the Socialist Party and started by supporting the PPD that would continue basicly the same politics of the FLT of the Socialist Party. The FLT would end up almost extinct and the Socialist Party would later merge with the PPD in the 1950s when the PCPR and the CGT were already in ruins. This process did not happen without reactions and fights. In 1945 the politics of PPD as dominant party in the puertorrican senate (a colonial sort of parliament) had already been exposed and this lead to the division of CGT in CGT-gobierno and CGT-autentica. It is presumed that PCPR took a leading role in regaining independence of the PPD in the trade unions by creating the CGT-autentica. But the following events showed that the damage was already done and PCPR was not capable to rebuild itslef in opposition to the PPD. The Taft–Hartley Act anti-workers unions law of 1947 (imposed from the United States also in Puerto Rico) and the gag law of 1948 of persecution of the independentis movement meanwhile the PPD had a overwhelming vicotry in the 1948 election that made Luis Muñoz Marín the first elected governor of Puerto Rico were final blows of on the PCPR, the CGT-autentica and the Partido Nacionalista Puertorriqueño. In 1948 also William Z. Foster, general secretary of the CPUSA, visited Puerto Rico to defend its independence from the USA. This visit of comrade Foster is presumably the last known act of the PCPR as a party. Juan Antonio Corretjer and his wife Consuleo Lee both enter PCPR in 1946 but are both expelled for defending revolutionary armed struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico in 1948. Corretjer was a second in command for a while in the Puerorrican Nationalist Party and was very close to its leader Albizu Campos.

The 1950s

In the year 1950 there was am assassination attempt on U.S. President Harry Truman by members of the Puerorrican Nationalist Party. This was one of many acts of armed struggle and uprisings in Puerto Rico (while the assassination attempt of Truman was on the U.S.) carried out by the Puerorrican Nationalist Party in 1950. In 1954 there was a United States Capitol shooting incident that was the final act of the Puerorrican Nationalist Party that by then was mostly dismantled and defeated by repression. In 1952 a referendum on a new constitution was held in Puerto Rico that gave the final blow the the anti-colonial struggle of the Puerorrican Nationalist Party by aproving the affirmation of the new Constitution of the island as an Estado Libre Associado, or Commonwealth. In the crucial year of 1956 the fight of factions would finally drive apart the PCPR between the opportunist parliamentary and peaceful road of Nikita Krushchev in the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the fresh revolutionary ideas of revolutionary communist ideas of the cuban guerrilla movement of Fidel Castro and Guevara that started a full blown guerrila war in 1956 after the uprising against the Cuartel Moncada in 1953. This conflict would push communists to abandon the PCPR and joined armed guerrila groups heavily influenced by the pratical experience of the puertorrican bourgeois nationalism in spite of developing strong marxist-leninist radical ideas on the other hand inspired by Cuba. The most visible result of this was the vanishing of the PCPR and the joining of many members of the PCPR into the Movimiento Pro-Independencia (MPI) in 1959 that would be renamed has Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño (PSP) in 1971 has a proclaimed “marxist and leninist” party supported by Cuba. The 1959 Movimiento Pro Independencia is frontist, for all forms of struggle and
anti-electoral. In fact PSP was a multi-tendency party with intense factional fight between nationalists and marxist-leninists and PSP would later disperse into multiple guerrilla armed groups.

The 1960s

PCPR had already disintegrated in its IV Assembly (Rodríguez Cruz). In 1960-1964 it is formed the Movimiento Armado del Pueblo (MAPA) armed guerrilla organization, in the central (mountains). Discovered in January 64 by Police in Moca, then dissolved.

1963-72 Comandos Armados de Liberación (CAL) clandestine, urban, targeted american commerce, CORCO oil refinery in Peñuelas, Ramey Naval Base. Alfonso Beal, leader/spokesperson. Received funding from small-medium business owners. Also targeted commerce in NY. MPI supported them but their communiqués did not belong to any specific organization.

1965-1972 Movimiento Independentista Revolucionario Armado (MIRA) Filiberto was a delegate of MPI at OSPAAL. After that he left and went to NY to form MIRA.

Al regresar a Puerto Rico (1959) Juan Antonio Corretjer apoya la creación del Movimiento Pro Independencia (MPI) y en su seno defiende la huelga electoral como arma de lucha política. De esta forma Corretjer mantiene la tradición revolucionaria defendida por Ramón Emeterio Betances y Pedro Albizu Campos. Se retira del MPI tan pronto esta organización decidió en su primera fase que cada uno de sus miembros en forma opcional podía apoyar o no apoyar las elecciones coloniales.

En 1961 Corretjer publica su obra Genio y figura . Desde ese año estará viajando a las Naciones Unidas para participar en las deliberaciones sobre el caso colonial de Puerto Rico. Entre 1961 y 1963 participará como portavoz de Acción Patriótica Unitaria en esta gestión internacional.

En 1962 es arrestado en México porque el presidente Kennedy visitaba la ciudad capital y por tal razón «ningún independentista puertorriqueño podía estar suelto por las calles de México». Después de su excarcelación el gobierno mexicano ordena su deportación.

De regreso a Puerto Rico organiza la Liga Socialista y continúa presidiendo o militando en comités que laboran contra el Servicio Militar Obligatorio, impuesto por Estados Unidos en Puerto Rico, contra la usurpación de las tierras viequenses en poder de la Marina de Guerra Norteamericana, contra la explotación minera y contra el plebiscito colonial efectuado en 1967. En 1963 publica su obra “Futuro sin falla” y en 1966, “Albizu Campos: Hombre histórico” . Un año después publica “Pausa para el amor”.

En 1968 es acusado junto a su compañera Consuelo Lee y otros compañeros de la Liga Socialista por conspiración. En 1969 nuevamente son procesados con los mismos cargos. En 1970, tanto Corretjer como doña Consuelo, sufren un atentado contra sus vidas. Después de este atentado son encarcelados en junio de 1971 junto a otros compañeros por los cargos presentados desde el 1969.

The 1970s

Cesar Andreu Iglesias opposes armed struggle, and becomes a PIP affiliate.
1970-85 Fuerzas Armadas de Resistencia Popular (FARP)
1970-1979 Organización de Voluntarios para la Revolución Puertorriqueña (OVRP)
1974-1984 Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN) operated in
the US, NY/Chicago close relationship with Liga Socialista
1977 Comandos Obreros (Filiberto was head)

July 25 1978 Cerro Maravilla murders

1978 Comandos Revolucionarios del Pueblo (CRP)
1978 Fuerzas Armadas de Resistencia Popular (FARP)
1978-85 Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Puertorriqueños/EPB

From 1969 to 1977 existed the Partido Socialista Revolucionario – Marxista-leninista (PSR-ML) that published the theoretical review “Ira Popular” and the newspaper “Conciencia Proletaria”. PSR-ML was led by Narciso Rabell Martinez. In 1974 Narciso Rabell published the book “Puerto Rico, colonia clasica o colonia industrial” that posed the goal of socialist revolution for the first time in opposition to a bourgeois independence. In 1977 Narciso Rabell quits PSR-ML in a presumably ideological conflict. It is said that Narciso Rabell joins the PCPR after that but i lack sources to confirm this.

The 1980s

1980 Corretjer’s column in El Nuevo Día 11 jan 1980 : all clandestine organizations “are tactically disperse but strategically united”. The differences in operation are due to the different levels of experience and formal training of combatants.

1983 Wells Fargo, Macheteros, 14 combatants arreested in 1985 by FBI. 1985-2005 EPB (Ejército Popular Boricua)/Macheteros

Arrest of Filiberto Ojeda Rios and end of the Macheteros-FALN armed struggle in 1985. The Perestroika effect leads to the dissolution of PCPR in 1990.

Other Info

The First Sec Gen was Luis Vergne Ortiz but his term was brief, he formed his own org in 35 when the party became part of the Cominterm, and he had opposed it. Alberto Sánchez became Sec Gen until 1944 when the legal PCPR is liquidated. Sánchez got expelled from the still active clandestine organization that remained after its liquidation because he entered the PPD the same year. According to police records, in 45 he stopped being the man of contact with outside communists. According to Pujals, PPD’s adoption of “Pan Tierra Libertad” is of Sánchez making. He emigrated to the US in 26, was formerly a CPUSA member (1928).

According to wiki the first sec gen was Mirabal. Maybe he was from the trotskist Partido Comunista Independiente.

Juan Santos Rivera was the PCPR President, and according to Pujals represented it even after its dissolution, ended up in MPI in the 60s.

FBI File:
1955* JUAN SAEZ CORALES, PABLO GARCIA RODRIGUEZ and RAMON MIRABAL CARRION, who are presently free on bail awaiting trial for violation of the Smith Act. Allegedly in oct 1954 Mirabal Carrión was fleeing US persecution, he was arrested in Mexico attending CTAL in August and Cominform meetings. Need to corroborate this because the source does not seem reliable ( some fiction ).

Sources From:
The 1920s

The 1930s

Pedro Albizu Campos

The 1940s

The 1950s

The 1960s

The 1970s

The 1980s


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