Communist Party of Cuba

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Communist Party of Cuba

Partido Comunista de Cuba
First SecretaryMiguel Díaz-Canel
FounderFidel Castro
Founded3 October 1965
Youth wingYoung Communist League
Political orientationMarxism–Leninism
International affiliationInternational Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties

The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) is the Marxist–Leninist organized vanguard of the Republic of Cuba, and is the political leading force of the Cuban state and society.[1] The PCC is the sole legal political party in Cuba.

The PCC is a communist party organically structured under democratic centralism and holds as its main objective the building of socialism.[2]

The highest body within the PCC is the Party Congress, which convenes every five years. When the Congress is not in session, the Central Committee becomes the highest body. Due to the Central Committee meeting twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities are vested in the Politburo. As of April 2021, the First Secretary of the Central Committee is Miguel Díaz-Canel.[3]


Cuba had a number of communist and anarchist organizations from the early period of the Republic (founded in 1902). The original "internationalised" Communist Party of Cuba formed in the 1920s. In 1944, it renamed itself as the Popular Socialist Party for electoral reasons. In July 1961, two years after the successful overthrow of Fulgencio Batista and the creation of a revolutionary government, the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI) was formed from the merger of:

On 26 March 1962, the ORI became the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution (PURSC), which in turn became the Communist Party of Cuba on 3 October 1965. In Article 5 of the Cuban constitution of 1976, the Communist Party is recognized as "the superior guiding force of society and of the State, that organizes and orients common efforts toward the high goals of the construction of socialism and the advancement toward communist society".[4] All political candidates, including those from the Communist Party, are prohibited from publicly advertising their organizations.

For the first fifteen years of its formal existence, the Communist Party was almost completely inactive outside of the Politburo. The 100 person Central Committee rarely met and it was ten years after its founding that the first regular party Congress was held. In 1969, membership of the party was only 55,000 or 0.7% of the population, making the PCC the smallest ruling communist party in the world. In the 1970s, the party's apparatus began to develop. By the time of the first party Congress in 1975, the party had grown to just over two hundred thousand members, the Central Committee was meeting regularly and provided the organizational apparatus giving the party the leading role in society that ruling Communist parties generally hold. By 1980, the party had grown to over 430,000 members and it grew further to 520,000 by 1985. Apparatuses of the party had grown to ensure that its leading cadres were appointed to key government positions.


Compared with other ruling Communist Parties, such as in Vietnam, China, and Laos, the Communist Party of Cuba retains a stricter adherence to the tradition of Marxism–Leninism and the traditional Soviet model. The party has been more reluctant in engaging in market reforms, though it has been forced to accept some market measures in its economy due to the overthrow of the Soviet Union and the resultant loss of economic subsidies. The Communist Party of Cuba has often pursued an interventionist foreign policy, actively assisting left-wing revolutionary movements and governments abroad, including the ELN in Colombia, the FMLN in El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua,[5] and Maurice Bishop's New Jewel Movement in Grenada.[citation needed] The party's most significant international role was in the civil war in Angola, where Cuba directed a joint Angolan/Soviet/Cuban force in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale.[6][7] More recently, the party has sought to support Pink Tide leaders across Latin America, such as Hugo Chávez and later Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Medical diplomacy has also been a prominent feature of the Party's foreign policy. The party maintains a policy of sending thousands of Cuban doctors, agricultural technicians, and other professionals to other countries throughout the developing world.

After becoming the new First Secretary of the party, Raúl Castro campaigned to "renew" Cuba's socialist economy through incorporating new exchange and distribution systems that have been seen traditionally as "market oriented". This has led to speculation that Cuba may transition towards a model similar to that of China and Vietnam.[8] Private property and the need for foreign investment were recognized in the new constitution promulgated in 2019.[9]

Mass organizations related to the PCC


The Communist Party of Cuba has a youth wing, the Young Communist League (Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas, UJC) which is a member organization of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. It also has a children's group, the José Martí Pioneer Organization.


  1. 2019 Constitution of Republic of Cuba. Article 5. Link (Spanish)
  2. Statute of the Communist Party of Cuba. Link (Spanish)
  3. "Elegido Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez como Primer Secretario del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba" (2021-04-19). Granma.
  4. "Cuba: Constitución".
  5. Andrea Oñate (2011). The Red Affair: FMLN–Cuban relations during the Salvadoran Civil War, 1981–92. Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.1080/14682745.2010.545566 [HUB] [LG]
  6. Michael Evans. "Secret Cuban Documents on History of Africa Involvement"
  7. "Cuba: Angolan War Memories Live On" (16 June 2007). Archived from the original on 16 June 2007.
  8. "古巴改革:"社会主义更新"未完待续". Archived from the original on 29 April 2014.
  9. Díaz-Canel, Miguel (10 April 2019). "Así es la Constitución que estrena Cuba en tiempos de crisis" [This is the Constitution that Cuba launches in times of crisis]. El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 March 2023.