Communist Party of Cuba

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Coordinates: 20°59′27.7″N 77°25′41.5″W / 20.991028°N 77.428194°W / 20.991028; -77.428194

Communist Party of Cuba
Partido Comunista de Cuba
First SecretaryMiguel Díaz-Canel
Second SecretaryJosé Ramón Machado Ventura[1]
FounderFidel Castro
Founded3 October 1965; 56 years ago (1965-10-03)
Preceded byUnited Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution[n 1]
HeadquartersPalacio de la Revolución, Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba
Youth wingYoung Communist League
Pioneer wingJosé Martí Pioneer Organization
Membership (2016)Increase 700,000[2]
Left-wing nationalism
Latin American integration[6]
Political positionFar-left[8]
Regional affiliationCOPPPAL
São Paulo Forum
International affiliationIMCWP
ICS (inactive)
Colors  Red   Blue
Slogan"¡Hasta la victoria siempre!"
("Ever onward to victory!")
National Assembly[9]
605 / 605
Party flag
Flag of the Communist Party of Cuba.jpg

The Communist Party of Cuba (Spanish: Partido Comunista de Cuba, PCC) is the sole ruling party of the Republic of Cuba. The party leads a one-party authoritarian regime in Cuba[10][11][12][13][14] where dissidence and political opposition are prohibited and repressed.[15][16][17] The Cuban constitution ascribes the role of the party to be the "leading force of society and of the state". It was founded on 3 October 1965 as a successor of the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution, which was in turn made up of the 26th of July Movement and Popular Socialist Party that seized power in Cuba after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

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 is the highest body. Because the Central Committee meets twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities are vested in the Politburo. Since April 2021, the First Secretary of the Central Committee has been Miguel Díaz-Canel,[1] who has been serving as President of Cuba since 2018. Despite plans to retire in 2021, current Second Secretary José Ramón Machado Ventura has remained in office since 2011.[1][18] Abelardo Álvarez Gil also remains Head of the Department of Organization and Staff Policy.[1]

Marxism–Leninism, a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx, and Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, was gradually formalized as the party's guiding ideology and remains so to this day. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized, and a command economy was implemented throughout Cuba despite the long-term embargo by the United States. The PCC also supports Castroism and Guevarism and is a member of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties.


A billboard in Havana promoting the "ongoing socialist revolution"

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".[19] All parties, including 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.[citation needed]


The Communist Party of Cuba held its first party Congress in 1975 and has had additional congresses in 1980, 1986, 1991, 1997 and 2011. The Seventh Congress took place from 19 to 22 April 2016,[20] around the 55th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs Invasion,[21] concluding with remarks by Fidel Castro.[22]

The Eighth Congress took place from 16 to 19 April 2021.[23][24]

Central Committee[edit]

Party headquarters

The leading bodies of the party were the Politburo and the Secretariat until 1991 when the two bodies were merged into an expanded Politburo with over twenty members. However, the Secretariat was re-introduced in 2002. There is also a Central Committee which meets between party congresses. At the Fifth Congress, the size of the Central Committee was reduced to 150 members from the previous membership of 225. Fidel Castro was the party's First Secretary (or leader) since its inception while Raúl Castro was the Second Secretary. Upon Fidel Castro's 2008 resignation from the party and Cuban government, Raúl Castro became First Secretary.


A 14-strong Politburo was elected by the 1st Plenary Session of the Central Committee on 19 April 2021 following the 8th Congress.


A 6-strong Secretariat was elected by the 1st Plenary Session of the Central Committee on 19 April 2021 following the 8th Congress.

Mass organizations related to the PCC[edit]


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.


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 dissolution 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, 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.[25][26] 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. Since the Cuban Revolution, the party has also followed the doctrines of Castroism (the ideology of Fidel Castro, including some elements of social conservatism and inspiration from José Martí) and Guevarism.

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.

Raúl Castro, since becoming the leader of the party, has campaigned to "renew" Cuba's socialist economy through incorporating new exchange and distribution systems that have been traditionally seen as "market" oriented. This has led to some speculation that Cuba may transition towards a model more similar to that of China and that of Vietnam.[27]

Electoral history[edit]

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Outcome
1976 Fidel Castro Elected by the Municipal Assemblies
489 / 489
Increase 489 Increase 1st Sole legal party
1981 Elected by the Municipal Assemblies
499 / 499
Increase 10 Steady 1st Sole legal party
1986 Elected by the Municipal Assemblies
510 / 510
Increase 11 Steady 1st Sole legal party
1993 Full list 6,939,894 94.67%
589 / 589
Increase 79 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote 360,735 5.33%
1998 Full list 7,533,222 100%
601 / 601
Increase 12 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote
2003 Full list 7,128,860 91.35%
609 / 609
Increase 8 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote 675,038 8.65%
2008 Full list 7,125,752 90.90%
614 / 614
Increase 5 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote 713,606 9.10%
2013 Raúl Castro Full list 6,031,215 81.30%
612 / 612
Decrease 2 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote 1,387,307 18.70%
2018 Full list 5,620,713 80.44%
605 / 605
Decrease 7 Steady 1st Sole legal party
Selective vote 1,366,328 19.56%



  1. ^ a b c d Meneses, Yaima Puig (21 April 2021). "Díaz-Canel chairs the Extraordinary Plenary of the Party in Havana (+ Video)". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Central Report to the Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, presented by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz". Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Cuba's New Constitution explained". 27 February 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  4. ^ Backer, Larry Catá (30 July 2014). "The Cuban Communist Party at the Center of Political and Economic Reform: Current Status and Future Reform". SSRN 2473351. Retrieved 23 May 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "The Cuban Communist Party: Current Status and Future Reform". 30 November 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  6. ^ Gabriela Ávila Gómez (2017). "Cuba: capital de la integración latinoamericana y caribeña" (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Navidad en Cuba: ¿Cómo es? | VENaCUBA". 11 December 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  8. ^ (in French) Parti communiste de Cuba (extrême gauche) (créé en 1965, seul parti légal), Le Monde diplomatique
  9. ^ "IPU PARLINE database: CUBA (Asamblea nacional del Poder popular), Last elections". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  10. ^ Svolik, Milan W. (17 September 2012). The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University Press. pp. 7, 43. ISBN 978-1-139-56107-5.
  11. ^ Hawkins, Darren (2001). "Democratization Theory and Nontransitions: Insights from Cuba". Comparative Politics. 33 (4): 441–461. doi:10.2307/422443. ISSN 0010-4159. JSTOR 422443.
  12. ^ Levitsky, Steven; Way, Lucan A. (16 August 2010). Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 6–7, 361–363. ISBN 978-1-139-49148-8.
  13. ^ Whitehead, Laurence (29 July 2016). "The 'puzzle' of autocratic resilience/regime collapse: the case of Cuba". Third World Quarterly. Routledge. 37 (9): 1666–1682. doi:10.1080/01436597.2016.1188661. ISSN 0143-6597. S2CID 156308152.
  14. ^ Domínguez, Jorge I.; Galvis, Ángela Fonseca; Superti, Chiara (2 January 2018). "Authoritarian Regimes and Their Permitted Oppositions: Election Day Outcomes in Cuba". Latin American Politics and Society. Cambridge University Press. 59 (2): 27–52. doi:10.1111/laps.12017. ISSN 1531-426X. S2CID 157677498.
  15. ^ Miller, Nicola (1 January 2003). "The Absolution of History: Uses of the Past in Castro's Cuba". Journal of Contemporary History. 38 (1): 147–162. doi:10.1177/0022009403038001969. ISSN 0022-0094. S2CID 153348631.
  16. ^ Schedler, Andreas; Hoffmann, Bert (2015). "Communicating authoritarian elite cohesion". Democratization. 23: 93–117. doi:10.1080/13510347.2015.1095181. ISSN 1351-0347. S2CID 146645252.
  17. ^ Roberg, Jeffrey L.; Kuttruff, Alyson (2007). "Cuba: Ideological Success or Ideological Failure?". Human Rights Quarterly. Johns Hopkins University Press. 29 (3): 779–795. doi:10.1353/hrq.2007.0033. ISSN 1085-794X. S2CID 143642998 – via HeinOnline.
  18. ^ Shasta Darlington (19 April 2011). "Raul Castro to lead Cuba's Communist Party". CNN. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Cuba: Constitución". Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Cuba's Communist Party Congress wants change, but also more of the same". Miami Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Escambray". Escambray. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  22. ^ Carroll, Rory (19 April 2016). "Fidel Castro bids farewell to Cuba's Communist party congress". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Led by Raúl, the 11th Plenum of the Communist Party Central Committee held". Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Michael Evans. "Secret Cuban Documents on History of Africa Involvement". Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  26. ^ "Cuba: Angolan War Memories Live On". 16 June 2007. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  27. ^ 古巴改革:"社会主义更新"未完待续 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]