Musso

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For other uses, see Musso (disambiguation).
Undated photo of Musso

Musso (1897, Kediri, East Java - October 31, 1948) was an Indonesian communist politician who was leader of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in the 1920s and again during the Madiun rebellion of 1948.

Musso became one of the main leaders of the PKI in the early 1920s. He was a supporter of Joseph Stalin and the Communist International in Moscow. By 1925 a group of PKI leaders were making plans for an insurrection in 1926, though this was opposed by some PKI leaders such as Tan Malaka. In 1926 Musso travelled to Singapore where he received instructions from Moscow to start a revolt against Dutch rule. Musso and another PKI leader Alimin later went to Moscow, met with Stalin, and received orders to cancel the revolt and to restrict the party's activities to radical nationalist agitation. Musso however was determined to go ahead. In November that year there were revolts led by the PKI in several cities including Batavia (now Jakarta), but the revolt was crushed by the Dutch. Musso and Alimin were arrested. Musso later went to Moscow, but returned to Indonesia in 1935 to enforce the "popular front" line ordered by the seventh Comintern congress. However he was forced to leave the country and return to the Soviet Union in 1936.

On August 11, 1948 Musso arrived back in Indonesia in Yogyakarta. On September 5 he gave a speech advocating that Indonesia align itself with the Soviet Union. The signing of highly disadvantegous Renville Agreement on January 1948 which resulted in the withdrawal of 35,000 Republican guerillas from Dutch-occupied territories, as well as prime minister Mohammad Hatta's policy of rationalising the numbers of Republican fighters caused severe dissatisfaction amongst the myriad of armed units proliferating Republican areas. These groups coalesced around the PKI. On early September, a revolt developed in Madiun in East Java when some elements of the PKI militia refused to disarm. Musso went to Madiun to take control of the revolt, and PKI announced the proclamation of the "Soviet Republic of Indonesia" on September 18 with Musso as its president and Amir Sjarifuddin as its prime minister. He publicly called for the overthrow of Sukarno and Hatta, whom he referred as "slaves of Japanese and Americans". However, the revolt was put down by the army. On September 30, Madiun was taken over by republican troops of the Silwangi Division. Thousands of party cadres were killed and 36,000 were imprisoned. Amongst the executed were several leaders including Musso who was killed on October 31, allegedly while trying to escape from prison.