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Communist Party of Spain

The Communist Party of Spain (Partido Comunista de España or PCE) is the third most important party of Spain. It leads the coalition Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) and has influence in the largest union of Spain, Workers' Commissions (CCOO).

The PCE was founded on 1921, after the split produced in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) between those in favor of the Third International and the detractors. Most of Socialist Youths and many militants organized the new party. Although it was called to being important, the repression of the dictatorship of general Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1930) was on the verge of destroying it. Thus, the PCE arrived very debilitated at the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. It was a small party during the years of the Republic, until it began to grow because of the victory of the Popular Front (of which the Communists had been a constituent part) in February of 1936 and the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 July. In spite of being formed by many communist and revolutionary workers, the Central Committee of the PCE (controlled by Joseph Stalin), directed by Jose Diaz and Dolores Ibárruri "La Pasionaria", defended during the war the alliance with the Republican bourgeois and fought against the social revolution that was taking place, ending nationalizations and workers' armed groups.

After the Republican defeat in April of 1939, the PCE was persecuted by the dictatorship of general Francisco Franco (1939-1975), although maintained the best organization of the opposition inside Spain and organized Workers' Commissions (CCOO) like union infiltrated in the fascist union apparatus.

Dolores Ibárruri, "La Pasionaria", replaced as General Secretary Jose Diaz in 1942, and held the position until 1960. Santiago Carrillo was General Secretary from 1960 to 1982. Carrillo resigned to Leninist ideas and defended the pact with the bourgeoisie, accepting the restoration of a liberal democracy, similar to those of the rest of Western Europe. In spite of being a strong party, with 200,000 militants, the PCE only obtained in the elections of 1977 10% of the votes, with similar results in 1979. In 1982, (3%) suffered a great defeat, reason why Carrillo resigned. In 1986, the PCE impelled the formation of Izquierda Unida (IU), the one that directs since then. At the moment, the PCE has about 30,000 militants and it has been reduced. From 1982 to 1988, the General Secretry was Gerardo Iglesias. Between 1988 and 1998, its General Secretary was Julio Anguita. From 1998, he is Francisco Frutos, member of the Cortes.

See also: Politics of Spain