The Communist Party of
A century of struggle
Laura Bécquer Paseiro
THE Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) has reached
its centenary with the same strength with which it
was founded on June 4, 1912. In these times of new
battles, Chilean communists are following in the
path of Luis Emilio Recabarren, a typographer who
founded the Socialist Workers Party (POS) in
Iquique. Ten years later, January 2, 1922, at the
Rancagua Congress, the POS joined the Communist
International and assumed its current name.
communist Gladys Marín
decorated with the José Martí
Order, awarded by the Council of
State, by Comandante en Jefe
Fidel Castro, March 12, 2004.
Photo: Juvenal Balán
In its Declaration of Principles, the Party of
the working class affirmed the need to suppress the
exploitation of man by man, an essential aspect of
capitalism, and replace it with a communist society.
Thus it stated the need to constitute "a vanguard
revolutionary body, with clear, direct and precise
proposals, which can be none other than the
The PCCh also came into existence with the task
of taking the class struggle of the proletariat, as
its highest form of organization, to the highest
level, thus assimilating the ideology which
specifically corresponds to the proletariat: that of
This Party, together with other political forces,
was part of the glorious Popular Unity government
headed by President Salvador Allende (1970-1973).
Those were the years that synthesized the most acute
expression of the class struggle in Chile, the
highest degree of organization attained by the
proletariat and other social sectors.
In the wake of the military coup of Augusto
Pinochet, the PCCh once again led the insurrectional
struggle against the dictatorship. This period was
the most difficult experience for Chilean communists.
The death flights decimated their ranks. Thousands
of leaders and members were murdered and many others
forced into exile.
Nevertheless, this situation did not silence the
voices of those who assumed a vanguard role within
the PCCh. Figures of the stature of Pablo Neruda,
Víctor Jara, Gladys Marín, Volodia Teitelboim, among
others, sustained their undertaking to represent the
less fortunate in Chilean society. The struggle for
social justice and equality has been unfailing.
On the centenary of the Communist Party of Chile,
which enjoys much prestige within the Latin American
left, we recall the words of Ricardo Fonseca, one of
its general secretaries, who stated that the
Communist Party was indestructible because its
existence obeyed the interests, necessities and
struggles of the working class.