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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Communist Party of El Salvador formed March 30, 1930





It was Sunday, March 30, 1930, on the shore of Lake Ilopango, 15 km from the city ​​of San Salvador that a group of 25 to 30 workers, shoemakers, tailors, carpenters with two teachers among them (according to Miguel Mármol, who was one of the founders), made the historic decision to found the Communist Party of El Salvador, inspired by the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 and the aspirations of the working class for a better world.

That young party began a revolutionary struggle under the administration of the President Pío Romero Bosque, who had a liberal but also repressive vision. This was in the midst of the great world economic recession at that time, which had started in 1929 and hit the working class and the peasantry hard. This situation caused a serious famine among the impoverished people and especially the peasant masses. In addition to all of this there was the coup d'état of December 2, 1931 by General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, overthrowing President Arturo Araujo.


In this economic and political context, the PCS worked intensively to organize the working class of the city and the countryside. In 1931 it organized for rebellion and participated in the mayoral elections in December of that year and January 1932. Those elections were a grotesque mockery of the working people and the mayors of the parties supporting the dictatorship were appointed.


The PCS was involved in preparing the rebellion that began on January 22, 1932. 30,000 workers, peasants and indigenous people were killed in this rebellion that also saw the shootings of Farabundo Martí and the students Alfonso Luna and Mario Zapata on February 1, 1932.


The Communist Party was decimated and forced to work underground. It resurfaced in 1944 with the fall of General Hernández Martínez and continued its heroic struggle until 1995, when it was dissolved by the Ninth Party congress. In view of changing circumstances and the historical necessity of its existence, the PCS was re-founded on March 27, 2005.


From The Great Soviet Encyclopedia 1979:


Communist Party of El Salvador


(CPES, Partido Comunista de El Salvador), a party founded at a congress in March 1930. It has had considerable influence among workers and peasants. Persecution of the party began after the establishment of the Martinez military dictatorship in December 1931. The CPES was active in the popular uprising of 1932, which was harshly suppressed by the authorities. Many party organizations were smashed and a number of party leaders killed. In May 1944 the dictatorship fell as a result of a general strike, which the Communists played an important role in organizing.


The Second Congress of the CPES (August 1946) discussed questions of party reorganization and adopted party rules.


The Program of National Unity was adopted at the Third Congress (1948). The fundamental demand was the creation of a united front of all democratic forces. The Fourth Congress (August 1950) took place as the party’s activity continued to gain in scope; its authority and influence among the working class, peasantry, and intelligentsia was growing. The Fifth Congress (February 1964) discussed drafts for general and agrarian programs and adopted new rules. The Sixth, Extraordinary Congress (August 1970) discussed questions of party development.


Delegations of the CPES took part in the work of the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties (1957, 1960, and 1969 in Moscow). The CPES approved the documents adopted at the conferences.


The CPES is organized in accord with the principle of democratic centralism. The supreme party body is the Congress; between congresses, the party’s activity is directed by the Central Committee, which elects the Political Commission and a Secretariat. The central organ is the newspaper La Verdad.

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