Santiago Carrillo


Santiago Carrillo

Santiago Carrillo Solares (born January 18, 1915), Spanish politician, was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) from 1960 to 1982.

Born in Gijón, Asturias province, Carrillo is the son of the prominent Socialist leader Wenceslao Carrillo and, as a 13-year old, was already a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE). He took part in the unification of Socialist and Communist youth leagues in 1934, forming Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas.

From october 1934 to february 1936 he was jailed, due to his participation in the failed 1934 leftist coup ["Carrillo miente 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", 1994, Ricardo de la Cierva, ISBN 8488787830, page 83] .

He became a member of the PCE and went to Moscow in 1936, where he received orders from Dmitry Manuilsky ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, page 92] . During the Spanish Civil War he led the Communist forces in Madrid and showed an intense pro-Soviet approach.

In November 17 1937 Carrillo was elected Councilor for Public Order in the Defense Council of Madrid, as part of a provisional government. During his term, thousands of civilians, including many women and children, were executed in Paracuellos del Jarama and Torrejón de Ardoz (the biggest massacre performed by the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War), where the dead were buried in common graves. [ [http://www.axess.se/english/2003/08/essay.php Knut Ahnlund, Rethinking the Spanish Civil War] ] [Preston, Paul, "A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War". 1996, Fontana Press London.] It is disputed whether Carrillo ordered these executions or not, albeit they were committed under his authority. [Ian Gibson, "Paracuellos. Cómo fue". 1983, Plaza y Janés. Barcelona.] [Vidal, Cesar, "Paracuellos-Katyn: Un ensayo sobre el genocidio de la izquierda". 2005, Libroslibres ISBN 84-96088-32-4] ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva] In an interview with the historian Ian Gibson, he denied his participation on the massacre.

In March 1939 Madrid surrendered after an internal coup. Carrillo´s father, Wenceslao, was among those who led the surrendering. Carrillo wrote then a public letter to his father accusing him of being a Counter-revolutionary and a traitor, and renouncing to any further communication with him ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, pages 263-271 ]

After the military collapse of the Republican Government, he fled to Paris and tried to reorganize the party. Carrillo spent 38 years in exile, most of the time in France, but also in the USSR and other countries.

In 1944 Carrillo led the retreat of the communist guerrillas from the Aran Valley ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, pages 288-291] .

According to Jorge Semprún, Enrique Líster and Ricardo de la Cierva, in 1945 Carrillo ordered the execution of fellow communist party member Gabriel León Trilla and facilitated to the Francoist forces the detention of the fellow communist Monzón ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, pages 298-303] . According to Enrique Líster and Ricardo de la Cierva, Carrillo also ordered in 1949 the execution of the fellow communist Joan Comorera, who was saved by the precautions he took ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, page 316] .

In august 1948, Carrillo met personally Stalin ["Carrillo miente, 156 documentos contra 103 falsedades", Ricardo de la Cierva, page 312] .

Carrillo became the General Secretary of the PCE in 1960, replacing Dolores Ibárruri ("Pasionaria"), who was given the post of Party President. Carrillo's policies were meant to strengthen the party's position among the working class and intellectual groups Fact|date=February 2007, and averted several attempts of removal instigated by the Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist and pro-democracy factions. In 1968, when Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, Carrillo began to distance the party from Moscow.

He returned secretly to Spain in 1976 after the death of long-time dictator Francisco Franco. Arrested by the police he was released within days. Together with Communist comrades Georges Marchais of France and Enrico Berlinguer of Italy, he launched the Eurocommunist movement in a meeting held in Madrid in March 2, 1977. More wary and open-minded than many party comrades, Carrillo's activities were instrumental in the successful outcome of the political transition to democracy in Spain.

Carrillo was elected to the Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of Deputies), the lower house of the Cortes Generales (Spanish Parliament), in the first democratic elections in 1977, shortly after the legalization of the PCE (April 9, 1977) by the government of Adolfo Suárez. Carrillo was reelected again in 1979 and 1982, but was forced to leave his post as party leader on November 6, 1982 due to the poor party performance in the ballots. The new General Secretary, the much younger Gerardo Iglesias, a member of the "renovators" wing, was at odds with him from the start.

On April 15, 1985 Carrillo and his followers were expelled from the PCE and the next year, in 1986, they formed his own political group, called the Workers Party of Spain-Communist Unity (PTE-UC). This tiny, leftist party was unable to attract voters, so in October 27 1991 Carrillo pledged to disband it. Subsequently, the PTE-UC merged into the ruling PSOE, but Carrillo declined to be given the PSOE membership considering his many years as Communist militant.

On October 20, 2005 Carrillo was granted an honorary doctorate by the Autonomous University of Madrid. The action of the University was strongly criticized by right-wing commentators. Carrillo, however, is no longer a Communist having "moved to the right through Eurocommunism to social democracy." [Hudson, Kate. European Communism Since 1989. New York. St. Martin's Press: 2000] He was quoted in September 1991: "the Communist movement as such has completed its historical cycle and it makes no sense trying to prolong it."

List of works

*"Adónde va el Partido Socialista? (Prieto contra los socialistas del interior)" (1959)
*"Después de Franco, ¿qué?" (1965)
*"Problems of Socialism Today" (1970)
*"Eurocomunismo y Estado" Editorial Critica (1977) ISBN 8474230152 ; English edition: "Eurocommunism and the State", Lawrence and Wishart, 1977, ISBN 0-85315-408-2
*"El año de la Constitución" (1978)
*"Memoria de la transición: la vida política española y el PCE" (1983)
*"Problemas de la transición: las condiciones de la revolución socialista" (1985)
*"El año de la peluca" (1987)
*"Problemas del Partido: el centralismo democrático" (1988)
*"Memorias" (1993)
*"La gran transición: ¿cómo reconstruir la izquierda?" (1995)
*"Un joven del 36" (1996)
*"Juez y parte: 15 retratos españoles" (1998)
*"La Segunda República: recuerdos y reflexiones" (1999)
*"¿Ha muerto el comunismo?: ayer y hoy de un movimiento clave para entender la convulsa historia del siglo XX" (2000)
*"La memoria en retazos: recuerdos de nuestra historia más reciente" (2004)

ee also

*Eurocommunism
*History of Spain
*Politics of Spain
*Prime Minister of Spain

Notes


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