VII Congresso do PCP, 1974

Foundation of the Portuguese Communist Party

06 March 2023

#nestedia March 6, 1921, at the headquarters of the Association of Office Employees, in Lisbon, a meeting was held that would found the Portuguese Communist Party.

“The founding of the PCP, on March 6, 1921, was not the result of chance or an arbitrary decision. It was an expression of a historical need in Portuguese society. It was the result of the evolution of the Portuguese workers’ movement when it reached a certain stage of development ”.

Based on the will of the workers, under the international impact of the October 1917 Revolution, the founding of the PCP influenced the course of the Portuguese workers’ movement, the anti-fascist resistance and the struggle for freedom.

Illegalized after the military coup of May 28, 1926, the PCP was forced into hiding under severe repression, a process in which Bento Gonçalves, after 1929, played a very important role in the creation of the clandestine press (Avante! And “O Militante”) and in defining guidelines for a popular rooting strategy.

The countless arrests and persecutions that reached its activity forced the reorganization of 1940-1941, whose decisions were decisive so that the PCP had resisted like any other party to the violence of the fascist repression during the 48 years of the regime, to extend its influence in the territory national level, promote anti-fascist unity and define the insurrectional path for the overthrow of fascism. Throughout this process, Álvaro Cunhal played a central role, he was part of the Secretariat from 1942 to 1949, a period during which he contributed decisively to the definition of the PCP’s identity, and in March 1961 he was elected Secretary-General, intervening decisively to correct the called right deviation and in the “Rumo à Vitória” on the anti-fascist unity and the conditions that would lead to the 25th of April 1974.

In the VI Congress (1965), in a period of crisis of the dictatorship and colonial war, the “PCP Program for the democratic and national revolution” defined as objectives the liquidation of the power of the monopolies, the agrarian reform, the liberation of Portugal from imperialism and the right of the peoples of the Portuguese colonies to independence.

With the 25th of April 1974, it became a legal party and actively participated in the revolutionary process, integrating the Provisional Governments between 1974 and 1976. In October 1974 it held its VII Congress (Extraordinary), the total of the years spent in prison by the then 36 members of the Central Committee were over 300 years old.

The PCP marks its centenary in 2021. To generations and generations of women and men who were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered, and who contributed decisively to the achievement of freedom and democracy, the Museum of Aljube Resistance and Freedom pays tribute to all of them.


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