The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

9
The Communists Undermine the Socialist Movement

T HAT the Communist Party's policy of camouflaging the revolution could only have been initiated with the acquiescence or active support of other organizations can be open to no doubt; nor can there be any doubt that in order to feel sure of the successful continuation of its policy it had to become the ruling party in the left camp. This could be accomplished only at the expense of the Socialist movement, and more especially of its predominant left wing, the most powerful force in Madrid on the morrow of the revolution.

In the months before the Civil War the official relations between the left-wing Socialists and the Communist Party had been on a most friendly footing, so much so that their leader, Francisco Largo Caballero, the general secretary of the trade union federation, the UGT, and virtual leader of the Socialist youth movement, had given his encouragement to the fusion of the Socialist and Communist trade union federations1 as well as to the merging of the two youth organizations.2 Moreover, in March, 1936, the Madrid section of the Socialist Party, presided over by Largo Caballero, had decided to propose at the next National Congress the fusion of the Socialist and Communist Parties.3 Largo Caballero himself had personally advocated this amalgamation in several public statements,4 and had replied favourably to a Communist proposal that a contact committee be set up with a programme designed "to facilitate the development of the democratic revolution

____________________
1
See speech by Wericeslao Carrillo in La Correspondencia de Valencia, September 4, 1937.
2
See p. 115, below.
3
Claridad, March 19, 1936; La Libertad, April 4, 1936.
4
See, for example, interview reported in Claridad, December 7, 1935, speech, ibid., April 11, 1936.

-104-

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