A History of Organized Labor in Cuba

By Robert J. Alexander | Go to book overview

4
The CTC Split and Its Aftermath

The changed political situation after the June 1944 election clearly had its influence on the labor movement, and particularly on the Confederaciόn de Trabajadores de Cuba. Communist control of the CTC had been based, at least in part, on the alliance between the party and Fulgencio Batista. It was hardly conceivable that such friendly relations could be maintained by the Communist CTC leaders with the new Auténtico president.

However, in spite of his opposition to the Communists, President Ramon Grau San Martin was faced with major problems if he should decide to help to deprive the Stalinists of control of the CTC. He lacked a majority in Congress, and the army was still largely in the hands of officers who owed a greater or less degree of loyalty to General Batista. Furthermore, World War II was still in progress, and both the Communists and the Auténticos were committed to helping the Allied war effort.

The upshot of this situation was a certain spirit of compromise between the Auténticos—their party, the CON, and the president—and the Communists during the first two years of Grau San Martin’s government. This compromise was clear in the labor movement. It was also reflected in the pronouncements of both President Grau and the Communist leaders of the CTC.

Grau San Martin seemed immediately after his election to indicate the intention of challenging Communist control of the CTC. In an interview with the conservative newspaper Diario de la Marina only two days after his election, the president-elect indicated his belief that the CTC was “subordinate to a political party which is contrary precisely to the ideals and interests of the great majority of the Cuban workers.”

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