United States, England and France were "neutral," which was their way of assisting Franco. Only the Soviet Union and Mexico helped supply the legally elected republican government of Spain with the arms it so desperately needed. Small groups from all over the world, including the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of U.S. volunteers, fought alongside other anti-Fascists in the famed International Brigade.
Pete pleaded to go but his comrades prevailed on him to stay. At home the struggle also needed good organizers, it was pointed out to him. He agreed reluctantly and plunged anew into work. The logical candidate in Brooklyn, Pete was nominated as the Communist candidate for City Council, and work went forward to put him on the ballot by obtaining signatures on nominating petitions. Meanwhile, Pete and other Party leaders worked out a central united front strategy. LaGuardia was the ALP candidate for Mayor, and it was decided to give him and the ALP ticket critical support.
It was a strategy with which Pete wholeheartedly agreed, for the Communists had long urged labor's political independence. But it did pose some problems for the Communists, whose program was far in advance of that of the ALP both as to immediate demands and the CP's ultimate goal of socialism.
While details were debated in Communist circles, there was virtual unanimity on the central policy -- to help build a progressive coalition to defeat Tammany in the municipal elections with the focus on strengthening the ALP. While supporting the ALP, critically at times, the Communist Party would find the form through which to advance its own independent program and express its own strength. It was a policy that gave advanced workers the opportunity to build a popular coalition while indicating support for selected Communist candidates.
The tactics pursued were fully within this strategic framework. The Communists named a full city-wide slate and various other candidates including councilmanic candidates, with Pete Cacchione as the nominee for councilman from Brooklyn. They gathered the necessary signatures on nominating petitions and filed them in due course. Then, after discussions with various people in the ALP, the Communist Party withdrew its own slate in favor of the ALP city-wide ticket, headed by LaGuardia. It even withdrew its candidate for District Attorney of New York County opposing Thomas E. Dewey, (who was later to become governor and twice unsuccessful Republican candidate for President) without, however, endorsing him. But it kept in the field its councilmanic candidates,