‘Serving the people’. A short history of Spanish Maoism (1964- 1980)

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2022 Number 22

‘Serving the people’. A short history of Spanish Maoism (1964- 1980)


1956 was an important date for Spanish communism. The Twentieth Congress of the CPSU was being held in Moscow, and the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) adopted the policy of ‘National Reconciliation’. This became the starting point for Maoist dissidence and clashes with the party leadership, whom they accused of ‘revisionism’. In 1964 the first Maoist party was formed, the PCE (marxist-leninist), made up of radicalised youth as well as some communist veterans. The influence of Maoism then slowly increased and it started to infiltrate other social sectors: workers, students and even Catholic groups. As a result of this influence, further organisations were created, such as the PCE (international), the Communist Movement, the Revolutionary Organisation of Workers, the Organisation of Spanish Marxist-Leninists and the Communist Organisation (Red Flag). During the final years of the Franco dictatorship a number of Maoist groups committed them-selves to armed struggle. The first to take this type of action were the militants of the Revolutionary and Patriotic Antifascist Front (FRAP), a short-lived group created by the PCE (m-l), which lasted from 1973 to 1976. In response to the execution of several FRAP militants on 27 September 1975, the First October Revolutionary Antifascist Groups (GRAPO) were created. This organisation sought to overcome demor-alisation in post-transition Spain through intensifying actions based on armed struggle, but it eventually became a marginal force, as a result of persecution by the police. This article reviews the history of the Maoist political subculture in Spain over two decades from a social and cultural perspective, and analyses multiple aspects of this communist current, including its transnational networks, collective memory and identity.

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To cite this article
EDUARDO ABAD GARCIA (2022) ‘Serving the people’. A short history of Spanish Maoism (1964- 1980), Twentieth Century Communism, 2022(22), 94-116

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