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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 03, 1965

BULGARIAN EMBASSY, HAVANA (KULBOV), INFORMATION REGARDING THE LATIN AMERICAN COMMUNIST PARTIES’ CONFERENCE

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    First Secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy to Cuba A. Hubenov describes a Latin American communist party conference held in Havana, November 1964. The parties secretly discussed their struggle against imperialism and the expansion of communist revolutions in Latin America and Cuba's assistance to that struggle. Conference deliberations included a discussion of the Sino-Soviet split and the fear of factions within the communist movement.
    "Bulgarian Embassy, Havana (Kulbov), Information Regarding The Latin American Communist Parties’ Conference," March 03, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive of Bulgaria (TsDA), Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 51, File 400; translated by Assistant Professor Kalina Bratanova, edited by Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116367
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No. 241

Embajada de la Republica

Popular de Bulgaria – La Habana

Havana, 3 March 1965

TO: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Second Department

CC BCP, Department “Foreign Policy & International Relations”

We are sending you attached an Information re: The Latin American Communist Parties’ Conference

Ambassador: Atanas Kulbov[1]

Information

Re: The Latin American Communist Parties’ Conference

The conference of the Latin American communist parties was called upon the initiative of Uruguay’s and Argentine’s communist parties. The proposal to convene was made in July last year, when many representatives of these parties took part in the celebrations on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the attack against the Moncada barracks in Cuba.

The conference was held in Havana in the period 22 - 29 November last year under strict secrecy and with the participation of representatives of all the communist parties of the countries in Latin America, except that of Santo Domingo, whose representative was unable to take part for health reasons.

The whole Secretariat of the National leadership of the Cuban Communist Party was present - Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Osvaldo Dortikos, Blas Roca, Ernesto Che Guevara and Emilio Aragones. Comrade Carlos Rafael Rodriguez also took part in the conference.

There were two major issues on the agenda: the struggle against imperialism in different Latin American countries, sharing the revolutionary experience of the communist parties in these countries and the further expansion of the struggle for liberation in Latin America, on the one hand, and the unity and solidarity of the international workers’ and communist movement, the danger of it being split up in factions and the measures necessary to preserve and consolidate its unity, on the other.

Detailed discussions and extensive speeches were made at the conference. Some of the delegates were not well prepared. The Brazilian delegation did not meet the high standards.

The Cuban Communist Party was exposed to severe criticism because of its attempt to impose its own revolutionary experience on some countries, without asking for these [countries’] parties’ consent. They were criticized mainly for the fact that they had sent people to organize armed struggle not informing the respective parties of this and therefore doing them harm. They had established and maintained close contacts with organizations outside the communist parties.

For its part, the Cuban delegation criticized certain Latin American parties for the fact that they considered the opportunity to take the political power by peaceful means, a matter debated at the 20th Congress of the CPSU as a dogma; thus they had neglected and discarded all other means to achieve this political goal. This criticism was directed towards the Brazilian Communist Party above all, since it had not taken all measures to prepare an armed struggle within the country and had therefore found itself in a critical situation during last year’s coup d’etat.

Similar, though not absolutely the same comments were made by the representatives of Guatemala’s and Venezuela’s delegations.

Almost all delegates were unanimous on the second issue of the unity and solidarity of the international workers’ and communist movement, the danger of it being split up as a result of the harmful impact of the activities of China’s party leaders. The Cuban delegation did not comment on this matter; it suggested that a phrase be added to the final resolution on the activities [of the Chinese party leaders] saying “...whatever their source might be...”

The conference’s resolutions have been published in a communiqué. These are based on the Declaration of the Communist and Workers’ Parties’ Conferences of 1957 and 1960.

To implement the resolution on putting an end to the open debates, a delegation was appointed to inform CPSU and the ChCP of the conference’s work and resolutions; this delegation had to ask for stopping both the open discussions on debatable issues as well as the support provided to the organizations sowing discord. The same delegation was in charge of calling off the general meeting of the Communist and Workers’ parties, scheduled for 15 December.

The delegate selected from the Cuban Communist Party was Carlos Rafael Rodriguez. According to the available information, this delegation was highly appreciated in the Soviet Union. The attitude towards it in China was just the opposite - it faced an attitude of reservation and formality, which is indicative of China’s party’s leaders’ apparent dissatisfaction with the conference’s work and resolutions.

Representatives of other parties will pay a visit to the other socialist countries to inform of the conference’s work.

The following exchange of views on the conference’s work and results shows that its decisions are defined as positive. The Conference is viewed as an initial attempt to put the struggle against imperialism on a broader and more organized base using the experience of each party without interfering in its internal affairs. It is stated that the Latin American Revolution is a common deal, and has to be developed having in mind the concrete circumstances in each country. It is also confirmed that the Communist parties are the leading force of this Revolution.

The representatives of different delegations shared with us their satisfaction of the Cuban Party’s hospitality during the Conference.

Havana, 8 February 1965

First Secretary, Bulgarian Embassy:

/A. Hubenov/

[1] Ambassador to Cuba (1963-1967) and Brazil (1972-1975).