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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 25, 1964

FROM THE DIARY OF O. T. DARUSENKOV, RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH THE ORGANIZATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE PURS, EMILIO ARAGONES NAVARRO, 4 JUNE 1964

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Aragones discusses a recent speech by Che Guevara to young communists of the Ministry of Industry. He expresses a strong opinion that Guevara's speech was ultimately unclear and unsuccessful.
    "From the Diary of O. T. Darusenkov, Record of a Conversation with the Organizational Secretary of the National Leadership of the PURS, Emilio Aragones Navarro, 4 June 1964," June 25, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 49, d. 758, l. 152-153, r. 9126. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117090
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[Stamp]: Declassified

from the diary of

Darusenkov, O. T.

Secret Copy No 2

25 June 1964

No 253

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with the Organizational Secretary of the National Leadership of the PURS [United Party of the Socialist Revolution], Emilio ARAGONES NAVARRO

4 June 1964

I met with Aragones while maintaining contacts and had a short conversation with him.

The conversation was concerned in particular with the speech of Ernesto Guevara before the young communists of the Ministry of Industry on 9 May in which the latter touched on the problem of creating a Marxist-Leninist party in Cuba.

Aragones expressed himself in the vein that this speech of Guevara’s was obviously unsuccessful. Being muddled in manner of expression, it suffered from inaccurate, at times simply unclear, formulations and did not clearly show why the process of creating a party in Cuba was so drawn out. The main thing is that it did not indicate a way to overcome the difficulties which stand in the path of building a party.

In Aragones’ opinion, Guevara’s speech could be interpreted in such a way that building a Marxist-Leninist party in Cuba will go slowly as a consequence of a fear that petty bourgeois ideology will pervade it. Indeed, said Aragones, who except the Party can organize a systematic all-encompassing struggle against this ideology. This work is only within the power of a Marxist-Leninist party.

Aragones stressed that Guevara addressed the question of the danger of the influence of a petty bourgeois ideology on the Cuban revolution at his, Aragones’, insistence. He did this, said Aragones, after I repeatedly told him that his policy of constantly mentioning the “sectarian errors” of Anibal Escalante and their dangerous consequences have already outlived itself and does not correspond to the present situation in the Party and the country.

Domestic and foreign counterrevolution are not such a danger to us at the present time as earlier, Aragones continued.

Sectarian errors have been overcome as a problem. The main danger right now lies in we ourselves, in the revolutionary forces, in the possibility of petty bourgeois ideology pervading our ranks and becoming entrenched in them. All it takes is for petty bourgeois ideology to take root in our ranks and the revolution will be placed on the brink of failure. Just the fact alone that the overwhelming majority of the leadership of our Party is from petty bourgeois or even bourgeois circles is evidence that this danger is real. Fidel Castro himself is a representative of the bourgeoisie from his background. I can say the same of myself.

It is not an easy task, Aragones said further, for the petty and middle bourgeoisie to take a stand for Marxist-Leninist positions, moreover firmly hold to them. Many of our leaders in this regard feel a weakness, but this is dangerous, and it threatens the unity of our ranks, especially the harmonious combination of the “old” and “young” revolutionaries. As luck would have it we have few people in our leadership who have the bad smell of petty bourgeois hostility toward the “old ones,” the members of the Popular Socialist Party, but they all the same were quite clearly displayed during the recent trial of Marcos Rodriguez.

The petty bourgeois element, continued Aragones, generally is now trying to take the offensive and seize positions in the country.

This circumstance is being used by the enemies by the revolution. In present Cuban conditions it is unthinkable for someone to openly begin to speak out against the revolution. The very first people to hear such a person would shut his mouth. Therefore counterrevolutionary elements are getting around this and are trying to use the petty bourgeois remnants of a considerable part of Cuban revolutionaries. Referring to mistakes which were made at one time by the Popular Socialist Party in the Cuban revolution, they are attacking old communists. Their expectation is simple – to discredit Marxism-Leninism and undermine the unity of revolutionary forces with the aim of weakening the revolution.

Something similar is occurring regarding the dissention in the international Communist movement. Elements hostile to the Cuban revolution, who generally spit on China, are right now disguising themselves as Chinese [available text ends here]

[Handwritten note at the bottom of the first page]: “To the archive. The material is informative. Chief of a CC CPSU sector. [signature] A. Kalinin. 9.9.64.“

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