Portuguese Communist Party

The Portuguese Communist Party (Portuguese: Partido Comunista Português, PCP) is a major left-wing political party in Portugal. It is a Marxist-Leninist party, and its organization is based upon democratic centralism. The party also considers itself to be patriotic and internationalist.

The party was founded in 1921 as the Portuguese section of the Communist International (Comintern). Made illegal after a coup in the late 1920s, the PCP played a major role in the opposition to the dictatorial regime of António de Oliveira Salazar. During the five-decades-long dictatorship, the party was constantly suppressed by the political police, the PIDE, which forced its members to live in clandestine status under the threat of arrest, torture, and murder. After the bloodless Carnation Revolution in 1974, which overthrew the 48-year regime, the 36 members of party's Central Committee had, in the aggregate, experienced more than 300 years in jail.

After the end of the dictatorship, the party became a major political force in the newly democratic state, mainly among the working class. Despite being less influential since the fall of the Socialist bloc in eastern Europe, the party still enjoys popularity in large sectors of Portuguese society, particularly in the rural areas of the Alentejo and Ribatejo, and in the heavily industrialized areas around Lisbon and Setúbal, where it holds the leadership of several municipalities.

The Party publishes the weekly Avante!, founded in 1931. Its youth organization is the Portuguese Communist Youth, a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Read more about Portuguese Communist Party:  Media, Youth Organization, Avante! Festival

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