Creydt, Oscar (1906–1987)
Creydt, Oscar (1906–1987)
Oscar Creydt was a Paraguayan Communist leader. Born in San Miguel, in southern Paraguay, Creydt was the scion of a wealthy family, and although trained as a lawyer, he dedicated his life and fortune instead to organizing the Paraguayan Communist Party.
During the early 1920s, Creydt was a leading figure in the University Students Federation, and in the Consejo Mixto de Obreros y Estudiantes. This latter group (not more than fifty individuals) formed the basis for the Paraguayan Communist Party (PCP), founded in 1928 and brought into the Comintern four years later.
At this time, the PCP could count on little meaningful support in Paraguay, even within the labor unions. After the Chaco War (1932–1935), the Communists found many of their social programs "hijacked" by the nationalist Febrerista Party, and, at the same time, the PCP itself was forced underground. Creydt, however, proved to be a talented clandestine organizer. Through discipline and hard work, he drove out the Trotskyists within the party and managed to weather the persecutions of the Morínigo dictatorship (1940–1948).
In 1947, Creydt got his only opportunity for a measure of national power. A civil war had erupted, and the Communists forged an alliance with disaffected soldiers, Febreristas, and Liberals, which came critically close to defeating the rival Colorados. The strength of the PCP at this juncture surprised many observers, but Creydt, who felt that the political work was finally paying off, was not surprised. Nonetheless, the victory of the Colorados and the subsequent terror sent him and most party members into exile.
Creydt retained his hold on the secretary-general's post for many years. In the 1960s, younger Paraguayan Communists accused him of mimicking Stalin in fostering a cult of personality. The PCP split over this issue in 1968, with a substantial minority shifting to Creydt's old associate, Obdulio Barthe, who now adopted a pro-Beijing line. In 1963 he published a book entitled Formación histórica de la nación paraguaya. In an attempt to heal the breach, Creydt negotiated with the Maoists, but in the end this gesture resulted only in a split of his own pro-Moscow wing. Creydt himself was supplanted as party chief by the much younger Miguel Angel Soler, whose arrest (and probable murder) by General Alfredo Stroessner's police in 1975 brought another round of factionalization from which the Communists did not recover. Until his death in 1987, Creydt remained active in Communist politics, leading a small faction of supporters in a party that was largely divided and ostracized.
Bonzi, Antonio. Procéso histórico del Partido Comunista Paraguayo: Un itinerario de luces y sombras. Asuncíon: Arandurá, 2001.
Creydt, Oscar. Formación histórica de la nación paraguaya (1963), pp. 48-55.
Lambert, Peter, and Ricardo Medina. "Contested Discourse, Contested Power: Nationalism and the Left in Paraguay." Bulletin of Latin American Research 26 (July 2007): 339-355.
Lewis, Paul H. Paraguay Under Stroessner (1980), pp. 32, 220-221.
Rosales, Humberto. Historia del Partido Comunista Paraguayo (1928–1991) (1991), passim.
Thomas L. Whigham