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Escalante, Aníbal (1909–1977)

Escalante, Aníbal (1909–1977)

Aníbal Escalante (b. 1909; d. 11 August 1977), secretary-general of the Partido Socialista Popular (Cuban Communist Party—PSP) and editor of the party's organ Hoy. Born in Oriente Province into an affluent family, Escalante graduated with a degree in law from the University of Havana in 1932, the same year he joined the Communist Party. During that year Escalante founded Hoy, the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party. He was the paper's editor from 1938 into the early 1960s as well as the party's elected representative in the lower house of the Cuban Congress from 1948 to 1952.

Escalante survived the Batista dictatorship and the Cuban Revolution of 1959 to play a key role in the reformed Communist Party under the leadership of Fidel Castro. In 1961 he was given the task of merging Castro's own Twenty-sixth of July Movement with the Revolutionary Student Directorate and the Cuban Communist Party. Escalante attempted to forge a single party, the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations, modeled after the Soviet Communist Party. Perceived as a threat to Castro's power, he was dismissed from the National Directory in 1962 and was forced out of Cuba that same year. After a brief exile, Escalante returned to Cuba in 1964, and once again became active in politics.

In 1968 Escalante, along with other members of the old PSP, was accused of forming a "micro-faction" within the new, ruling Cuban Communist Party (PCP), and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for "attempting to destroy the unity" of the Cuban Revolution. He died in Havana.

See alsoCuba, Political Parties: Communist Party .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., "Urban Labor and Communism: Cuba," in Caribbean Studies 3, no. 3 (1963): 17-50.

Ramón Eduardo Ruiz, Cuba: The Making of a Revolution (1970).

Samuel Farber, Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933–1960 (1976).

Additional Bibliography

Sweig, Julie. Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

                                       Michael Powelson

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