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Revolutionary Action Party (PAR)

Revolutionary Action Party (PAR)

The Revolutionary Action Party (Partido de Acción Revolucionaria, or PAR) the major electoral vehicle of both presidents Juan José Arévalo (1945–1951) and Jacobo Arbenz (1951–1954) during the revolutionary decade in Guatemala, was founded in 1945 by a merger of the two main parties of the October Revolution (1944), the Popular Liberation Front (Frente Popular Libertador—FPL) and the National Renovation Party (Renovación Nacional—RN). The party's ideological position was that of moderate socialism.

When the communist José Manuel Fortuny was chosen secretary general in November 1946, the more moderate wing of the party left to reconstitute the FPL. In late 1947 Fortuny and his followers secretly formed a communist party, the Vanguardia Democrática Guatemalteca, but continued to use the PAR to legitimize their political activities. However, a coalition of socialists and noncommunist Marxists led by Augusto Charnaud MacDonald recaptured the party leadership in March 1949.

PAR was the major party in the coalition backing Arbenz in the 1950 elections. Shortly thereafter the Fortuny faction split from the PAR, and the democratic socialist faction of Charnaud MacDonald formed the Socialist Party (PS) in 1951. The PAR then joined the FPL, RN, and PS in creating the Party of the Guatemalan Revolution (PRG) in 1952 to support Arbenz's agrarian reform program, but it later withdrew. The PAR was dissolved after the overthrow of Arbenz in 1954.

See alsoArbenz Guzmán, Jacobo .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ronald M. Schneider, Communism in Guatemala, 1944–1954 (1958).

Asies, El rol de los partidos políticos en Guatemala (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Bornschein, Dirk. Las izquierdas en Guatemala. Guatemala: Fundación Friedrich Ebert, 2000.

Montenegro Ríos, Carlos Roberto. Historia de los partidos políticos en Guatemala. Guatemala: Mayaprin, 2002.

Soto Rosales, Carlos Rafael. El sueño encadenado: El proceso político guatemalteco, 1944–1999. Guatemala: Tipografía Nacional, 2002.

                                            Roland H. Ebel

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