Margaret M. Power, Illinois Institute of Technology, “A Political and Transnational Ménage a Trois: The Communist Party USA, the Puerto Rican Communist Party, and the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, 1934-1945”

This chapter explores the relationships among the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party (PNPR), the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), and the Communist Party of Puerto Rico (PCP) from the mid-1930s through the mid-1940s. The PCP and the CPUSA had close ties with each other and an uneven connection with the PNPR.  All three parties supported a free Puerto Rico, but only the Nationalists consistently prioritized ending U.S. colonialism. While the Nationalists opposed fascism, they continued to fight for independence. The CPUSA and the PCP upheld the demand for Puerto Rican independence, even though they backed the Roosevelt Administration’s anti-independence policies. Further, the communist parties linked independence to socialism and the working class while they called on all Puerto Ricans, regardless of class, to unite against colonialism.

Keywords: Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), Communist Party of Puerto Rico (PCP); Puerto Rican Nationalist Party (PNPR); Popular Front; Pueblos Hispanos