Tony Wood, “Semi­-Colonials and Soviets: Latin American Communists in the USSR, 1928-­1936”

This chapter looks at the experience of Latin American Communists in the USSR in the late 1920s and early 1930s as a prism for understanding the relations between Latin American parties and the global Communist movement. Drawing on the Comintern archives in Moscow, sources from Mexico and Cuba, and personal testimonies, it explores how Latin Americans attempted to reshape the Comintern’s understanding of their region, and how their personal and political trajectories were remade—in some cases with drastic consequences—by their sojourns in the Soviet capital. The transnational encounters of figures such as the Ecuadorean Ricardo Paredes, the Cuban Sandalio Junco and the Brazilian Héitor Ferreira Lima offer a privileged window onto a key phase in the development of the region’s Communist movement.

Keywords: Communist International (Comintern), Cuban Communist Party (PCC), Mexican Communist Party (PCM), internationalism, International Lenin School, Trotskyism, Stalinism