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Toward a Global History of Latin America's Revolutionary Left$
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Tanya Harmer and Alberto Martín Álvarez

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401698

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401698.001.0001

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The Brazilian Far Left, Cuba, and the Sino-Soviet Split, 1963

The Brazilian Far Left, Cuba, and the Sino-Soviet Split, 1963

New International Evidence on a Discordant “Struggle for Ascendancy”

(p.103) 3 The Brazilian Far Left, Cuba, and the Sino-Soviet Split, 1963
Toward a Global History of Latin America's Revolutionary Left

James G. Hershberg

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines the international aspects of the struggle on the Brazilian Revolutionary Left in the early 1960s, against the backdrops of domestic political instability, the Cold War, and the Sino-Soviet split. It explores two rivalries on the Brazilian Revolutionary Left, both pitting the established, pro-Moscow Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and its venerable leader, Luis Carlos Prestes—who supported Nikita Khrushchev’s line of struggling for power through peaceful, political means—against rivals who favored armed revolution: a dissident breakaway faction, the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), which embraced Beijing’s side in the Sino-Soviet spat and sought Mao Zedong’s backing against Prestes and the PCB; and the Peasant Leagues in Brazil’s northeast, whose leader, Francisco Julião, admired the Cuban Revolution. In early 1963, both Prestes and Julião visited Havana to court Fidel Castro; and rival PCB and PCdoB delegations visited China, seeking Mao’s endorsement. The dispute over Brazil’s correct revolutionary path mirrored the larger rift in the communist world. Drawing on an array of archival sources—Brazilian, U.S., Chinese, Russian, British, Czech, Hungarian, East German, Polish, and more—the chapter reveals a previously unknown dimension of the intersection, and interaction, between internal Brazilian and global revolutionary left.

Keywords:   Brazil, Revolutionary Left, Peasant Leagues, Francisco Julião, Brazilian Communist Party, Luis Carlos Prestes, Communist Party of Brazil, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, Sino-Soviet split

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