On 23 July 1936, representatives from several socialist and communist parties met at the Bar del Pi in Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol to form the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC). The Bar del Pi is still open today and, in 2001, a commemorative plaque was installed in the bar in 2001 to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of the PSUC.
Following the Events of 6 October 1934, Catalan left-wing organisations set up the Left Front and a Liaison Committee amongst the various working class parties in Catalonia. This Committee planned the founding of the PSUC for 26 August 1936, but the uprising military that sparked the Spanish Civil War accelerated the process, and the four parties involved (the Communist Party of Catalonia, the Catalan Federation of the PSOE, the Catalan Proletarian Party and the Socialist Union of Catalonia) appointed their representatives on the first executive committee of the new organisation. Joan Comorera was elected as the general secretary of what was a Leninist party independent of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), as the PSUC became the Catalan section of the Communist International, breaking the latter’s formerly unchangeable principle of “One State, one party”.
During the Spanish Civil War, the PSUC became a key player. When, on 21 July 1936, the Central Committee of Anti-Fascist Militias was set up, the PSUC took on the role of guiding opinions towards one main goal: to win the war against the fascists and establish a stronger democracy with more social rights. This was what led the new party into the conflict with CNT-FAI, which favoured the idea of making the revolution. The PSUC gradually rose to increasing size and importance: its 6,000-strong membership in 1936 rose to 60,000 the next year. The leading social and political position that the party enjoyed during the Civil War was due both to the organisational role it played amid the revolutionary chaos and the identification of the Communists with the aid that the Republic received from the USSR.
After the end of the Civil War, the PSUC continued to be active in exile. In 1948, the party gave up the armed struggle to continue the clandestine political battle. In the 1960s, after ideological and organisational restructuring, the PSUC became one of the most important parties in the anti-Franco opposition in Catalonia and, later, during the Democratic Transition.
Address: 1, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.382517378, 2.174010587