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|Santiago Carrillo speaking to the VI Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in 1963.|
|General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain|
3 July 1960 – 10 December 1982
|Preceded by||Dolores Ibárruri|
|Succeeded by||Gerardo Iglesias|
|Born||Santiago Carrillo Solares
January 18, 1915
Gijón, Asturias, Spain
|Political party||Communist Party of Spain|
Born in Gijón, Asturias province, Carrillo is the son of the prominent Socialist leader Wenceslao Carrillo and wife María Rosalía Solares. When he was six-year old, his family moved to Madrid. After attending school, he began to work in El Socialista, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) newspaper when he was 13 years old. At the same time, he joined the Socialist Union, the Workers' General Union and the Socialist Youth.
In 1932, he accessed the Executive Commission of the Socialist Youth and became editor of Renovación, the newspaper of the Socialist Youth. Carrillo was one of the members of the left-wing of the youth organization. In 1933, as the Socialist Youth was becoming more radical, Santiago Carrillo was elected General Secretary of the youth organization. From October 1934 to February 1936 he was jailed, due to his participation in the failed 1934 leftist coup (Carrillo was a member of the National Revolutionary Committee).
After his release, in March 1936, Carrillo and the executive of the Socialist Youth traveled to Moscow to meet the leaders of the Young Communist International and prepare the unification of Socialist and Communist youth leagues. The outcome of the process was the creation of the Unified Socialist Youth (Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas).
After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he decided to join the Communist Party. The formal joining happened the same day the government left Madrid in November. During the war, he showed an intense pro-Soviet approach. On November 7, 1936, Carrillo was elected Councillor for Public Order in the Defense Council of Madrid, who was given supreme power in besieged Madrid, after the government left the city.
During his term, several thousand imprisoned people, military and civilians, including many women and children, were murdered by communist groups in the Paracuellos massacre at Paracuellos del Jarama and Torrejón de Ardoz (the biggest massacre performed in the Republican sector during the Spanish Civil War), where the dead were buried in common graves. Carrillo has always strongly denied any knowledge or involvement in the massacres according to his memoirs but reliable evidence shows involvement in the massacre committed by communist elements. Some right-wing historians like Cesar Vidal or Pio Moa maintain today the thesis of Carrillo's involvement In an interview with the historian Ian Gibson, Carrillo explained once again the details of his version of events concerning the massacre.
In March 1939 Madrid surrendered after an internal coup against the Negrín administration and its close supporter, the Communist Party, which wished to continue the resistance until the foreseeable outbreak of the World War. Carrillo's father, Wenceslao, member of PSOE, was among those who led the coup and was a member of Casado's Junta. Some weeks before, Carrillo's mother had died. Carrillo then wrote a public letter to his father describing the coup as counter-revolutionary and as a betrayal, reproaching him for his anti-communism, and renouncing any further communication with him. In his memoirs, Carrillo states that the letter was written on March 7. However, journalist and historian Carlos Fernández published the letter in 1983, as it had been published in Correspondance International; it was dated on May 15.
After the military collapse of the Republican Government, he fled to Paris and tried to reorganize the party. Carrillo spent 38 years in exile, most of the time in France, but also in the USSR and other countries.
According to Ricardo de la Cierva, in 1945 Carrillo ordered the execution of fellow communist party member Gabriel León Trilla and helped the Francoist forces to detain the fellow communist Jesús Monzón. According to Enrique Líster and Ricardo de la Cierva, Carrillo also ordered in 1949 the execution of fellow communist Joan Comorera, who was saved by the precautions he took. In 2005 Carrillo said "yo he tenido que eliminar a alguna persona" (I have had to eliminate someone) 
Carrillo became the General Secretary of the PCE in 1960, replacing Dolores Ibárruri (Pasionaria), who was given the post of Party President. Carrillo's policies were meant to strengthen the party's position among the working class and intellectual groups, and averted several attempts of removal instigated by the Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist and pro-democracy factions. In 1968, when Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, Carrillo began to distance the party from Moscow.
Carrillo returned secretly to Spain in 1976 after the death of long-time Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco. Arrested by the police, he was released within days. Together with communist comrades Georges Marchais of France and Enrico Berlinguer of Italy, he launched the Eurocommunist movement in a meeting held in Madrid on March 2, 1977.
Carrillo was elected to the Spanish Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados), the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes Generales, representing Madrid district in the first democratic elections in 1977, shortly after the legalization of the PCE (April 9, 1977) by the government of Adolfo Suárez. Throughout the Transition, Carrillo's authority and leadership were decisive in securing peaceful evolution towards a democratic system, a constructive approach based on dialogue with opponents, and a healing of the wounds from the Civil War (the "Reconciliation" policy). Carrillo was re-elected in 1979 and 1982, but was forced to leave his post as party leader on November 6, 1982, owing to the poor party performance in the ballots. The failed coup d'état attempt on 23 February 1981 played a critical role against Carrillo's PCE, as Spanish society was still recovering from the trauma of the Civil War and subsequent repression and dictatorship. Fear of another military uprising propelled the most moderate left wing forces in the next elections. However, it is widely acknowledged that Carrillo's Reconciliation policy (see above) played a key role in making possible a peaceful transition to democracy. His own courageous personal behaviour during the failed coup d'état is also very remarkable −he was, together with outgoing PM Suarez and Minister of Defence Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, one of the three MPs not to obey the rebels' orders to lie down choosing to sit and have a cigarette (as shown in the surviving TV footage of that day). The new General Secretary, the much younger Gerardo Iglesias, a member of the "renovators" wing, was at odds with him from the start.
On April 15, 1985, Carrillo and his followers were expelled from the PCE and the next year, in 1986, they formed their own political group, called the Workers Party of Spain-Communist Unity (PTE-UC). This tiny, leftist party was unable to attract enough voters, so on October 27, 1991, Carrillo announced that it would be disbanded. Subsequently, the PTE-UC merged into the ruling PSOE, but Carrillo declined PSOE membership considering his many years as a communist member.
On October 20, 2005, Carrillo was granted an honorary doctorate by the Autonomous University of Madrid. The action of the university was strongly criticized by right-wing commentators. Carrillo, however, is no longer a communist having "moved to the right through Eurocommunism to social democracy." He was quoted in September 1991: "the Communist movement as such has completed its historical cycle and it makes no sense trying to prolong it."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Santiago Carrillo|
|General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain