Communist Parties (foreign)

   Between World War I and World War II, foreign communist parties tamely accepted the directions of Moscow. The Comintern, with its offices in Moscow, controlled the parties through the assignment of special Comintern representatives, financial subsidies, and discipline. Failure to accept the party line meant excommunication. Before 1945, the Soviet intelligence services had a close and symbiotic relationship with foreign communists. Communist party members became a pool of recruits for the services: the code word for party members in Soviet intelligence traffic was “fellow countrymen.” After 1945, Soviet intelligence had greater luck in recruiting communists in France, Italy, and Germany on ideological grounds. The American and British pools had pretty much dried up.
   The Comintern and then after 1943 the international department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee used the security service to deliver cash to foreign communist parties. As late as the Mikhail Gorbachev years, the KGB delivered an annual stipend of $2 million to the American Communist Party (CPUSA). The Soviet archives reveal that the KGB brought similar stipends to many North American and European parties. In the case of the CPUSA, it was a waste of funds. The CPUSA barely attracted 20,000 voters in presidential elections and had no impact on American culture or society.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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