A communist party is a political party that champions actively for communism especially based on the principles advocated by Karl Marx. In communist nations, it is the sole governing party. Communist parties support some issues including rights of laborers and sovereignty. Those parties existing in communist countries command direct control over the country’s affairs. Communist parties have a level of influence in their countries which can range from dismissal to very high. The countries that have communist parties with some degree of control at the national level include China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba among others.
Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China boasts 88.76 million members. The party was founded in 1921 and traces its history to a study group associated with the Nationalist Party in the 1920s. During WWII, the Chinese were dissatisfied with the Nationalist Party for widespread corruption and undemocratic policies. Conflicts between the Communist and the National Party led to war and the Communism Party declared the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The communist party has been in power ever since and is the sole party in the country.
After every five years, an estimated 2,000 delegates of the party meet and elect a central committee comprising of 200 members who congregate once a year. This Committee in turn elects 20-25 members to make up the Political Bureau (Politburo) which is the official leading body. Six to nine of the most influential members of the Bureau will form a committee which is the pinnacle of authority in the country. The Communist Party of China controls all activities of the state.
Communist Party of Vietnam
The Communist Party of Vietnam has 4.4 million members. It is the only party legally recognized in Vietnam. It was created on February 3, 1930, and was the result of fragmented communist associations present in Indochina. Previously Indochina Communist Party, it was christened Communist Party of Vietnam in 1976.
The Party and consequently the country are headed by the Secretary-General with the Politburo, and the Secretariat is next in hierarchy. Politburo has 14 members and drafts government policies. The Secretariat supervises day to day activities. The National Congress elects members of the Central Committee.
The party controls most of the government activities although there has been provision for a middle-level private sector in the economy.
Worker’s Party of Korea
Worker’s Party is the sole communist party in the country. In 1929 the party was consolidated from Worker’s Party of North and South Korea and gave rise to the current Worker’s Party of Korea. The party Congress is comprised of the delegates who meet and elect members to the Central Committee.
A Political Bureau determines the party’s policy. The supreme power lies with the First Secretary of the Party. The Party holds potential members subject to certain standards and most of its members are the elites in the society. The party directs and controls all other groups operating in North Korea. The party controls the media rigorously and disapproves of any information it deems unsuitable. Presently the party has a membership of 3 million people.
Communist Party of Cuba
The Communist Party of Cuba is the only party operating in Cuba and is the most influential organization in the country. Founded on August 16, 1925, it advocated for social and economic equality and propagated anti-US campaigns. The party was formed from the merging of three groups: the first Community Party, Revolutionary Movement, and Revolutionary Directorate. Fidel Castro was at the helm of this consolidated party.
The party is headed by the first Secretary, who is the Supreme leader. Under the First Secretary is the Politburo and the Secretariat. There is a central committee comprised of 150 members. The party’s membership is at 800,000 which is only a small percentage of Cuba’s citizens. The Communist Party of Cuba controls all aspects of the country’s activities.
Other prominent and influential communist parties and the number of their membership are Communist Party of Brazil (340,000), South African Communist Party (220,000), Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (192,000) and Portuguese Communist Party (60,000). These communist parties exhibit similarities, especially regarding structure and ideologies. Parties with the significant influence on the affairs of their countries are mostly the sole legal governing parties. They use the direct control to rule their countries and making them more influential than any other organization.