What is it about?

Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos conducted secret diplomacy with the Soviet Union through a local Communist Party, the PKP. The PKP supported the president and helped him set up his dictatorship. The party bombed parts of Manila and Marcos used these bombings to justify martial law. The party became part of his government after he became dictator.

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Why is it important?

This article gives us new insight into how Marcos became dictator in the Philippines. It reveals for the first time the role played by the PKP in this process. It exposes the deep dishonesty of Marcos' anticommunist excuses for his dictatorship, which he set up with the aid of a Communist party.


I think anyone familiar with the established narrative of the Marcos dictatorship will be deeply surprised by two things: Marcos relations with the Soviet Union, and his ties to the PKP. Marcos is conventionally seen as an anti-communist ally of the United States. This article reveals that things were more complicated than that.

Dr Joseph Scalice
Nanyang Technological University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cadre as informal diplomats: Ferdinand Marcos and the Soviet Bloc, 1965–1975, History and Anthropology, June 2021, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2021.1946053.
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