Recent research has reminded us of the centrality of anti-Communism to the politics of the Cold War in Latin America. This article focuses on a form of anti-Communism that I call creole anti-Communism, which predated the Cold War and was not imposed from abroad or indeed from above. In Peru, anti-Communism proved a key idiom through which the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA) sought to gain control over organized labor and to challenge the Peruvian Communist Party’s claims to represent and lead workers. APRA’s anti-Communism grew out of Víctor Haya de la Torre’s polemics with José Carlos Mariátegui and with the Comintern. But it was also shaped by APRA’s evolving strategy in relation to organized labor in the early 1930s. I focus on the ways in which APRA came to view labor autonomy vis-à-vis the party and, more generally, workers’ rejection of Communist attempts to politically control the labor movement as key tactics in its broader struggle against the Peruvian Communist Party. In a context of growing repression of everything associated with Communism, APRA proved adept at channeling, and benefiting from, a form of labor anti-Communism, or anti-Communism from below, by adapting its own strategy toward labor.

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