The Socialist Party (Spanish: Partido Socialista, PS) was a political party in Puerto Rico.
It was founded as the Labor Party (Partido Obrero) in 1900 by Santiago Iglesias Pantín, an early leader of the Puerto Rican labor movement who was influenced by the Socialist Labor Party of America. It was formally refounded as the PS on March 21, 1915, in the town of Cayey. It originally served as the political arm of the Free Federation of Workers, which became the Puerto Rican branch of the American Federation of Labor. The party was an affiliate of the Socialist Party of America.
In Puerto Rican elections, the Socialist Party garnered 24,468 votes in 1917 (14 percent) and 59,140 votes in 1920 (23.5 percent). Over time, Iglesias and the Socialists became more in favor of statehood and worked with the pro-annexation Republican Party. The Socialists won seven seats to the island's constitutional convention, which convened between 1951 and 1952. The party disbanded before elections in 1956, and the leadership directed party members to join the Popular Democratic Party (PPD).
The Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Spanish: Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP) was a Marxist and pro-independence political party in Puerto Rico.
The PSP originated as the Pro-Independence Movement (Movimiento Pro-Independencia, MPI), founded on January 11, 1959, in the city of Mayagüez. The MPI was formed by a group of dissidents from the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP). Over the following years the group was greatly influenced by the Cuban Revolution. During the 1964 elections, the MPI promoted a boycott, and throughout the decade campaigned against the presence of US corporations on the island.
At its Eighth General Assembly on November 28, 1971, the MPI renamed itself the Puerto Rican Socialist Party and endorsed Marxism-Leninism. Juan Mari Brás was named the PSP's general secretary, and Carlos Gallisá Bisbal later became party president. The party gained a following in the labor movement, student movement and community organizations. It was a fraternal party of the Progressive Labor Party in the United States.
PSP branches also emerged in the United States beginning in 1973, most prominently in the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of New York City and Chicago. One of its most prominent leaders in the US was Luis Gutierrez, who later became a Chicago alderman in the 1980s and a US Congressman in the 1990s. The PSP was primarily responsible for a pro-independence rally that drew 20,000 people to Madison Square Garden on October 27, 1974. PSP members were also active in the movement against the Vietnam War.
The PSP faced disruption from the FBI's COINTELPRO program and attacks from anticommunist forces on the island. Mari Brás's son, Santiago Mari Pesquera, was murdered mysteriously in March 1976, and the offices of the PSP newspaper Claridad were bombed. Several party members narrowly escaped murder attempts.
Disagreements arose within the party over whether to engage in guerrilla warfare or to enter electoral politics. After a poor showing in the 1976 elections, these disagreements over tactics paralysed the PSP. The party's membership and following declined in the 1980s, and it formally disbanded in 1993. However, Claridad continues to be published as a weekly newspaper. Mari Brás and other former PSP leaders later became involved in the Hostosian National Independence Movement (MINH).