This essay deals with a phase in the history of the Tunisian Communist Party, domi-nated by the presence of Italian militants and leaders, in a period that is important not only for the history of Tunisia, but also for that of Italian anti-Fascism, between the mid-1930s and the mid-1940s. The focus is on the figure and the role of a Sardinian Com-munist leader, Velio Spano, future Constituent and Senator of the Republic, who spent in Tunisia the years between 1938 and 1943, working actively at the top of the Tunisian Communist Party and in the anti-fascist Italian press printed in Tunisia. The analysis deals in particular with the difficult relationship between the communist party and the nationalist movement, particularly the Neo-Destur of Bourguiba. On the one hand a very conflictual relationship is evident, due to the substantial difficulties of the anti-fascist movement (and of the Tunisian communist party in particular) to relate to the colonial question, in a particular moment in which the forces were concentrated on the fight against Nazi-fascism and on the Second World War events; on the other hand, some traces of closeness are evident because the colonial question broke into the in-ternal debate of the Tunisian Communist Party, helping to develop a transversal pro-cess of awareness of the very nature of the colonial system and of the strong link be-tween social emancipation and national liberation.
Keywords: Tunisia, Tunisian Communist Party, Antifascism, Tunisian nationalism, Antifascist press in Tunisia, Velio Spano