Jouhaux and Toledano

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The inimitable Leon Jouhaux has sent a telegram to the inimitable Lombardo Toledano. The wire poses a menacing question: Is it true that the government of Mexico is preparing to grant oil concessions to Japan and other fascist countries? This would mean strengthening the military power of the fascists and would lead to international catastrophes; it would mean peaceful cities in flames, huge numbers of victims, etc. In the tone of a schoolboy caught misbehaving Toledano replied: "No, no, Mexico will never grant such concessions!" Quite recently the same Toledano exclaimed: "No, Mexico will never give its oil to the fascists. England cannot survive without Mexican oil," etc. These gentlemen think that they can solve vital economic problems with hollow declarations! If Lombardo had even a little, let us not say revolutionary sentiment, but just a sense of national dignity (and the citizens of an oppressed country should have a certain amount of national dignity) he would have replied to Jouhaux with the point of his boot.

Jouhaux is a direct agent of French and British imperialism. France, following Britain's lead, is boycotting Mexican oil in order to support imperialist property-holders against a semicolonial country. France and England use their air forces to suppress the liberation movements in their colonies. How, under these circumstances, does Jouhaux dare to open his mouth?

The struggle against fascist atrocities, and imperialist atrocities in general, especially the fight against the bombing of peaceful cities, can and should only be conducted by honorable workers and peasants who have not taken part in similar criminal acts either directly or indirectly. But Jouhaux — a dog on an imperialist leash — how does he dare declare himself Mexico's mentor and moral guardian? It is because he knows whom he is dealing with. He doesn't look upon Toledano as a representative of the working masses of an oppressed country, but as an agent of the French "People's Front" (alas, deceased!), that is to say, as a stand-by agent for "democratic" imperialism. And Jouhaux is not mistaken.