The Comintern and the GPU
|Written||17 August 1940|
The Attempted Assassination of May 24 and the Communist Party of Mexico
Original 1940 introduction by Fourth International[edit source]
EDITORIAL NOTE: This article was finished by Leon Trotsky a few days before his assassination. He intended it for the Mexican court in relation to the machine gun assault by Stalin’s GPU upon his bedroom on May 24, but so wrote it that it could be used for general publication, and it has appeared as part of a pamphlet in Mexico. Its analysis of the relationship between the Comintern and the GPU and the proofs it brings forward of Stalin’s guilt in the terroristic attempt of May 24 were underlined in blood by Trotsky’s assassination at the hands of the GPU on August 20.)
Political Premises[edit source]
This document pursues aims which are juridical and not political. But the criminal acts of the members of the so-called “Communist” party of Mexico derive from political motives. The attempt of May 24 was an attempt of political character. That is why the mechanics of this crime, and all the more so the motives inspiring its participants cannot be understood without laying bare, if only in summary form, the political subsoil of the attempt.
There is no doubt now in public opinion that this attempt was organized by the GPU, the principal organ of Stalin’s rule. The Kremlin oligarchy is totalitarian in character, i.e., subjugates to itself all functions of the country’s social, political and ideological life and crushes the slightest manifestations of criticism and independent opinion. The totalitarian character of the Kremlin politics does not flow from Stalin’s personal character but from the position occupied by the new ruling stratum before the face of the people. The October revolution pursued two intimately related tasks: first, the socialization of the means of production, and the raising, through planned economy, of the country’s economic level; second, the building on this foundation of a society without class distinctions, and consequently without a professional bureaucracy – a socialist society administered by its members as a whole. The first task in its basic outlines has been realized; despite the influence of bureaucratism, the superiority of planned economy has revealed itself with indisputable force. It is otherwise with the social regime. In place of approaching socialism it moves ever further away. Owing to historical causes, which cannot properly be dealt with here, there has developed on the foundation of the October revolution a new privileged caste which concentrates in its hands all power and which devours an ever greater portion of the national income. This caste finds itself in a profoundly contradictory position. In words it comes forward in the name of communism; in deeds it fights for its own unlimited power and colossal material privileges. Surrounded by the mistrust and hatred of the deceived masses, the new aristocracy cannot afford the tiniest breach in its system. In the interests of self-preservation it is compelled to strangle the least flicker of criticism and opposition. Hence the suffocating tyranny, the universal grovelling before the “leader” and the not less universal hypocrisy; from the same source flows the gigantic role of the GPU as the instrument of totalitarian rule.
Stalin’s absolutism does not rest on the traditional authority of “divine grace,” nor on “sacred” and “inviolable” private property but on the idea of communist equality. This deprives the oligarchy of a possibility of justifying its dictatorship with any kind of rational and persuasive arguments. Similarly it cannot refer in self-justification to the “transitional” character of its regime because it is not a question of why equality hasn’t been completely realized but why inequality is growing continually. The ruling caste is compelled systematically to lie, to paint itself up, don a mask, and ascribe to critics and opponents motives diametrically opposite to those impelling them. Anyone who comes out in defense of the toilers against the oligarchy is immediately branded by the Kremlin as a supporter of capitalist restoration. This standardized lie is not accidental: it flows from the objective position of the caste which incarnates reaction while swearing by the revolution. In all previous revolutions the new privileged class tried to shield itself against criticism from the left by means of fake revolutionary phraseology. The Thermidorians and Bonapartists of the Great French Revolution hounded and condemned all genuine revolutionists – the Jacobins – as “Royalists” and agents of Pitt’s reactionary British government. Stalin hasn’t invented anything new. He has only carried the system of political frame-up to its extreme expression. Lies, slander, persecution, false accusations, juridical comedies flow inexorably from the position of the usurping bureaucracy in Soviet society. Unless this is understood it is impossible to understand either the internal politics of the USSR or the role of the GPU on the international arena.
Lenin proposed in his “Testament” (January 1923) to remove Stalin from the post of General Secretary of the Party, giving as his reasons Stalin’s rudeness, disloyalty and tendency to abuse power. Two years earlier Lenin warned: “This cook will prepare only peppery dishes.” No one in the party liked or respected Stalin. But when the bureaucracy began to sense acutely the danger threatening it from the people, it required precisely a rude and disloyal leader, ready to abuse power in its interests. That is why the cook of peppery dishes became the leader of the totalitarian bureaucracy.
The Moscow oligarchy’s hatred of me is engendered by its deep-rooted conviction that I “betrayed” it. This accusation has a historical meaning of its own. The Soviet bureaucracy did not elevate Stalin to leadership at once and without vacillation. Until 1924 Stalin was unknown even among the broader party circles, let alone the population, and as I have already said he did not enjoy popularity in the ranks of the bureaucracy itself. The new ruling stratum had hopes that I would undertake to defend its privileges. No few efforts were expended in this direction. Only after the bureaucracy became convinced that I did not intend to defend its interests against the toilers but on the contrary the interests of the toilers against the new aristocracy was the complete turn toward Stalin made, and I was proclaimed “traitor.” This epithet on the lips of the privileged caste constitutes evidence of my loyalty to the cause of the working class. It is not accidental that 90 per cent of those revolutionists who built the Bolshevik party, made the October revolution, created the Soviet state and the Red Army, and led the Civil War were destroyed as “traitors” in the course of the past twelve years. On the other hand the Stalinist apparatus has taken into its ranks during this period people the overwhelming majority of whom stood on the other side of the barricades in the years of the revolution.
The Communist International suffered a similar degeneration during that period. In the initial stages of the Soviet regime, when the revolution marched from one danger to another, when all energies were absorbed by the Civil War with its retinue of famine and epidemics, the boldest and most unselfish revolutionists in different countries joined the October revolution and the Communist International. Of this original revolutionary layer that proved in action its loyalty to the October revolution during those difficult years there does not now remain, literally, a single man. Through interminable expulsions, economic pressure, direct bribery, purges and executions the totalitarian Kremlin clique has transformed the Comintern completely into its obedient tool. The present leading tier of the Comintern, as well as of its constituent sections, comprises people who did not join the October revolution but the triumphant oligarchy, the fountainhead of high political titles and material boons.
The predominating type among the present “Communist” bureaucrats is the political careerist, and in consequence the polar opposite of the revolutionist. Their ideal is to attain in their own country the same position that the Kremlin oligarchy gained in the USSR. They are not the revolutionary leaders of the proletariat but aspirants to totalitarian rule. They dream of gaining success with the aid of this same Soviet bureaucracy and its GPU. They view with admiration and envy the invasion of Poland, Finland, the Baltic states, Bessarabia by the Red Army, because these invasions immediately bring about the transfer of power into the hands of the local Stalinist candidates for totalitarian rule.
Lacking independent stature, independent ideas, independent influence, the leaders of the sections of the Comintern are only too well aware that their positions and reputations stand and fall with the position and reputation of the Kremlin. In the material sense, as will be later shown, they live on the hand-outs of the GPU. Their struggle for existence resolves itself therefore into a rabid defense of the Kremlin against any and all opposition. They cannot fail to sense the correctness and therefore the danger of the criticism which comes from the so-called Trotskyists. But this only redoubles their hatred of me and my co-thinkers. Like their Kremlin masters, the leaders of the Communist parties are unable to criticise the real ideas of the Fourth International and are forced to resort to falsifications and frame-ups which are exported from Moscow in unlimited quantities. There is thus nothing “national” in the conduct of the Mexican Stalinists: They merely translate into Spanish the policies of Stalin and the orders of the GPU.
The GPU as Organizer of the Attempt[edit source]
To the uninitiated it might seem incomprehensible why Stalin’s clique first exiled me abroad and then tries to kill me. Wouldn’t it have been simpler to have shot me in Moscow, like so many others?
Here is the explanation. In 1928 when I was expelled from the party and exiled to Central Asia it was still impossible to talk not only of execution but even of arrest. The generation with which I had gone through the October revolution and the Civil War was still alive. The Political Bureau felt itself besieged from all sides. From Central Asia I had the opportunity of maintaining unbroken connections with the opposition which was growing. In these conditions Stalin, after vacillating for a year, decided to apply exile abroad as the lesser evil. His arguments were: Isolated from the USSR, deprived of an apparatus and material resources Trotsky will be impotent to undertake anything. Stalin calculated moreover that after he had succeeded in discrediting me utterly in the eyes of the country, he could without difficulty obtain my return to Moscow from the friendly Turkish government for the final reckoning. Events have proved, however, that it is possible to participate in political life without an apparatus and without material resources. With the aid of young friends, I created the foundations of the Fourth International which is developing slowly but surely. The Moscow trials of 1936-1937 were staged in order to obtain my deportation from Norway, that is, my being actually handed over to the GPU. But this failed; I had the possibility of going to Mexico. As I have been informed, Stalin has several times admitted that my exile abroad was his “greatest mistake.” To correct the mistake, nothing remained save a terrorist act.
In recent years the GPU has destroyed several hundred of my friends in the USSR, including members of my family. In Spain the GPU killed my former secretary, Erwin Wolf, and a number of my political co-thinkers; in Paris they killed my son, Leon Sedov, who was hunted by Stalin’s professional murderers for two years. In Lausanne, Switzerland, the GPU killed Ignace Reiss, who came over from the ranks of the GPU to the side of the Fourth International. In Paris Stalin’s agents killed another of my former secretaries, Rudolph Klement, whose body was found in the Seine. This list could be continued indefinitely.
In Mexico the first attempt at assassination was made in January 1938 by an unknown man who appeared in my house with a forged message from a Mexican political figure. It was precisely after this incident, which alarmed my friends, that more serious defense measures were adopted: the establishment of a 24-hour guard, installment of an alarm system, etc.
Since the active and truly murderous participation of the GPU in the Spanish events I have received not a few letters from my friends, chiefly in New York and Paris, concerning GPU agents who were being sent into Mexico from France and the United States. The names and photographs of some of these gentlemen were transmitted by me at the time to the Mexican police. The outbreak of the world war still further aggravated the situation in view of my irreconcilable struggle against the domestic and foreign politics of the Kremlin. My statements and articles in the world press on the dismemberment of Poland, the attack on Finland, on the weakness of the Red Army beheaded by Stalin and so on – were reproduced in all countries of the world in millions of copies. Within the USSR discontent is growing. The Third International was far weaker at the beginning of the last war than the Fourth International is today.
On August 25, 1939, just before the break of diplomatic relations between France and Germany, the French ambassador Coulondre reported to G. Bonnet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, his dramatic interview with Adolf Hitler at 5:30 p.m.:
“If I really think”! – observed – “that we will be victorious, I also have the fear that at the end of the war there will be only one real victor: Mr. Trotsky.” Interrupting me, the Chancellor shouted: “Then why have you given Poland free rein?” (Diplomatic Documents, 1938-1939, p.26, Document No.242)
Two authoritative representatives of two imperialist powers, democratic and fascist, in the critical moment just prior to the war, seek to frighten each other with the name of a revolutionist whom the agents of the GPU have been trying in vain to blacken for a number of years as an “agent of imperialism.” I could adduce other evidence of the same sort. But this is hardly necessary. Hitler and Coulondre are at all events expert politicians much more serious than David Siqueiros and Lombardo Toledano.
As a former revolutionist Stalin understands that the course of the war must provide a mighty impulse to the development of the Fourth International, in the USSR as well. That is why Stalin issued an order to his agents: Get rid of Trotsky as quickly as possible.
All political considerations thus bespeak incontestably the fact that the organization of the May 24 attempt could originate only with the GPU. However, there is no lack of supplementary empiric proofs.
- Some weeks before the attempt the Mexican press was filled with rumors of the concentration of GPU agents in Mexico. These reports contained much that was false. But the gist of the rumors was true.
- Noteworthy is the exceptionally high technological level of the attempt. The assassination failed owing to accident which is an inevitable element in every war. But the preparation and the execution are remarkable in their scope, thorough planning and painstaking care. The terrorists were perfectly acquainted with the layout of the premises and the internal life. They obtained police uniforms, weapons, an electric saw, rope ladders, etc. They succeeded completely in tying up the police guard outside; they paralyzed the guard inside with a correct strategy of machine-gun fire; they penetrated into the victim’s room, directed a cross-fire with impunity for a period of three to five minutes, hurled incendiary bombs and left the arena of attack without leaving a trace behind. Such an undertaking is beyond the resources of a private group. Observable here is tradition, training, great resources, a careful selection of executors. This is the work of the GPU.
- In strict correspondence with the entire system of the GPU is the care taken to sidetrack the investigation on a false trail, and which was included in the very plan of the attempt. When tying up the police, the assailants yelled: “Viva Almazan!” These artificial and false shouts at night, before five policemen, of whom three were asleep, envisaged two ends: to distract, if only for a few days or hours, the attention of the future investigation from the GPU and its agency in Mexico; and to compromise the followers of one of the presidential candidates. To murder one opponent and cast the suspicion on another is the classic method of the GPU or more correctly, of its inspirer, Stalin.
- The assailants carried with them several incendiary bombs, two of which they threw into the room of my grandson. The participants in the attempt thus pursued not only murder but also arson. Their only purpose in this was to destroy my archives. In this only Stalin is interested, inasmuch as the archives are of exceptional value to me in the struggle against the Moscow oligarchy. By means of my archives I exposed, in particular, the Moscow juridical frame-ups. On November 7, 1936 the GPU at a great risk to itself, stole a section of my archives in Paris. It did not forget about them during the night of May 24. The incendiary bombs thus represent something in the nature of Stalin’s visiting card.
- Exceptionally characteristic of the crimes of the GPU is the division of labor between the secret assassins and the legal “friends”: From the time they began preparations for the attempt, side by side with the underground conspiratorial work, they conducted a slanderous campaign aimed to discredit the designated victim. The same division of labor has been continued since the commission of the crime: The terrorists go into hiding; on the open arena remain their attorneys who seek to divert the attention of the police onto a false trail.
- It is impossible too not to call attention to the reaction of the world press: The newspapers of all tendencies openly or tacitly proceed from the fact that the attempt is the handiwork of the GPU; only the papers subsidized by the Kremlin and those fulfilling its orders, defend an opposite version. This is by itself an invaluable indication.
- The most important and convincing proof, however, that the attempt was organized by the GPU is the fact that all the accomplices in the attempt are either members of the Communist party or its closest “friends,” and furthermore the most prominent among them held commanding posts in those sections of the Spanish army which were under the direct command of the GPU (”The Fifth Regiment” and “The International Brigades”).
Why I Was Certain There Would Be an Attempt[edit source]
Just why did I expect an attempt with such certainty since the beginning of this year? Replying in court on July 2 to this question of Mr. Pavon Flores, the defense attorney, I referred in particular to the Convention of the Communist Party of Mexico which took place in March of this year and which proclaimed its orientation toward the extermination of “Trotskyism.” In order that my answer be further clarified, I must supply additional explanatory facts.
Inasmuch as the practical preparation for the attempt began in January of this year and inasmuch as a certain interval was required for preliminary discussions and elaboration of the plan, it may be stated with certainty that the “order” for the attempt arrived in Mexico not later than November or December 1939.
As can be seen from La Voz de Mexico the crisis in the party leadership dates back precisely to this period. The impulse for the crisis came from without the party, and the crisis itself developed from the top down. It is not known who elaborated the special document, the so-called Materials for Discussion, which was published in La Voz de Mexico on January 28 and which constituted an anonymous indictment of the old leadership (Laborde, Campa, et al.), who were allegedly guilty of a “conciliatory” attitude toward Trotskyism. Broad public opinion was completely in the dark at the time as to just what was behind all this. But to the initiated and interested observers it was indubitable that some new serious blow was in preparation, if not against “Trotskyism,” then against Trotsky.
Today it is absolutely self-evident that the overturn in the Communist party was intimately connected with the order for the attempt issued in Moscow. What happened most probably is that the GPU encountered some opposition among the leaders of the Communist party who had become accustomed to a peaceful existence and might have feared very unpleasant political and police consequences from the attempt. Perhaps this is the source of the charge of “Trotskyism” against them. Whoever objects to an attempt against Trotsky is, obviously, a – ”Trotskyist.”
The anonymous “Purging Commission” removed Laborde, the leader of the Communist party, and together with him, the Central Committee elected at the previous convention. Who invested the purging committee with such immense powers? Whence came the committee itself? It could not have originated through spontaneous generation. It was appointed by persons who received their plenipotentiary powers from the outside. These persons obviously had every reason for concealing their names.
Only on February 18, after the change was already accomplished and the only thing remaining was to sanction it, was the composition of the new Commission, consisting solely of Mexicans, made public, and again without any indication as to who appointed them. By the time the party convention was called on March 21, all the questions had already been decided, and the only thing left for the delegates was an oath of loyalty to the new leadership which had been created without them and for purposes unknown to the majority.
As appears from the report of the convention in La Voz de Mexico (March 18, 1940), the discussion on the question of “the struggle against Trotskyism and other enemies of the people” took place not at an open session of the Convention, as was the case with other questions on the agenda, but at a secret session of a special commission. This fact alone is evidence that the new leaders found it necessary to hide their plans even from a convention of their own party. I do not know who composed the secret commission. But it is possible to surmise who directed it from behind the scenes.
The convention elected, or rather passively approved, an “honorary presidium” composed of Dimitrov, Manuilsky, Kuusinen, Thaelmann, Carlos Contreras and others. The composition of this honorary presidium was published in a pamphlet, Fuera el Imperialismo! by Dionisio Encina (Popular Edition, 1940, p.5). Dimitrov, Manuilsky, Kuusinen are in Moscow, Thaelmann is in a jail in Berlin, while Carlos Contreras is in Mexico. His inclusion in the honorary presidium could not have been accidental. Contreras does not in any case belong among the number of the so-called international “chiefs” whose inclusion in an honorary presidium is of a ritualistic character. Contreras first gained sinister notoriety during the Spanish Civil War, where as the commissar and commander of the Fifth Regiment he was one of the most cruel agents of the GPU. Lister, Contreras, and “El Campesino” waged a “civil war” of their own inside the republican camp, physically destroying the opponents of Stalin in the ranks of the anarchists, socialists, Poumists, and Trotskyists. This fact can be corroborated by press dispatches and by testimony of many Spanish refugees. It would not therefore be too audacious to assume that the former commissar of the Fifth Regiment and member of the convention’s “honorary” presidium was one of the important levers in changing the leadership of the Communist party at the beginning of this year. This supposition is all the more justified since Contreras has already conducted one “anti-Trotskyist” purge in the Mexican Communist Party, namely in 1929. True enough, Contreras denies his participation in the assault. But in that case, why was he elected to the honorary presidium of the convention which is linked with the conspiracy?
When I followed in the press the happenings in the Communist party during the early months of this year, I was far from seeing the situation with the same clarity as I do now. But even at that time it was evident to me that behind the official party screen, with its shadow pantomime was hidden the movement of real figures. In this performance the real figures are agents of the GPU. That is why I expected an attempt.
The “Moral” Preparaton for the Attempt[edit source]
The original sketch of the plan to develop a “mass” movement for the expulsion of Trotsky from Mexico suffered complete failure. The GPU had to resort to a terrorist act. But it was indispensable to prepare public opinion for this deed. Since the GPU was not prepared to acknowledge its sponsorship of the murder, it was indispensable to link the terrorist act with the internal political struggle in Mexico. La Voz de Mexico, El Popular, and Futuro had even earlier attempted to link me up with General Cedillo, with General Amaro, with Vasconcelos, with one Dr. Ati, not to mention the oil magnates and the Dies Committee. They now received orders to multiply their efforts in this direction. The presidential campaign with its prospect of sharp conflicts appeared to provide the most favourable situation for such efforts. The intellectual accomplices of the attempt enrolled me in the camp of General Almazan, which did not restrain them from ascribing later on the organization of the attempt to followers of Almazan. These people are guided in their activity by the precept which was applied by Stalin before it was formulated by Hitler: “the grosser the lie the more readily people believe it.”
The “moral” preparation of the attempt began simultaneously with the technical preparation. The intensification of the drive against “Trotskyism” became evident in December of last year. In the December 24 issue of La Voz de Mexico in an article, The Role of Trotskyism, we read:
“THE ROLE OF TROTSKYISM” By Gonzalo Beltran
“... As for the new pontiff, Leon XXX in view of the thirty pieces of silver of the dirtied Judas – he has carried out his role in the part elaborated for him by the Dies Committee ... Leon XXX intervenes in the affairs of Latin America on the side of the imperialist powers and completes his work declaring that ‘the oil expropriation was the work of the Communists’ ...”
The words “the oil expropriation was the work of the Communists” are set off with quotation marks, as though they represented a citation from some article of mine, which would represent me as opposed to the expropriation of the oil companies. Needless to say this is a lie. To the best of my ability I defended in the world press the right of the Mexican people to be masters of their own natural resources. But the falsifiers of the GPU are not deterred by such bagatelles.
In his report to the March convention, Andres Garcia Salgado, member of the Central Committee of the Mexican Communist Party, broke all records in lying set by international Stalinism. Despite one’s natural repugnance, let me cite a few instances:
“... The Cardenas government permitted the entrance of Trotsky against the opinion expressed by the workers’ organizations; this fact which permitted Trotsky to install in our country the directing center of his international organization of espionage in the service of all the counter-revolutionary forces, was possible solely thanks to the interest that the imperialist countries themselves had in making our country a center for their activities of espionage and provocation.”
Ignorant as these people are, they cannot but know that not a single imperialist country will admit me within its borders; that the leaders of imperialism in all countries look upon me as Enemy No.1; that my co-thinkers are persecuted in all imperialist countries; that Mexico has extended hospitality to me precisely because it is not an imperialist country and because her government has a serious attitude toward the right of asylum. But the falsifiers engaged in the preparation of the attempt have no time to pause over such trifles. Mr. Salgado continues:
“Thus the Trotskyist spies always collaborated with Franco’s army, coordinating their uprisings and agitation in the loyalist rearguard with the operations of the enemy.
“Trotsky, the man applauded by the bosses of Monterrey, he who facilitated all the arguments of the oil companies against the workers’ organizations and against the government, orients his work in accord with the plans of the reactionaries and the necessities of imperialism.
“Comrades: Let this serve us as an example in order to reinforce our struggle against Trotskyism and because the Chief of this band of spies should be thrown out of our country.” (Throw the Enemies of the People Out of the Revolutionary Ranks)
Such is the report of a “leader” at the convention of a “Communist” party! Into what a cesspool has the Kremlin oligarchy converted what was once the Communist International! By dint of natural and artificial selection the place of revolutionists has been gradually taken by careerists, scoundrels and professional slanderers. To this group also belongs Mr. Salgado. In La Voz de Mexico, May 1, 1940, in which complete liberty of action is demanded for D. Siqueiros whom the police were after, an official manifesto of the party is published, directed to the people, which reads:
“Throw the imperialist agents out of Mexico! Alien spies and provocateurs must be thrown out of the country and in the first place its most ominous and dangerous chief: Leon Trotsky ...”
Defending D. Siqueiros against the Mexican government and at the same time demanding of this same government repressions against Trotsky; all this three weeks prior to the attempt – what is this if not its preparation?
On May 19, 1940, five days before the attempt, we find in La Voz de Mexico an article, in which calculated frenzy reaches a paroxysm:
“THE TRAITOR TROTSKY”
“Trotsky, the ‘old traitor’ as comrade Lombardo Toledano once qualified him on a certain occasion, demonstrates to us, every time he is able, that the older he grows, the more curlike and cynical he becomes.
“Spy in the pay of the reactionary forces, agent of the Dies Committee in Mexico ...
“... the responsibility of Trotsky in the conspiracy which the traitors to Mexico, agents of the imperialist companies and of the Dies Committee ...
“Trotsky must answer before the authorities of the country for his anti-proletarian and anti-Mexican doings and cease his idiocies.
“Lately the traitor, dreaming perhaps of reviving the days in which he could organize his own trial, judge himself through his friends in Diego Rivera’s house, now launches a challenge that a tribunal examine the charges that are launched against him of being an agent of the Dies Committee, which he confessed through his own public declarations.
“It is clear that Trotsky seeks a tribune in order to pursue his nefarious activity against the workers of Mexico. But the people will not give him this tribune.
“With respect to Trotsky the workers of Mexico have already pronounced their opinion in the sense that he must be expelled from the country.”
It would not have been at all astonishing if the article had borne the collective signature: David Siqueiros, Nestor Sanchez Hernandez, Luis Arenal, David Serrano, Mario Pavon Flores.
In another article in the same issue it is stated that Trotsky is preparing to:
“... Support the provocateurs and assassins, anxious to intervene in the internal affairs of Mexico ...”
“In regard to Trotsky, we are reminded that this scoundrefly traitor has just launched a challenge that El Popular and the magazine Futuro present within 72 hours their accusations – which are those of the whole revolutionary movement, in Mexico and the world – against the senile little head of the ’Fourth International.’ What a slippery fish is the little old traitor! He knows very well that in 72 hours the list could scarcely be begun of his felonies, of his crimes, of his complicities with the enemies of all the peoples, beginning with those of the USSR, China, and Spain.”
The last issue of La Voz de Mexico prior to the attemps devoted as we have seen principally to hounding Trotsky and represents a monstrous accumulation of accusations and slanders. This is the way people write who are preparing to change the pen for a machine-gun. The editorial board of La Voz de Mexico knew of the impending attempt and was preparing the public opinion of its own party and the sympathizing circles.
It is impossible to admit even for a moment that the editors of La Voz de Mexico, of age and not mad, believed what they wrote about me. They lie coldly, on orders from above. And they reveal their malice doubly by adding to the slanders they receive ready-made from Moscow their own inventions about my “participation” in Cedillo’s uprising, my “alliance” with Dies against Mexico, or my participation in the election campaign. The liars refuse to supply proof on the pretext that they do not wish to provide me with a ... “tribune” or give me ... “publicity.” And when I call them the hirelings of Stalin they threaten to put me in jail for “defamation”!
This is the school of Stalinism. Ideological cynicism and moral shamelessness are its fundamental features. These people have no respect whatever for facts and documents: they never formulate their accusations clearly and definitively; their slander bears the character of a spreading stain. From the USSR, where no one dares contradict Stalin or his colleagues, the spirit of servility, grovelling and cynicism has spread over the whole Comintern, poisoning the labor movement to the marrow.
Covering Up the Traces of the GPU[edit source]
The first few days after the attempt the Messrs. Inspirers hid in their lairs. They were afraid that their “military” colleagues might fall into the hands of the police. The insinuations of the GPU press were at first very cautious. But each new day brought these gentlemen courage. Through scores of channels they placed in circulation the stupid and vile version of “self-assault.” Until the end of May, the police sidetracked by the moral accomplices in the crime were unable, as is well known, to get on the track of the criminals. In the Stalinist circles spirits became brighter. In the June 1 issue of La Voz de Mexico the attempt is already referred to as “This grotesque farce.”
“The events which have occurred recently in Mexico, cleverly carried out by the miserable Trotsky and his band, place accusingly in relief all the characteristics of provocation which they contain ...
“Trotsky is an agent delivered body and soul to international capitalism which he has served as a tool, dedicated to the service of its interests. And in this case he did not find it inconvenient to do it one more service with the ‘assault’ of which he was the object in the mansion where he lives.”
Why this amazing enterprise was required by “capitalism” and Trotsky himself, the newspaper does not explain. “The grosser the lie,” reads the precept of Hitler-Stalin, “the more readily people believe it.”
La Voz de Mexico strives with might and main to establish an alibi for the Communist party. This is comprehensible to the human mind. But the paper does not stop there, it also takes up the defense of the GPU.
“... the provocation in which Trotsky himself is directly inculpated, has moreover the characteristics of an ANTI-SOVIET provocation.” (June 10, 1940)
Evidently! By means of the “self-assault,” Trotsky tried to compromise the immaculate purity of the GPU.
In the same number, the editors declare:
“We have received some declarations of the Mexican Section of the Society of Veterans of the Spanish Republic in which they state that the ’attempt’ against the counter-revolutionary Leon Trotsky is a vulgar maneuver of reaction and imperialism against the Mexican people.”
The chairman of the Mexican section of this society is none other than David Alfaro Siqueiros! The organizer of the attempt protested against “a vulgar maneuver of reaction.” The editors completely betray themselves here. To prove their alibi, they are compelled to demonstrate that the GPU from which they cannot dissociate themselves was not implicated in the case. And in order to prove my “self-assault,” they find it necessary to refer to the high authority of D.A. Siqueiros. In all this there is an element of the insane asylum. Insolence and impudence easily reach the border of insanity. But in this insanity there is a method, indissolubly linked with the name cf the GPU.
Presenting the impartial testimony of Siqueiros, La Voz de Mexico writes for its part:
“Trotsky ... is one of the principal inspirers of the fifth column, a point of support for Mexican reaction and Yankee imperialism, a paid agent of the worst butchers of the Mexican people.”
Fear speaks here in hydrophobic language. These people are afraid that they will have to answer for the attempt of May 24.
There is no need to analyze issue after issue this contemptible Stalinist publication, squirming between the Mexican police and the GPU. The conduct of La Voz de Mexico during the critical weeks shows incontrovertibly that its directors were well aware from the first that the attempt was organized by Stalin’s agency. They knew of D. Siqueiros’ role in the attempt. They knew that Robert Harte was not an accomplice in the attempt, but its victim. Creating the theory of self-assault and sowing slanders against Harte they acted in the interests of the GPU and at the same time in their own interests.
The conclusion is self-evident: If an official organ of the GPU had been issued in Mexico it could not have conducted the preparation of the attempt and then covered up the traces of the attempt with greater zeal and shamelessness than did La Voz de Mexico.
The Theory of “Self-Assault”[edit source]
From the first day of my arrival in Mexico (January 1937) the police have taken special measures to protect me from possible attempts. The authorities without doubt must have had serious reasons for this. The police guarded me, one should think, not against the Dies Committee which did not exist as yet in 1937; nor against the “followers of Almazan”; nor against “self-assault.” To the question – against whom did the Mexican police guard me in the course of three and a half years prior to the attempt of May 24? Only one rational answer is possible: against the GPU.
Yet when the attempt did actually take place, and moreover in a way that revealed all the features of Stalin’s secret police, a certain section of the Mexican press (La Voz de Mexico, and its echoes, El Popular and Futuro) launched a campaign intended to prove that the GPU had nothing to do with it. Only the disciplined insolence of the agents of the GPU could have invested the absurd idea of “self-assault” with a semblance of verisimilitude.
What aims could I pursue venturing on so monstrous, revolting and dangerous an enterprise? No one has explained it to this day. It is hinted that I wished to blacken Stalin and the GPU. But can one more attempt add anything to the reputation of a man who has destroyed the entire old generation of the Bolshevik party? It is said that I wish to prove the existence of the “fifth column.” What for? Moreover, agents of the GPU quite suffice for the commission of an attempt; there is no need of a mysterious “fifth column.” It is said that I wished to create difficulties for the only government which offers me hospitality. What motives could I have to create difficulties for the only government which offers me hospitality? It is said that I want to provoke a war between the United States and Mexico. But this explanation is a complete delirium. To provoke such a war it would have been more natural to organize an attempt against the American ambassador or the oil magnates, but not against a Bolshevik-revolutionary, alien to and hated by imperialist circles.
When Stalin organizes an attempt against me, his objective is clear: liquidate Enemy No.1. Stalin personally risks nothing; he operates at a distance. On the other hand, in organizing a “self-assault” I would have to bear responsibility for such an undertaking myself, risk my own fate, the fate of my family, my political reputation and the reputation of the movement which I serve. What would I gain thereby?
But even if we grant the impossible, namely, that renouncing the cause of my entire lifetime, outraging common sense and my own vital interests, I did decide to organize a “self-assault” for the sake of an unknown object, there still remains the question: Where and how did I obtain 20 executors? equip them with police uniforms? arm them? supply them with all the things necessary? And so forth and so on. In other words, how did a man who lives almost completely isolated from the outside world contrive to carry out an enterprise that could be undertaken only by a powerful apparatus? I confess that I feel rather embarrassed in subjecting to criticism an idea which does not merit it.
Stalin’s Agents are Preparing to Proclaim Siqueiros ... Trotsky’s Agent[edit source]
The leaders of the Communist party are now engaged in complicated maneuvers around the person of Siqueiros. The aim of these maneuvers is to sacrifice Siqueiros, discredit me and save themselves. However, the results of such an over-complicated intrigue can prove just the opposite of what the GPU strategists expect.
The maneuver was initiated by David Serrano, member of the Political Bureau, and consequently one of the official leaders of the Communist party. On June 19 his declarations were reported as follows in the press:
“He said that immediately after the event in Coyoacan, the Communist Party had made an investigation in order to discover what had occurred. And that since then this investigation had turned on Alfaro Siqueiros, uncontrolled element who was considered half mad ... And that since then they had had suspicions of Alfaro Siqueiros, with whom one Blanco and Antonio Pujol, his disciple and personal assistant constantly appeared.”
Such a denunciation of closest co-thinkers, accomplices in the attempt, would have been absolutely impossible in the ranks of a revolutionary party. But among the Stalinists the rule is, “salus GPU suprema lex.” In referring to Siqueiros as “an uncontrolled and half mad element,” D. Serrano is seeking to distract attention away from the Kremlin and from himself.
On June 23 when the general character of the assault and the names of the chief participants had already been revealed, La Voz de Mexico published the following declaration by the Communist party:
“Numerous persons appear directly and indirectly implicated, among them David Alfaro Siqueiros, named as the leader of the attack ... The Communist Party of Mexico declares categorically that none of the participants in the provocation is a member of the Party; that all of them are uncontrollable elements and agents provocateurs ...”
With different variations this declaration was repeated on the following days. Since then Siqueiros has been proclaimed not only “half-mad” but also an “agent provocateur.”
D. Serrano’s declarations concerning Siqueiros and A. Pujol were a signal for similar declarations on the part of the remaining arrested prisoners. “Serrano Andonegui gave the first information on Alfaro Siqueiros and then the two women spies wished to amplify their declarations ...” The entire responsibility was unloaded by the defendants henceforth on D. Siqueiros. Mateo Martinez, a party member, at first admitted that D. Serrano, member of the Political Bureau, “is a man capable of any enterprise such as the attempt on Trotsky.” But obviously under the beneficial influence of his attorney, Mr. Pavon Flores, member of the Central Committee of the party, Mateo Martinez suddenly understood that D. Serrano had nothing to do with it, that only agent-provocateurs like Siqueiros were capable of such acts.
Having intrenched themselves in this position, the Stalinists began to move ahead ... By August 2 D. Serrano had already testified, judging from the papers, that I gave Siqueiros money either for some journal or other, or for ... the “self-assault.” The goal of this new absurdity is clear: David Alfaro Siqueiros is being gradually transformed little by little into a ... Trotskyist. “The grosser the lie, the more readily people believe it,” reads the precept of Hitler-Stalin.
Intense activity is doubtless going on behind the scenes of the official investigation. The GPU doesn’t wish to give up. Despite the corpse of Robert Sheldon Harte, despite the confessions of a number of those arrested, the GPU wishes to revive the version of self-assault. This would be so convenient for a number of people with soiled reputations! Furthermore, the GPU disposes of inexhaustible economic resources.
In totalitarian Moscow a machination of this kind would have been managed without difficulty. It is otherwise in Mexico. Here the agents of the GPU including D. Serrano and his attorney Pavon Flores restrain their zeal. They lie too crudely. They contradict themselves too unceremoniously. They forget today what they did and said yesterday. We shall demonstrate this presently with full evidence. It is the aim of these lines to prevent the GPU from befuddling public opinion, if only for a few days, with its intrigue.
What were the real relationships between the Communist party and Siqueiros prior to the attempt? They were relations of intimate collaboration, complete unity of aim and method; they were the relations of a friendly division of labor. Without doubt, Siqueiros never broke with the Kremlin. Siqueiros undoubtedly had “misunderstandings” with this or that leader of the Communist Party of Mexico. This milieu is generally, characterized by rivalries, intrigue, and mutual denunciations. But Siqueiros never broke with the Kremlin. He continued being always a loyal agent of Stalin. In Spain he together with D. Serrano worked under the direction of Soviet GPU agents. He returned to Mexico as a trusted agent of Moscow. All the Stalinist and semi-Stalinist groups paid him honor. El Popular and Futuro devoted panegyric articles to him. How is it possible that Lombardo Toledano, V. Villasenor, Alejandro Carrillo never even suspected that Siqueiros was “half-mad,” “agent-provocateur,” and even a “Trotskyist”?
In December 1939 when the plan of the attempt was already being elaborated in the narrow circle of the conspirators, the Communist party organized a meeting in honor of Stalin’s sixtieth birthday, “The genial guide, pride of the world proletariat”. In an account of this meeting in La Voz de Mexico for December 21 we read:
“The message transcribed above was approved in the midst of thunderous applause by those attending the commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of Stalin in the Hidalgo theater ... In the presidium were comrades James Ford, Alfaro Siqueiros, Rafael Carrub, Valentin Campa, Andres Salgado and the Spanish writer Margarita Nelkin ...”
Thus the “half-mad” and “agent-provocateur” Siqueiros, long ago “expelled” from the party sat in the presidium of the meeting, alongside of Ford, Stalinist party candidate for the vice-presidency of the United States, and other luminaries of the Comintern. David Alfaro Siqueiros (without yet suspecting his “Trotskyism”) with decided pleasure signed the enthusiastic telegram to Stalin from whom he had a short time before received the order to organize the attempt.
In the same number of La Voz de Mexico we find in an article:
“A similar case is that of comrade David Alfaro Siqueiros, illegally sent to trial by false testimony from lower-rank employees of the Federal District police ... In our opinion all the organizations must also be organized in the case of comrade Siqueiros.”
La Voz de Mexico calls the “Trotskyist” Siqueiros “comrade” and jealously defends an agent-provocateur against the Mexican police.
On January 14, 1940 when Siqueiros had already initiated the practical organization of the attempt, La Voz de Mexico reported another Communist meeting:
“Next Siqueiros took the rostrum in order to demonstrate the true character of the ‘independent press,’ which sells itself to the highest bidder and which changes its criterion according to the boss who pays it ... He aroused everyone, the people and its organizations, to the danger of a reactionary insurrection, affirming that the MEXICAN COMMUNIST PARTY IS MOBILIZED FOR STRUGGLE IN ORDER TO ANSWER IN THE FORM THAT MIGHT BE NECESSARY the aggression of the imperialists and national traitors.”
As the main speaker at a Communist meeting, D. Siqueiros not only solidarizes himself with the party that “excluded” him but speaks authoritatively in its name: “affirming that the Mexican Communist Party is mobilized for struggle.” Such language can be employed only by a party leader. The editorial board of La Voz de Mexico in its turn solidarizes itself completely with the fighting speech of “comrade” Siqueiros.
In the May 1 issue of La Voz de Mexico we find the following article.
“FOR THE LIBERTY OF ALFARO SIQUEIROS”
“.. The trial of Siqueiros is about to end. THERE IS DANGER THAT HE WILL BE CONDEMNED, because of the corrupting influence of the business dailies. It is necessary, hence, that the solidarity of the workers should manifest itself in immediate support of the Committee for the Definitive Liberty of Siqueiros.”
Only three weeks remained before the attempt; Siqueiros, to whom the police was paying unwelcome attention, was urgently needed by the GPU. The editors of La Voz de Mexico came to his defense, unable to foresee that a month or so later they would proclaim their close partisan an “agent-provocateur.”
The same cynical contradictions, on a smaller scale, are to be found in the relations of the Communist party to Mr. Rosendo Gomez Lorenzo. According to the press of June 19: “concerning Rosendo Lorenzo he (D. Serrano) said that he knew he had been expelled from the party because of certain fraudulent tricks.” This version was also repeated by La Voz de Mexico where R.G. Lorenzo is characterized as a common thief who appropriated funds collected for the party.
Later, on June 23, believing surely that the participation of Lorenzo was not proved, and considering that perhaps there might be need of him, La Voz de Mexico wrote differently:
“Equal fury has been manifested against the journalist Rosendo Gomez Lorenzo whom the journalists without honor hate with a miserable resentment because of his position in favor of the revolutionary forces.”
The man who was yesterday declared to be a thief, is the next day depicted as a martyr for the revolutionary cause!
We have heard how D. Serrano contemptuously referred to Pujol as the “disciple and personal adjutant” of the half-mad Siqueiros. Clearly D. Serrano could have nothing in common with Pujol. Nevertheless, El Popular of January 4, 1939 printed a telegram from Barcelona dated the second of the same month and sent to the CTM which reads:
“Mexican veterans nearest repatriation, we wish you Prosperous New Year in united revolutionary struggle against reaction and fascism. For the Committee: Pujol, General Secretary; Talavera, Secretary of Agitation and Propaganda; Justo, Secretary of Organization.”
Justo is none other than David Serrano. This telegram only testifies incontestably to the close existing collaboration between D. Serrano and Pujol, and consequently with Siqueiros himself.
Mightn’t the GPU demand of Siqueiros tomorrow under the threat of death, that he confess to having been secretly a “Trotskyist”? May not Siqueiros declare that Robert Sheldon Harte was killed during the “self-assault”? May not D. Serrano himself confess that he was merely one of Dies’ agents for organizing political murders? May not El Popular be already preparing an editorial on this topic? We can foresee in advance the style of patriotic indignation! Let them try! Moscow has long ago created classic models for such transactions. We await the new intrigue calmly. We don’t need to invent anything. We shall only aid in elucidating the logic of facts. Against this logic the falsifiers will break their skulls!
Why Do the Stalinists Disavow Their Own Handiwork?[edit source]
When the absurd version of “self-assault” suffered a miserable fiasco, and the guilt of the Kremlin’s agents became apparent to the world, the friends, inspirers, and protectors of Siqueiros made an attempt to dissociate themselves from the attempt on grounds of “principled” character.
La Voz de Mexico of June 1 wrote:
“The Communist International, the international of Lenin and Stalin, and with it the parties of the whole world have never proclaimed nor practised individual terroristic struggle, but the organized violence of the masses ...”
La Voz de Mexico, June 16 repeats:
“The Communist Party has declared a thousand times that its program neither accepts nor proclaims individual terrorism, but the open action of the masses in defense of their interests.”
And on June 30:
“How could it be possible then that the Communist Party, denying its own principles, acting against its own interests, could participate in a terrorist act, completely foreign to our tactics and methods of struggle?”
The same thing is repeated by the accused D. Serrano, Mateo Martinez, and their attorneys. All of them talk exclusively of incorporeal “principles” which prohibit individual terror. Not one of them speaks a single word about facts. No one mentions the GPU. Haven’t they really heard about the existence of this institution? Are they really unaware that the GPU systematically occupies itself with murders not only on the territories of the USSR but in all the civilized countries of the world?
It is not at all a question whether the so-called “principles” of the Communist party are good or bad. It is a question of the activities in which the Communist party engages and the real relations between the Central Committee of the Communist party and the GPU.
The GPU is not merely the secret police of the USSR, but something far more important. The GPU is the instrument of the totalitarian rule of the Stalinist clique over the USSR and the Comintern. One of the most important and unremitting tasks of the GPU is the physical destruction of the most resolute and dangerous opponents of Stalin’s dictatorship. Within the USSR this destruction is semi-camouflaged by legal formalities. Outside of the USSR it is carried out through plots, attempts, and murders from ambush.
As organizations, the GPU and the Comintern are not identical but they are indissoluble. They are subordinated to one another, and moreover it is not the Comintern that gives orders to the GPU but on the contrary it is the GPU that completely dominates the Comintern. This domination finds its expression in the sudden changes of Central Committees of all the sections, as Moscow wills it; in the purges which are carried out by mysterious hands, behind the party’s back. Those members of the Central Committee who are agents of the GPU see to it that the party’s conduct does not in any way run contrary to the interests of the GPU. Since there is not even a semblance of free discussion or democratic decision in the party, the agents of the GPU, through the Central Committee can force any party member, under the penalty of moral and sometimes physical annihilation, to carry out the decisions of the GPU. Without understanding these mechanics it is impossible to perceive the real motives behind the conduct of La Voz de Mexico, the defendants and their supporters.
In June 1937 Mr. Hernan Laborde, on orders from Moscow, subjected the policies of the Central Committee, his own included, to “self-criticism.” Here is one of his confessions:
“We demanded that the agreement which permitted the establishment of Trotsky in Mexico should be revoked and we threatened MASS ACTION which we could not unchain because we did not have the necessary force ...”
(Hernan Laborde, Unity at All Cost, 1937.)
This quotation is of great importance. Naturally Moscow would have preferred that I be driven out by the pressure of the masses. But the masses were not there and the party only fell into a ridiculous situation. Moscow had hoped that Lombardo Toledano would be more successful in mobilizing the workers under the slogan of expelling Trotsky from Mexico. But despite all Toledano’s efforts the workers obstinately refused to respond to this agitation – the toilers dislike to assume the role of persecutors. Meanwhile with the onset of the war Moscow felt with particular acuteness the need of silencing my voice. With every passing day Moscow became more and more impatient and pressed its agency in Mexico. History teaches us that when adventurous organizations lack sufficient political forces to solve a task, the idea of terrorist acts arises by itself. The pistol, the machine gun, or dynamite must replace the inadequate force of the masses. This is the classic formula of individual terrorism.
The renunciation of terrorism by La Voz de Mexico is simply a ritualistic phrase for evading responsibility. The fraudulent character of the renunciation is best proved by the conduct of D. Siqueiros himself. On March 5, 1939, speaking as one of the Stalinist orators at a meeting of Mexican teachers, Siqueiros preached the necessity of waging a struggle against “traitors,” saying: “... and it is necessary that they should know that we are going to combat them, not with direct action, but through the unification of the masses.” (El Popular, March 6, 1939, p.1, col.2)
Siqueiros adopted here the very same formula which La Voz de Mexico, El Popular and Futuro, were later forced to repeat in order to untie themselves from Siqueiros. In vain! Siqueiros has completely discredited this saving formula.
It is impossible not to underscore the vast difference between the use of terror by revolutionary parties and by the gangs of the GPU. Russia was the classic country of individual terror. The revolutionary party used to assume openly the responsibility for every sanguinary act it committed. Polish and Irish terrorists behaved similarly in their struggle for national independence. It is entirely otherwise with the Stalinists. After perpetrating a scheduled murder, they not only disown their own handiwork but seek to foist their own crime upon their political opponent. They do not act in the interests of the people but in the interests of a totalitarian gang. They are compelled to deceive the people. This cowardly duplicity invests the terror of the GPU with a dishonest and repulsive character.
What Is the Essence of My Accusation?[edit source]
On July 2 I reaffirmed in court my assertion that La Voz de Mexico, El Popular and Futuro, are tools of the GPU and enjoy its economic aid. Following El Popular and Futuro, La Voz de Mexico deemed it necessary to sue me in the courts for “defamation.” Prudent step! The Comintern is as obedient a tool of the Kremlin as the GPU. Just how can La Voz de Mexico remain a Comintern newspaper and at the same time consider as “defamation” any reference to its connection with the Kremlin? Obviously, La Voz de Mexico has entered its complaint only in order to reduce to absurdity the complaints of El Popular and Futuro. Material assistance on the part of Moscow to revolutionary movements in other countries began from the hour the Bolsheviks seized power. On December 26, 1917, the Council of People’s Commissars issued the following decree:
AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF WORLD REVOLUTION
Taking into consideration the fact that Soviet power bases itself on principles of international solidarity of the proletariat and on the brotherhood of the toilers of all countries; that the struggle against war and imperialism can lead toward complete victory only if waged on an international scale, the Council of People’s Commissars considers it necessary to offer assistance by all possible means, including money, to the left international wing of the labor movement of all countries, regardless of whether these countries are at war or in an alliance with Russia or are neutral. For this reason the Council of People’s Commissars decides to grant two million rubles for the needs of the revolutionary international movement and to put it at the disposal of the foreign representatives of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs.
Not even today am I inclined to withdraw my signature from this decree. It was a question of giving open aid to revolutionary movements in other countries under the control of workers’ organizations. The parties receiving aid enjoyed complete freedom of criticism of the Soviet government. At the Congresses of the Communist International a passionate ideological struggle always used to take place, and on more than one occasion Lenin and I remained in the minority.
Under Stalin’s regime the question of financial assistance to foreign organizations suffered a complete degeneration. “The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government” controlled by the party and answerable to the Soviets was transformed into a personal dictatorship based on the totalitarian apparatus of impersonal functionaries. International solidarity was transformed into a degrading submission to the Kremlin. Financial assistance became a form of bribery. Not a single revolutionist would have dared to call “slander” a reference to aid from the Kremlin during the time when the Comintern was a revolutionary organization! This “aid” is felt today even by Moscow’s agents as a shameful and degrading dependency not to be openly acknowledged. By bringing against me a suit for “defamation,” the Mexican agents of the Kremlin are only corroborating my appraisal of the present Kremlin.
I do not reproach La Voz de Mexico and the other publications with obtaining money from their co-thinkers abroad. There is nothing reprehensible in this. I accused and I accuse them of this, that their co-thinkers in the USSR are not the workers and peasants but the oppressors and hangmen of workers and peasants. I accuse them of fulfilling the shameful and criminal missions of the GPU; of serving the reactionary aims of the parasitic oligarchy; of being compelled to hide their connection with the GPU and their economic dependence on the latter. This grave accusation I wholly maintain!
The Budget of the Comintern and the Economic Aid to Foreign Sections[edit source]
The intervention of the GPU in the affairs of the Comintern, the system of bribery and corruption of the leaders of the labor movement in countries abroad began to develop systematically at the beginning of 1926 when Stalin placed himself definitively at the head of the Comintern. At the same time the irreconcilable struggle of the opposition (the “Trotskyists”) began against the arbitrariness and bribery of the Comintern and its periphery. Thus, for example, the opposition disclosed that Purcell, the well-known leader of the British trade unions, received in return for his “friendship” to the Soviet Union, i.e., the Kremlin, a secret salary of twenty-five pounds a month. All sorts of material boons were likewise enjoyed by other prominent leaders of the same trade unions. Their wives received “inoffensive” gifts of gold and platinum. Needless to say all these gentlemen and ladies, who did not formally belong to the Comintern, considered the Trotskyists as “traitors.”
Fearing the revelations of the opposition, Stalin found himself compelled to begin publishing something in the nature of a financial statement of the Comintern. I append to this declaration the financial statements for three years, 1929, 1930 and 1931. It must be said at once that these statements, prepared in the laboratories of the GPU, are completely false. The entire budget is reduced many times. Secret expenditures are not mentioned at all. The source of the funds is camouflaged. The reduced sums indicated in these statements: $675,000, $956,000 and $1,128,000 for the three years mentioned above came almost entirely from Stalin’s secret funds.
Despite all these concealments and distortions, or rather thanks to them, one of the items among the expenses assumes an especially convincing character. In each year’s budget we find a special item: Subsidy to party publications, amounting to $435,000, $641,000 and $756,000 respectively, acknowledged thus by the sharply reduced and false financial statement. In the course of the three years cited subsidies to the publications of Comintern sections rose from a half-million to three-quarters of a million dollars. The statement does not therefore consider it either necessary or possible to hide such a universally known fact as monetary assistance on the part of Moscow to foreign sections and their papers. Obviously, it never even entered the minds of super-cautious accountants of the GPU that La Voz de Mexico would proclaim as an “old slander” a reference to monetary aid from Moscow. The financial statements naturally cover only the official Comintern press, such as La Voz de Mexico; the direct or indirect aid to periodicals not formally adhering to the Comintern but fulfilling very important and delicate missions of the GPU, such as El Popular and Futuro is left out completely. We shall speak of them separately.
The question may naturally be asked why I use the financial statements of the Comintern only for the years 1929, 1930 and 1931. The answer is simple: After the repression of the “Trotskyists” the publication of statements was suspended. Their falseness provoked suspicion on all sides and satisfied nobody. At the same time such items in the expenditures as subsidies to the sections and publications of the Comintern created difficulties for some of these sections. The fact that the Comintern no longer publishes its budget testifies by itself that it is compelled to hide completely its financial operations.
But this does not mean to say in any way that subsidies to sections and to “friends” have ceased. On the contrary, these subsidies have grown from year to year. They must amount by now to tens of millions of dollars, and furthermore the greater portion of this amount is undoubtedly expended upon publications and “friends” who do not formally belong to the Comintern.
The Indissoluble Tie Between the Comintern and the GPU[edit source]
In a letter addressed to Albert Goldman, my attorney in New York, B. Gitlow, one of the founders of the Communist Party in the United States, member of its Central Committee for twenty years, member of the ECCI and of the Presidium of the Comintern, characterizes as follows the relations between the Comintern and the GPU:
Mr. Albert Goldman
116 University Place
New York City, N.Y.
Dear Mr. Goldman:
When I was a member of the Presidium and Executive Committee of the Communist International I helped direct the affairs of the Communist International and was intimately acquainted with the way in which the organization functioned as an agency of the GPU.
Every representative of the Communist International sent out of Russia to foreign countries always carried special GPU instructions and if not directly an agent of the GPU, worked under the direction of a GPU agent.
The special department of the Communist International in Moscow which took charge of passports, visas and the financial subsidies to Communist parties and to Communist newspapers outside of Russia, was in charge of the GPU and its director was an employee directly responsible to this organization.
It was common knowledge to me that the financial affairs of the Communist International were in the hands of the GPU.
Inasmuch as Mr. Gitlow was in a town where there was no Notary Public, the authenticity of his letter destined for the Mexican court was certified to by a special affidavit from Mr. A. Goldman.
Albert Goldman being first duly sworn on oath deposes and says:
1. That he is a resident of the city of New York, State of New York, United States of America.
2. That he received a letter from Benjamin Gitlow dated July 25, 1940, dealing with the relationship of the Communist International to the GPU.
3. That he knows the handwriting of Benjamin Gitlow and knows of his own knowledge that this letter is in the handwriting of Benjamin Gitlow.
Signed and sworn to before me,
this 29 day of July 1940, A.D.
H.E. MINNICK, Notary Public
In his book I Confess, B. Gitlow makes exceptionally important and exact declarations concerning the dependency of the Communist party upon the GPU.
“But the Party was tied to the Soviet government by stronger strings as well. Most important of these was the GPU. Directly upon the request of the GPU, the Party supplied it with Party members who could be added to its espionage staff. These Party members became full-fledged GPU agents, employed and paid by the Soviet government. These agents were the link between the Party and the GPU. Contacts were made for them by the Party Secretariat, who from time to time advised them how to proceed. A Party member who became a GPU agent dropped out of Party activity the moment he was selected. He became subject to the severe discipline which the GPU imposes upon its agents. Only very few of the Party leaders knew when a Party member became a GPU agent, and they kept this information strictly confidential. Every time the Party was called upon by the GPU to help, it was paid for any expenses involved far above what was actually spent, the surplus going into the Party treasury. But we, the Party leaders, who greatly cherished every opportunity to be of service to the GPU, aid in its work and be in its confidence, knew that the GPU kept a close watch on us, too. It was an open secret among us, the Party leaders, that the GPU was supplying Moscow with a complete record of all the leaders of the American Communist Party along with reports on the activities of the Party as a whole ... However, we all knew that the Soviet government did not consider our Party merely a section of the Communist International, which the leaders of the Soviet government dominated, but that they looked upon the American Communist Party as one of its agencies.
“... The Soviet government utilized members of the American Communist Party over a far-flung area that included China, Japan, Germany, Mexico and the countries of Central and South America ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, pp.302, 303.)
Mexico, as we observe, does not constitute an exception. Denial of ties with the Kremlin is not an invention of La Voz de Mexico. Gitlow writes on this point:
“... the American Communist Party has always argued that it had no connections whatsoever with the Soviet government, but the fact of the matter is that the American Communist Party is in the same relation to the Soviet government as the paid agents of Nazi Germany in the United States are to the government of the Third Reich.” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, pp.300 and 301.)
The Testimony of Mottoras and Krivitsky[edit source]
Very important although far from complete data concerning the financial dictatorship of the Kremlin over the sections of the Comintern are supplied by Enrique Mattoras, ex-Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Spain and member of the Central Committee of the Spanish Communist Party, in his documentary book published in Madrid in 1935:
“The International supports the Communist movement economically with apportionments more or less high, but ordinarily a fixed amount is established for each country, without preventing it under abnormal circumstances from sending greater sums. This support exists not only for the organization properly called the party, but extends to other sectors of the Communist movement in different forms.
“Approximately what is received monthly in Spain in all forms, is the following:
|The Communist International for the party||12,000|
|The International of Red Trade Unions for the Communist Trade Union movement||10,000|
|The International Communist Youth for the Youth organizations||5,000|
|The International Red Aid for the Spanish Section||5,000|
|The International Workers Aid for the Spanish Section||2,000|
|The International Red Sports for the Cultural Workers Sports Federation||1,000|
|The Press Section of the Communist International for the journal of the party||10,000|
“This amount is aside from the appropriations for the maintenance of the delegates and is sent only in order to increase the activity of the party and its different organizations. It is to be noted that all the members of the ‘Political Bureau’ of the party and of the Youth organizations, are paid monthly with the designated amount of 400 pesetas as salary; in addition they enjoy ten pesetas daily for expense money in the trips which they make outside the city where they are living and consequently all the expenses of traveling are taken care of also.
“Various methods are employed to bring this money into Spain. Sometimes individuals carry it, or women specialized in this work. Sometimes it is received through the mediation of publishing houses connected with the party. Thus it has been supposed that for more than two years the Cenit Publishers have been receiving this money. In brief, the International manages through all means to have in each country a crew of paid men in its complete service.”
(Communism in Spain, Its Orientation, Its Organization, Its Procedures, by Enrique Matorras, Former Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth of Spain. Madrid, 1935k Exclusive rights, Ediciones “Pax,” Plaza de Santo Domingo 13, Apartado 8001. Madrid. Pp. 13 and 15).
The sums mentioned here are relatively modest. But let us not forget that Mattoras’ book appeared in 1935, i.e., prior to the outbreak of the Civil War when the intervention of the GPU into Spanish affairs assumed a decisive character. The testimony of F. Matorras proves in any case that subsidies to sections did not cease with the suspension of the publication of the Comintern’s financial statements.
In the cited quotation reference is made to assistance on the part of the Communist International and not the GPU. But involved here is merely a question of terminological camouflage. The GPU does not have a treasury of its own. Because of purely practical considerations the Kremlin places upon the transmitted funds the stamp of the Comintern, or International Red Aid, or Society for International Cultural Relations, or “Friends of the Soviet Union,” Sports International, etc. etc. Back of these stamps hides the one and the same Stalin whose apparatus for maintaining contacts abroad is the GPU which has every reason for remaining incognito.
As regards the financial dependence of the Comintern sections upon the Kremlin we have the exhaustive testimony of General Krivitsky who was until 1938 the head of Soviet espionage for all Europe.
“The heart of the Comintern is the little known and never publicized International Liaison Section, known by its Russian initials as the OMS (Otdyel Mezhdunarodnoi Svyazi) ... As the chief of the OMS he (Piatnitsky) became, in effect, the Finance Minister and Director of Personnel of the Comintern.
“We created a world-wide network of permanently stationed agents responsible to him, to act as the liaison officers between Moscow and the nominally autonomous Communist Parties of Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States. As resident agents of the Comintern, these OMS representatives hold the whip over the leaders of the Communist Party in the country in which they are stationed. Neither the rank and file, nor even the majority of the leaders of the Communist Parties, know the identity of the OMS representative, who is responsible to Moscow, and who does not participate directly in party discussions.
“In recent years the GPU has gradually taken over many of the OMS functions, especially the hunting down and reporting to Moscow of cases of heresy against Stalin.
“The most delicate job entrusted to the OMS resident agents is the distribution of money to finance the Communist Parties, their expensive propaganda and their false fronts – such, for instance, a’ the League for Peace and Democracy, the International Labor Defense, the International Workers’ Aid, the Friends of the Soviet Union, and a host of ostensibly non-partisan organizations, which became especially important cogs when Moscow embarked upon the popular front ...
“At no time has any single Communist Party in the world managed to cover more than a very small percentage of its expenses. Moscow’s own estimate is that it must bear on an average from ninety to ninety-five per cent of the expenditures of foreign Communist Parties. This money is paid from the Soviet treasury through the OMS in sums decided upon by Stalin’s Political Bureau.
“The OMS resident agent is the judge, in the first instance, of the wisdom of any new expenditure which a Communist Party wishes to make. In the United States, for example, if the Political Bureau of the American Communist Party contemplates the publication of a new newspaper, the OMS agent is consulted. He considers the suggestion, and if it merits attention he communicates with the OMS headquarters in Moscow ...
“One of the favorite methods of transmitting money and instructions from Moscow to a foreign country for the use of the local Communist Party is through the diplomatic pouches, which are immune from search ... From Moscow ... in packages bearing the seal of the Soviet government, (arrive) rolls of bank notes together with sealed instructions for their distribution. He (the representative of the GPU) personally delivers the roll of bills to the Communist leader, with whom he maintains direct contact. Through carelessness, American, British and French bank notes have several times been sent abroad for Comintern use bearing the telltale stamp of the Soviet State bank.” (In Stalin’s Secret Service by W.G. Krivitsky, pp.51 to 54)
Krivitsky thus establishes that the sections of the Comintern are in absolute financial dependence upon Moscow and that the direct organ of financial control over the Comintern is the GPU.
The passages cited from Krivitsky’s book have the weight of juridical testimony since Krivitsky gave the same information under oath before the investigating Committee of the United States House of Representatives and is ready to answer questions put to him by the Mexican court.
Supplementary Evidence of B. Gitlow[edit source]
In the matter of proving the financial dependence of the Communist parties on Moscow, the sole difficulty consists in the abundance of the available proofs and documents. I am compelled here to reduce quotations to a minimum.
Benjamin Gitlow, who played in the course of twenty years a leading part in the Communist movement in the United States, has published a book containing incontrovertible evidence of the complete financial dependence of the sections of the Comintern upon Moscow. B. Gitlow broke with the Comintern, otherwise he would not have come forward with his revelations. Gitlow’s present political tendencies do not interest me. Suffice it that the factual side of his book is based on incontestable facts:
“... The Daily Worker, far from paying its way, was constantly losing money; the Comintern had poured many times over the initial sum of thirty-five thousand dollars it had invested to start the paper.
“Our hope was that with the transfer of its headquarters to New York, the DAILY WORKER would begin to yield better returns on its investment in the form of increased circulation. The total cost of the building, general repairs, the new printing plant and incidentals ran well over three hundred thousand dollars ...“ (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.307.)
“The Party today has branched out into so many new fields, its importance to the Soviet Union’s foreign policy on account of the Japanese situation makes it necessary for the party to carry on an unprecedented propaganda campaign through every avenue of publicity, even including the expensive use of the radio. Recently the Party has started the publication of two new daily papers, one in Chicago and one in San Francisco, even though the yearly deficit of the Daily Worker has always been over fifty thousand dollars. Obviously the Soviet Union must now subsidize the American Party more heavily than it ever did before ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.389.)
“... I returned from Moscow to attend the 1928 Presidential nominating convention of the Party with five thousand dollars of Russian money in my jeans, as the first installment of Moscow’s contribution of thirty-five thousand dollars to our Presidential campaign. That in turn was part of the quarter million dollars we used to receive annually under special grants for specific purposes. For our 1924 Presidential campaign Moscow had contributed fifty thousand dollars. Having started the Daily Worker on its career with an initial donation of thirty-five thousand dollars, Moscow has continued to feed into that hopper never less than that sum annually. Of course, Moscow’s financial contributions to the American Communist Party in my day were only a very small part of what they are today, when Moscow is undisputed boss ...” I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.496)
What are the proportions of Moscow’s financial aid? B. Gitlow through whose hands funds from Moscow passed on more than one occasion, declares in this respect:
“... Moscow was a generous donor, but far from all of our activities were paid for by the Russians. With a membership never exceeding sixteen thousand in those days, we spent on an average of a million dollars a year, of which the better half was raised right in the United States ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.470)
Even so wealthy a party as the American one thus covered about half of its expenditures from Moscow sources.
The same author tells us about the founding of the Communist newspaper in London:
“... The British Communist Party was treated like a sickly child. The Party had to receive assistance from Moscow for every step it took ... The Comintern tried to force the British Party to raise a certain quota of the money necessary to start a British Communist Daily. The leaders made all kinds of excuses as to why they could not raise the money. When the paper was published it was done with Comintern money, the Russians supplying practically all the money needed to launch the paper and keep it in existence. What was true of the leaders of these countries was in lesser or greater measure true of other countries as well ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, pp.587-588)
There is, as we observe, no reason to presume that Mexico is an exception.
I cite Gitlow’s book not as a literary work but as the testimony of a witness; first, because B. Gitlow gave the same testimony under oath before a Congressional investigating committee; secondly, because he is ready to answer under oath any questions of the Mexican court.
Financial Aid to the Communist Parties Of Latin America[edit source]
It is quite self-evident that the Communist parties of Latin America are in a similar relation to Moscow as the Communist parties in other parts of the world. There could be no doubt on this score even if we had no special data. But we do possess such data. I append here the important testimony of Joseph Zack who played a leading part in the life of American Communism including that of Latin America, for 15 years. Here is Joseph Zack’s testimony under oath:
Joseph Zack being duly sworn on oath deposes and says:
1. That he resides in the City of New York, United States of America.
2. That for a period of approximately 15 years he was a member of the Communist Party of the United States of America and during that time was a member of the Central Committee of the party and held many responsible posts.
3. That in 1929-1930 he worked for the Red Trade Union International in Moscow and in 1930 was sent by Piatnitsky, Secretary of the Communist International at that time, and Manuilsky, Chairman of the Communist International, to Bogota, Colombia, South America, for the purpose of supervising the work of the Communist Party in Colombia for and on behalf of the Communist International.
That he spent 15 months in Colombia as the representative of the Communist International and seven months in Venezuela, also representing the Communist International.
That while there he was in constant touch with the Bureau of the Comintern residing in Montevideo, Uruguay.
4. That affiant further states that he was authorized to spend and did spend during his stay in Colombia close to $6,500 for the purpose of subsidizing the work of the Comunist Party of Colombia then affiliated with the Communist International. While he was in Venezuela, he also spent money for the purpose of subsidizing the work of the Communist Party in Venezuela.
That most of the money came to him from one Kitty Harris, residing in New York and a member of the Communist Party.
That he remembers distinctly that on one occasion personally he received from the representative of the Communist International known by the name of Williams, the sum of $800. That according to his best knowledge and belief the said Williams was a member of the GPU.
Signed and sworn to before me
this 20 day of July 1940
Walter A. Sawlor, Notary Public.
J. Zack did not, it is true, have connections with Mexico. But there is no doubt that if the GPU did not forget Columbia and Venezuela it had all the more reason to be concerned about Mexico.
In 1931 the attention of the Mexican government was drawn to a certain Manuel Diaz Ramirez who had large sums to his credit in the bank. El Universal, May 6, 1931, wrote on this affair:
“... It is known that he has belonged to the Mexican Communist Party for ten years and is at present the representative in Mexico of the Third International to which he went, remaining in Russia a year. From 1927 to 1928 he was in charge of the treasury of the party, handling thirty thousand pesos. And all the expenses incurred in his trips were paid from these funds.” (El Universal, first section, p.7. col.7)
To my knowledge it was firmly established at the time that this money came from Moscow. The court authorities have the full possibility to check this episode.
During the break of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the USSR, the Mexican government had occasion to refer officially to the relationship between the sections of the Comintern and the state organs of the USSR. I leave completely aside the question whether the break of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the USSR was “just” or “unjust;” I also leave aside the persecution of the Mexican Communist Party. I am interested in the facts officially established. The communication of the Mexican government for January 23, 1930 reads:
“The Government of Mexico knows perfectly well... that the Russian Communist groups do not work and could not work independently, because any political organization of that country is subject to the Soviet Government.”
The assertion that no organization in the USSR can act independently of the government is absolutely incontestable. The direction of all organizations is concentrated in the hands of the GPU and it becomes especially severe and imperious when foreign relations are concerned. Financial aid to foreign sections of the Comintern as well as to “friendly” publications is the business of the GPU. Mexico does not constitute an exception.
The System of Personal Corruption[edit source]
The methods of corruption and bribery applied in Moscow toward leaders of the labor movement abroad long ago became proverbial. Moscow either bribes or strangles any opposition within the Comintern. When the delegation of the American Communist Party, elected at a legally held convention, left for Moscow, the leaders knew in advance what their welcome would be in Moscow:
“... We had to protect our delegates against the Moscow system of corruption. We warned those to whom the experience of going to Moscow was a new one that they should expect all kinds of trouble. We also explained to them the ways of the Comintern. We told them the Comintern had tremendous resources, that its agents would entertain them lavishly, that every kind of temptation would be thrown their way, to make them change their views, that, if temptation did not work, pressure would be used. Our delegates solemnly pledged to remain loyal and to fight for the justice we sought, to the bitter end.” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.528)
The rivalry between leaders in the Communist parties is often resolved by the transfer of some of the “leaders” to the GPU. When B. Gitlow fell into disgrace for attempting to conduct an independent policy, the attempt was made in Moscow to transfer him to the GPU. Gitlow himself has the following to relate about the incident:
“... Attempts were made to bribe me. I was offered a lucrative position doing confidential GPU work in the Latin-American countries at a very good salary, including traveling expenses, which would enable me to travel first class and stop at the best hotels ... I turned the tempting offer down, because I recognized that it was a bribe and because I knew that if I once put myself in the employ of the GPU, I would be at its mercy for ever after.” (I Confess, pp.568-569)
This episode sheds a glaring light on the fate of many of those who have been “expelled” or “removed,” like D.A. Siqueiros, G. Lorenzo, H. Laborde and others. The attempt to send so prominent a figure as Gitlow to Latin America demonstrates the special interest paid by the GPU to Latin American countries.
Fred Beal, one of the leaders of the workers in America, tells in his book how he was won over in Moscow:
“The Comintern ... began to flatter me with a moving solicitude. They made me feel satisfied in Moscow: good room, good food, and good pay for speeches and writings for the journals.” (Proletarian Journal, Fred Beal, p.257)
Gitlow relates how the Kremlin won over to its side the well-known American Negro, Ford:
“... He was showered with flattery, given many testimonials and loaded with pins, badges and presents of every description ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.455)
It is not superfluous to point out that this same Ford represented the Comintern in Mexico during the last overturn in the party which preceded the attempt of May 24.
The examples adduced of personal corruption adopted by the Kremlin are only isolated instances of a finished system. The basic element of this system is the introduction by Stalin of a double wage: one is paid to party employees officially; the other is paid out to the more “responsible” functionaries from a special secret treasury controlled by the GPU. Originating in Moscow, against the energetic resistance of the “Trotskyist” opposition, this system soon extended to the whole Comintern. There cannot be the slightest doubt that it was and is still employed in Mexico. Having secret salaries, members of the Central Committee are able to devote their energies to work in the friendly organizations (El Popular, Futuro) providing for the latter one of the important forms of economic support.
Gitlow recalls how Stalin on solemn occasions loved to talk about the purity and chastity of the Comintern.
“... ‘The Comintern is the holy of holies of the working class. The Comintern must not be confused with a stock market.’ But that was precisely how Stalin was running the Comintern, buying, selling, and ruining its leaders ...” (I Confess by Benjamin Gitlow, p.553)
The leaders of the Mexican Communist party do not constitute an exception!
The Disinterestedness of La Voz de Mexico[edit source]
La Voz de Mexico for July 7, 1940, calls my assertion that the paper receives financial aid from Moscow – an “old slander.” Disassociating myself from the blustering insolence so characteristic of the Stalinists, I will add another quotation:
“The affirmation of the dirty renegade, repeating the old slander does not surprise us; but we wait in hope of the proof which he offers, with the certainty that he will not be able to present it, since this newspaper lives, with pride and all that modestly could be desired, on the voluntary contributions from the workers, the peasants, and sympathizing elements.”
These gentlemen are obviously under the impression that by assuming an insolent tone they are freed from the necessity of reckoning with facts they themselves have acknowledged.
Denying that it receives financial aid from Moscow, La Voz de Mexico pretends to believe that the Mexican party is the sole exception in the world to the rules governing the Comintern. However, this same paper wrote in its May 1 issue of this year:
“The economic situation in which the Party has fallen is rooted in the fact that the former leadership made the Party of the proletariat depend on governors, senators, and deputies, tying the party ... to the tail of the bourgeoisie; deforming its principles, renouncing the defense of the interests of the workers and the people, braking and opposing itself to the struggle of the masses for better conditions.”
We see that the party was not at all so scrupulous about the choice of monetary sources as it pretends to make out in its declaration of July 7.
At the last party convention (March 1940) one of the party leaders, Salgado, accused Laborde, the former leader of the party, of taking bribes:
For a thousand pesos a month, all the pain and hunger of the Yucatan people was sold to the interest of a small group of politicians who control that state.” (THROW THE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE OUT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY RANKS!)
Another party leader, Rafael Carrillo wrote in April 1940 in connection with the last party convention:
“... the Extraordinary National Congress has carried out an inestimable labor ... it has expelled the leaders responsible for the state of disorganization and of corruption which existed in its ranks ...” (Prologue of Dionisio Enema’s pamphlet: FUERA IMPERIALISM!, Mexico 1940)
We thus learn that among the party leadership, which spoke and acted in the party’s name, there prevailed not only “disorganization” but also “corruption.”
It is not a question of a casual episode. The man responsible for this “corruption,” Hernan Laborde, has been at the head of the party since 1928, i.e., for twelve years. His power over the party, especially in the last five years, was unlimited.
Dionisio Encina the new chief has this to say about it:
“What has been the leadership of our Party but a narrow leadership, which did and resolved everything, reducing the other members of the Political Bureau to the role of auxiliaries?”
And farther on:
“... since the Fourth Congress until today, that is to say, for five years in which the Party was under the leadership of Laborde and Campa.” (Page 102)
The leaders of the Mexican Stalinists, among them D.A. Siqueiros, declared one time: “It is better to receive money from Moscow than to take it from Mexican capitalists.” In 1940 they publicly acknowledged having received money from Mexican capitalists. This does not of course mean that they did not receive at the same time money from Moscow.
I am in no way concerned here with the relations between the Communist party and the Governors, Senators, Deputies and Mexican capitalists. The foregoing admissions of La Voz de Mexico and Mr. Salgado interest me only to the extent that they refute completely the assertion that the newspaper exists solely upon the “voluntary contributions of workers, peasants and sympathizers.”
True enough, the last convention (March 1940) did resolve to lead a more virtuous life. But we shall learn only during the next purge how serious this measure is, and, above all, to what degree it was carried out. Today it remains a fact that the Communist party takes money where it can and as much as it can without being embarrassed about the sources.
But even if we accept the pious desire of the last convention as genuine, there is not an iota of slander in my words.
La Voz de Mexico considers it wholly admissible to receive money from “sympathetic elements.” But doesn’t Stalin belong to the category of sympathizers? In the same comment in which there is reference to my “slander,” Stalin is called “great Soviet leader, comrade Stalin.” Then why is it impossible to accept money from such a sympathizer as the “great Soviet leader”?
But it is not only a question of a “sympathizing” element. The Communist International looks upon itself as the international party of the proletariat. L. Beria, head of the GPU, together with all the members of his collegium and the responsible agents of the GPU are members of the Communist International, and thereby party comrades of the editors of La Voz de Mexico. The paper can therefore receive money from Beria and from the collegium of the GPU – comrades of the international party – without any damage to its “pride.” There is consequently not a shadow of slander in my assertion. But the disinterestedness of La Voz de Mexico must be wholly assigned to the domain of mythology.
A Special Declaration by Walter Krivitky to the Mexican Court[edit source]
The present document was almost completed when I received a special declaration made by General W. Krivitsky, the former head of Soviet espionage in Europe, for the Mexican court. This declaration is devoted to the system of the organization of the GPU in the USSR and abroad, the relations between the GPU and the Comintern and the terroristic activity of the GPU abroad. Mr. W. Krivitsky, who was for a number of years one of the most important representatives of the GPU, broke with Moscow when Stalin began, by means of frame-up trials, to destroy the revolutionary generation of the Bolshevik party. The revelations made by Krivitsky in the world press and recently issued in book form are appraised by all serious publications as the most competent and precise evidence on the hidden mechanism of the Kremlin’s politics.
To avoid misunderstandings it is necessary to explain that the initials GUGB signify the same thing as the GPU. Because the name of the GPU acquired an especially hated character, the Kremlin tried to change this name to another. But since the gist of the matter remains unalterated in the USSR as well as abroad, the GUGB continues to be called the GPU.
I likewise append the statement of A. Goldman, my attorney in New York, verifying under oath that the statement is genuinely Krivitsky’s. General Krivitsky himself avoids public appearances unless absolutely urgent because he is hunted by the professional killers of the GPU.
The date, August 9, on Albert Goldman’s statement is likewise the date of Mr. Krivitsky’s declaration:
“I want to make the following statement, to be used in any court in Mexico, for and on behalf of Leon Trotsky.
“The General Administration of Security of the National Commissariat of Internal Relations of the State (GUGB – NKVD) is the department of the secret police of the USSR. The People’s Commissar of Affairs – Beria – is at the same time the head of the GUGB.
“The GUGB is divided into sectors, organized in conformity with the political, economic, and cultural structure of the USSR.
“The principal sector of the GUGB is the Special Section. This has in its charge the vigilance of the entire organization of the party and the special sections of the Army and the Navy are subject to it. The Special Section has its secret agents and informers in all the organizations. On their denunciations are based the detentions of the GUGB. The characteristic method of work of the GUGB is PERIODIC ARRESTS. In the files of the GUGB people are registered against whom there is no material accusation whatsoever for any crime, people NOT COMPLETELY LOYAL to the Soviet government. The GUGB considers them as the ‘potential counter-revolution.’ Among this army of disloyal citizens they carry out mass arrests (purges). In the jails they convert them into criminals, making them responsible for all the failures in any branch of the life of the country.
“In the agencies abroad the GUGB has its representatives.
“Officially they occupy some diplomatic post. Under their direction is the surveillance of all the official Soviet organs in the respective country.
“All the work of the Comintern abroad is carried on through the Section of International Relations, the OMS. The entire apparatus of the OMS in Moscow and abroad since the years 1936-37 has been integrated through agents of the GUGB and all the activity of the OMS is under its control. In all the countries where the Communist Party is legal, there is a representative of the OMS of Moscow. Formerly, he occupied some secondary post in the diplomatic corps. Lately, these representatives have gone underground. Their functions are: the control over the activity and the financial situation of the Communist Party, the transmission of instructions and economic subsidies proceeding from Moscow. The Soviet government subsidizes not only the official Communist Party and its press, but also the pro-Stalinist journals which do not belong to the party. For example: the journal CE SOIR of Paris. All the work of the Comintern in Latin America is concentrated in the United States, where the principal representative of the OMS is found, including the Latin American countries. His aides are found in various countries. The instructions and the economic subsidies are received principally through the Embassy at Washington. Aside from this main center, the OMS has at its disposition an illegal interlocking apparatus, with different sections for Europe, Asia, and America. This has been organized and is destined for a case of war or of rupture in diplomatic relations with any country.
“The GUGB organizes terrorist acts abroad. In virtue of the risks and diplomatic difficulties which carrying out orders represents, they are given personally by the chief of the GUGB, National Commissar of Internal Relations, through the sanction of Stalin. The organizers of these terrorist acts are responsible agents of the GUGB abroad. The killers are always foreigners in the service of the GUGB. The are well tested militants of the Communist parties. Some of them because of considerations of a conspirative character, do not officially belong to the party.
Albert Goldman being first duly sworn on oath deposes and says:
1. That he is a resident of the City of New York, State of New York, United States of America.
2. That he received a document of Walter Krivitsky, which begins with the following sentence in English:
“I want to make the following statement to be used in any court in Mexico for and on behalf of Leon Trotsky.”
That the said document consists of three pages written in Russian.
3. That he knows the handwriting of Walter Krivitsky and knows that the said document is in the handwriting of Walter Krivitsky.
4. The said Walter Krivitsky is unable personally to make an affidavit because by doing so he would reveal his whereabouts and he is unwilling to do so because of fear of the GPU.
Subscribed and sworn to before me,
this 9 day of August, 1940, A. D.
Meyer B. Carp, Notary Public.
The editorial board of La Voz de Mexico has demanded that I be held answerable for “defamation” because I expressed in court the certainty that the directors of La Voz de Mexico like all other agents of the GPU receive financial aid from their master.
I tried to prove, and I trust succeeded in proving in this document that La Voz de Mexico is an organ of the GPU in the full sense of the term. The paper has no other policy save that which the Kremlin through the GPU instills in its international agents. It defends all the crimes of the GPU and slanders its enemies. The most scandalous torrent of its slander has been directed for several years against me.
I tried further to prove and I hope succeeded in proving the complicity of the Communist Party of Mexico and La Voz de Mexico in preparing the attempt and in concealing its traces. The entire leadership of the Communist party participated in the preparation of the attempt; a section of the leadership also participated in the actual execution.
The moral preparation proceeded chiefly in the form of systematic, deliberate and malevolent slander against me; and furthermore this slander contained the gravest and most injurious accusations.
After the commission of the attempt the same individuals tried to dupe the investigating authorities and public opinion by means of a new torrent of slander (the theory of “self-assault” etc).
All this work from beginning to end corresponded to the tasks and interests of the GPU and was fulfilled on its orders. The leaders of the Mexican Communist Party and the editors of La Voz de Mexico acted as agents of the GPU. There is no “defamation” whatever in the statement that they, like all other agents of the GPU, must receive the pay of the GPU. I have adduced in addition numerous proofs that the leaders of the sections of the Comintern in all countries of the world are in the pay of the Kremlin.
People who made their political careers on the base of slanders about me should be the last to speak about defamation. I have presented above specimens of this slander. It is impossible to conceive of slander with worse intentions.
I therefore express the conviction that Mexican justice will not only reject the charge of defamation against me but hold the editors of La Voz de Mexico responsible for slander and will sentence them to the heaviest punishment corresponding to the systematic nature and malevolent character of their slander.
Coyoacan, Mexico August 17, 1940