Source: Daily Worker, January 31, 1930
Transcription/Markup: Paul Saba
Copyleft: Internet Archive(marxists.org) 2018. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
Following the news which appeared in “El Universal” of Mexico City, reprinted in the capitalist press of the U.S.A., to the effect that Sandino received a bribe of $60,000 for giving up the struggle in Nicaragua, the General, who is very fond of the high-sounding title he gave himself, affixed that title to a statement on January 6, branding the news as “a calumny engineered by agents of the Yankee pirates.”
Sandino’s statement was addressed to Hernan Laborde, secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico. But Sandino did not rely on clearing himself before those who had supported the struggle for Independence of Nicaragua. Instead he broadcasted the “denial” to the very capitalist press which has always scorned and attacked him and rejoiced each time the U. S. marines had slaughtered those who fought with him.
Nor is his statement satisfactory in so far as making unequivocal answer to questions more important than whether or not he received $60,000 more or less. These are questions which relate to his conduct, whether that conduct be purchased or not. Moreover, his statement is unsatisfactory in the light of new developments which compel those who earnestly supported and still support the fight against U.S. imperialism in Nicaragua, to point out the widened gap between Sandino and the anti-imperialist movement.
The fact that Sandino addressed his statement to the Mexican Communist Party, is a self-acknowledgement on his part, that Sandino’s fight–while it was a fight–got unconditional support, perhaps too unconditional, from the Communist movement of the whole world; that if it had not been for the Anti-Imperialist League, the Hands Off Nicaragua Committee and the world proletariat, Sandino would have remained isolated and unknown. But in spite of his lack of any program for organizing the workers and peasants, his making of the struggle purely on a military basis, the desire to aid these masses to free themselves from the oppressive rule of U. S. Imperialism, led the All-American Anti-Imperialist League and the Communist Parties to loan wide and active support to the armed struggle Sandino led.
Early in 1929, a sharp turn was made by Sandino, which marked the beginning of his departure from the anti-imperialist movement. Acting without the considered judgment of the anti-imperialist movement, and proceeding upon his own, he issued a call to all Latin-American governments (ignoring the fact that these governments are as fully lackeys of imperialism as is the Moncada “government” of Nicaragua) for a special conference proposed by him to be held in Buenos Aires where an agreement should be reached whereby these lackey governments should build the canal thru Nicaragua “instead of” Uncle Sam. This would have been, had it been carried through, a veritable blessing by Latin America for a project of U.S. imperialism.
But since Sandino was still fighting U.S. imperialism, the pack of boot-licking Latin American governments would not dignify Sandino by the slightest response. He, thereupon, left the battlefield for “higher diplomacy,” proceeding to Vera Cruz, Mexico, apparently to “convince” the Latin American governments of the necessity for such a conference. He repeated the invitation from Merida, Yucatan, shortly after his arrival. Other serious steps of Sandino were spoken of in a previous article in the Daily Worker.
Eight months went by. Sandino still remained in Merida, Yucatan, promising to return to the field of action, but as continually postponing doing so for reasons he would not make clear. In vain the Executive Committee of the All-America Anti-Imperialist League tried to obtain an explanation from the “Commander in Chief” of his sudden “ascetic” retirement.
But while he was reticent toward the anti-imperialists, it was known that he held correspondence with Portes Gil, the President of Mexico who had so tractably carried out the orders of Mr. Dwight W. Morrow, Wall Street’s governor general for Mexico.
While Portes Gil and his agents, under orders of the same Yankee imperialism which is responsible for the rape of Nicaragua, began and carried on a campaign of white terror against the revolutionary workers and peasants of Mexico who gave Sandino’s army enthusiastic support, Sandino not only found it possible to remain silent as an “impartial observer,” but carried on correspondence, the nature of which has not been revealed, with these butchers of the Mexican revolutionary workers. While refuge revolutionaries from Cuba were being deported Sandino remains silent–and safe.
Sandino has now come out of Merida, arriving at Mexico City. But the anti-imperialist workers were not on hand, as he apparently expected, to hail him as a hero. He cannot live upon the honorable past. He was met by one man. Doctor Zepeda, a strong supporter of Mr. Morrow’s policy in Mexico, who is still Sandino’s representative, notwithstanding the protest of the All-America Anti-Imperialist League.
Sandino has made a slanderous attack on Gustavo Machado, a groundless attack as was proven. Machado was Secretary of the Hands Off Nicaragua Committee, and this attack can only be explained as due to pressure upon him from Doctor Zepeda and Co., to have him break away from those who really stand for uncompromising struggle against imperialism and for the complete independence of all colonies and semi-colonial countries.
The Executive Committee of the Anti-Imperialist League called on Sandino to put himself at the disposal of the organization for a tour throughout Latin America. But the General has remained mute on the subject.
At the height of the armed struggle in Nicaragua, the genuine revolutionary movement of Latin America, and the revolutionary workers of the United States as well, were giving every support possible to Sandino’s army. This array was not only swelled by Nicaraguan peasants, but also by other Latin American workers from almost every country.
Sandino cannot personally claim the greatness and the glory which belongs to the masses and those who aided the struggle from every corner of the earth. Nor can he proceed upon the notion that he is a second Bolivar, the Great leader beyond all question, in whose hands lie the destinies of the people. Feudal military chiefs are not in favor in this year of 1930, with the mass movement of the world proletariat and peasantry. In this period of mass revolutionary struggles against world imperialism and for colonial independence, the Sandinos, one and all, must keep in step with the demands and desires of the oppressed masses, or else fall into the camp of the Chiang Kai-sheks.
Augusto Sandino is now before the anti-imperialist tribunal. There is no compromising with his wavering and ambiguous attitude. He has gone far enough to justify questioning. What were the contents of his correspondence with Portes Gil and his agents, for one thing? The Latin American masses know that withholding, if not the hold, of such correspondence, constitutes a betrayal.
It is immaterial whether Sandino received remuneration for his conduct or not, or whether such remuneration was great or small. That is of only secondary importance. But of chief importance has been his underhand actions and secretiveness during his stay at Merida. Sandino must know that in this period of intense struggle of the whole Latin American masses against imperialism, he must answer to the masses or be shoved aside for more sound material, more uncompromising leaders borne up from the masses in struggle, who as part of the masses and not superior to them, will lead them to final victory.