G. Munis

Camacho vs. Almazans: Tempest in Teacup

Stalinists Deliberately Deceived the Masses in Supporting Camacho

(28 November 1940)

From Socialist Action, Vol. 4 No. 51, 21 December 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

MEXICO, D.F. – Durjng the election campaign the Stalin-Toledano heralds proclaimed at the top of their lungs the revolutionary character of Camacho as opposed to the reactionary Almazan. The whole weight of propaganda, discipline and coercion which the CTM (Confederation of Mexican Workers) bureaucracy could dispose of was put at the service of the “candidate of the revolution.”

The Trotskyists, too weak to nominate a candidate of their own, declined, nevertheless, to endorse either of the candidates. Basically, both candidates had a bourgeois character and the two also lacked a program, even a minimum one, which could guarantee the conquests of the workers and peasants.

The Communist Party thereupon accused the Trotskyites as “Almazanists.” It is known how the Stalinists pictured Trotsky as an ally and collaborator of Almazan. The “confession” of the assassin of Trotsky, Jacson, insinuated something in the same sense. Stalinism cannot support, even in the slightest, the existence of a revolutionary policy; Stalinism carries on a calumnious campaign, attempting to identify revolution with reaction.

Nevertheless, Camacho’s triumph has sufficed to give complete justification to the analysis made by the Trotskyists. Barely certain that he would occupy the presidential chair, Camacho summoned the newspapermen and made a few remarks which gave rise to great joy in the national and foreign press. In essence they can be summarized thus: Fatherland, religion, order, and property. And in order to give point to his remarks, he started to go publicly to mass, no doubt to praise God and the souls of the Stalinists and Toledanists who brought him victory.

The reactionary nature of the new policy announced by the “candidate of the people” is so marked that the president of the Almazanist party hastened to proclaim his own and his party’s support of Camacho. Twenty-four hours later he rectified his somewhat stunning words, but this correction as well as the previous grandiloquent threats of Almazan does not mean that political differences exist; it is a letter of exchange for greater political concessions and higher public posts. Almazanism had died as unnecessary.

The flag of reaction has passed without any transition or grave convulsions from the hands of one to those of the other. Some armed bands that rose against the government acted without coordination and have surrendered to the forces of the army. Almazan never solidarized himself with them. Finally, the arrival of Almazan in the capital excludes all possibility of struggle and his declarations recognize Camacho as the leader of Almazanism. The Trotskyists were completely right: between the two candidates no fundamental differences existed.

Lombardo Toledano and the Stalinists, by their unconditional support of Camacho, have deceived the masses. The Stalinists and Toledanists cannot say they were deceived. They “neglected” to give the working class a candidate of their own when the least grasp of politics foresaw that Camacho hoped to accomplish a swing to the right. But the CTM bureaucracy cannot adopt an independent policy without running the risk of unloosing a real revolutionary movement. The blinding of the masses was necessary in order to preserve the interests of this bureaucracy.

The collusion between, Camacho and the reactionary forces of the country is beyond doubt. With raucous glee, the conservative cabal prepares to use its forces and carry out different projects. Renewal of the upper democratic hierarchies of the government, distribution of ministries and sub-secretariats, new selection of the diplomatic corps, protection of capital, free hand for imperialism, restriction if not suppression of the right to strike, and in Draconian measures against the most elementary needs of the working class.

Will Avila Camacho succeed in accomplishing his reactionary aims, with the aid of the same bureaucratic satellites who surrounded Cardenas, that is to say, the Party of the Mexican Revolution and the Confederation of Mexican Workers dominated by Lombardo Toledano and the Stalinists? The strata, of the PRM who hold the important state posts will not oppose Camacho’s desires. From the moment Camacho expressed contrition before the altar for his abominable revolutionary delirium, many of those, who yesterday were frightened by their own “advanced” ideas, have discovered in the bottom of their hearts a hidden religious faith. Catholicism conquers new and unsuspecting proselytes.

The heterogeneous class composition and the lack of ideology of the so-called Party of the Mexican Revolution converts if into a docile instrument in the hands of any fraction of the Mexican bourgeoisie. A few changes to more trustworthy men will suffice to accomplish the course to the right without any fundamental changes. However, it is probable that Camacho will dissolve the PRM and form another party which the Almazanists would be invited to join. Thus reaction would feel more satisfied and the Almazanists would have greater access tp governmental posts. In either case, the social base of the PRM will adapt itself completely to the interests of the reactionary bourgeoisie.

For their part, neither, the leaders of the CTM nor the Stalinists have dared to raise a single objection to Camacho’s remarks. As far as the future is concerned, they only hope to retain their posts. They even offer their services to the president-elect to allow them to subdue workers who might have the courage to protest. The Mexican press has spoken of substituting in place of Toledano in the leadership of the CTM, Fidel Velazquez, a secondary figure who won’t mind displacing his boss. As a whole, the corrupt bureaucracy of the CTM will be perfectly submissive. But the proletariat grouped in this trade union center will learn with this experience the reactionary character of their leaders, and the policy, of Camacho will awaken, sooner or later, a new trade union movement, more independent, democratic and healthy.

The Communist Party appears ready to purchase tolerance at the price of silence. Their press and, pamphlets, formerly sold on almost every newsstand in the capital, have already almost completely disappeared. The printing press which ran them off has been sold. The rare copies which one comes across call upon “believers, and non-believers.” to support the “progressive policy” of the government. One gets the impression that the C.P. will renounce all and devote itself to activity, more apparent than real, with the purpose of conserving legality. The legality the C.P. wants is, a relative legality and freedom of action for GPU agents who, pullulate like ants in Mexico. Politically Stalin doesn’t expect anything from the C.P. of Mexico, But as a GPU base of operations it is absolutely indispensable for him. To permit this, the C.P. will invent any “progressive” pretexts which will allow it to exist and support Camacho.

Thus the struggle between Avila Camacho and Almazan which started with harangues in irreconcilable opposition to each other, and which gave the faint-hearted chills of civil-war, resolved itself miserably like a storm in a teacup, and of course, at the expense of the workers and peasants.

November 28, 1940