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Natalia Sedova Trotsky

Natalia Trotsky

Who Defends the Terrorists?

Stalinists Would Free Siqueiros, the Murderer of Bob Harte

(March 1941)

Written: March 1941.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 11, 15 March 1941, p. 5.
Online Version: Natalia Sedova Internet Archive, October 2015.
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

On March 1, 1941, El Popular carried an account of the “just concluded Congress of the Mexican Confederation of Labor (CTM)”: El Popular also reprinted a resolution adopted by the Congress. Every honest reader will be astounded by the section of this resolution which reads: “The Congress also declares itself (this “also” is incredible!) in favor of the revolutionary painter David Alfaro Siqueiros and will take all the necessary steps in the case.”

The contempt of these completely demoralized people for the working class is without limits; there is no limit to their cynicism. They refuse to remember their own yesterday and they are not accountable for tomorrow. Through their lies, their slander, their fantastic confusion, their crying contradictions, they corrupt the consciousness of the working class. Their own yesterday reads: “The attempt against Trotsky is an attempt against Mexico.” This slogan was repealed in every single column of the front page of El Popular for May 25, 1940. The leading editorial, under the self-same heading, demanded a rigorous investigation and exemplary punishment of the criminals independently of their political affiliation and of their connections with any foreign power.

Reminding El Popular What It Said Then

Here are other quotations, which merit attention, from this same issue of El Popular of May 5, 1940:

On page 1:

“The authors of the assault on Trotsky’s house will be severely punished.”

On page 5:

“The assault on Trotsky’s house was organized and executed by provocateur-elements disguised as police and army officers.” (Statement by the Communist Party)

Editorial, page 3:

“The terrorists or pseudo-terrorists, foreign or Mexican, who perpetrated this act of anti-national provocation must he discovered and pitilessly punished.”

Same editorial:

“Once the guilty ones are discovered and their motives clarified we ask that the most severe punishment be meted out, regardless of their background, their political affiliation, the political group to which they belong, the foreign power which they serve, or the band of spies of which they form part.”

And even after the exposure by the police of the action of the GPU and the guilt of Siqueiros himself. El Popular wrote in an editorial on June 20, 1940:

“Today we repeat our petition of yesterday. Our desire is to have the law applied in all its rigor to the authors ot the assault ...”

On page 5 of that same issue was printed the official statement of the Stalinist party:

“The Communist Party of Mexico declares categorically that not a single one if the participants in the provocation is a member of the party; hat all of them are uncontrollable elements and agents provocateurs: that an act like the one perpetrated at Trotsky’s house, contrary to the genuine forms of proletarian struggle, has nothing to do with us.”

Now These Hirelings Defend This Terrorist

On May 25, 1940, El Popular wrote articles full of haughty impartiality and patriotic indignation. El Popular was hastening to create an impression that it was above all suspicion: and was distracting attention away from the GPU. this is what they all wrote yeaterday; today all these gentlemen are creating a GPU committee for the defense of a “revolutionary artist,” that is, for the defense of terrorists.

On the night of May 24, 1940, a gang of GPU agents dressed in police uniforms, tied up the police guard outside of our house, placed there by the Mexican government, broke into our house at 4 A.M. and marched firing through the room of our grandchild into our bedroom. Armed with revolvers and machine-guns they kept firing steadily for a period of four to five minutes. Police investigation, and then the Mexican court, established the character of the bullet holes in the doors and walls. On the threshhold of an open door lit up by the flames of an incendiary bomb thrown by one of the political murderers. I saw a silhouette in a police uniform; he vanished. I could not see him clearly ... Was it perhaps “the revolutionary artist” himself, the murderer of Bob Sheldon Harte, our secretary-guard? Was it the master of the night assault? Was it the accomplice of another “great master” who is “boss” of the Soviet land? These people preach a better future for humanity and at the same time they scurry around to succor a “revolutionary artist” – a murderer. they are brazen enough to speak with pathos to the workers about a society without classes and so on and so forth. But on what do they build it? On what foundations? How are they preparing the working class to build such a society? Lies and murders are the foundation of their activities. On these foundations it is possible perhaps to build only for one’s own comfort in our reactionary epoch of wars, seizures, plunder and all other kinds of bestiality.

The Mexican People Have Not Forgotten

If the Stalinist clique has forgotten its own yesterday, then the Mexican people cannot have forgotten it. Although befuddled by revolutionary phrasemongering and vile slander, the Mexican people still remember that the Communist Party organ, La Voz de Mexico wrote on June 19, 1940, as follows:

“Immediately following the events at Coyoacan, the Communist Party conducted an investigation to ascertain what had happened. This investigation immediately led to Alfaro Siqueiros, an uncontrollable element who is considered half crazy ... And since that time there have been suspicions of Alfaro Siquieros who had associated constantly with a certain White-Guardist and Antonio Pujol, his disciple and personal helper.”

The working class of Mexico could not have forgotten this testimony, In the course of three and a half years which we spent in Mexico, all the Congresses of the CTM took place under the slogan of a struggle against Trotskyism and the demand was made for the deportation of Trotsky – in actuality, that Trotsky be handed over to the GPU.

The March 1941 Congress differs from the last Congress in this, that it convened after the catastrophe of August 20, 1940. Stalin’s Enemy No. 1 is no longer among the living. “I can therefore say that I live in the country not in accordance with the rule but rather as an exception to the rule.” That is what Lev Davidovich wrote in his book: The Comintern and the GPU. The “exception” was cut short by a blow of the GPU. And this circumstance found its reflection in a few lines of a resolution which was passed behind the backs of the Congress by the bureaucratic Stalinist tops, who took up the defense of a terrorist, the organizer of the night assault, the murderer – “revolutionary artist.”

The Mexican Workers Will Not Permit This Infamy

The gentlemen of El Popular are apparently of the opinion that the law exists in order for the slanderers to monopolize the right of slander, and also in order to punish those who expose the slanderers. The shameless version of self-assault, which was maliciously circulated by the GPU, did not succeed. It was blown away by the facts like dust from a table, but the “revolutionary artist” remained behind.

As is well known, facts are stubborn things. The tops of the Congress, who are independent of the Congress, defend the organizer of the night assault. No, this crying infamy will not fall upon the working class of Mexico.

The working class of Mexico will overthrow the Stalinist clique who strained all their efforts at the Congress to save their agents from trial. The criminal – “revolutionary artist” must ace trial! Demand of the authorities – as did El Popular only yesterday – the punishment of the guilty ones, first and foremost, David Alfaro Siqueiros!

On the 25th day of August, 1939, before the break of Franco-German diplomatic relations, the French Ambassador Coulondre was informing the minister of foreign relations, Georges Bonnet, about his dramatic interview with Hitler at 5:30 in the afternoon:

“‘If I really thought,’ I observed, ‘that we would be victorious, I would also be afraid that at the end of the war there would be only one real victor: Mr. Trotsky.’ Interrupting me the Chancellor cried: ‘Then, why have you given Poland a blank check?’”

That is what is decisive in the conspiracy of Hitler and Stalin concerning the fate of the “exception to the rule.”

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Last updated on: 14 August 2020