Leon Trotsky

The Reptile Breed
of The Nation

(June 1940)

Written: 18 June 1940.
First Published: Fourth International, Vol.1 No.5, October 1940, p.139.
Translated: By Fourth International.
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

I see that the Nation, which besmirched itself through its attitude in regard to the Moscow judicial frame-ups, has hurried again this time [1] to support the fantastic and stupid versions of the GPU in connection with the attack of May 24. Everyone it seems is guilty, General Almazan, the “reaction,” possibly Trotsky himself – but by no means Stalin.

Meanwhile, the Mexican police have uncovered the assailants. They are – by accident – agents of Stalin

What an infamous reptile breed these radicals of the Nation! But they will not escape their punishment: we shall teach the American workers to appreciate them as they deserve – to despise them.

Coyoacan, D.F.
June 18, 1940

Who is the author of the Nation’s article on the attack upon Leon Trotsky? Harry Block is a citizen of the United States. His wife is Malu Cabrera, daughter of the Licenciado Luis Cabrera, a very rich and very reactionary lawyer retained by the oil companies and landlords of Yucatan. At the same time, Harry Block is a close collaborator of Lombardo Toledano, the notorious political agent of the GPU in Mexico. Harry Block is the managing editor of Futuro, the foul, slanderous monthly of Lombardo Toledano. He is also the head of the publishing department of the Stalinist Universidad Obrera. Under orders of the CTM he publishes a special weekly bulletin, Mexican Labor News, distributed free in the United States.

In the inner staff of Lombardo Toledano the “authority” of Harry Block is based upon the fact that he is considered the agent of the Soviet Embassy in Washington in relations with the CTM. The head of the Soviet agency in Washington is Oumansky, who made his diplomatic career as an agent of the GPU. Consequently Harry Block is the confidential go-between for two agents of the GPU, Oumansky and Lombardo Toledano. No wonder that Harry Block defended the dirty theory of “self-assault” in the pages of such a prostituted magazine as the Nation.

Meantime the majority of the assailants have been apprehended. All are members of the Communist Party and agents of the GPU. They are the colleagues of Oumansky, Lombardo Toledano, and Harry Block. It will be interesting to learn the reaction of the Nation’s editorial board now.

June 18, 1940


1. Harry Block, liaison man between Soviet Ambassador Oumansky in Washington and Loithardo Toledano in Mexico City is The Nation’s regular Mexican correspondent. In its June 8, 1940 issue, The Nation published an article by Block which said the May 24 attack “had all the earmarks of a put-up job” – i.e. Trotsky had arranged it! The Nation also refused to publish a letter from Albert Goldman, Trotsky’s attorney, answering Block.

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Last updated on: 22.4.2007