Leon Trotsky

Letter to the Herald Tribune

(July 1940)

Written: 27 July 1940.
First Published: Fourth International, Vol.1 No.5, October 1940, pp.139-140.
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.

Editor, Herald Tribune
New York City, N.Y.


In the July 25 issue of the Herald Tribune an article was published, telephoned from Mexico City by Mr. Jack O’Brine, quoting declarations made by a certain Cesar Ortiz, “Foreign editor of Mexico’s leading labor newspaper, Popular,” to sixty American educators visiting Mexico, of a “conspiracy” between me and General Juan Andreu Almazan to establish a “fascist regime south of the Rio Grande” and later in the United States in the event that I were admitted to that country. Mr. Cesar Ortiz, according to the report in the Herald Tribune, added that the Mexican authorities are investigating this “conspiracy” allegedly organized with the financial help of Hitler and Mussolini; that is, the German and Italian allies of Stalin.

Your readers no doubt are intelligent enough to discern the source of this dirty, arrogant, and stupid falsification. The source is specified by three letters: GPU.

As for Mr. Cesar Ortiz, I do not know anything about him. But I can admit that he really exists and directs what is called the “foreign” policy of El Popular. On July 2, before the Mexican courts, I re-affirmed that this paper is a semi-official organ of the GPU; that in all questions of interest to Stalin it supports the politics of the GPU; that it invariably defends the crimes of the GPU and propagates all the falsifications and slanders which the GPU spreads against the enemies of Stalin; that if – after a long period of defending Hitler – El Popular today defends “democracy” it does so under direct orders from the GPU and in the interest of some temporary need of Stalin.

In view of the fact that the perpetrators of the assault against me, and particularly the murderers of Robert Sheldon Harte (Trotsky’s secretary), are agents of the GPU and members of the Comintern; that the editors of El Popular were moral accomplices in the preparation of the May 24 assault and in the attempts to cover up the crime; that these facts are being placed before the court by me with all the necessary exactitude; and in view of the fact that the friends of the GPU and the inspirers of El Popular happen to be deeply compromised, the secret police of Stalin, its agents and friends including evidently Cesar Ortiz whom I do not know, are making desperate attempts to block the judicial investigation and to terrorize me in order to prevent further revelations concerning the criminal activity of the GPU on the American continent. All these attempts are in vain. I will carry my work through to the end.

In order to give my denial of the assertions reported in the Herald Tribune all the necessary completeness I add:

  1. I have never had either direct or indirect connections with the internal politics of Mexico, in particular the recent election campaign.
  2. I do not have the honor of knowing General Juan Andreu Almazan. I have never had either direct or indirect relations with him in particular nor with any of the outstanding figures in general in any of the political camps of Mexico.
  3. I do not have and could not have any motive to create any difficulties for the government of the only country which granted me its hospitality.
  4. The assertions reported by your correspondent represent not an isolated fact but part of a campaign which has been uninterruptedly and systematically conducted against me under the direction and with the financial assistance of the GPU.
  5. I reserve the right to sue Mr. Cesar Ortiz for the malicious slanders he has made against me in the interests of the GPU.

Coyoacan, D. F.
July 27, 1940

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Last updated on: 22.4.2007