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The New International, August 1942

Notes from Uruguay


From New International, Vol. VIII No. 7, August 1942, pp. 216–217.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The document published below, printed originally in Contra la Corriente, organ of the Uruguayan Fourth Internationalists, is of interest as an expression of revolutionary developments and needs of South America.

Several months ago there occurred in Uruguay a military coup d’état, organized by Baldomir, now head of the government, and supported by Washington. America is primarily interested in the strategically located naval and air bases of Uruguay – bases which control the entrance and exit of the great La Plata River and its rich basin region. – Editor

The political successes which made Baldomir dictator and the conditions resulting therefrom have exposed the decay of the political parties of our country, along with their false principles.

The corrupt Battle group, tired of an “opposition” that bore intolerable fruit both for the political organization and for the pockets of its leaders, hurried to place itself unconditionally at the service of its former greatest enemy. Now we have Battle-Berreta & Co., sitting at ease in the seats of the state council, once more the same tyranny it was yesterday.

The Avanzar “leftists,” who since 1933 sought protection under Grauert, have already forgotten their hatred resulting from the assassination and have quietly gone over to the ranks of the assassins.

The Independent Nationalists, with “dignity” and in a manner as picturesque as it was cautious, refused to integrate themselves into the Council of Notables, but promised solemnly not to obstruct the democratic labors (?) of the government. This proved to be implicitly an open demonstration of confidence in Baldomir and his henchmen. Besides, it left the door open for collaboration with the government at a fitting time and in a suitable manner.

The misnamed Communist Party, in accordance with the new tactic of support to the national bourgeois alliance, plays the sad and at the same time infamous rôle of Baldomir’s servants – so far as Baldomir permits them.

In the Opposition we find the Socialist Party, the Social Democratic group and the Civil Union.

The Socialist Party, confused because Baldomir did not try a coup d’état when Frugoni wanted one, have declared themselves in opposition. But in all that party’s history there has never been an opposition so weak and halting. El Sol has not abandoned its plaintive tone in addressing Baldomir, and the party leader, Cardozo, joined one of the governmental councils, which however little it desires to, must acknowledge the authority of Baldomir and his “Notables.”

The Social Democrats maintain opposition to Baldomir and his clique but, like the Socialist Party, don’t wish to see beyond their noses. With a superficially that is astonishing, its leadership ignores the reality of international politics. Neither does it strike them as peculiar that the coup d’état was a vital necessity for the United States, in assuring its warlike plans in the Rio de la Plata.

For the Social Democrats and for the Socialists, a coup d’état is an isolated act, disconnected from the world scene, with no other objective than the personal ambitions of Baldomir to remain in power, and aided by the intransigence of the reactionary landlords. But neither of them are merely making an error. Their apparently short-sighted and unbalanced position is due to their policy.

Quijano, the former anti-imperialist, adopted the theory of the “lesser evil” and decided to support one of the imperialist powers at war, preferring not to get mixed up with the United States in this ugly dictatorship. With respect to Frugoni, according to whom Roosevelt is greater than Marx, he does not want to get too deeply into what might be a dangerous position. People should not mistake him for a revolutionist.

Although apparently separated by their positions and opposed in their interests, the so-called democratic parties are content to be intimately bound together in a common cause – that of serving North American capitalism.

What moves the Battle supporters to put themselves under the dictator’s heel, and what makes the Independents and Catholics continue to live in hope, without offering serious resistance, is the same thing that shuts the mouth of the “Opposition.” It is what lies behind Baldomir, aiding his coup d’état – the power of the great democracy to the North, a country with which none of the parties wants to be in bad.

And why all this? Simply because all of them – collaborators and “oppositionists” alike – are bourgeois and it is the capitalist bourgeoisie of Wall Street that keeps Baldomir in power. The bourgeoisie understand one another quite well and ahead, very much ahead, of ideological interests they place the class interests that unite them, putting aside differences and antagonisms when their bourgeois privileges are in danger. And rightfully, the international bourgeoisie is concerned about the victory of its allies.

We have seen the various roads and somersaults taken by the bourgeois parties of our country, especially since 1933. Agreements and compromises between white and colored succeeded one another, according to their interests. The present situation is only a repetition of 1933. They line up with yesterday’s enemies and thrust aside friends who now bother them. New changes will come, according to the development of international events.

Followers of Herrelista, independent nationalists and social democrats, supporters of Charion, Aceveda, Baldomir and Catholics – all are bourgeois who have their disagreements in normal or semi-normal times, but always cease disputing and reach an understanding and unification so as to increase profits and exploit the working class.

Bourgeois Parties Reactionary

While the Socialist Party cannot be said to be a bourgeois party, according to its constitution, its base of proprietors, merchants and professionals make it much closer to the bourgeoisie than to the working class. And having, as it does, a blind faith in Roosevelt, the spokesman of the North American capitalists, we cannot understand why it opposes Baldomir, also an instrument – although on a smaller scale – of the Wall Street magnates.

The political parties and factions among us that are known as reactionary – although all bourgeois parties are reactionary – are the followers of Herrera, Charion, etc. At present they are in open opposition to the government simply because they have been removed from the positions of privilege already won or to be won ...

Yesterday the followers of Herrera were Anglophiles, when a good price for beef was arranged in England. The newly-born “democrat,” Guani, and Baldomir, Serrato & Co., who now pretend to lead the struggle against fascism, formerly repudiated the heroic battle of the Spanish people, a genuine anti-fascist struggle, and condoned the brutal aggression of Mussolini against Ethiopia at the League of Nations.

The truth is that the bourgeoisie goes fascist when it suits its interests. Just as soon as they agree among themselves, they abandon their democratic masks for fascist masks, according to convenience.

The revolutionary Workers Party must bring together the workers. Right now the working class has no party which represents and defends its interests. All the bourgeois parties, as we have said, be they “democratic” or reactionary, are defenders of the masters of the bourgeois government and the open or concealed dictators.

The Socialist Party, throughout its practical existence, has completely ignored the working class and has not grounded itself in its struggles and problems.

The Communist Party exists solely because of the Bolshevik Party and the glorious Russian Revolution, as well as the creation of the first workers’ state. Like all the Communist Parties, it remains alive thanks only to the financial support of Russia. But as a workers’ party it no longer exists, due to the treacherous and stupid leadership which has given up one proletarian conquest after the other and has made out of the workers’ movement a disgraceful farce benefiting only the “Stalinists,” who run a race, pretending to go along with the wishes of the workers.

It has therefore become necessary to join together in a Workers Party – genuinely revolutionary and for the workers. A party that will unite the workers, refusing pacts with the bourgeoisie, and join with the thinking students, whose rebelliousness is not only a consequence of their conditions as students.

The Fourth International, growing up out of the ruins of the Second and Third Internationals, has joined together in Europe and America the advanced workers who have rejected the “socialists” and “communists” responsible for distorting the doctrines of Karl Marx, disfiguring the revolutionary program and surrendering themselves to the ruling class.

Powerful parties of the Fourth International are slowly forming in the countries of America. They seek to unite behind them the majority of the proletariat. In Uruguay there already exists the basis for the creation of a Revolutionary Workers Party (Fourth International) which will finally lead the Uruguayan working class to power.

This is the party that will emerge victorious out of this war, the party that embraces all the militant workers and revolutionists of our country.

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