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The New International, January 1944

L. de V.

A Letter from Uruguay


From The New International, Vol. X No. 1, January 1944, p. 29.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


To the American Committee for the Fourth International

Dear Comrades:

As you must already know, an accidental majority of the Revolutionary Workers League (LOR), affiliated to the American Committee, broke with you and adopted the social-patriotic position held by the pseudo-International Executive Committee.

The process followed by the LOR deserves an explanation. It came into political existence in 1941 as a result of the fusion of various comrades who had split from the Socialist Youth with Trotskyist militants. From the very beginning (February 1941 up to June 1943) it defended publicly the position of the American Committee, particularly with respect to the problem of Russia, of China, etc.

I suppose that, to the comrades of the American Committee as well as to those of the Workers Party, the unexpected resolution of the LOR, adhering to the Cannonites, caused some surprise. For this reason, I want to give you the truth about the events in Uruguay.

Ever since the LOR declared itself against the defense of Stalinist Russia, a violent campaign has been carried on against the LOR, directed by the representatives of Cannon. In spite of being aware of the true situation in Uruguay, as a result of the visit of T.P., official plenipotentiary envoy of the Cannonites, the so-called International Executive Committee, acting with complete irresponsibility, recognized as the “Uruguayan Section” the Bolshevik-Leninist League (LBL), an organization non-existent since 1939. Since the LOR was the genuine representative of the Fourth Internationalist movement, it was necessary for the Cannonites to liquidate it, using every means at their command.

In December of 1941, T.P. wrote from Ecuador to the “Bolshevik-Leninist League,” urging it to destroy the “Uruguayan centrists of the American Committee.” We thus carried on a discussion with T.P. over a period of months. He insisted on the necessity of unification, something which the LOR did not accept, since the LBL showed no signs of life. Meanwhile the discussions continued on the much-debated problem of Russia.

T.P. withdrew to Buenos Aires and, having artificially constructed a “section” of the Fourth International in the Argentine, the PORS (today vanished), the offensive against the LOR continued. We were attacked by the Workers Front of Buenos Aires, and at the same time we received “visits” from the Argentine and Chilean comrades, who, in spite of not having solved their own problems, came to Montevideo for the purpose of dividing our organization.

We struggled for a period of two years against the interference of the defensists. The conclusion of the struggle was reached in June 1943. The members of the German group in Buenos Aires, old militants of the Red Front and others, succeeded in convincing a number of comrades that the position held by Cannon & Co. was correct.

Thus a defensist majority appeared in the LOR and prevented the minority from publishing its position with respect to Russia and China on the pretext that it would confuse the proletariat ...

We for two more months carried on the fight in spite of everything, until there was no more possibility of reconquering the LOR. We noted the discredit of the LOR by its public adoption of the position of defense of the Soviet Union as well as in its support of compulsory military service at a moment when the entire working class was mobilizing, together with the students, against this reactionary law imposed by imperialism.

The minority fought against compulsory military service, considering fundamentally the characteristics of our country, the lack of a revolutionary party, etc. The defensists said that to oppose military service constituted “adventurism,” that compulsory military service was inevitable, etc.

Experience has proved our position correct. In spite of everything, military service has not been put into effect up to this moment, due to the opposition that has developed.

In October of this year, we resolved to begin the work of building a new organization. We publish Clarificación, a discussion organ, which we have sent to the various Latin-American groups.

We have thus constituted the Revolutionary Internationalist League (LRI) on the basis of the judgment that the division begun in 1939 has served to separate us from the opportunism that corrodes the ranks of the Fourth International.

The LRI has a special interest in maintaining close contact with you. From now on we shall send you regularly news of the Fourth Internationalist movement in Uruguay and the neighboring countries.

Long live the Fourth International!

Hoping for your early reply, and with our warmest greetings,

Montevideo, November 13, 1943.

L. de V.

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