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Rosalio Negrete

The Stalinization of the Mexican Party

(February 1930)

Throughout the World of Labor, The Militant, Vol. III No. 8, 22 February 1930, p. 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Communist Party of Mexico is no exception to the general crisis in the Comintern. For many years it was but a very small organization with little ideological foundation and an extremely weak organization. Due to the general development of the petty bourgeois and agrarian revolution, the party from the time of its foundation was permeated with more of a peasant’s than worker’s ideology, and its press always had a greater circulation among the peasantry than in the industrial centers. It was common in those times to hear members of the party Central Committee state that the Mexican Revolution and the Russian Revolution were almost the same thing. The party comrades were always the first to applaud the liberal petty bourgeois measures of the “Leftists” in the government, giving to these elements an almost unconditional support. Almost all of the party’s work among the masses was done under some disguise or another, and party candidates never took part in elections although numerous party members occupied government posts as “agrarians”, “laborites”, “anti-clericals”, etc.

At the time of the Sixth World Congress, the third period was discovered, and immediately the party right-about turned and loped off at the double quick. All of the reforms instituted by the government of the petty-bourgeoisie, which had until then been considered revolutionary gains, were now denounced as counter-revolutionary. The sell-out of the government to American Imperialism, meant that the bourgeoisie had “betrayed” the revolution, and it became a crime overnight for any party member to even sustain personal relations with anyone at all in the government, with which the party had so recently collaborated. It became then the chief earthly desire of every member, to see how often he could be arrested. Even the Mexican section of the I.L.D. converted itself into a simple instrument for attacking the government, driving itself into illegality before the party.

The party press, taking advantage of the objective revolutionary situation created by the bourgeoisie’s capitulation to imperialism and the struggle between the government and reaction, announced that the proletarian revolution was at hand. The masses were called upon to seize the factories and the land; all power was demanded for the Soviets (there were no Soviets, and the party did not give instructions as to their organization – but these are only “details”). Many of us, intoxicated by the excitement of the moment, impressed by the unrest among the peasantry, and overestimating the strength of the party, did not take into account the fact that there was not a simple local of the party or Y.C.L. that was not in disorganization at the time. Fortunately for the Mexican workers and peasants, the C.C. talked and shouted until what was considered the moment for action had passed by. The government of the bourgeoisie, aided by Wall Street, managed to hold its seat and since then has dedicated its attention to the consolidation of its power.

The Communist Party, which due to its romanticism had already slackened up its fundamental work among the masses in order to dream of insurrections, new found itself deserted by the masses that formerly had looked to it for leadership.

Then the expulsions began. First came the agrarian leaders of the National Peasants League who are mostly elements that never should have been admitted into a Communist Party, because of the petty-bourgeois class interests that they represent. Shortly after, with the arrival of two “Third Period experts” in the form of the C.I. and Y.C.I. representatives, the true Stalinization of the organization began. Tendencies and deviations were discovered in the most unlooked for places, and where they were not discovered they were invented. Two ex-Right wingers that came as reps had to make themselves shine in Moscow. The political guillotine commenced to function with extraordinary regularity and precision cutting both to the Right and to the Left. Almost a dozen C.C. and ex-C.C. members of the party and Y.C.L. have been expelled since last September.

The last victim was Jose Gallardo, General Secretary of the Y.C.L., who was sacrificed last week because his report given in Moscow, where he attended the plenum of the E.C.Y.C.I., concerning the organizational strength of the Mexican party, did not agree with the report rendered by the C.I. representative in Mexico.

Together with the “ cleaning of the ranks” on the part of the C.C. has come an intensified repression on the part of the government. At a moment when the party’s influence among the industrial workers is zero, and its influence over the peasantry has dropped more than sixty percent, the Y.C.I. representative together with S., the party C.C. representative in the C.C.Y.C.L. “discovered” that anti-militarist work was not being carried on in Mexico. Half a dozen circulars were sent out demanding an eight hour day for the soldiers and calling on them to form regimental committees, and to send their officers to Hell. This was done in an abstract manner and without any relationship to movements among the proletarian masses. The concrete result was a general repression on the part of the government against the Y.C.L. organizations of the eight largest centers, including the imprisonment of most of the C.E.C. of the Y.C.L.; disorganization of all national youth work and also all youth work in the capital. Ten foreign comrades were expelled from the country and five natives have been interned in the penal colony of the Islas Marias. During these recent repressions, the “ bolshevized “ party has not been able to carry out a single real mass protest. It is also of interest to note that the valiant M., the Y.C.I. representative, found that this was the best time to leave the country, which, he did without even notifying the C.E.C.s of the Party or the League. For six weeks now the Mexican Y.C.L., which a short while ago was stronger than the party, has been unable to budge. Even its funds have been confiscated by the C.E.C. of the party. Money is scarce and the bureaucrats must eat.

This is, briefly, the situation existing today in the Mexican Communist movement. Since the beginning of the “third period”, with the “radicalization of the masses,” the Mexican party has lost eighty percent of its membership, most of its mass influence and contacts, and its weekly organ El Machete. It is now almost completely “bolshevized”. With a few score more members that get disgusted or are thrown out, it will be completely so.

The task of the Communist Opposition, of recent formation and still in its infancy organizationally and politically, consists in saving what is left of the party and Y.C.L. organization, regenerating the movement along true Bolshevik-Leninist lines. The saner elements of the party and youth realize this, and by one means or another we shall manage to build up in Mexico a real Communist Party, capable of leading the proletariat in its struggles.

Mexico City, February 8, 1930

Rosalio Negrete

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Last updated: 11.11.2012