‘A man descended into the grave, whose name is scorned and cursed by the working people all over the world, a man who for many years fought against the cause of the working class and its vanguard – the Bolshevik party. The ruling classes of the capitalist countries lost their faithful servant. Foreign intelligence agencies lost their long-term, material agent, the organizer of the killers, who did not squeamish by any means to achieve their counter-revolutionary goals.’
Pravda, August 24th, 1940
‘The victory of the imperialists of Britain and France will be no less terrible for the main destinies of mankind than the victory of Hitler and Mussolini.’
Fourth International Manifesto – A New World War – Leon Trotsky
When Leon Trotsky was expelled from the USSR in 1929, he initially stayed in Turkey, and then moved on to France, Norway and before being granted a visa to settle in Mexico (issued in December, 1936). Despite a leftwing Revolution in Mexico in 1910, even by 1937, Mexico did have any diplomatic relations with the USSR, and this fact meant that the Soviet Union could not directly assert any diplomatic pressure to confine Trotsky’s counter-revolutionary activities, or to threaten Trotsky with deportation. Prior to this, the countries of Europe had moved Trotsky around following political pressure from the USSR, but although the bourgeois capitalist system (encouraged by the USA) had embraced Trotskyism as a means to fragment the solidarity of the international working class and bring down the (Marxist-Leninist) USSR – the United States government continuously refused to grant Trotsky a visa from 1933 onwards, on the grounds that he would interfere in the internal workings of the USA (Trotsky had in fact tried to make the case that he should be granted visas on health grounds, and/or to lecture at the University of North Carolina – both grounds being firmly rejected). As the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, the Socialist (and democratically elected) Republican government was forced to take-on the fascist forces of General Franco (supported by Hitler and Mussolini). The Soviet Union organised a world-wide volunteer force (the ‘International Brigades’) to support the Spanish Republican forces, but a number of Anarchist militia groups – ostensibly opposing any form of official government – openly opposed the Soviet Union and its ideology of Marxist-Leninism (but avoided any direct criticism and confrontation with the fascist forces). These Anarchists militias generally aligned themselves with the Trotskyite movement and deliberately worked for the downfall of the Socialist Republican government (one famous Anarchist militia contained the British Trotskyite known as George Orwell – who wrote a number of books criticising the Soviet Union – such as Animal Farm, and 1984). From 1935 onwards, Trotsky began his campaign advocating a ‘Fourth International’ as a direct ideological means to denigrate and demean the ‘Third International’ as devised by VI Lenin in 1919 (the latter of which called for an international ‘Communist’ Revolution in all countries) – the Third International was eventually dissolved by Joseph Stalin in 1943 as a sign of good faith toward the Western ‘capitalist’ countries that were the allies of the Soviet Union against Nazi German military aggression at the time. Trotsky, however, decided to steer his idea of ‘Revolution’ for his ‘Fourth International’ in the direction of collaborating with fascism, and accommodating the excesses of capitalism. At the Founding Congress of the Fourth International (in 1938), Trotsky stated that there was no difference between the Marxist-Leninist USSR, the capitalist (democratic) countries, and the fascist countries of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperialist Japan. This being the case, Trotsky continued, there was no reason for the Trotskyite Fourth International to openly oppose capitalism or fascism, but that the main enemy was the USSR (which must be brought-down through continuous negative propaganda). Trotsky, as a supporter of fascism (and opposer of the USSR), even wrote into the Manifesto of the Fourth International, that the Trotskyite ideology preferred a victory of world fascism over the democratic countries. In reality this was nothing new from Trotsky, as his ideological background was within the Menshevik movement and never Marxist-Leninism. Trotsky only aligned himself with the Bolshevik movement when it was obvious that Lenin was about to come to power. As matters transpired, Trotsky termed his ‘revisionist’ and ‘reactionary’ ideology to be ‘Socialist’ (thereby hi-jacking the legitimate Marxist term and causing confusion in the mind’s of the workers), and at the Founding Congress, representatives from over 30 countries attended – with the Socialist Workers Party of the USA being perhaps the strongest contingent.
Following the defeat of Marxist-Leninist Socialism at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, which correlated with the powerful rise of international fascism, the Soviet Union acknowledged that the divisive nature of Trotskyism had prevented the working class from effectively uniting and defeating fascism in Spain, and because of this weakness, was allowing fascism to successfully spread throughout the societies of the world. This attitude was prompted by the expressed Trotskyite opinion that in a war between the Western (capitalist) countries and the fascist (capitalist) countries, Leon Trotsky preferred a fascist victory (this was even the case when Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, with Trotsky advocating ‘collaboration’ with the fascist invaders). This perspective of Trotsky corresponded with his racist disregard for the Chinese Communist movement and its Revolutionary intentions and activities. As Trotsky was working to establish a different kind of watered-down Socialism in the West (and elsewhere), a decision was taken within the USSR to terminate the life of Leon Trotsky as a ‘class enemy’. This was considered a legitimate ‘Revolutionary act’ as a means to protect the international working class from the genocidal excesses of the fascist governments around the world. Trotsky survived a machine-gun attack on his home, but on August 20th, 1940, Leon Trotsky arranged a meeting (at 1720hrs) with under-cover NKVD agent Ramon Mercader – who had infiltrated the Trotskyite community by pretending he had written a ground-breaking article in support of Trotskyism. As Trotsky began to read, Ramon Mercader produced an ice-pick hidden within the lining of his jacket, and hit Trotsky in the back of the head – and then tried to finish the job by strangulation – but Trotsky’s bodyguards entered the room and began to beat Ramon Mercader to death. However, as Trotsky was still conscious, he ordered that Ramon Mercader’s life be spared. Despite being taken to hospital, Leon Trotsky died from his wound at 0735hrs, on August 21st, 1940. Ramon Mercader was a member of the Communist Party of Spain who was a major in the Republican army, and fought in the battle of Guadalajara. He was recruited by the Soviet NKVD in Spain during 1938, and began his covert intelligence work. After assassinating Trotsky in 1940, Ramon Mercader was tortured and abused for several weeks before his trial, but did not reveal his NKVD membership, the names of those who assisted him, or his connection with the USSR. His trial ended with Ramon Mercader being sentenced to 20 years imprisonment without parole, and when he was released in 1960, he was deported to the Soviet Union. Once in the Soviet Union, he was granted Soviet Citizenship (under the name ‘Ramon Ivanovich Lopez’) and was awarded the ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ medal, the ‘Order of Lenin’ medal, and the ‘Gold Star’ medal. In Moscow, Mercader worked as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism through the Central Committee of the CPSU. Since October 1974 he was in Cuba, where with the rank of general, he was an adviser to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior. He died in Havana on October 18, 1978 from a sarcoma. He was buried in Moscow at the Kuntsevo cemetery under the name of Ramon Ivanovich Lopez.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2017.
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