Source: Labor Defender, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1930
Transcription/Markup: Paul Saba
Copyleft: Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2018. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
On the night of January 10th, 1929, Julio Antonio Mella, one of the founders of the Communist Party of Cuba and a leader of the Anti-Imperialist movement in Latin-America, was murdered in Mexico City by an agent of butcher Machado of Cuba with the help of the Mexican government. His last words on his dying bed were: “The Government of Cuba is having me murdered.” We might add the following words to those of our fallen comrade: “American imperialism is just as much responsible for this cold-blood assassination.”
The regime of terror and systematic persecution against the working class organizations and their leaders perpetrated in Cuba by the tropical Mussolini, President Machado, is part of the plan of the American government which unconditionally defends the interests of the sugar barons and financiers of Wall Street in that enslaved island.
Since Machado was appointed by Wall Street with the consent of the State Department as “President of the Republic of Cuba,” not a single week has passed without the proletariat being robbed of one or two of its valiant leaders. Since the assassination of Julio A. Mella, Machado’s weekly murders became almost daily. The brutal suppression of strikes has been followed by mysterious disappearance of militant workers who dare to challenge God Mammon and its executor. He who dares to raise his voice against Wall Street and its lackey who so faithfully serves as a watchdog for the $1,500,000,000 Yankee investment, is doomed.
The notorious murders of workers have been followed by jailing and deportation of the students who stand against the fascist regime. The Cuban proletariat is bleeding. With the consent of the U.S. government: Enrique Verona, leader of the sugar workers, was assassinated; the execution of Tomas Grant, of the railroad workers, was ordered by Machado; Alfredo Lopez, of the Federation of Labor of Havana, murdered; wholesale massacres of workers in the Island of Pinos; innumerable murders of the best working class fighters in order to cripple the revolutionary movement.
The United States government repeatedly sanctioned Machado’s regime as a government of ’order’ and ’normal functioning’. The recent fake investigation undertaken by the Foreign Relations Committee was instigated by individual millionaires such as Mr. Barlow, whose interests collided with the big trusts which have the supremacy over the economic and political life of the island. Mr. Borah promised the investigation but the differences were smoothed out and now “all is well” in Cuba. The big landowners and rapacious financiers are for full support of the regime.
Machado has the sanction of all enemies of the oppressed to continue his policy of murders. Santiago Brooks, leader of the Union of Railroad Employees of North Cuba, was cowardly killed for his strong protest against the using of the organization by Machado in telegrams that the latter sent in the name of the working class organizations asking affiliation to the Pan-American Federation of Labor.
But the workers and peasants in Cuba cannot be put into submission. During the months of November and December the hat workers of the firm Mariano Ferrero went on strike and the movement for a general boycott was widespread. The heroic struggles of the working men and women in the cigar factory of La Competidora Gaditana brought about a clash between the strikers and strike-breaking police forces of the government. These strikes are not only a fight of the workers against speed-up and intensified exploitation, but also indicate a widespread struggle against the class collaboration policy of the government being imposed upon them. It can certainly be said here that reformism in the trade unions is not at all popular in Cuba. The Communist Party of Cuba, forced by American imperialism and the terrorist government of Cuba to operate illegally, has a strong influence in the trade unions.
Machado’s assassins operate also outside of Cuba. In the arrest of Sandalio Junco in Mexico for deportation, is seen the black hand of Machado with the complicity of the reactionary government of Portes Gil. The bourgeoisie of Mexico is learning lessons from the butcher. And both Machado and Portes Gil obey the orders of one master–United States imperialism and its government. Morrow in Mexico and Guggenheim in Cuba give the orders in the name of Wall Street. The executors are the national bourgeoisie.
Murders, jailings, deportations, cannot and will not weaken the class struggle. Julio Antonio Mella, in a message to the workers of Cuba and of Latin-America, said: “To triumph or to serve as a trench for the others. Even after death we can be useful.”