Source: Daily Worker, December 14, 1929
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.
The arch-enemy of the Mexican workers and peasants, the strike-breaker Ortiz Rubin, was elected president of Mexico by the will of Lamont-Morrow-United States Government. His “victory” was prepared by Portes Gil and the consort of counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie at the service of Wall Street finance capital. The fact that Vasconcelos, the anti-reelectionist candidate was allowed to run for the presidential ticket is not and cannot be an indication of the “democratic” way the elections were handled. For Vanconcelos is another tool of American imperialism and has, during the election campaign, promised full support to Yankee capital in Mexico.
Mr. Morrow and Portes Gil prepared the ground for this “victory” many months in advance. The systematic attack upon the Communist Party of Mexico and the revolutionary trade unions, the plundering of the offices and printing shop of El Machete, official organ of the Communist Party, the series of murders, failings and deportations, constituted the first steps of the election campaign initiated by the government and its bourgeoisie with Ambassador Morrow at the head. Furthermore, in order to secure the complete annihilation of the Communist movement and the revolutionary trade unions, Portes Gil introduced the project of labor laws which is now railroaded through the Mexican congress.
Some of the anti-labor provisions embodied in the fascist Labor Code have already been put into practice before being approved by the congress. This, of course, was necessary in order to pave the way for a successful election which was to put in power Pascual Ortiz Rubio who is today meeting with Mr. Lamont on United States soil.
In spite of the terror of the Mexican government, in spite of the methods used by the bourgeoisie to keep out of the polls the workers and peasants who stood for their candidate. Triana, the 25,000 votes found in the urns that escaped the robbers’ hands, prove conclusively the unpopularity of the two bourgeois candidates.
The problems before the American imperialists in Mexico found their expression in the well known question which their financial experts have of late discussed under the caption: “Mexico’s Capacity to Pay.” It is estimated that the national public debt of Mexico amounts to approximately $825,000,000 or a per capita debt of $66.00 The blessings of the revolutionary leaders who betrayed the masses since their advent to power in 1910 can be shown by the following comparison in per capita federal tax: In 1910, 7.53 pesos and in 1926 this tax was raised to 21.02 pesos.
The promised distribution of land among the peasants was always a myth. Obregon, Calles and Portes Gil never fulfilled their promises by which they secured their victory. Only 4 1/2% of the land was distributed among the peasants and the remainder went to American imperialists and their Mexican lackeys.
The so-called “National Reconstruction” of Mexico is to be brought about by American imperialism on concrete and definite conditions proposed by it. The adoption of the Fascist Labor Code is particularly essential for the carrying out of the new policy on Mexican financial “stabilization” and the payment of its international debts. The working class is called upon to pay Uncle Shylock whose official executor is Lamont. But this working class is accustomed to use its traditional weapon, now in a more virulent form, to fight exploitation and oppression: the strike.
The Labor Code gives the workers the “right” to strike but the amendments virtually outlaw it. The fascization of the unions consists in their subordination to the government special apparatus and the registration of the members before this high authority.
Let a financial expert of American imperialism put the conditions for the “reconstruction” of Mexico: Mr. G. Butler Sherwell says:
First, a new loan to consolidate the debts of the country and upbuild the fiscal machinery; second, the sale of assets now owned or controlled by the government; third, the adjustment of the budget to meet debt requirements out of ordinary revenues.
The first condition gives an opportunity to the rapacious Wall Street bankers to make a new loan and thus bind more of Mexico’s riches, especially those which are in the hands of the British. The second condition is still more magnanimous and not ambitious at all; the sale of assets now controlled by the government means the passing over of all railroads to the benevolent Mr. Lamont & Co. The control exercised by the government over these assets only exists on paper. Nevertheless British railroad interests must be ousted. This explains the support of Portes Gil to the strike of railroad workers of the British owned Mexico City-Vera Cruz line.
As to the third condition, a budget to pay the debts out of ordinary revenues, is still another burden upon the oppressed masses to pay taxes on every commodity they consume. It also means to alleviate the burden of the imperialists to pay their own taxes and to especially finance the government in order to quench the uprisings of the militarists supported by British imperialism. The sum of $23,000,000 which Mexico was to pay as interest to its debts for 1929, was used to crush Escobar’s March uprising and this with the consent of its American creditors.
We can now see that Mexico is well on the road to “recovery.” Mexico, once the country whose peons fought the colossus of the North for their independence, is now given over to the Wall Street sharks by the bourgeoisie.
Ortiz Rubio is called upon to inaugurate a new regime with a distinct mark of fascism. In order to put through Mr. Morrow’s program he will have to use the repressive methods of his labor hater colleague, General Machado of Cuba. Portes Gil has begun the job, not so very successfully. For since he entered the presidential palace the counter-revolutionary government has openly exposed itself before the toiling masses as their class enemy. The Mexican bourgeoisie has definitely dropped its hypocritical slogans as the “friend of labor and against foreign imperialism.” Its surrender to the White House is an accomplished fact.
American imperialism applies different methods of oppression in the Caribbean countries according to the specific conditions and the revolutionary reaction to this oppression by the masses. The reign of terror in Cuba under General Machado has the approval of the State Department and the Foreign Relations Committee. During this fascist regime the Cuban proletariat has been constantly bleeding. Its best fighters are being murdered by the agents of Machado.
Mexico is going through the process of fascization. The starving peasants and workers of Haiti are now up in arms defying American military rule. Mr. Hoover sends marines that brutally murder them. The Negro masses demand the independence of Haiti; shooting is the imperialist answer. Nicaragua is being “pacified” with the help of marines, the National Guard and the puppet President Moncada.
In the face of the speedy preparations for an imperialist war and the intensified exploitation and suppression of the masses of the Caribbean countries, a realignment of class Forces is taking place. The anti-imperialist forces are getting rid of their former leaders who went over to the camp of the enemy.
In the United States, it is our Communist duty to rally the American workers for the struggle and support of the oppressed workers and peasants in Latin America. Their exploiters are our exploiters. The Party is now for the first time taking up the struggle of our Latin-American brothers and is trying to mobilize the workers for their support. But this is a mere beginning. Let us bring to the American workers the very problems of the Latin-American masses and together with them prepare the ground for their complete independence and for a Soviet Federated Republic in Latin America and the United States.