Written: 19 July 1938.
First Published: Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 31, 30 July 1938, p. 4.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2015. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
During the eighteen months of my stay in this hospitable country I have been accused of a number of dreadful conspiracies.
A few months back Mr. Toledano declared at various meetings that I was preparing a general strike against the government of General Cardenas. No more and no less!
The leader of the Communist Party (his name, I think, is Laborde) declared at a public mass meeting in the presence of the President of the republic that I was in a fascist conspiracy with Generals Cedillo and ... Villareal.
On the morrow each of the Messrs. Accusers cast aside his own accusation like a cigarette butt, forgot about it, and passed on to new inventions.
At present my vacation trips to Patzcuaro, Jiquilpan, Guadalajara and Morelia is placed on the agenda. Now I am no longer accused of preparing a general strike and a fascist uprising but of ... a trip through Mexico, stopping at hotels, and meeting and conversing with Mexican citizens. Yes, I have actually committed all these crimes. And, I must add, I committed them with great pleasure.
On the part of the various layers of population: workers, teachers, army men, artists, government and municipal authorities, I met nothing but consideration and hospitality which in general so brilliantly distinguish the Mexicans. In Patzcuaro, a few teachers who visited Diego
Rivera and myself on their own initiative, conversed with me concerning the situation in the U.S.S.R. and in particular about public education. I expressed to them the same views which I have expressed many times in my books and articles. In order to assure complete clarity of exposition, I gave them a written statements. None of these teachers, so far as I know, considered or called himself a “Trotskyite.”
In Jiquilpan, Guadalajara and Morelia, I am sorry to say, I had no such meetings, since at each of these places I stopped for only a few hours.
In Guadalajara, the field of operation for my “conspiracy” was the government palace, the university, and the orphan asylum, where I examined the frescoes of Orozco. Various people approached me asking for autographs or simply to press my hand. Some of them I asked jestingly, just as of the teachers in Patzcuaro: “Aren’t you afraid to approach a counter-revolutionist and fascist?” Almost invariably I received the answer, “Not a single sensible person believes this.” Needless to say, this answer gave me great moral satisfaction.
So far as the conspiracy with Dr. Atl is concerned, I can only say that I heard his name for the first time from the “unmaskers.” I never met Dr. Atl and do not have the honor of knowing him.
I do not doubt that this statement containing in itself the refutation of a false denunciation also will be interpreted by my detractors as “interference in the internal life of Mexico.” But this trick will fool no one. I gave a definite obligation to the government of this country, that is to the Government of General Cardenas and not to the government of Lombardo Toledano. No one has informed me that the task of keeping my behavior under observation has been conferred upon Mr. Toledano. I never obligated myself to keep silent on slanders and slanderers. I retain the right in my house as well as during trips to breathe the Mexican air, to meet citizens of this country, to enter into conversation with them, to visit monuments of art – and in such cases as I find it necessary, to brand openly and by name those “democrats,” “socialists,” and “revolutionists,” who – oh shame, have taken upon themselves the assignment to obtain by lies and slander, my deliverance into the hands of the G.P.U.
July 19, 1938, Coyoacan, D.F.
Last updated on: 12 September 2015