Andrzej Rudzienski Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Juan Rey


Latin American CPs Aim at
Coalition With Native Nazis

(August 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 36, 5 September 1949, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

LIMA, Peru – Santiago de Chile has been the scene of serious street riots which have left in their wake eight dead and many wounded. The immediate cause of the disturbance was an increase in bus fares instituted by the transport companies, from $1.40 to $1.60 (Chilean). The crowds seized the buses and burned them, resisting the police with arms. The students were especially active. They proclaimed a strike the following day that was supported by a partial strike in the nitrate mines.

Gonzales Videla’s government accused the Stalinists of having instigated the disturbance for “subversive” purposes, and took extraordinary police measures to suppress the movement. Many leaders of the Stalinist party and of the unions’ controlled by it were seized by the government.

The Santiaguino events reveal an unrest in Latin America whose content expresses the post-war crisis. In Chile, as well as in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, there is inflation, which reduces the living standards of the middle and working classes. The native industries that thrived and multiplied during the war in Brazil. Chile and Argentina are now enmeshed in serious difficulties, mainly because of lack of raw materials and machinery which they must import principally from the United States and cannot obtain due to lack of dollars.

The mining industry in Chile and Bolivia also feels the decline in prices (Chilean copper) and the insecurity of the North American market (Bolivian tin, lead, antimony, etc.) The Peronist policy, which has been striving to conquer a certain autonomy within the Yankee economic domain in the Americas, has failed because of the decline of Argentina’s grains, meat, and other agricultural, products. The new Argentine industry, a product of the wartime conjuncture in the form of high prices for Argentina’s meat and grains and Unchallenged access to the domestic market, also faces difficulty. The seven fat years of Peronism are finished with and the seven lean years have begun.

Depression Spurs Military Coups

It is an undeniable fact that economic depression has come to South America. The United States needs neither its minerals nor its raw materials to the extent it did during the war.

Argentina is the example. Faced with Yankee and Canadian competition today, she can no longer sell her products at the fabulous prices which provided the fragile base for the economic expansion of Peronism. In brief, the crisis of imperialism, the economic backwardness of the Latin American countries, and their vicious economic and social structure are the causes of the present malady which grips the continent.

The South American peoples are in rebellion against the economic misery and prostration of their respective countries. Their political and social reactions are determined by their political and economic class interests. They are opposed to the traditional rule of the feudo-bourgeoisie which submits to foreign imperialism. The most active and perhaps the most miserable sector of the middle class, the petty bourgeoisie, supplies the leading cadres of this movement, which by and large inclines toward Nazi and nationalist currents and follows the traditional pattern of uprisings and military revolts to “come to power” and conquer “economic independence.”

The big feudo-bourgeoisie at times considers it advantageous, and at times is compelled by force of circumstance, to permit these nationalist forces to act, since they constitute an excellent ally against the working class. Thus were born the reactionary coups in Peru, Venezuela, the Nazi regime that ruled Bolivia before 1946, the barracks uprisings in Paraguay, the disturbances in Chile, and the conspiratorial preparations of the MNR (Revolutionary Nationalist Movement) in Bolivia.

Stalin-Nazi Pacts to the South

The other important tendency in this whole movement of rebellion is Stalinism, which in many countries succeeded in winning control over the young South American proletariat. Under present conditions, Stalinism, directed by Moscow, is attempting to arrive at an agreement and form an alliance at any price with the Nazi currents in South America.

The Stalinist parties have supported Peronism in Argentina, the defeated dictator, Getulio Vargas, in Brazil, the reactionary military dictatorship in Peru, and the conservative right in Bolivia and Chile. Now they are proposing a “grand front of national liberation” in Latin America, in alliance principally with the Nazis of various shades and whatever reactionaries come to hand.

The defender’s of Stalin’s “great discovery” of “socialism in one country” have found an affinity with the “national-socialists” of the small colonial republics. The fundamental theory of this alliance is the “bourgeois-democratic revolution,” whose chief aim is “national liberation” from the Yankee yoke. Nevertheless, the sheepskin cannot conceal the wolf’s head of Stalinist reaction, seeking to chain the South American proletariat to its chariot of modern barbarism and Asiatic despotism.

It must be recognized, however, that this policy can chalk up various outstanding successes. Not merely because the nationalist middle class follows such slogans, but also because the proletariat allows itself to be dragged along by petty-bourgeois and Stalinist nationalism. (From certain aspects, the Stalinist tactic in. South America surprisingly enough recalls the Stalinist support to German nationalism and Hitlerism.) In South America various sectors of the “Fourth International” allow themselves to be carried along by this nationalist current; especially is this true of the “Argentine Trotskyist” group and the “Poristas” (Revolutionary Workers Party) in Bolivia.

Not “National Revolution”

Although the Stalinists, with the duplicity they have learned from their “great teacher,” deny their alliance with the native Nazis, the facts prove it. Without this criminal alliance the military counter-revolution could not have occurred in Peru, nor the general strike in defense of the Nazi leaders in Bolivia, nor the victory of Peronism in Argentina, nor the defeat of the APRA in Peru and the “Democratic Alliance” in Venezuela.

The government of Gonzales Videla in Chile is, of all the governments on the continent, the one most hated by the Stalinists, since Gonzales was the electoral candidate of Stalinism and the leader of the “Chilean Popular Front” for many years. His overthrow would open wide breaches for the Nazi-Stalinist totalitarian advance throughout the continent.

The independent workers’ movement and Marxist theory must remain firm before the Nazi-Stalinist offensive. The bourgeois revolution in Latin America took place during the war of American independence and was partially realized by Simon Bolivar and San Martin. The economic dependence of South America has a modern character within the framework of contemporary imperialism, and can only be done away with by the American and world socialist revolution. “National liberation,” therefore, is a Nazi-Stalinist fraud, empty and without revolutionary content.

Only the victorious American proletariat can conquer the feudal and semi-colonial backwardness of the South American continent. The fate of the feeble South American bourgeoisie is bound up with the fate of imperialism and is opposed to any democratic revolution. The modern character of South America’s economic dependency cannot be erased in one country alone.

Consequently, the conscious proletariat must free itself as much from the feudo-bourgeois influence as from the “radical” Nazi-Stalinist, petty-bourgeois influence and take the road of socialist emancipation of the whole American continent, shoulder to shoulder with the North American proletariat. The fate of the peoples of Latin America is linked to the fate and future of socialism and the North American proletariat.

Andrzej Rudzienski Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 2 June 2021