The Massacre of Barcelona —​​ A Lesson for the Workers of Mexico, GTM



The Mexican Communist Left appears after the bloody week of Barcelona in May 1937. It comes from a leftist split from Trotskyism against Trotsky’s politics of entryism in the socialist or “workers” parties. In the United States, the League of Revolutionary Workers was born in 1935. Hugo Oehler is the most famous figure of this organization. In Mexico the evolution of this current goes further and is said to belong to the current of the Italian Communist Left. Eiffel or Anola is the best-known member because the Mexican Trotskyists called him “agent of the GPU” in their magazine IV ° Internacional . Previously he was in Germany member of KAPD . In 1938 the Group of Marxist Workers (GTM) published the first issue of its magazine Comunismo under the main title of “Towards a real Communist Party in Mexico”:

There are only small groups in some countries, such as the Italian Fraction of the Communist Left in exile is preparing for the day of the Proletarian Revolution in his country and another fraction, with similar positions, in Belgium. It was the work of these two groups that inspired us in our effort to create a communist core in Mexico.

With this declaration the GTM joined in 1938 the International Bureau constituted in 1937 by the two fractions mentioned above.

The massacre of Barcelona — A lesson for Mexican workers!

The failure suffered by the workers of Spain must not be repeated in Mexico!

Every day we are told, that we live in a democratic republic, that we have a workers’ government, that this government is the best defense against fascism.

The workers of Spain believed that they lived in a democratic republic, that they had a workers’ government, and that this government was the best defense against fascism.

While the workers were not on their guard and they had more confidence in the capitalist government than in their own forces, the fascists, in full view of the government, prepared the July coup of the last year, just as the government of Cardenas allows the Cedillo, Morones, Cailles, etc., to prepare their coup, while he sleeps the workers with his demagogy “workerism”.

How was it possible that the workers of Spain, last July, did not understand that the “anti-fascist” government had betrayed them by allowing the preparation of the fascist coup d’etat? How is it that the Mexican workers have learned nothing from this painful experience? Because the Spanish government has skilfully continued its demagogy and because it has presented itself to the workers by deceiving them once again with the instructions: the only enemy is fascism!

In taking the direction of the war that the workers had begun, the bourgeoisie converted it from class war to capitalist war, into a war for which the workers gave their blood for the defense of the republic of their exploiters.

Their leaders, sold to the bourgeoisie, gave the order: No class claims before we defeated fascism!

And during nine months of war, the workers did not organize any strike, allowed the government to abolish their basic committees which had arisen in the days of July and to subjugate the workers’ militia to the generals of the bourgeoisie. They sacrificed their own struggle not to prejudge the fight against the fascists.

Why does Cardenas support Azana?

To maintain the confidence of the workers because of their class spirit? The Cardenas government has a primary interest in ensuring that Mexican workers do not understand why the anti-fascist government of Spain allowed the fascists to prepare their coup. Because if they understood what had happened in Spain, they would also understand what is happening in Mexico.

It is for this reason that Cardenas has supported the legally constituted Azana government by sending him arms. Demagogically, he said that these were intended to defend workers against the fascists.

The latest news from Spain has forever destroyed this lie: the legally constituted government of Azana used the weapons to kill the heroic workers of Barcelona when they had to defend themselves this year against the government that wanted to disarm them May 4th.

Today as yesterday, the government of Cardenas helps the legally constituted government of Azana, but today not against the fascists but against the workers. The bloody oppression that will follow the uprising of the workers of Barcelona has shown the true Spanish situation as the lightning illuminating the night. What illusions destroyed in nine months. In its fierce struggle against Barcelona’s workers, the “anti-fascist” government has unmasked itself. Not only did he send his special police, his assault guards, his machine guns and his tanks against the workers, but he also freed the fascist prisoners and withdrew the “loyal” regiments from the front exposing him to the Franco’s attacks!

Barcelona workers!

You fought beautifully but you lost. The bourgeoisie can isolate you. Your strength alone could not be enough. Workers of the rearguard, you must fight jointly with your comrades of the front, against the army of Franco, but also against the bourgeoisie itself, whether fascist or “anti-fascist”.

You must send agitators to the front with the order: rebellion against your generals! Fraternization with Franco’s soldiers – mostly peasants fallen into the nets of fascist demagoguery and that because the Popular Front government has not fulfilled the promise to give them the land! Common struggle of all the oppressed, whether workers or peasants, Spanish or Moorish, Italian or German against our common enemy: the Spanish bourgeoisie and its allies, imperialism!

For this struggle, a party that is truly yours is necessary. All the organizations of today, from socialists to anarchists, are at the service of the bourgeoisie. These last days in Barcelona, ​​they collaborated, once again with the government to restore “the order” and the “peace”. Forging this independent class party is the condition of your triumph.

Forward, comrades from Barcelona, ​​for a Soviet Spain!

Fraternization with the deceived peasants of Franco’s army, for the struggle against their common oppressors, whether fascist or anti-fascist!

Down with the massacre of workers and peasants on behalf of Franco, Azana and Companys! Let’s turn the imperialist war of Spain into a class war!

Workers of Mexico!

When will you insurgent?

Will you allow the Mexican bourgeoisie to repeat the same deception as in Spain? No! Let’s learn the lesson of Barcelona! The deception of the Spanish bourgeoisie was possible only because the leaders betrayed, as in Mexico, abandoning the defense of workers’ interests to the magnanimity of the workerist government and because they were able to convince the workers that the struggle against fascism demanded a truce with the republican bourgeoisie.

Mexico’s social leaders have abandoned the struggle for economic conquest and have integrated the workers by tying them to the government. All the trade union and political organizations in Mexico support the sending of arms from the Cardenas government to the murderers of our comrades in Barcelona. All support the demagogy of the government. No organization exposes the true function of the Cardenas government.

If the workers of Mexico do not forge a truly classy, ​​independent party, we will suffer the same defeat as that of the Spanish workers! Only an independent party of the proletariat can thwart the work of the government which separates the peasants from the workers with the strength of the distribution of some plots of land from the lagoon, to separate them from the industrial workers.

The struggle against the demagogy of the government, the alliance with the peasants and the struggle for the proletarian revolution in Mexico under the banner of a new communist party will be the guarantee of our triumph and the best help to our Spanish brothers!

Alert, workers of Mexico!

We must not be surprised by the fake workerism of the government!

No more weapons to the murderers of our Spanish brothers!

Let’s fight for an independent class party! Down with the Popular Front government! Long live the dictatorship of the proletariat!

Group of Marxist Workers, May 1937

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