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Leon Trotsky 19381231 One More Lesson on the Lima Conference

Leon Trotsky: One More Lesson on the Lima Conference

December 31, 1938

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 174]

The laborious production of the so-called Lima solidarity resolution had just been completed as this issue of Clave went to press. We thus find ourselves unable to give a detailed analysis of the Pan-American Conference at this point, but we will do so in the next issue. For the time being, we will limit ourselves to hastily expressing some summary conclusions, which are, however, unshakable and at the same time instructive.

Latin America is an absolutely indispensable point of support for the worldwide aggression of the United States. At this point, it is a question not of the White House defending the American democracies, but of its defending Latin America as such, for the United States. The alignment of Latin American countries with respect to the United States has nothing to do with the line separating democracy from fascism. It is geographic and strategic considerations, as well as commercial interests, and not politics, that have determined the attitude of each country towards the pious and hypocritical demands of Cordell Hull, 177 who has the support of some of the most brutal dictatorships and the opposition of countries which are approaching "democracy."

It is clear that Roosevelt's policy, that is, imperialism with a friendly smile, has failed –a fairly natural complement to the failure of the New Deal in the internal politics of the United States. The conclusion which must be drawn –which is already being drawn by American capital –is quite clear: nothing significant can be gained through concessions to the workers, internally, nor through concessions to the "barbarians," in the realm of foreign politics. The formidable armaments program of the United States throws into eloquent relief the diplomatic defeat of Cordell Hull in Lima.

For the new continent as well, an iron era is beginning. No more pacifist illusions or mirages. Only by means of revolutionary struggle can the Latin American peoples, as well as the proletariat of the United States, secure their emancipation.