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Leon Trotsky 19390215 Letter to Charles Curtiss

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Charles Curtiss

February 15, 1939

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 282 f.]

Dear Comrade:

I am again astonished by the attitude of Diego Rivera. He proclaimed many times, and also in conversations with you, that he wished to resign from political activity and thus from the Fourth international — that he wished to devote his time exclusively to painting, and so on. Now it seems that he has transformed the Casa del Pueblo into the Partido Revolucionario Obrero y Campesino [Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Party] for the purpose of participating actively in the presidential campaign in favor of one of the candidates. Of course, it is his own affair and he has the full right to make one more political mistake instead of one good painting. However, I must confess that Rivera's new political activity creates a very delicate situation for me personally. Many people will believe that Rivera acts in solidarity with me and that through him, I am interfering in the presidential campaign. At least the stupid people can believe it and they are numerous.

What can be done? I believe it becomes absolutely necessary to publicly separate me politically from Diego Rivera. The matter is very disagreeable in every respect, but on the other hand it becomes more and more impossible for the Fourth International in general and for me personally — for double reasons — to carry any responsibility for Rivera's political improvisations, which become increasingly dangerous. I hope to see you within the next few days and discuss the matter with you.

Please send a copy of this letter, with discretion, to the Pan-American Committee and to the international Secretariat

Comradely yours,

Leon Trotsky