Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky Speech from Exile in Mexico

Leon Trotsky,  Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army lived the last years of his life in Mexico. While there, he wrote prolifically and lived, for a time, in the Coyoacán area of Mexico City at the home (The Blue House) of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, with whom Trotsky had an affair.His final move was a few blocks away to a residence on Avenida Viena in May 1939, following a break with Rivera.

He wrote prolifically in exile, penning several key works, including his History of the Russian Revolution (1930) and The Revolution Betrayed (1936), a critique of the Soviet Union under Stalinism. Trotsky argued that the Soviet state had become a “degenerated workers’ state” controlled by an undemocratic bureaucracy, which would eventually either be overthrown via a political revolution establishing a workers’ democracy, or degenerate into a capitalist class.

In this speech, Trotsky is holding a copy of his book ‘Behind The Moscow Trial’. He stands in front of a brick wall. He apologizes for his poor English and gives thanks to the Mexican people and their leader President Cardenas. He thanks Cardenas for allowing him to go from being held ‘under lock and key’ in Norway to being able to talk freely in Mexico. He says that Stalin’s trial against him is based on false evidence. This is based on Stalinism – ‘the irresponsible despotism of the bureaucracy over the people.” He wants to show his personal files to an independent inquiry to prove himself innocent. He wants a counter trial.

N.B. Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico in August 1940. This film dates from between 1937 and then.

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