Eighty years ago, on August 20, 1940, Leon Trotsky — the exiled co-leader of the 1917 October Revolution and founder of the Fourth International — was mortally wounded by an agent of the Soviet Union’s secret police, the GPU. The revolutionary leader died in a Mexico City hospital 26 hours later, in the early evening of August 21.
The murder of Trotsky was the outcome of a massive political conspiracy organised by the totalitarian bureaucratic regime headed by Stalin, whose name will for all of history be synonymous with counter-revolutionary treachery, betrayal and limitless criminality. That mass killer was the one who gave a bad name to Socialism, Marxism and Communism, many people confusing such terror dictatorships with the political and social life system, which has nothing to do with such oppressive systems as that one of Stalin and some others dictators.
In March 1939, there was already an attempt to have Trotsky murdered, which failed. Stalin assigned the overall organisation of implementing the task to the NKVD officer Pavel Sudoplatov, who, in turn, co-opted Nahum Eitingon (also known as Leonid Aleksandrovich Eitingon). According to Sudoplatov’s Special Tasks, the NKVD proceeded to set up three NKVD agent networks to carry out the murder. According to Sudoplatov, all three networks were designed to operate entirely autonomously from the NKVD’s hitherto-established spy networks in the U.S. and Mexico.
Trotsky’s assassination was the climax of the campaign of political genocide, directed by the Kremlin, whose aim was the physical extirpation of the entire generation of Marxist revolutionaries and advanced socialist workers who had played a central role in the preparation and leadership of the Bolshevik revolution and the establishment of the first workers’ state in history.
The three show trials held in Moscow between 1936 and 1938 — judicial frame-ups that provided a pseudo-legal cover for the murder of virtually all the principal leaders of the October Revolution — were only the public manifestation of a campaign of terror that consumed hundreds of thousands of lives and dealt a shattering blow to the intellectual and cultural development of the Soviet Union and the world-wide struggle for socialism.