The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

10
The Communists Pilot the Cabinet

J UST as the two ministries the Communist Party held in the government furnished no real index of its strength in the country so too did they afford no true indication of the influence it wielded in its councils.1 This was so because the real weight of the Communists in the government lay not so much in the two portfolios they held as in the secret influence they enjoyed over Caballero's Foreign Minister and man of confidence, Julio Alvarez del Vayo, and over the. Minister of Finance, Dr. Juan Negrín.

Though Vice-President of the Madrid section of the Socialist Party and officially a left-wing Socialist, Alvarez del Vayo soon came to be regarded by the leading figures in his party as a Communist at heart.2 A supporter of the Soviet Union and of Comintern policy before the Civil War,3 he had played an important part, as has been shown, in bringing about the fusion of the Socialist and Communist youth movements,4 and during the war itself he endorsed the Communists'

____________________
1
For the composition of the government, see n. 25, p. 109, above.
2
See, for example, Largo Caballero, Mis recuerdos, p. 212; Araquistain, El comunismo en la guerra de España, p. 8, and his letter to Diego Martínez Barrio, as given in Vía Libre, May 15, 1939; also Carlos de Baraibar in Timón, Buenos Aires, June, 1940; Wenceslao Carrillo, ibid., November, 1939; Indalecio Prieto in Correo de Asturias, July 10, 1943. Because of his political conduct, the Madrid section of the Socialist Party decided, a few days before the end of the war, to suspend Alvarez del Vayo and to propose to the National Executive his expulsion from the Socialist Party. -- See Claridad, March 15, 1939; also report of Wcnceslao Carrillo to the Labour and Socialist International, May 23, 1939, as given in special issue of Independent News [ June, 1939?].
3
See his articles in "Claridad", October 5, November 9, 1935; also The Times, London, March 2, 1936 (dispatch from Madrid); speech reported in Verdad, August, 13, 1937, showing his position prior to the war.
4
See p. 115, above.

-120-

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