Russia's first intervention in Spanish affairs was her signing of the so-called neutrality pact, which originated solely in the imperialist interests of England and France. The moral significance of this pact at first lay merely in the fact that it put the Popular Front government growing out of the elections of February, 1936, on the same footing with the mutinous generals who had committed high treason against thc republic and were seeking to overthrow it by force, a thing which, for example, the republican government of Mexico did not do. When the Communist Party in France at first raised a mighty outcry against this pact and accused the French government of betraying the Spanish republic, Leon Blum needed only to call attention to the fact that Russia had been the first power to sign the pact and that therefore the charge of treachery recoiled upon Stalin.
The Negrin government is trying by all the devices of a ruthless censorship, which is completely in the hands of its Russian taskmasters, to keep these matters from the knowledge of foreigners. But they are not succeeding even in that. The mysterious disappearance of the P.O.U.M. Ieader, Andres Nin, which the government hushed up for weeks, has roused a storm of indignation. Nin, who after the May events in Barcelona was arrested with other leaders of his party and taken to Valencia and from there to Madrid, has vanished without a trace. The government at first stated that he had escaped from his guards, but nobody in Spain believes that fairy tale. Instead they are everywhere convinced that he was murdered by Russian Chekists either on the way to Madrid or in Madrid itself. Even in the camp of the bourgeois Republicans they are beginning to resent Russia's guardianship, which is becoming constantly more unbearable as time goes on. The Nin affair has called forth even in these quarters protests such as one would not previously have expected there. They are getting tired of being the wards of a cowardly mob, for which any crime is good enough so long as it serves the ends of Moscow. 2b1af7f3a8