About a quotation of Engels

Julio Fernández Baraibar julfb at SPAMsinectis.com.ar
Sat Nov 6 15:55:41 MST 1999

Dear Kevin:

This message gripped me specially. The selfish moral misery that the story
holds define in some way this fin du siecle.
Anyway, when I finish to read your message I found the Engels quotation:"A
nation cannot be free and at the same time continue to oppress other
nations" and i recalled that the origin of this sentence is a Southamerican
and I want to share it witn the list.
The original author of this sentence: "Un pueblo que oprime a otro no puede
ser libre", is Inca Yupanqui, a deputy in the Junta de Cadiz, the popular
parliament created in this spanish city, as a consequence of Napoleon's
occupation. Very little we know about Yupanqui. He was from Peru and
descendent of the indians that Pizarro found there. He was of royal blood as
his nickname Inca suggests, but we know nothing on him before or after this
participation in the assembly of Cadiz. And how this text did come in the
tradition of marxism? It was used in relation of the Irish question and had
characterized the standpoint of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky in the
question about the relationship between the struggles of the colonial and
semicolonial world for its national freedom and the struggles of the worker
classes of the imperislistic countries.
In 1854 Marx sended articles about the international politics to The New
York Tribune. In this moment a revolution is began in Spain, leaded by the
General O'Donnell. Marx started to search about this country. And with his
admirable way to access to the reality of a whole society, he began reading
Don Quijote, as he told to Engels in a letter of this days. The results of
these studies was a serie of articles about Spain published in the New York
Tribune. This works has appeared in the form of a book under the name "The
Spanish Revolution".
I have a version from 1929, with a prologue of the Marx, Engels Institute of
Moscow and the translation is by Andres Nin, the marxist from Catalunya,
founder of the POUM and killed in Alcala de Henares by the stalinist in
1937, after the insurrection of Barcelona.
The text of Marx let's to understand that he has found the words of Inca
Yupanqui in the acts of the Junta de Cadiz and he applied the concept
created by our indian compatriot. As, he self said in his memorable speech,
he spoke "as Inca, Indian and American" and his thesis was the equality of
americans, indians and metropolitan spanish, everybody fighting for the
national independence.
Marx wrote about this Junta de Cadiz: "The circumstances of this Congress
have not a precedent in world's history. None legislative assembly had met
members coming from so different parts of the earth, none of them had had as
finality to solve the destiny of so wide regions in Europa, America and
Asien, of so different races and so complicated interests; and all of this
during a period in which almost all Spain was occupied by french troops and
in which the congresswould decree its laws, isolated of all the world by the
enemy armies and cornered in a thin piece of territory." ( the translation
is of mine, and my are, of course, the errors and absence of style.)
When in 1869, Marx began to search on Ireland, the voice of the indian
Deputy to the Junta of Cadiz, el Inca Yupanqui, who brought the voice of the
revolutionary America to the revolutionary Europa, gave him the words for
explaining the duty and the necessity of the workers in the imperial
countries to support and help to the development of the liberation of the
opressed countries and people.

Julio Fernández Baraibar

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