Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became a leader within the Party. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army as People’s Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs. He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War (1918–20). He was also among the first members of the Politburo.
After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was successively removed from power, expelled from the Communist Party, deported from the Soviet Union, and assassinated in Mexico on Stalin’s orders. (Most of his family was also killed.) An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism, in the late 1930s, Trotsky opposed Stalin’s non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler.
As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile in Mexico to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. He was assassinated in Mexico, by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent. Trotsky’s ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that is opposed to the theories of Stalinism. He was one of the few Soviet political figures who were never rehabilitated by the government of Nikita Khrushchev. He was finally rehabilitated in 2001.
Jaime Ramón Mercader del Río (7 February 1913 — 18 October 1978) was a Spanish communist who became famous as the murderer of the Russian Marxist Leon Trotsky in 1940, in Mexico. Declassified archives have shown that he was a Soviet agent.
He served 20 years in Mexican prison for the murder; Joseph Stalin presented him with an Order of Lenin in absentia, and was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union after his release in 1961. 18 October 1978 (aged 65) Havana, Cuba.^ Robert Service (2009). Trotsky: A Biography. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 199–201. ISBN 0-674-03615-8