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PostSoviet Red Cross and the Spanish Communists (Paul Preston, -UK, 02/10/21 2:19 pm)
What a fascinating post by Silvia Ribelles! (February 10th)
When I wrote my biography of Santiago Carrillo, I became aware of some of the people that Silvia writes about, hardened militants who fought for the Russians in guerrilla units and then went into Spain. I had never heard about the welfare for their families back in the USSR.
My only--and probably not very useful--guess is that it might have been a budgetary device to get around the fact that perhaps the NKVD did not normally provide welfare payments for foreigners who were not their employees. However, this is just a feeble suggestion. If anyone will know, it will be Boris Volodarsky.
JE comments: Boris, we need you! One also wonders if Stalin wanted to maintain plausible deniability for the Spanish infiltration, especially given its scant prospects for success. The Red Cross could always be dismissed as "humanitarian" assistance.