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Leon Trotsky, one of the principal intellectual political theorists of the Bolshevik movement that would come to power in Russia following the revolutions of 1917, was forced out of the country in 1928 and fled to Mexico in order to escape the fate that was increasingly befalling many others who Soviet leader Joseph Stalin persecuted. Trotsky fled to Turkey, France, and Norway, before settling in Mexico, in order to survive. Everybody, now matter how loyal to Stalin and to the ideals of the Bolshevik Revolution, was considered by the pathologically-paranoid leader to be a potential threat and imprisoned and/or executed. Many of the most important leaders of the communist revolutionary movement were, in fact, murdered at the orders of Stalin solely because he was determined to consolidate his hold on power following the death of V.I. Lenin. Trotsky was one of the more vocal opponents of Stalin's growing power among the Bolshevik elite and, even in exile, was perceived by Stalin as a potential threat. Exile in Mexico, then, was insufficient to protect the Marxist revolutionary theorist from the long reach of Stalin's secret police. An agent of the NKVD, the precursor of the later KGB, assassinated him on August 20, 1940.
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