Natalia Sedova, Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky and Max Shachtman at Trotsky’s arrival in Mexico as a refugee (1937). The oil tanker Ruth carrying Leon and Natalia Trotsky arrived in Tampico harbour, Mexico in January, 1937. Also onboard were a Mexican general and assorted officials who carried a message signed by the country’s President welcoming the couple to Mexico. During the journey, Trotsky had been prevented from accessing any news on current affairs; he was only informed by Max Shachtman, leader of American Communist Committee, about world events since his departure from Norway in early December.
Trotsky and his wife were warmly greeted by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, attired in a native rebozo. Her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, had personally petitioned the Mexican President to grant the Trotskys asylum. Ill health prevented Rivera himself from welcoming the Russian couple to Mexico, but they would subsequently reside at his residence in a suburb of Mexico City.