1990s >> 1996 >> no-1101-may-1996

Obituary: Georges Valentino

We regret to report the death in Paris of Georges Valentino, one of our long-time supporters in France. He was born in Guadeloupe in the French West Indies which his father for a time represented in the French National Assembly (for the reformist SFlO and then for the Gaullists). He used to recount how he and others in his unit, sent as conscripts to fight in Algeria, used to fire on their officers’ command posts rather than at “the enemy”, with whom they recognised they had no quarrel (a practice later also employed by some GIs in Vietnam).

 

Georges came across us in the 1960s and immediately realised that this was the political group he had been looking for. He had previously been a member of the French Communist Party and then of the short-lived Parti Socialiste Autonome. He was a regular contributor to Socialisme Mondial, the French-language journal brought out by comrades in Canada and France between 1973 and 1988, and contributed the occasional article to the Socialist Standard. He also helped with the translation of our declaration of principles into correct political French.

 

He earned a precarious living selling newspapers and working in bars and cafes. It was no doubt, unfortunately, this precarious existence which led to his premature death before the age of 60.

 

Adam Buick