FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mexico Must Not Capitulate to Bush

Mexico City. Only days ago, Mexico’s former foreign minister, Fernando Solana Morales, said, quite rightly, that on international matters principle corresponds with national interest. The simple clarity of Solana’s statement should destroy the obtuse (and opportunist) argument that principles and interests follow opposite paths.

Especially in Mexico’s relationship with the United States, the opportunists claim, principles should be left aside in favor of our interests: commerce, immigration, combating organized crime. If we want that agenda to succeed, they argue, we should shelve our principles and look after our interests. To do otherwise would bring about reprisals from the U.S.

But they are wrong. The principles of Mexican foreign policy have two sources: the constitution and historical experience. The constitution calls for self- determination, nonintervention and peaceful solutions.

Experience shows that by holding on to those principles, we have always won. The specter of a reprisal by the U.S. against Mexico’s political independence is nothing but a ghost that proves to be imaginary when looking at the last 50 years. Mexico should remember that as it weighs its position on the upcoming U.N. Security Council vote on Iraq.

Mexico actively opposed U.S. aggression and intervention in Guatemala in the 1950s; in Cuba and the Dominican Republic in the 1960s; and in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Granada in the 1980s. During the Central American wars, Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda Sr. built, with French minister Claude Cheysson, the Franco-Mexican accord that gave political status to the Salvadoran guerrillas over the objections of the United States. Then-Foreign Minister Bernardo Sepulveda was the engine behind the Contadora Group — Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela — that sought solutions for peace. In these last two cases, Mexico’s opposition to the U.S. was riskier than a U.N. vote on Saddam Hussein.

In the face of open aggression and intervention by the Reagan administration against Central America, Mexico worked for a peaceful solution that took the initiative away from Washington and placed it in the hands of the Central Americans. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias’ Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 is a testament to that. In all those instances when Mexico has shown its independence, Washington signaled its anger but did nothing against Mexico. It didn’t do anything because it couldn’t. In the name of what?

What the U.S. should fear more that the hypothetical weapons of Hussein is an internal crisis for its southern neighbor.

A revolutionized and unstable Mexico represents the most dangerous scenario for Washington because it presents an undefensible southern flank. The relationship between Mexico and the U.S. is one of mutual interest and advantage. The border between the two countries is the most porous in the world. Every day thousands of people cross it.

Mexican immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy in agriculture, the service sector and in many other jobs. In fact, they give more than they receive. The insulting insinuations of the inexperienced U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza — hinting of possible reprisals against Mexico on immigration if Mexico does not vote with the U.S. on Iraq — are absurd. Mexican workers are indispensable in the United States.

From the first day of the Vicente Fox-George Bush relationship, everybody has been in agreement that, given the legal and political obstacles in the United States, an immigration accord would not be accomplished today or tomorrow but could happen in the distant future. Dependence, then, is mutual. So are responsibilities.

The North American Free Trade Agreement brought a tremendous increase in commercial trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Any reprisal on this front would result in the United States cutting off its nose to spite its face. NAFTA generates millions of dollars annually, and in the U.S., the wallet dominates politics.

I don’t see a serious case in which the United States can hurt Mexico because of its independent international stance. Let’s get rid of this ghost that only scares the cowards and the disingenuous.

Mexico’s political independence in the case of Iraq will contribute forcefully to what the world most needs: a counterpoint to U.S. power. The real danger in our time is not the miserable Hussein. It is a unipolar world dominated by Washington. Creating that counterbalance is a political necessity. Future governments, but especially the democratic government of the United States, will end up thanking France, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Russia and China for their efforts to create a counterpoint to the United States.

It is hoped that President Fox will have in his mind Mexico’s proud history on international affairs when he decides how Mexico will vote in the Security Council. Now is the time to maintain our principles to defend our interests.

CARLOS FUENTES, novelist and critic, is author, most recently, of “The Years With Laura Diaz” .

 

More articles by:
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omaorosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
Fred Gardner
Exploiting Styron’s Ghost
Dean Baker
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker on Medicare-for-All
Weekend Edition
August 10, 2018
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Militarizing Space: Starship Troopers, Same As It Ever Was
Andrew Levine
No Attack on Iran, Yet
Melvin Goodman
The CIA’s Double Standard Revisited
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Grifter’s Lament
Aidan O'Brien
In Italy, There are 12,000 American Soldiers and 500,000 African Refugees: Connect the Dots 
Robert Fantina
Pity the Democrats and Republicans
Ishmael Reed
Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?
Kristine Mattis
Dying of Consumption While Guzzling Snake Oil: a Realist’s Perspective on the Environmental Crisis
James Munson
The Upside of Defeat
Brian Cloughley
Pentagon Spending Funds the Politicians
Pavel Kozhevnikov
Cold War in the Sauna: Notes From a Russian American
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail