Monday, October 13, 2003
Mexico's Strange New
Contempt for the U.S.A.
By Fernando Oaxaca
Last month the Mexican foreign minister
said to us: Got terrorism problems? You're on your own! Want a new Iraq U.N. resolution? Don't count on our vote in the Security Council!
You don't like Fidel Castro? That's too bad. We like him, again; in fact, we're rebuilding our links with him. We don't get all this human
rights stuff you Yankees worry about.
And the Mexican press said this week: Your new California governor, Arnold, is a racist. Pete Wilson is advising
him and we're ready to raise hell if that womanizing bodybuilder mistreats our countrymen as they keep California's economy
Does this sound contrived? Not in interpreting the Mexican messages.
Meanwhile, the Mexican government and a lock-stepped Mexican press are aggressively pushing and cajoling the Bush Administration
to sign up to legalize the millions of illegal Mexican immigrants in the U.S. They
are also working on and feeding the U.S. Latino-oriented media hard and using
any U.S. “immigrant rights” advocates they can get to shill for them in promoting legalization of these workers
and their families. So why are the top Mexican officials suddenly kicking us
in the shins as this goes on?
Here's another incident. On Friday night,
October 10, a prominent Los Angeles radio talk show host encouraged his large audience to boycott Mexico as a tourist destination. His reasons, he said, “Why spend our dollars there? They don’t like
us and they disrespect us.” Foreign policy reasons? No. The
radio host, Al Rantell of KABC, devoted more than an hour of his show to the stories around Armando Garcia, a Mexican national. Garcia allegedly shot and killed a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff in cold
blood — and escaped across the border to safety and freedom. He is not
even incarcerated in Mexico.
Over the hour, Rantell had as guests L.A. District
Attorney Steve Cooley, the murdered deputy sheriff’s widow, and several other surviving spouses and parents and siblings
of murdered, raped, and kidnapped Angelinos, all victims of presumed Mexican illegals who had fled to Mexico after committing
their crimes. From Los Angeles County alone, Mr. Cooley estimated that three hundred of these violent and heinous criminals
are enjoying the protection of the Mexican government from extradition back to the United States for trial!
the Mexican official response to inquiries from hundreds of U.S. law enforcement and relatives? Mexico says the country
has no capital punishment or life imprisonment without parole, and that all criminals can supposedly be rehabilitated. Thus, Mexico will not allow a fugitive-from-American-justice Mexican national to be
returned for trial since, if convicted, he or she might face punishment of the death penalty or an indeterminate sentence
for a crime, no matter its seriousness.
Consider the irony. U.S. immigrant advocates and their Mexican government
prevaricators preach at us constantly about the horrible death toll of Mexicans in the northern Sonora desert or Arizona and
Texas badlands as they attempt illegal border crossings. Yet it's impossible
to recall comparable stories in ours or the Mexican press about the hundreds of American residents (many Latino) who have
died violently or been raped or otherwise violated by willful attacks from Mexican citizens on U.S. soil who then fled and
reached safe haven in Mexico. Are Mexican desert deaths more “relevant”
than American victims of Mexican killers?
Even beyond this hypocrisy is the total lack of media stories of the Mexican
criminals who return home (sometimes coming back, committing more U.S. crimes, and returning to Mexico again!), knowing full
well that a few dollars spread here and there assure their safety from apprehension and extradition back to the U.S. They might be cold-blooded killers but they will never serve one day in jail if they
remain in Mexico. This behavior of Mexico is not a mere kick in the shins; it
is a boot in the American gonads!
But let's get back to the Mexican insults to Arnold Schwarzenegger, selected on October
7 by 48 percent of California's voters as Governor-elect of California. La
Jornada, a major Mexico City newspaper covering U.S./Mexico affairs with a vengeance, on October 8 deplores the election
of Arnold, calling him “a Republican actor” who is “racist, anti-Mexican, anti-Hispanic, discriminatory
and a sexual exploiter of women who work with him.” Of those California Latinos (40 percent) who voted Republican,
La Jornada says they engaged in “un acto político que raya en actitudes autodestructivas” or “a political
act marked by an attitude of self-destructiveness.”
The Mexican media clips with the above quotes and those below
are provided by the “Institute of Mexicans Abroad” (IME), an official mechanism of the SRE, Secretaria de Relaciones
Exteriores, the Mexican foreign ministry. The IME has 100 U.S. Mexican residents (presumably legal) as advisors. The opinions
and sentiments expressed in the Mexican press quoted here are therefore obviously considered proper for U.S. interests to
recognize and understand as reflecting Mexican government support! Conflicting clips are never provided in the SRE newsletter.
Mexico City, El Financiero, a respected financial newspaper, reported that the secretary of the interior, Santiago
Creel Miranda, and Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez assured their nation publicly on October 8 that because of the Schwarzenegger
victory “the Mexican Government will be particularly vigilant to denounce any violation of human rights or worker’s
rights of their compatriots in California.” Even the governor of Baja California, Eugenio Elordoy, predicted “difficult
times” because of ex-governor Pete Wilson being on Arnold's team since he represented a past “administration characterized
by anti-immigrant policies.” So much for the immediate possible success of cross-border harmony in the Californias!
the California Recall exercise ended, in late September, El Universal, a more moderate Mexico paper than La
Jornada, reported that Foreign Secretary Derbez had announced a new “security doctrine” for Mexico. It clashed with what Washington had expected would be a dependable partnership with Mexico and other nations
in the war on terror. Never using the word “terrorism,” Derbez
said that the concept of “one for all and all for one” was an “outdated World War II concept!”
state can impose on another its own security agenda, nor the order of its priorities,” Derbez added as he opened a conference
on regional security. He went on: “Security should be understood as a reality
for each country — not as hemispheric, because there is no military, strategic or ideological enemy outside the region
which is attacking it as a whole.” Huh?
This weird posture is not just a kick in the shins directed at
the U.S. It flies in the face of Mexico's assurances of cooperation with us on
terrorism prior to this announcement and comes as we seek United Nations help for our work in what we see as the prime current
theater for the war on terror, Iraq.
One must assume that Secretary Derbez checked in with President Vicente Fox before
this strange positioning. Or is this really internal posturing, while Colin Powell and President Bush are otherwise
being reassured? If so, the Mexicans forgot to tell the Dallas Morning News and a few other alert American papers
who are still puzzled by these events and are reflecting American pique with these regrettable and irritating Mexican games.
the reversal on Cuba? A Derbez deputy has said that Mexico was “starting to improve relations with Cuba,”
and to build a “new agenda” for cooperation. Undersecretary Miguel
Hakin's remarks followed a meeting in New York between Derbez and Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque. Yesterday, October 10, President Bush announced a new “get tough” policy with Cuba, saying
the previously unspeakable, in effect: “Castro is bad. Castro has to go!”
about that, Messrs. Fox and Derbez? Maybe Mr. Bush should have played back Secretary Derbez's own words, that security
“should be understood as a reality for each country — not as hemispheric, because there is no military, strategic,
or ideological enemy outside the region which is attacking it as a whole.”
Summing up, the new Mexican attitude
and policies go beyond the mysterious. They seem illogical and certainly disturbing
to ordinary Americans who are normally favorably disposed to the country. Mexico
already dumped us on Iraq last year, and a repeat this year is almost expected. But
the threat of non-cooperation on terrorism? Weird! Especially within the
reality of NAFTA and immigration policy changes they want from us, including their need for U.S. dollars. The flaunting of a new Mexico-Fidel Castro buddy-buddy arrangement? Weirder!
And the unwarranted
and stupid personal attacks on the governor-elect of their neighboring state with the fifth largest economy in the world? Incomprehensible.
The only sensible reaction from Americans is to remind Mexico
that the “yanqui” has limits to his patience. Maybe we have to look
harder at the billions of dollars that are shipped annually out of the U.S. by illegal “residents” back to Mexico. Maybe no immigration issues deserve addressing or meriting our support unless Mexico
changes its inhuman and reprehensible policy of harboring perpetrators of violent, murderous crimes on Americans in their
own homeland. On foreign policy, options abound.
And common American citizens are not without a listened-to voice or controlled by their government as in other nations. Our press is free.
Just remember, Mexican friends: We are all walking
through a dangerous jungle of new international hazards. Unless you are carrying
a very large gun or are prepared to hide or run like hell, don't anger the lion who usually protects you!
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