December 19, 2003
by James R. Edwards, Jr.
Mexico’s interior secretary, Santiago Creel, recently told the Copley News Service that Mexico will never police its side of the border with the United States. The implication is clear: Illegal immigrants have a green light to sneak north, as far as the Mexican government is concerned.
Mexico’s foreign policy and diplomacy belie its claims of friendship with the United States. In the Iraq war, our southern neighbor effectively sided with Saddam.
And the Iraqi regime was thankful. The Mexican newspaper Reforma reported March 19 that Sufian Elías K. Al-Hadithi, Iraq’s charge d’affaires in Mexico, conveyed Saddam Hussein’s gratitude for Mexico’s opposition to America’s war in Iraq.
Al-Hadithi voiced approval not only of the Mexican government’s position, but also of Mexican citizens’ burning of the American flag. Polls showed that 80 percent of Mexicans opposed the war with Iraq—mirroring American opinion in reverse.
In the United Nations, Mexico joined France and Russia in opposing the American position against the Iraqi regime. The United States sought United Nations (UN) approval of meaningful arms inspections and enforcement in Iraq.
Mexico employs “Gulliver” diplomacy toward the United States, according to its former foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda. Last November, as the UN Security Council wrestled with how to deal with Iraq’s floutings, Bloomberg reported how Castaneda “said smaller countries on the United Nation’s [sic] Security Council should tie up the U.S. to bring it in line with their views on issues such as Iraqi arms inspections.”
“I like very much the metaphor of Gulliver, of ensnarling the giant,” Castaneda was quoted. “Tying it up, with nails, with thread, with 20,000 nets that bog it down; these nets being norms, principles, resolutions, agreements, and bilateral, regional, and international covenants.”
President Vicente Fox’s man sounded more like an enemy than a friend or ally.
Castaneda has since resigned. But he wasn’t an outlier in the Fox administration. His sobering remarks against America apparently reflect the Fox government’s position.
For example, Mexico has maintained diplomatic relations with Castro’s Communist Cuba. Mexican President Fox was the first head of his state in eight years to visit Cuba. Fox has called Mexico’s relationship with Cuba “deep and solid.”
This should raise questions about Mexico’s political principles and alarm about the company it’s willing to keep. Flirting with Castro doesn’t indicate a nation dedicated to democracy, liberty, and free enterprise.
Why not? Because Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. Fidel Castro—mischaracterized by some as a commie geezer—has developed a biological-chemical weapons program. He remains committed to insurgency, helping terrorist groups such as the Irish Republican Army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and fundamentalist Islamists.
Castro’s Forum of Sao Paulo advances his strategy of selling the old Communist snake oil in new packaging. The Hudson Institute’s Constantine Menges has exposed this strategy as “helping radical political leaders friendly to him take control of their countries by winning national elections in which they present themselves as ‘populists,’ opposed to corruption, while concealing their ultimate purposes.” Thus far, it has succeeded in Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador.
The Forum convenes Communist parties, terrorist groups, and government people from Latin America, Europe, and such nations as Saddam’s Iraq, North Korea, and China.
Nor is Mexico’s commitment to free enterprise much greater than its low commitment to liberty and democracy. In the House International Relations Committee this spring, a Democratic amendment to urge amnesty talks between the United States and Mexico attracted an amendment calling for private U.S. investment in Mexico’s state-owned oil company.
Mexico erupted. Officials from Fox on down dismissed the possibility of private investment in Pemex, especially not American investment. They renewed their commitment to their constitution’s provision requiring socialized oil production. The press inveighed against America’s market orientation, as well. The newspaper Excelsior, for example, called the suggestion “arrogance.”
In addition, while Fox claims to be good personal buddies with President Bush, Fox chose September 11, 2002, to pull out of the 1947 Rio Treaty. The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, signed by member states of the Organization of American States, pledges each country in the Americas to defend against an attack on any signatory nation. Perhaps it is only coincidence that September 11 was the anniversary of brutal terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
Furthermore, Fox has called for a global tax. Developed nations such as the United States would end up paying the tax, while poor countries such as Mexico would receive the redistributed wealth.
Mexico never ceases to push for what it wants from the United States, regardless of its unfaithful “friendship.” It agitates for a “guest worker” program, in fact an amnesty for illegals already here and those yet to arrive. Mexico aggressively promotes U.S. acceptance of the security-risk “matricula consular” ID card that only illegal aliens need. It lobbies for in-state tuition at U.S. colleges, issuance of U.S. driver’s licenses, and U.S. Social Security benefits for illegal aliens.
Meanwhile, Mexico promotes dual loyalty. It encourages Mexican immigrants and U.S.-born offspring to hold dual nationality, undermining patriotic assimilation.
Scarier still is the fact that Creel will likely succeed Fox as the “conservative” National Action Party’s (PAN) presidential candidate. And PAN is supposed to be preferable to the liberal Institutional Revolutionary Party.
George Washington warned, “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, . . . the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” Those foes are as real today as they were then, and they do not fade away when we let good intentions lull us to sleep.
James Edwards, Jr. is an Adjunct Fellow with Hudson Institute.
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