Vicente Quietly Enters the U.S. to Pursue Trade and Other Interests
Vicente Fox arrives today, May 23, 2006, on a 3-day, 3-state visit to the U.S. Although political and business leaders in Utah, Washington State, and California all falling all over themselves to meet, greet, wine and dine him, you probably his visit probably will be given passing notice in the press for the fear of further antagonizing Congress and ordinary Americans as his "presence might be seen as meddling in U.S. internal affairs".
I almost burst out when I read that. Meddling in internal affairs of the United States? For the past several years, Mexico, under various leaders, has done nothing but meddle. Nevertheless, he's here to meet with business leaders, state and local politicians, local Latino groups, special interest groups, such as the apple growers of Washington State, various chambers of commerce and so on. A "side trip" to the Yakima Valley has been slipped in. Perhaps he'll give up sleep time to fit that one in.
The Mexican Senate blocked an earlier trip. This one is seen to be essential in order to promote Mexican business and immigration issues. But you will hear very little for fear of the "boomerang effect" or blowback.
Fox will address the state legislatures of all three states, meet with three governors as well as with Bill Gates and other Seattle luminaries. Also he will meet with California Latino big wigs, such as L.A. mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. So far, no surprises.
But I am surprised by the first leg of his trip to the State of Utah where he will meet with the requisite civic and business leaders and the leadership of the Mormon Church that has property and membership within Mexico.
Press coverage in anticipation of the trip of "Utah Mexicans" and business leaders has been the most revealing. "He's (Fox) our president. He's our representative. Even though we live here, we still love Mexico," a long-time Mexican ex-pat permanent resident. A local businessman wants to increase business with Mexico as " One of the big advantages of trading with Mexico is that their business practices are similar to ours."
What's wrong with that? Here's something to ponder from a fellow "lived for two years when an American electronics firm sent me there to help upgrade the engineering capabilities of its local plant in Mexico City, becoming familiar with, among other things, Mexico’s civic festivities and history."
I learned as well that Mexico is potentially rich for it has vast resources in the form of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, silver, copper and other minerals, as well as vast arable lands in the center and south of the country, plus a climate that could allow to plant and harvest multiple crops per year, it has sea ports on the Pacific and the Atlantic, it has a massive population that –if educated and skilled- could sustain a thriving internal market for durable and non-durable goods...and it is a next-door neighbor to the U.S., a most technologically advanced society and the most powerful economy in the world, from which Mexico could have absorbed since decades ago, by osmosis, capillarity or simple emulation, the many U.S. advancements as, wisely, Canada has.
I furthermore learned that the main problem of Mexico is that it wasted 71 years under the boot of the infamous PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) flirting with socialistoid policies, in part to blackmail the U.S. during the Cold War with the threat of supporting the Soviet Union if not left alone looting the country, and in part to co-opt its own arch-corrupt Left and cover up for the endemic, pervasive and intense corruption at all levels of government -which is practically an apparatus of systemic venality and peculation gone wild- and society in general -which is practically a kleptocracy where every body cheats, and steals from, everybody. (When paying for something in Mexico, always watch for your change!)
I learned besides, that there is the prevalent surrealistic and bizarre notion in Mexico that if one gets cheated it is only because one deserves it, out of one’s ingenuousness and candidness, virtues that the average Mexican considers stupidity and imbecility. As an example of the cynicism of Mexicans regarding honesty in government, they recur to poetic rime when referring to the last year of a presidential term, of which they say:
“Este es el año de Hidalgo...pendejo el que deje algo”
“This is the year of Hidalgo...an a@#hole is he who leaves anything behind,” referring to the last chance that public functionaries and employees have to loot the public coffers. Miguel Hidalgo (y Costilla) was one of the founding fathers of Mexico, but Mexicans don’t hesitate to profane his sacred name in cynical lyrics celebrating venality.
Moreover, I learned during my stay in Mexico, that in that climate of rampant systemic and systematic corruption, with its logical destructive consequences on society and the economy, the PRI, along with the Left, systematically promoted and used hatred of America among the populace to distract it from the real causes of the misery that the vast majority of pauper Mexicans live in: socialistoid policies and pervasive, endemic, systemic and systematic corruption.
Nothing more needs to be said...for day, that is.