Thursday, November 28, 2002

Cuaderno Latinoamericano - Andres Oppenheimer has a great analysis of what I have termed Mexico's "Paradox of Dependence and Nationalism" in the context of the 21st Century reality. Oppenheimer discusses Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Jorge Castañeda's recent call for Mexico to resolve this "paradox" by trashing the outdated revolutionary anti-US rhetoric and by embracing positively Mexico's affinity for and bond with the United States. While I applaud Castañeda's attitude, what he proposes may be psychologically undesirable if not impossible for Mexican society. Subordinate and dependent states, in order to maintain some semblance of identity distinct from the regional hegemon, often times have only rhetoric to work with. The reality is also that Mexico is "not" the US, and sometimes the only way to make this distinction is simply by espousing the "anti-US" line. This anti-US rhetoric is not really to be "against" the US, but to be distinct from and independent of the US. Even still, Castañeda's comments mark an incredible change in the rhetoric of Mexico's independent history and its relationship with the US.

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