Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Cuaderno Latinoamericano - Gretchen Peters provides an excellent, brief analysis of the state of US-Mexican relations in The New Republic. The gist of this is that 9/11 moved Mexico off the radar screen of US foreign policy precisely when conditions were perfect for a harmonization of interests that would have benefitted both countries. Most importantly, with Vicente Fox at the helm of Mexico's government, the pro-business, free trade, conservative cards were in alignment between the two countries. That has all evaporated and now Fox, an erstwhile Bush compadre, has been forced to distance himself from the US in order to strengthen his own hand in Mexico's domestic political dynamic. If Bush wants to make nice with Mexico and maximize the benefits that the US can gain from the bi-lateral relationship, Bush ought to be bringing his influence to bear in Mexico on behalf of Fox like he did for Republican candidates in the latest round of elections in the United States. Without giving Fox some face time and some real movement in the bilateral relationship, the individual who will bear the brunt of responsibility for snuffing out Mexico's nascent democracy, should the Fox experiment ultimately fail, will not be Fox - but rather George W. Bush, for cozying up to Fox at first and then abandoning Fox to the sharpened razors of the anti-US nationalists. There is still time for Bush to deliver for his "amigo," but the time is running out.

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