L-I: Why The Disinterest?

Tony Abdo aabdo at SPAMwebtv.net
Fri Jun 9 21:28:39 MDT 2000

As hard as I could, I looked for commentary of interest about the
Mexican election just a little over 3 weeks away.     Despite the fact
that Zedillo was in Washington D.C. with Clinton today  finalizing the
details of the upcoming fraud, both the Mexican and US press virtually
ignored the event.

This disinterest is even worse in regard to the Left press.     ZNet has
nothing about the election that I could find,  of commentary online!
But it is the same story everywhere, including the Lists.      Plenty
can be found in regard to Chiapas, UNAM, and even the Mexican Labor
Movement.      But somehow, the election process itself escapes any
observation, and appears to arouse no sense of anything unusual being
under way.

Somewhat the same is found in Mexico itself, though curious cracks are
forming.   Foremost amongst the phenomena, is the curious behavior of
certain rat-like politicos.     People like Munoz Ledo and Layda
Sansores are running around waving V V V signs with their fingers.
V for Vicente, V for Victory.       The Victory being the end of the PRI
dictatorship.      Who cares who or what will make it happen.

El Norte in Monterrey says that its studies show that street posters run
2 for 1, Fox over Labastida.       There is a curious sense that
something is awry.       But people have not been told whether to cheer,
or be full of fear.      Change is desired, yet there is a sense of
foreboding that this is not exactly the change as they sensed it would

In the US, 99.999% of the Anglo population does not know that a historic
'election' will soon take place.      Of the 0.001% who do know, all
feel assured that PRI will again declare itself the winner.        Why
the total ignorance of Mexican affairs?      Is it purely due to the
fact that English is not spoken that far South"?

No, I beleve that it is due to several other factors, even more than due
to the difficulty of the US's monolingual population in communicating
in, or understanding Spanish.

The Anglo liberal , Left, and Labor crowd were never able to pushe into
the South/ Southwest, and were never able to expand their movements into
a gigantic region that is precisely the region that borders with Mexico.
There is little point of contact between  US Leftists and Mexicans in
physical locale, with California being something of an exception to this

A conservative southern portion of the US bumps up into a conservative
northern portion of Mexico.       This has formed a barrier to liberal
thought fusing, or interacting, between the 2 countries.     A
consideerable barricade to knowledge or understanding, and to
coordination of resistance to the Neo-liberal project to create a
merging, regional trade sphere.

Rather, it has presented a tremendous opportunity for the Right of both
countries to fuse their interests together in a way to attack the
interests of the more politicized regions of Central/ South Mexico, and
also the northern portions of the US, where unions still are hanging on
for dear life.

The Southern areas of the US now dominate US political life, and the
Northern regions of Mexico are the areas that most desire to remove PRI
out of office.     Both are regions where unionization is weakest
(except for the company- union movement built up by Northern Mexico
business interests centered in Monterrey).

Sourthern and Central Mexico should be considered as being somewhat like
the 'Rust" Belt in the US, but without even the rust.      Northern
Mexico has the political consciousness of the US sunbelt region.

Of interest, is how Nader and the US Social Democratic crowd in the
unions have almost totally forgotten about NAFTA.      China is the big
debate now.
When the ruling class could not be convinced to drop NAFTA, the Labor
Movement decided to just concede completely to Clinton/ Gore, rather
than to work for international solidarity.    Anything to avoid a clash

Despite all its claims to be moving innto a new era, Sweeny and Labor
haven't a clue to how to organize the non- union Sunbelt.   It too would
be a clash head-on with Power.      The strategy is to built 'Labor',
but to avoid conflict.

International solidarity means conflict.    So the unions have gone to
sleep on NAFTA,and have gone to sleep as far as to understanding the
dangers in the new situation.      Mexico- out of sight, out of mind.

Add to this, the chauvinism of the US radicals throughout history.
Here is a small isolated group, thoroughly convinced that their
importance of being the Left in the center of The Beast, somehow has
conferred little need to have contacts with radicals in the bordering
country- Mexico.

As a result, minimal communication or mutual comprehension.       This
is true, whether with ZNet, Social Democrats, Maoists, Trotskyists, or
old style CPs.

To see how distorted a situation this can lead to, it is only necessary
to examine The Greens.      In the US, the Greens are a stand-in for
Cardenismo and Social Democracy.      In Mexico, they are supporting
Vicente Fox, candidate of the Catholic Church and US imperialism!

Social Democrats accuse Baby Bush of being stupid.      But he is not
stupid in regards to these bicultural issues like the SDs are.      He
has contact with his cohorts on the other side of The Border.     And
there is a sort of solidarity amongst the thieves.

In conclusion, there is a price to be paid in not building binational
understanding amongst the Left.      I would strongly encourage any Left
tendency to built its movement's branches or locales in El Paso/ Ciudad
Juarez, or San Diego/ Tijuana.     Not doing so,  is almost as if
English speaking Canadians refused to reside in Montreal, and not to
build a movement alongside with French speakers.

It is also particularly urgent to build political contacts in Mexico
City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.    And Houston, Dallas, and San

Tony Abdo

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