'Zapatista Tour' Ends in Surrender/ Fox Delivers onCampaignPromise

Tony Abdo aabdo at SPAMwebtv.net
Sun Apr 1 14:31:14 MDT 2001

I disagree with Lou about what gave the Zapatistas that certain
authority, nationally and internationally.      It was the 'modest
hunting rifles' (as Lou refers to the guerrillas' arms) AS WELL AS
heading up a mass movement in Chiapas.
Further, this armed activity engaged the Mexican military in a number of
regions in Mexico (not just Chiapas).    And was probably a determining
factor in the reason that imperialism decided, finally, to junk
one-party rule in Mexico.

These 'hunting rifles' represented a real potential, versus only a
'symbolic' threat to the regime.       It became necessary for the US to
bail out the Mexican economy, spending billions of dollars to do so.

It was only the ascendency of Vicente Fox to the throne that changed the
equation.    That's why it is absolutely necessary to be clear that Fox
was beneficiary of Zedillo's 'dedazo'.     He WAS the appointed
successor to head the Mexican government for the next 6 years.

It was because the entire Mexican Left misunderstood what was taking
place during the elections, that they are so sidelined and disoriented
at this time.

We should remember that the Zapatista launched publicly their
'rebellion' in Chiapas in 1994, as a challege to neoliberalism, and not
only as a civil rights Movement to promote better treatment for the
indigenous population.

Neoliberalism has not been defeated, nor have the local Chiapas elites.
Nor has the Mexican military, nor the PAN clerical and Far Right party.
In fact, all have come out stronger post the Zedillo 'dedazo' for Fox.

The EZLN has presented their march on the capital as a triumphal moment.
It is not.     Rather, it is a negociated surrender of the right to
continue the armed struggle against imperialism and the compliant
Mexican government.     This surrender was negociated from even before
the march began.

In reality, the march of an unarmed and hated (by the Mexican elites)
troupe could only occur through the guarantees (of their safety) offered
by the Fox government.      This, at the same time as Marcos making a
big display of refusing to talk directly with Fox.

Of particular note, is the role of 'commandante German'.     He was
reported (in El Norte and other papers) shortly after the July elections
last year, of being in 'retirement' in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, where he was
said to be engaged in promotion of Nortenya music , and other cultural
activities!     He has now resurfaced as 'the insurgency's point man in
the peace process'.     What does all this mean?

It means (in short), that the EZLN looked upon the Fox victory as an
opportunity to disengage from armed struggle, rather than expand it.
Fox's victory, was essentially imperialism's peace offering to the EZLN.
And the Zapatista's decided to take it.

German's 'retirement' was a test of the waters, to see if the Fox
government would retaliate.     In turn for not doing so, the EZLN has
decided to accept the government demand to abandon its arms.

With the victory of Fox, imperialism essentially announced that it was
going to mitigate against some of the worst direct abuses of the PRD
clique, in exchange for a strengthing of its ability to penetrate
further into incorporating the Mexican economy into the US's.

It is true that this has dramatically realigned the whole struggle in
Mexico.     It was the sudden appearance of carrots, instead of batons,
that has derailed, temporarily, the Mexican rebellion against their
miserable economic and social circumstances.

The PRD was offered their triumph in Mexico City (where they head up the
local government), and now the EZLN has been given their moment of
glory.     Unfortunately for all, this is the moment when the promises
and small presents turn once again, into something entirely different.

Both the PRD and the EZLN have squandered much of their political
capital, by accepting to accomodate, as opposed to opposing more firmly,
this new turn for 'democracy' in Mexico.

Both have become part of the 'respectable'  opposition.     This is
their defeat, not their victory.      The wolf in sheep's clothing is
still a wolf.

Tony Abdo
<The only thing that the Zapatistas can do is to continue to struggle
for indigenous rights and economic justice....>
<What gave the EZLN its power was not the modest hunting rifles in its
arsenal nor "feathery rhetoric", but the masses in struggle. A political
movement is what is needed actually. The guerrilla warfare was more
symbolic than anything.>
<So what would have guaranteed success? An isolated guerrilla campaign
with hunting rifles? In reality the struggle moves forward through mass
mobilizations such as marches, etc.>
<The Zapatista movement has not been repressed out of existence. It has
instead chosen other tactics.>
information again (about 'Commandante German'), from the article I
posted earlier..

"Peace is on its way, dialogue has formally restarted," said "comandante
German," the founder of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN)
who was named Wednesday as the insurgency's point man in the peace

German made the comments after holding informal talks with presidential
adviser Fernando Elizondo only a day after the masked rebels set the
markers for the peace process during their historic appearance before

"The weapons have been set aside and almost forgotten now that dialogue
with the government has started," said German, whose real name is
Fernando Yanez, and who is the only EZLN leader not to hide his identity
behind a black mask.

German already had held preliminary talks Wednesday night with the
government's peace commissioner for the Chiapas conflict, Luis Alvarez.
The insurgents received praise from across the political spectrum for
setting the peace process on track by agreeing to hold talks with the
government for the first time since 1996.

Fox himself welcomed the overtures. "We are firmly on the way toward
peace agreements," he said on Wednesday, shortly after the rebels
addressed lawmakers in the lower House.

For the first time, the leftist rebels also recognized the president's
peace overtures.

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