Some geopolitical tthinking [RE: [Marxism] TheLatin American-USRealignment

Julio Huato juliohuato at
Sun May 9 22:09:52 MDT 2004

>Fox may have been born in Guanajuato.  Jesus was born in a barn.  This does 
>not make Him more of an ox than Fox's birthplace makes him a Central 
>Mexican.  Economically, socially and politically, Fox is a man from the 

Implying that people from the "North" of Mexico, unlike -- say -- people 
from the "South," are economically, socially, or politically disposed to 
submit to the U.S. -- to align the country's foreign policy to U.S. designs, 
etc. -- is a myth.  There's no basis for this.

I'm not from the "North," but I've traveled extensively in that area of the 
country and my observations lead me to the opposite conclusion.  Over time 
I've also looked at results from a number of opinion surveys conducted in 
Mexico -- by Zogby, Latibarómetro, Pew Hispanic, Gallup, Televisa, Reforma, 
etc.  I don't think they break the results down by region or state, but I 
can say a few relevant things about a couple of them.

In a Televisa poll conducted in 2001 by telephone, right after the terrorist 
attacks in the U.S., an overwhelming majority of the people in the country, 
while they were sympathetic of the U.S. people and thought that Mexico would 
do right by supporting their struggle against terrorism, they rejected in no 
ambiguous terms the U.S.' use of force abroad and expressed a strong support 
for Mexico's traditional foreign policy and emphasis on the sovereign rights 
of nations.  Needless to say, telephones are more likely to be found in 
large urban centers and the areas where "maquiladora" activity -- and 
general economic activity -- is most concentrated.  It's self-evident that 
the "North" is over-represented in these surveys.  I have a copy of the 
Televisa survey report in pdf format and will share it with anyone upon 

In a Gallup poll also conducted by telephone in 2001 that covered over 20 
countries in the world (including Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, and Perú), 
among the Latin American countries Mexicans were the most opposed to the 
U.S. using force and to cooperate with the U.S. supplying troops for 
deployment in a third country.  If I remember correctly, less than 2% of 
Mexicans favored the use of force by the U.S. whereas 10% of Ecuadorians, 
20% of Argentinians, and almost 50% of Peruvians did.  I do not have a copy 
of this Gallup report, because my employer is not subscribed to the Gallup 
service.  But maybe some list member can fetch it for us.  So much for the 
idea that Mexico is more prone to align to the U.S. than South Americans.

Something interesting about this Gallup report, in the analysis-of-results 
part: The authors noted that Mexico's results were very similar to those 
from Finland, a country also included in the survey that had been invaded 
and occupied by Russia in different periods of its history.  The authors 
mentioned that exposure to wars of aggression by powerful neighbors (by 
their *bordering* with them) was a crucial element in this overwhelming 
popular response against the use of force.  This is entirely consistent with 
my personal knowledge and understanding of the views of people from Mexico's 
northern border states.

People everywhere in Mexico admire the industriousness, ingenuity, 
organizational talent, and unpretentiousness of the U.S. people, and those 
are qualities to be admired.  At the same time, on average and by far, 
people in Mexico -- and more so in the "North," IMO -- have a strong, 
instinctive distrust of the intentions of the U.S., particularly when it 
claims a God-given or self-given right to impose its will by force.  This 
underlies the popularity of Mexico's independent foreign policy stance, and 
it won't go away.

If my impressions and the results of these polls (and other polls I could 
comment on) are believed to be wrong, I'd ask people who think otherwise to 
produce evidence to the contrary.

That said, I responded to Néstor Gorojovsky's categorical statement about 
the regional division of Mexico along socio-economic lines.  The economic 
geography of Mexico has been well studied by serious people, starting with 
the old-school Communist (Stalinist), Angel Basols Batallas, the pioneer in 
the study of Mexico's regions.  It is well established where the lines 
should be drawn.  Of course, with fuzzy conventions of our fancy, we can 
always "prove" that up is down and left is right.


De todo para la Mujer Latina

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