Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mexico: Not a Model State (Yet)

In today’s New York Times, Larry Rohter writes this in the middle of an article about how Mexico is a much better place than it used to be:

Just before President Obama visited here on April 16, in contrast, the Mexican Senate approved a request by the government of President Felipe Calderón to allow the Mexican Navy to participate, for the first time, in annual exercises with the United States and other nearby countries. During Mr. Obama’s trip, Mr. Calderón even briefly addressed Mr. Obama in English in public at the Mexican White House; that was something that Mexican presidents always avoided in my day, for reasons of sovereignty, self-image and the very complicated history of American-Mexican relations.

None of this suggests that Mexico has become a model state.

1 comment:

Brenda Rosser said...

Things looked pretty grim in Mexico in 1974 according to Kissinger's National Security Council. That foreknowledge didn't stop the NAFTA invasion and the consequent alienation of vast areas of land in Mexico from family farmers and also away from food production. In the latter case forests and agricultural land were converted to corporate industrial monoculture tree plantations.

In 1974 “world needs for food rise by 2-1/2 percent or more per year (making a modest allowance for improved diets and nutrition) at a time when readily available fertilizer and well-watered land is already largely being utilized. Therefore, additions to food production must come mainly from higher yields. Countries with large population growth cannot afford constantly growing imports, but for them to raise food output steadily by 2 to 4 percent over the next generation or two is a formidable challenge. Capital and foreign exchange requirements for intensive agriculture are heavy, and are aggravated by energy cost increases and fertilizer scarcities and price rises. The institutional, technical, and economic problems of transforming traditional agriculture are also very difficult to overcome....[BR: So the US knew that Mexico would have significant difficulty simply feeding its growing population, especially in the context of the readily avaible fertilizer and well-watered land being “largely utilized” already in 1974.]
National Security Study Memorandum 200
April 24, 1974