Wednesday, May 17, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to

Bush the uniter... boy, are they pissed!

If you thought U.S. reaction to Bush's Immigration Speech was tough, wait'll you hear what the Mexican politicans are saying. I translated this from the reactions gathered and reported by Víctor Ballinas, Ciro Pérez Silva, Angélica Enciso, Enrique Méndez, Alma Muñoz, and Rubén Villalpando in the 16 May 2006 Jornada. Politicians agree, Fox's foreign policy a failure Sending troops to the border is an insult The decision by the United States to send six thousand National Guardsmen to reinforce the Mexican border, and to halt undocumented immigrants, has provoked angry reaction in Mexico, where the proposal is called an offense to Mexico, an inadequate response, a grave and terrible failure for Mexican foreign relations and solely a method to increase the salary of human smugglers. Senators and Representatives of the various political parties who were asked about the matter consider it “offensive” that a nation would work against the dignity of any people. “Assigning resources and sending a force of this magnitude with the intent of using them to detain migrant transit would be good, if the military were focused instead on detaining organized crime and the drug traffic, which affects both countries,” said Chihuahua Governor, José Reyes Baeza. The Governor further added that “it is an abrupt measure which can only raise the risk of damaging migrant's human rights and bilateral relations between Mexican and the United States.” The State leader said the U.S. government and its Congress could find some more intellegent solution than militarizing the border, and raising steel walls, fences or a wall of military personnel. Presidential incompetence, charges Madrazo In Mexico City, the PRI-PVEM (Institutional Revolution-Green Party) Presidential candidate, Roberto Madrazo Pintado, said that the militarization of the northern border is evidence of a major foreign policy failure by President Fox's administration. Furthermore, the action is against the dignity of the people. “I've been saying this for the last five years. Fox has been incapable of presenting a clear policy to the U.S. government to resolve the serious problems of Mexicans who live in that country, and of those who go there because of work shortages caused by his failure to generate those seven million jobs he promised in his Presidential campaign. The only thing he's given Mexican have been promises of a 'complete enchilada' – something that now ended in a failed, and frankly absurd, decision, one everyone finds undignified. Meanwhile, the front-runner in the Presidential race, PAN's Felipe Calderón, had said he would not have any comment on the militarization of the border, but later in the evening distributed a press release stating he considered the U.S. decision “rewards those who believe more agents, fences and sensors are the solution to the migration issue.” “This focus,” he said, “is demonstrably mistaken, serving only to augment social and human costs for the migrants. It only benefits the criminal groups who profit from the hopes and sufferings of those who seek new opportunities for themselves and their families.” For his part, Senate President Enrique Jackson, asserted that the migratory question, and the militarization of the border would be discussed by the Permanent Committee in its Wednesday session.
[TRANS. NOTE: In theory, the Mexican House and Senate are always in session. “Permanent Committees” can still conduct business when the regular members are in recess].
PRI (Institutional Revolution) Senator Humberto Roque Villanueva, and PRD (Democratic Revolution) Senator Raymundo Cárdenas, both registered their disagreement with the U.S. government's action. Only PAN (National Action) Senator Cecilia Romero was clearly supportive of Fox: “we can do nothing to advance or incite the militarization of the border. Roque Villanueva predicted that there would be a signifant loss of human life, directly or indirectly, among those who intend to cross into the neighboring country, underscoring the administration's lack of the dignity and skill to negotiate with the United States, particularly on migration. The process, he said, has “ended in a terrible failure. The Senate will call on the Mexican adminsitraion, and also communicate to the United States Congress our insistence on a consultation on legal migration and legalization of undocumented Mexican,” he said. Democratic Revolution Senator, Raymundo Cárdenas, for his part, confirmed his belief that President Vicente Fox has made "unilateral concessions on every issue raised by our northern neighbor without anything in return except promises.” In the view of PRI and PRD Deputies on the Foreign Relations Committee questioned by the media, the rationales given for sending troops to the border is no only “offensive” to this country, but also increases the conditions that put migrants at risk – of their lives, and of their human rights. The legislators lament that President Fox accepted “this action, which simply fulfills an old threat” by the U.S. Adminstration to apply security measures. However, National Action (PAN) justifies the decision by the U.S., claiming that they consider it “preferable that there are forces of insititutional order rather than free-lance migrant hunters controlling the passage of Mexican migrants.
[TRANS NOTE: “cazamigrantes” -- "immigrant hunters" is the word used for unofficial groups claiming to assist the U.S. Border Patrol]
In the meantime, Manuelo Fabio Beltrones, head of the PRI “People's Sector” sensed “an old story we've lived through before. You can't tell me there's been much success in Mexican foreign policy, that there haven't been too many mistakes. It's very important that we look to the future, because we can't continue a foreign policy that only brings failure, confrontation and benefits no one.”
[TRANS NOTE: “Sector Popular” -- PRI is organized by sectors... workers, campesinos, etc. Beltrones heads the general party member sector. Under Mexico's complex proportional representation system, his election to the senate as a “plurinomial” Senator depends on how well his party does in the general election. He is a powerful, and very important, Mexican politician]
For Secretary General of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo, the decision to militarize the border is comparable to the segregationist and racist policies used by the Nazis against the Jews; to the apartheid regime's policy on blacks in South Africa; and to the actions of other authoritarian governments. She called it “most lamentable” that the Mexican president kept silent after his U.S. counterpart had mentioned in their Sunday telephone conversation that the United States did not intend to militarize the border. She said, for Fox "Bush's word was enough to guarantee the rights of Mexicans, when in reality, they are seen as a danger to U.S. national security.” And, she added, Bush "doesn't care if he creates a climate of xenophobia and violence, of more discrimination agianst everyone, particularly Mexicans. As a rule, right-wingers also believe migrants are a danger to their country, and we're speaking of the most extreme right-wingers in the world: Nazi Germany, the white South African government, and many rightist governments." At the other end of the political spectrum, National Action (PAN) Secretary General, César Nava, considered the matter lamentable, and contrary to the hopes of the adminstration, noting that “this measure will naturally augment the risks to our compatriots who have crossed into the United States and will increase the swag taken by smuggles who get rich at the migrants' expense".


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