LaRouche's Return After 20 Yearsby Gretchen Small
Is Big News in Mexico
For the first time in 20 years, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. returned to Mexico on Nov. 4-6, with a visit to Saltillo, the capital of the northern state of Coahuila. His trip, while short, proved explosive—all the more so, because Wall Street had been confident that LaRouche would not set foot in Mexico again. Not four months before, he had been forced to cancel a planned trip to Guadalajara, when the security required was denied him.
LaRouche is no stranger to Mexico, having visited the country four times between 1979 and 1982. In May 1982, he met with then-President José López Portillo at Los Pinos, the Presidential residence, and subsequently wrote his famous Operation Juárez policy-document. This laid out a strategy by which Ibero-America could force the industrialized nations to the negotiating table on a New World Economic Order, by forming a debtors' cartel and establishing their Common Market. Thus, when López Portillo seized back control of the national banking system from Wall Street's hands on Sept. 1, 1982, and then asked the Presidents of Argentina and Brazil to join Mexico in declaring debt moratoria, Wall Street blamed LaRouche. Henry Kissinger ordered that he never be allowed to visit Mexico again.
The State Department was able to enforce that policy—until now. In the midst of an existential crisis far greater than that faced in 1982, Mexicans wanted to discuss with LaRouche, personally, what to do—and they got him there. Many made clear that they want him in the White House in 2004.
This is bad news for Wall Street interests already hysterical about the revolt spreading across Ibero-America against globalization, free trade and privatization. Sixty percent of the Brazilian population just voted against those policies, by electing Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva as President. Argentina, broken and disintegrating, found the gumption to threaten to default on its debt to the World Bank come Nov. 14, unless the International Monetary Fund puts up the cash for the payment—without Argentina putting through the ever-new and insane conditionalities the IMF demands. Voices of bitter reproach against the destruction wreaked by globalization are even rising from that paragon of free trade, Chile.
Nor is Mexico under control. LaRouche arrived in the midst of a brawl exploding between the state governors and the Federal government over cuts in Federal revenue-sharing payments to the states, and an unprecedented rift between President Vicente Fox and his erstwhile best "pal," the American President. George Bush's outright rude behavior to Fox on Oct. 27 during the summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) in Los Cabos, Mexico, led Fox to reveal publicly afterwards. that he had told Bush that they should no longer see each other as "buddies," and that Bush couldn't treat Mexico "as some third-rate country," but as an equal—unprecedented language from the Mexican President.
Underlying both conflicts, is the fact that the collapse of the U.S. economy is destroying Mexico's, reoriented entirely to its northern border under the disastrous North American Free Trade Accord (NAFTA).
A Message Relayed Around Mexico
LaRouche was invited to Saltillo to speak at the Autonomous University of Coahuila (UAC), that state's public university, on "Alternatives in Light of the End of Globalization," as part of the university's celebrations of the 45th anniversary of its founding. Some 450-500 students, faculty, researchers and invited dignitaries attended; the presentation was also simulcast to the UAC's campuses in Torreón and Monclova, and to auditoriums in four other states' universities, including some of the country's largest—Tamaulipas, Sonora, Guadalajara, and Zacatecas. In addition, the full two hours' presentation and discussion were broadcast live over the Internet from the university's website.
The utmost respect which greets LaRouche around the world was as notable in Saltillo, as it had been in the São Paulo City Council in June, where he was proclaimed an honorary citizen of that city. At the welcoming ceremony before the speech at UAC, the current and one former Dean of the university spoke on the importance of the statesman and scientist's visit. Coahuila's Secretary of Education was introduced. Dr. Rafael Arguello, Director of Graduate Studies and Research at the UAC, read a curriculum vitae of LaRouche, emphasizing his scientific, economic, and political contributions. In closing the event, Dr. Arguello commented: "We could not have had a better academic event to celebrate this anniversary of our university, 45 years dedicated to education.... We know that Mr. LaRouche will contend in the Presidential elections in 2004. We wish you the best of luck, and we would love to have a friend there in the White House, and here you will have your friends in Mexico."
The Presidential candidate also gave a press conference to a packed room of 18 national and regional journalists; was interviewed by the leading TV newscaster of nearby Monterrey, Architect Héctor Benavides, whose show is watched throughout Mexico's North; and was received by the Governor of the state of Coahuila, Enrique Martínez y Martínez. But one of the most important of LaRouche's private meetings was a dialogue with 45 youth, who travelled to Saltillo from several cities across Mexico, for the opportunity to speak with LaRouche.
LaRouche hammered at the fact that the IMF financial system is dead; pointed to the case of Brazil, and said the IMF loses, whatever happens. "If the IMF imposes conditions on Brazil, all of South America will disintegrate economically, in which case the IMF will disintegrate too. If Brazil has honest conditions for its recovery, then the IMF will disintegrate also. You're at a point where you cannot simply negotiate, you have to come to real solutions." Mexico, LaRouche said, cannot let what has happened to Argentina, happen to Brazil.
Strongly criticizing President Bush for his war policy, and his treatment of Mexico, LaRouche called President Fox's response understandable, because the Bush family had made promises to help the Fox Administration, which it then betrayed. He put forward the idea that cooperation around the urgent need for large-scale development of basic economic infrastructure—power, water and rail—in the Southwestern American states and the Northern Mexican states, provides a politically practicable approach to restoring proper friendly U.S.-Mexican relations, as well as addressing the employment crisis on both sides of the border.
Coahuila's three principal newspapers, El Diario de Coahuila, Palabra, and Vanguardia published five articles on LaRouche's visit, covering everything from his comments on Fox, to his discussion of why the energy sector must remain tightly under government control. All emphasized his central warning: "A Return to Protectionism Is Urgent. The Liberal System is Finished; We Must Avoid Chaos," as El Diario de Coahuila headlined its story. Notimex, a semi-official national news agency, headlined its wire, "U.S. Politician Says IMF Must Be Changed." Clips of the press conference were heard on regional radio and television several times on the night of Nov. 5, and again on Nov. 6, featured LaRouche's statement that the IMF goes down either way in Brazil. Mexicans, apparently, savored the idea.