Monday, June 26, 2006

Mexico's Fox: The forgotten Six Years

BY NIDIA DIAZ —Granma International staff writer—

MEXICO’s six-year presidential mandate is about to conclude; hence, Vicente Fox is in his final moments as that nation’s leader, even though the official handover of power to the new president is not until December 1.

Whatever the electoral outcome this July 2, what is certain is that the former governor of Guanajuato is reaching the end of his presidential term, and that practically speaking, there is little left to do or undo from now until the end of the year, within the extended parentheses that separate him from his successor’s declarations.

The balance left by the Fox government could not be more negative. He will go down in history as one of the most innocuous, lacking in initiative presidents that the nation has had to endure, truly frustrating millions of voters who elected him with the vain illusion of change with respect to previous governments, when he not only produced more of the same but worse.

During his campaign he promised an economic model "in which human beings and the development of their essential qualities should be the goal;" an economic growth of 7%; the annual creation of 1.3 million jobs, and increased purchasing power for all Mexicans.

The reality was something else. Growth was only 1.8%, and the unemployment rate rose quickly, causing 1.2 million Mexicans to immigrate every year to the United States, a higher figure than historically, and almost the equivalent of the number of jobs he promised to create.

For its part, the World Bank itself has stated that studies demonstrate that poverty in Mexico remains at unacceptable levels, given that 53% of its 104 million inhabitants are poor, and 24% are considered "extremely poor."

The Fox mandate did not resolve any of the most serious economic and social problems accumulating nationwide and in the states, which have intensified and provoked to date a wave of protests and social movements, many of them repressed by the federal government with unprecedented violence, resulting in deaths and injuries, such as the recent teachers’ strike in Oaxaca.

His much-heralded electoral "trump card:" a promise to solve the dramatic problem of undocumented immigrants in the United States, turned into a resounding failure, and his failed entreaties to George W. Bush only resulted in Washington’s hardening of its position, the criminalization of Mexican immigrants, and construction of the notorious border wall, along with increasingly vicious persecution of Mexican immigrants, against whom even death squads have been created.

In a display of servility unprecedented throughout the long and heroic history of the homeland of Benito Juárez, Fox went so far as to congratulate Bush on sending Yankee National Guard troops to their shared border with the purpose of hunting Mexicans. The child heroes of Chapultepec must have turned over in their graves!

It is a fact that the outgoing president degraded as nobody else Mexico’s traditional foreign policy, one of that country’s most valued treasures, turning it into a jumbled appendage of the imperialist dictates of Bush, whom he scurried to serve whenever the occasion arose.

One example that the Mexican people will never forget or forgive is the harm done to the historic and close ties of friendship with Cuba, which were tossed aside in a completely premeditated way, following the plan charted by the White House for its agent, Jorge Castañeda, whom Fox designated as his foreign minister, thus deriding Mexico and scandalizing its citizens, including the governing party itself, many of whose members did not accept the presence of an open servant to a foreign government as head of the ministry of foreign affairs.

That has been the disastrous balance of this mandate: unbridled corruption, shameless servility to Bush, frustration on all sides, attempts to privatize oil and electric power, more poverty in the rural areas, the loss of Mexico’s prestigious role in the international arena... It was Vicente Fox who wrote the shameful pages of the lost six-year period, and the Mexican people are not going to forget that.


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