Re: VOTERS' CHOICE (Re: Argentine's elections)

>    I don't understand why people complain so much about what 
>they call "leftist-populist" governments, when those governments 
>actually maintained an almost uninterrupted period of progress 
>in Mexico.

I don't think people complain about all populist governments.  Last
time the topic arose in Mexico94, we agreed that up to the mid 60's
the Mexican development strategy seemed to have been the "right
medicine" for the times. Foreign debt was kept at relatively
small levels at the same time as the industrial base of the country

>Since the Revolution most governments in Mexico have 
>tried to accommodate popular demands for better social conditions 
>by establishing welfare programs, buying industries, and 
>subsidizing services and education. 
>    Defenders of neoliberalism always point to the governments 
>of the 70's to blame the left for the economic crisis, even 
>though the left has never governed Mexico. So at this point, 
>it would be interesting to question the labeling they use and 
>its coherence.

Labels such as left and right are relative (the PAN would be to 
a bit to the left of centre in the States). As compared to previous
presidents, Echeverria was left oriented. Was he a socialist?
No, as you pointed out.

>    In 1970 Luis Echeverria Alvarez became president of 
>Mexico. He was labeled a leftist for several reasons. For one, he 
>repudiated the repression of his predecessor, DIaz Ordaz, and also 
>he criticized American imperialism, and flirted with the USSR and 
>China in his bid for the UN general secretary post. He also bought 
>and created a lot of state owned companies. That made him a 
>socialist to the eyes of many although workers and peasants 
>never saw one inch of gain in their control of politics and 
>economics. Oil exports increased enormously, and a lot of 
>money was borrowed from foreign sources. 
>    In 1976 JosE LOpez Portillo took office, and continued 
>the trend of nationalizing industries including banks while increasing 
>government spending, and accepting more foreign loans on the basis of oil 
>exports. He also refused to bow to pressures from Washington, and 
>supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Then the international price of 
>oil collapsed along with prices of other export products, 
>and the first serious economic crisis hit Mexico. Much of the profits 
>from the oil exports disappeared in corruption schemes, while capitals 
>went abroad. The foreign debt became unbearable. Lopez Portillo is 
>also considered a socialist, 

By who? By Rush Limbaugh who calls Clinton a communist? Or are you
saying that there are serious scholars calling JLP a socialist??

>but people in Mexico were still kept out of power. 

That is a common trait of socialism isn't it? :-)

>In this 
>situation, it seems that the concept of political independence 
>of a country has become meaningless because the only way that the 
>voters in a Third World country have to maintain their economy afloat 
>is by choosing that system that keeps foreign investors happy. 

To a point, I agree.


Alex Lopez-Ortiz                             alopez-o@neumann.UWaterloo.ca
http://daisy.uwaterloo.ca/~alopez-o                     FAX (519)-885-1208
Department of Computer Science                      University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1                                           Canada