|This article appears in the December 12, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche's Voice Heard
by Gretchen Small and Rubén Cota Mesa
in Mexican 'Mega-March' Against Usury
Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans joined the "mega-march" against privatization of Mexico's energy resources held on Nov. 27 in more than 30 cities across the country. The march was organized by trade union, political, and Congressional leaders, as a national show of force against the Fox government's drive to rewrite Mexico's Constitution so as to eliminate its protections against international usury.
Four days later, a majority of the Federal Deputies of the opposition Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) moved to oust their party chief in the Chamber of Deputies, Elba Esther Gordillo, as a "traitor" fronting for the usurers.
Mexican nationalists are on the move. It has gotten worse from Wall Street's standpoint, however. In three of the marches held on Nov. 27in the key industrial city in the north of Monterrey; in the Sonoran city of Ciudad Obregón; and in the nation's capital itselfMexican associates of Lyndon LaRouche conveyed directly to the gathered demonstrators, a personal call from the U.S. Democratic Party Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., for Mexicans to coordinate with him, in the battle to get the United States to take the actions required to resolve the systemic crisis devastating the entire globe (See LaRouche's statement to mega-marches).
Wall Street was already nervous over the fierce revival of Mexico's historic republican tradition of economic nationalism. The cries of "Viva LaRouche" heard in the midst of Mexicans "mega-marching," are the last thing Wall Street wants to hear. Since LaRouche's 1982 collaboration with then-Mexican President José López Portillo to force the industrial powers to return to a production-oriented, just, New World Economic Order, there has perhaps been no development in the Western Hemisphere which the Wall Street-London financier interests fear more, than direct collaboration between LaRouche and Mexican patriots returning to their feet to fight, after two decades of defeats.
'LaRouche: Mexico's Ally Against Cheney, IMF'
While Mexican nationalists are fighting, not unlike many nationalists around the world, they tend to limit their efforts to the local issues pressing upon them, failing to comprehend the existential nature of the global crisis itself. It is here that LaRouche's associates in Mexico provided critical conceptual leadership, in the preparations leading into the marches, and the marches themselves.
In Monterrey, LaRouche associate Benjamín Castro, well-known from his gubernatorial campaign in the state of Nuevo León earlier this year, was invited to serve as a member of the march organizing committee. The main banner chosen here for the entire march, was direct: "Sovereignty, Yes; No to the Structural Reforms of the IMF." The banner, however, which stole the attention of the press and the local TV news, as the accompanying pictures show, was the one carried by the contingent of LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) and older LaRouche activists: "LaRouche: Mexico's Ally Against Cheney and the IMF!"
Castro was invited to address the more than 7,000 people who participated in the Monterrey march, and he read a message sent by LaRouche, which laid out the full depth of the crisis, and his personal commitment to changing U.S. policy (see box). A small group made an effort to sabotage the reading of LaRouche's message, but all they succeeded in doing, was sparking shouts of "Viva LaRouche!" and applause. El Norte, one of the leading newspapers in the north of Mexico, took due note in its front-page coverage of the rally, that "a speech by Lyndon LaRouche, a Democrat pre-candidate to the Presidency of the United States" had been read from the podium by Castro.
In Ciudad Obregón, LaRouche associate Alberto Vizcarra was selected to be the master of ceremonies at the rally, and spoke several times to the more than 800 present. In the rally's concluding speech, Vizcarra spoke of the necessity of creating a renaissance in the nation, with great infrastructure projects that would revolutionize the economic potential of Mexico. He warned, however, that a resistance which confines itself to merely protecting threatened sectors of the economy (such as energy), has a slim chance of victory. "Rebuilding the country must begin with a break with the IMF, and a search for international alliances," Vizcarra told the rally. "In seeking these alliances, Mexico must turn especially to the United States, to that nation with which we share a common republican tradition, a tradition represented today by the political forces behind the Lyndon LaRouche Presidential candidacy in that country."
The march in Mexico City was the largest, drawing over 130,000 people, despite a rain and hail storm. Here, a 30-member contingent of the LaRouche Youth Movement marched under a banner, which read: "LaRouche Youth Movement in Defense of National Sovereignty and for a New Just Financial System." Finding the trade unionists marching around them largely silent, the LYM organizers pulled out their megaphone, and gave briefings on the end of the international financial system, and the need to defend the nation-state with LaRouche's proposals for rebuilding the world economy.
As the rally was ending in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main plaza, one LYM'er gained access to the microphone and, before scores of thousands, made this appeal: "People of Mexico, this is not a local problem; it is not an isolated issue. It is an international problem caused by the bankruptcy of the world financial system, and what we need, is a new, just financial system, based on infrastructure projects as proposed by U.S. Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche."
Wall Street Wreckers Under Fire
Four days later, a PRI faction moved to oust Elba Esther Gordillo as head of the party's caucus in the Chamber of Deputies, only three months after she assumed the post. Her election as coordinator of the PRI deputies in September had thrilled speculators, Mexico's creditors, and the international financial press, who championed her as the leader who could deliver the votes needed for their long-blocked economic reforms. The PRI, holding 222 of the 496 seats, is the largest bloc in the Chamber of Deputies, and who could better deliver its votes than Elba Esther, a ruthless political leader owned by the notoriously corrupt former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who imposed the killer North American Free Trade Accord (NAFTA) upon a reluctant Mexico?
But things have not gone as planned. Not only did a majority of the PRI Congressmen continue to block privatization of Mexico's energy sector, but they refused to approve the brutal fiscal plans the creditors insist be passed. The most recent fight centers on the Fox government's proposal to extend the Value Added Tax (VAT) to exempted categories, such as food and medicine, public transportation, books, magazines, and private schools, at a hefty rate of 10%. Elba Esther first tried to get the PRI to back a VAT tax on food and medicines of "only" 5-8%. Unable to round up support for that travesty, she announced with great fanfare on Nov. 18, that the PRI would support a "new" tax proposal: a 10% tax on production and intermediary sales. This, she had the effrontery to claim, would not affect consumers!
That proposal had the same lifespan as her VAT plan. Despite reported "frenetic lobbying" on behalf of the 10% production tax by Salinas himself, her enemies exposed the fact that she was handed this "proposal" at a private meeting with Fox's Treasury Secretary Francisco Gil Díaz. PRI Congressmen denounced it as a "poorly disguised VAT tax." As Oaxaca Congressman Elipidio Concha so elegantly put it: "This is the same filth, but with different flies."
With plans afoot to dump Gordillo, international financial interests unleashed a speculative assault against the Mexican peso, dragging the exchange rate with the dollar to an historic low, threatening: "Keep Elba Esther in her post, or we will pull the plug on the economy."
Nevertheless, on Dec. 1, after more than ten hours of often-nasty debate at the PRI headquarters, an extraordinary session of the PRI's Permanent Political Commission was convoked to vote upon the petition to oust Gordillo, after a majority of the PRI Congressional delegation, 119 out of 222, demanded that she be removed as party chair in Congress. Gordillo's faction had done everything to keep that meeting from being called, including threatening a split in the party. That threat was backed up by a letter signed by 15 out of 17 PRI state governors, which warned also of a split, should the current leadership be removed. (That letter was organized by the Governor of Veracruz, Miguel Alemán, scion of the old corrupt Wall Street-allied Alemán interests.)
In the dawn hours of Dec. 2, the PRI commission voted to remove Elba Esthéricahysterical, as she has come to be knownfrom her Congressional leadership position. The following day, an anti-Gordillo majority now numbering over 130 members, elected Emilio Chuayfett to replace her.
The final battle is yet to be decided, however, as the bankers' boys (Esthérica included) move to carry out their threat to not just split, but "pulverize" the PRI.
That this is the strategy was most succinctly enunciated by George Soros' pet Mexican asset, Jorge Castañeda. A close buddy of Gordillo's, Castañeda has been campaigning to become a 2006 Presidential candidate on the platform that only through radical political "reform," which rips up Mexican institutions, can the final round of Wall Street-IMF economic "reforms" be imposed upon the country. For almost a decade, Castañeda has called for a nationwide social explosion, along the lines of the 1910 Revolution which set off a decade of war in which 1 million people died. Only such an explosion, he argues, can shatter the institutions which hold Mexico together.
Because it served as Mexico's ruling party for more than 70 years, the PRI functions, for better or worse, as one of the nation's key institutions. As soon as the Gordillo ouster vote was known, Castañeda told Radio Fórmula that the Gordillo crisis can be used to split the PRI. Said Castañeda, "With the PRI as it is today, it will be impossible to move anything forward."
However, as LaRouche has emphasized in the Iraq case, the authority of the Constitution of a nation is rooted in the history of the struggle which gave it birth. The continuity of that authority must be renewed constantly, so that the broad base of the population, including the most poor, may reaffirm the fundamental principles embodied in that Constitution. The growing popular mobilization in Mexico, and the rebellion of nationalist political forces against the destruction wrecked by usury, represents the beginning of a new struggle to renew the historic republican legacy which shapes Mexico's political culture.