Perera Mena, editor at a magazine published by the Mexican State National Bank for External Trade, discusses Mexico's economic dependence on the United States and possibilities for increasing trade with the Soviet Union.
June 23, 1964
Report by the Soviet Academy of Sciences Institute of Latin America, 'Mexico: Politics, Ideology, and the Economy'
23 June 1964
to Cde. V. A. KUZMISHCHEV,
CHIEF OF THE LATIN AMERICAN DEPARTMENT OF THE SOD [UNION OF FRIENDSHIP SOCIETIES]
In accordance with your request we are sending 35 pages of material about Mexico.
Please return this material after use.
Acting Deputy Director of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of Latin America
/B. S. Nikiforov/
MEXICO: POLITICS, IDEOLOGY, AND THE ECONOMY
I. The political situation in Mexico and the election campaign
Socioeconomic and political conflicts in Mexico have clearly become exacerbated in recent years. The strengthening of the position of the financial and industrial oligarchy and the anti-democratic actions of the ruling bourgeoisie are facilitating a still greater deepening of these conflicts and an exacerbation of the class struggle in the country. An intensification of the democratic and anti-imperialist struggle which includes broad strata of the intelligentsia, students, and the petty and middle bourgeoisie is occurring by virtue of these internal objective domestic causes and under the influence of the strengthening of the world socialist system, the victory of the Cuban revolution, and the upsurge of the liberation movement in Latin America. A certain consolidation of democratic forces is occurring, toward which the creation in 1961 of the National Liberation Movement (MLN) served as the first step. In June of 1963 a bloc of democratic parties and organizations was created, the National Election Front (FEhP). The first national conference of democratic students was held in the city of Morelia (Michoacan State) in May of 1963.
The worker's and peasants movement of Mexico is beginning to gradually come out from under the influence of the bourgeoisie. A peasant organization independent of the government, the Independent Peasant Center, numbering about one million people at the present time, was formed in January of 1963.
An objective process of a polarization of political forces is also being exhibited in a visible tendency toward a split of the bloc of the big Mexican bourgeoisie or the so-called "revolutionary family", represented by the ruling Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic] (PRI), which has already maintained a political monopoly for more than 33 years.
[Note: the author consistently writes Constitutional Revolutionary Party when he means the PRI]
An extreme right-wing of the party, the Mexican Civic Front to Strengthen the Revolution (Frente Civico Mexicana de Afirmacion Revolucionaria) was formed in December of 1961.
It is actually a new political party and joins together the reactionary pro-imperialist circles of the big bourgeoisie who occupy strong economic positions in the country. This group is headed by a former Mexican President, the multi-millionaire Miguel Aleman. Almost at the time the left wing of the party was defined, which is represented by the anti-imperialist petty and middle bourgeoisie, uniting around former Mexican President, the well-known progressive public figure General Cardenas. Many prominent representatives of this wing joined the Movement of National Liberation, and some [joined] the leadership of the Independent Peasant Center.
The conciliatory "centrist" position between these two groups is occupied by a group of members of the Lopez Mateos government headed by the President.
In this situation of an exacerbation of the conflicts in the ranks of the ruling group and class struggle an election campaign is developing in Mexico which in turn promotes an increase of the polarization of political forces.
The presidential election in Mexico will be held on the first Sunday of July 1964.
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, the Minister of Internal Affairs in the government of Adolfo Lopez Mateos, has been nominated to be the candidate for President from 1964 to 1970 from the ruling Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic]. At the present time he has left this post in connection with the official nomination of his candidacy for the post of President.
G. Diaz Ordaz was born on 12 March 1911 in the city of San Andres de Chalchicomula (the state of Puebla). He received a legal education. He has worked in the government apparatus since age 21, mainly in court and prosecutorial bodies. He was director of the legal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs beginning in 1952 and the Minister of Internal Affairs beginning in 1958.
He is known for his conservative, right-wing views. The Ministry he leads has taken an active part in the suppression of the democratic, worker's, and peasants movement in Mexico in recent years. In the words of the American magazine [sic] The Wall Street Journal, Diaz Ordaz is a "convinced" anti-Communist who enjoys great support from the group of Miguel Aleman and the Catholic Church in Mexico. As the newspaper The New York Times notes, the new candidate for President meets the desires of business circles. Some prominent political figures of the PRI (General Heriberto Hara, Senator Moreno Sanchez, and others) oppose the candidacy of Diaz Ordaz.
Diaz Ordaz has been waging an active election campaign since November 19. He bases his platform on the official thesis of the Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic] about the "permanent Mexican revolution", right now in a peaceful "constructive period". In his speeches Diaz Ordaz calls upon all Mexicans to "cooperate" and "unite" in the name of the successful accomplishment of the tasks of the revolution.
He favors a continuation of the domestic policy of A. Lopez Mateos directed at the active intervention of the state in the country's economic life. The main provisions of his election platform come down to the following:
1. State regulation of capital investment, incentives, and the stimulation of private initiative;
2. A redistribution of the national income with the goal of increasing the standard of living of the majority of the population and the development of the economy;
3. A continuation of the reforms in the field of finance for a more uniform distribution of the national income;
4. The protection of the nationalized sectors of the economy and the rational use of national resources;
5. The enlistment of foreign capital on the basis of the creation of so-called "mixed" Mexican enterprises;
6. The pursuit of "full" agrarian reform, including both land distribution and measures concerning the supply of equipment, the construction of irrigation systems, the granting of credits and subsidies, the regulation of prices for agricultural products, etc. Diaz Ordaz is also including in the election platform promises to respect the political rights and liberties and to ensure the social guarantees granted by the Mexican Constitution "in the best way". He favors a continuation of the policy of Lopez Mateos for the development of education and the training of technical personnel.
In the field of foreign policy Diaz Ordaz expresses an intention to hold to the principles of peace and disarmament, non-interference, and the self-determination of peoples.
The National Action Party (PAN), which represents the interests of the most reactionary circles of the big financial and commercial bourgeoisie of Mexico, and closely associated with American capital and large landowners, acts as the right-wing opposition to the Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic] in the presidential elections.
Jose Gonzalez Torres, the presidential candidate of the National Action Party, is the Party leader, a lawyer by education, and a hereditary [potomstvennyy] Catholic.
Unlike past years the PAN presidential candidate is not making sharp attacks against the PRI. Although he also criticizes the PRI, he stipulates that the election contest between his party and the PRI will be waged as "comrades" and "fellow countrymen". Evidently this is explained by the concessions which the PRI has recent made with respect to the commercial and banking bourgeoisie and the convergence of the platforms of these two bourgeois parties. When this was being done some representatives of the banking circles of the bourgeoisie switched to the PRI from the National Action Party. Like the previous candidates Gonzalez Torres favors increasing repression against Communists and progressive forces.
The bloc of democratic forces, the Popular Electoral Front, including the Mexican Communist Party, the Independent Peasant Center, and other democratic organizations are the left-wing opposition of the ruling Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic]. According to data of November 1963 it numbers 250,000 members joined into 400 committees. The Mexican Ministry of Internal Affairs has refused to register the FEhP as an electoral political party to participate in the elections. However, the People's Front is pursuing an active campaign to nominate candidates independent of the ruling party. Its main goal is the use of the election campaign to mobilize broad sectors of the popular masses on the basis of a democratic platform and to strengthen the organizational unity of the left-wing forces.
Ramon Danzos Palomino was nominated as candidate for the post of President by the Popular Electoral Front.
Danzos Palomino is one of the founders of the Front, General Secretary of the Independent Peasant Center, one of the organizers and leaders of the MLN, Chairman of the Union of Communal Land [ehkidal'nyy] and Peasant Societies of the Yaqui and Mayo Valley (Sonora State). Danzos Palomino's candidacy is supported by some prominent MLN leaders who are members of the PRI.
Danzos Palomino offers the following platform:
1. the democratization of the political system;
2. the reform of the electoral system;
3. the release of political prisoners;
4. radical agrarian and other economic reforms;
5. the economic independence of Mexico;
6. peace and general disarmament;
7. solidarity with the Cuban and Venezuelan peoples.
However there is no unity among the leftist forces of Mexico The National Liberation Movement, with the exception of some members of the leadership, has not supported the creation of the FEhP, and the MLN has taken a neutral position in the elections, refusing to favor a particular candidate.
The leadership of the Socialist People's Party (SNP) headed by Lombardo Toledano, pursuing a radical line with regard to the anti-imperialist and democratic movement of the country, has refused to take part in the Popular Electoral Front. Lombardo Toledano has officially declared that his party supports the candidacy of Diaz Ordaz for the post of President.
Abandoning unity of action with the democratic forces of the country in practice, Lombardo Toledano has promoted his conception of unification on the basis of support for the policy of the bourgeois government, declaring in the process that the SNP "is the only left-wing party" supposedly qualified to create a single Marxist-Leninist party of the working class.
Criticizing the opportunist line of the SNP leadership and also refuting its attacks, the Mexican Communist Party is making a practical effort to cooperate with the SNP on issues in which they have an identity of points of view. The MKP views the struggle for unity of the democratic forces as one of the chief tasks at this stage.
A correct approach and evaluation of the theory of the "permanent Mexican revolution" has great importance for the fate of the liberation movement at the present time.
II. The PRI ideology and the political struggle in the country.
The increase of the activity of the democratic forces, the intensification of the conflicts in the ranks of the ruling groups, and the change in the balance of power in the world in favor of socialism, all this could not fail to have its influence on the official ideology, which is the theory of the permanent Mexican revolution.
The leadership of the Constitutional Revolutionary Party [sic] understands that at the present time to limit itself to general declarations about a "revolution in power", the unceasing revolution since 1910 to our days is impossible by virtue of many reasons, first of all because of the growing discontent of the Mexican working masses with their condition. Therefore the ideologists of the PRI have recently strenuously propagandized the idea that the Mexican revolution has entered a new stage of its evolution and has been filled with deep social content in the years of the Lopez presidency.
All these facts, A. Corona del Rosal, Chairman of the PRI national election committee, declared in one of his statements, demonstrate the strengthening of the regulatory role of the state and the expansion of its intervention in the country's economic life, which is a very important factor of the development of the Mexican revolution.
It is typical that Diaz Ordaz, who by general opinion holds to more conservative views than Lopez Mateos, acts as a supporter of a "constant revolution" in his election declarations, and declares that "the banner of Zapata will never be lowered".
Considering the growth of the popularity of the ideas of socialism and a non-capitalist path of development among the working masses, the leaders of the PRI have altered the declaration of the platform of the principles of the government party. In particular, a provision was included in the declaration of principles that the party sets as its goal the building of a new society based on the principles of social justice. Those provisions which might be interpreted as an open defense of the capitalist system and private property were thereby removed from the declaration of principles.
However, it ought to be noted that the initiators of the inclusion of this provision in the declaration carefully avoided the question of what the new society should be and who owns the primary means of production. They stress in every possible way the need to fight for this society within the framework of "legality" on the basis of a "harmonic overcoming of social inequality".
The statement by the PRI leadership that the party is not expressing the interests of "unfeeling plutocrats" who are occupied in the accumulation of wealth at the people's expense is explained by an open desire to calm the working masses. At the same time in the new edition of the declaration of principles it is strongly stressed that the party is an effective tool at the service of the interests of the peasants, workers, government employees, merchants, industrialists, and farmers, that is, those classes and social groups who need special protection and support to improve their standard of living and to achieve the goals of liberty and progress.
It is not difficult to understand that an interpretation of the goals and tasks of the government in the accomplishment of the ideals of the "Mexican revolution" does not go beyond the bounds of a bourgeois reformist policy and has mainly an openly demagogic nature. However, in our view, one cannot ignore the fact that within the ranks of the PRI there are groups who take democratic positions, for whom the struggle for reforms is not an empty, demagogical phrase. They do not play a leading role in the ranks of the party, but the party leadership has been forced to take their positions into account to one degree or another. It cannot be forgotten that in the ranks of the PRI there are many supporters of former President Cardenas, who is known for progressive views. An article written in the American magazine Time is not without interest that in this regard. This magazine informs its readers with clear satisfaction that Cardenas' attempts to obstruct the nomination of the candidacy of Diaz Ordaz were not crowned with success. However, here Time notes that ignoring Cardenas' opinions is fraught with dangers since, although he no longer has person power, the revolutionary traditions which he embodies are still powerful in the country. Therefore the conclusion is drawn in the article that appealing to the workers is an indispensable condition for success for a political career of even such a figure as Diaz Ordaz, who is far from Cardenas' views.
There is nothing unrealistic in assuming that a convergence will occur between the democratic elements of the PRI and other progressive forces of Mexico as class social warfare in the country increases.
But this prospect can by no means serve as a pretext to favor a "unity of action" with the PRI leadership as, for example, Lombardo Toledano, the leader of the Socialist People's Party does. In his opinion, the changes in the PRI's declaration of principles and the statements of the party leadership about their desire to follow the principles of the Mexican revolution demonstrate the progressive nature of the government and its candidate for the post of President, Diaz Ordaz. Lombardo Toledano accuses the Mexican Communist Party, the National Liberation Movement, and other democratic organizations and associations which oppose the opportunistic collaborationist idea of the "revolutionary" nature of the government of factionalism, Trotskyism, and a reluctance to create a common front with the PRI.
Noting the entire justice of the criticism of the PRI policy by the Communist Party and his allies and the collaborationist position of Lombardo Toledano [I] would like to make one comment.
The effectiveness of the policy of the progressive forces will grow somewhat if the principled criticism of the bourgeoisie who are in power is combined with a flexible political line directed at the establishment of broad cooperation with those democratic circles who are under the influence of the ideology of the "permanent Mexican revolution". Only from their own experience can they be convinced of their blunders regarding the miraculous qualities of this ideology and to understand that the ruling bourgeoisie is using it for their own ends.
In our view, the progressive forces ought not dismiss outright those reforms which the PRI leadership proclaims as demagogic; they can use them to lead the broad strata of the population to an understanding of the need to carry out deep socioeconomic transformations which are not in the government's plans of a "Mexican revolution".
We repeat that the influence of the ideology of the "permanent Mexican revolution" has put down deep roots in the consciousness of broad strata of the population and therefore the growth of their political self-consciousness is proceeding in an extremely complex and inconsistent manner. One cannot fail to recognize that the ruling circles will find quite weighty arguments to maintain their ideological influence on the masses. The increased propaganda of the main principles of Mexican foreign policy is a factor of no little importance in this regard.
3. MEXICAN FOREIGN POLICY
In recent years Mexican foreign policy has been characterized by increasingly clear tendencies toward independence.
This is caused by many reasons, the main ones of which are the new alignment of forces in the international arena, the strengthening of the world system of socialism, and the scale of the national liberation movement. They unquestionably create favorable preconditions to carry out an increasingly independent foreign policy.
Besides these outward reasons the enormous influence on Mexican policy abroad is being exerted by two recent trends which have clearly appeared: the first is the searches for new markets in which the broad circles of the Mexican bourgeoisie, which is striving to strengthen their foreign trade ties with Europe and Asia to thereby occupy stronger positions in their competitive struggle with the imperialist monopolies, are increasingly interested. The second tendency follows from the first and is closely connected with it - this is the desire for greater independence and freedom from the tutelage of the northern neighbor, both economic and political.
Mexico and the US
This tendency is especially distinctly manifested in the relations with Mexico's closest neighbor, the US.
The US has occupied a considerable place in the life of Mexico for a long time, especially the economic [life]: Mexico holds first place in Latin America and fourth in the world in the amount of goods bought from the United States.
But recently a notable drop has been observed in the dominant role of the US in the country's exports and imports. By the end of the Second World War they were more than 80%, but in 1962 the US share in the exports was 71%, and 65.9% in imports.
There is considerable foreign capital investment in Mexico, the main part of which is American. According to official data, in 1960 foreign capital investment reached $1,081,000,000, of which $795,000,000, or more than 70%, was North American capital. In current (annual) capital investment the share of foreign capital reached ¼ (including the capital investment from long-term foreign credits).
The direct private investments of the US, which have increased in recent years from $800,000,000 to one billion dollars, are considerable. However, it ought to taken into account that under pressure from the broad circles of the public and under pressure from the national bourgeoisie the government has undertaken a number of steps directed at a certain restriction of the positions of foreign capital by increasing the state sector and currency and financial controls.
In 1961 a law was published about the mining industry according to which benefits are granted and subsidies given to all mining enterprises having more than 51% national capital; but in the development plan of Mexico for 1963-1965 adopted in 1962 it provides that of the total amount of capital investment in the economy ($6,400,000,000) more than 50% is given to the state sector. Naturally, such enterprises have evoked a negative reaction from the Yanquis, who have promoted the [Sidney Weiss] plan, an "exchange [birzhevaya] operation", designed to put an end to the 51% control in Mexican enterprises, as a countermeasure.
Such a reaction is explainable and characteristic, especially in light of the results of the IV Mexican-American Interparliamentary Conference which was held in Washington in March of 1964. This conference was notable for it being the first time (since 1961, when these conferences began to be held) that the differences which have always occurred at these conferences interfered with the signing of a joint communiqué.
Besides the differences on economic issues, the Mexican legislators also gave battle about political issues, defending their right to pursue an independent foreign policy with respect to Cuba, foreign trade with China, and the question of [filling] the waters of the Colorado River and other [matters] arose sharply as never before.
Assessing the progress and the results of this Conference Guadalupe Rivera, a deputy of the Mexican National Congress, said that they demonstrate that "our foreign policy is becoming increasingly independent…We are moving forward…gaining ever greater maturity in this regard". Obviously it is no accident that in February 1964 A. Lopez Mateos became the first guest from Latin America of the new US President. And although their meeting had an unofficial nature it demonstrated the great importance which the US attaches to Mexico on this continent.
The increasingly independent foreign policy of Mexico forces the North Americans to approach Mexican problems in a new way and to make some concessions: in 1963 the dispute which had lasted 99 years because of the El Chamizal territory was finally settled. The US pursued far-reaching goals with this concession - the hope of receiving Mexico's support on international issues and especially in terms of the pursuit of its policy with respect to Cuba.
Mexico and Cuba
Mexico proceeds in its Cuban policy from the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and the right of a people to determine their political system themselves. However, this policy is characterized by contradictions and concessions by the Mexican government to US ruling circles.
At the II Punta del Este Conference (January 1962) Mexico abstained in voting about the expulsion of Cuba from the OAS along with Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador, hindering Washington from organizing collective sanctions against Cuba. At the same time, on 24 January 1962 (at the same Conference) the Mexican government declared the "incompatibility of Marxist-Leninist policy with membership in the OAS".
In 1963 Mexico was constantly in opposition to the US about the Cuban question. Mexico abstained during voting about sanctions against Cuba on 23 April 1963 and 3 July, and at the beginning of December 1963.
It is interesting to note that in its lead article on 26 April 1963 the New York Times admitted that "in fact decisions adopted by the OAS without the support of such countries as Brazil, Chile, or Mexico have lost value". However, it ought to be noted that in spite of the fact that Mexico usually refrains from voting on anti-Cuban measures in the OAS, in practice it often resorts to them, which is demonstrated by numerous cases, the refusal of visas, and the inspections of people heading to Cuba or [coming] back.
Mexico and the countries of Asia and Africa
It is no accident that President A. Lopez Mateos is called "the biggest traveler". Mexico's desire to pursue an increasingly independent foreign policy, search for markets, and change the balance of forces in the international arena are the basic reasons which are prompting Lopez Mateos to expand ties and establish new contacts. During the time of his rule (since 1958) permanent missions have been created in Ethiopia, Finland, and Indonesia, and diplomatic relations have been established with South Vietnam, Tunisia, Guinea, South Korea, and Senegal.
Mateos' visit to the Philippines, Japan, India, and Indonesia in October 1962 promoted the strengthening of all sorts of, and first of all, trade relations between Mexico and these counties.
1964 was announced in Mexico as the year of Mexican-Philippine Friendship, which will undoubtedly promote even closer relations between these countries.
It is interesting to note that Indonesia purchases 225,000,000 pesos of textiles a year in Mexico, in the production of which 22 mills with no less than 27,000 workers engage and, in the opinion of Mexican economists, the Mexican textile industry would experience a crisis if these trade operations did not exist.
In foreign trade with Japan many Mexican operations are done through the US, which suits Mexico, which is now striving to dispense with intermediaries, less every year, and which is also an indicator of the growth of the Mexican bourgeoisie.
Mexico and Europe
Europe is an important market for Mexican goods, taking 20-25% of Mexican exports; therefore, Mateos' trip to European countries (France, the Netherlands, the FRG, Yugoslavia, and Poland) in March and April 1963, which was dictated by a desire to provide Mexico with new markets and to a certain degree lay stronger foundations of an independent foreign policy, was an important event in the foreign policy life of Mexico.
De Gaulle's visit to Mexico on 16-19 March was a significant event this year, and although both presidents declared that this meeting "is not directed against anyone at all", it is clear that it is a challenge to the United States. At the end of last year France gave Mexico a $75 million loan. Naturally, French capital still cannot seriously compete with the American monopolies; however, the closer Franco-Mexican relations cannot fail to put Washington on its guard. Citing the statements of French leaders the Mexican magazine, Manana, wrote that "one of the goals of de Gaulle's trip was the creation of a 'Third World' with "another type of economic aid and social and political organization", and Mexico is a very convenient country to accomplish these plans since it is increasingly striving for economic and political independence.
De Gaulle's visit laid the foundations for subsequent agreements, which is clear from the joint communiqué, and also hinted at ways for direct trade without intermediaries, which is very important for Mexico (here it means the creation of Franco-Mexican trade commissions, as is evident from the communiqué).
Mexico and the socialist countries
The coincidence of views of the government of Mexico and the governments of the socialist countries on a number of important international issues, and also the mutual desire to develop trade has facilitated the strengthening of Mexico's ties with the socialist countries.
In May 1963 a delegation of Mexican legislators headed by [Eliseo] Aragon [Rebollero], was in the Soviet Union for a two-week visit.
In October 1963 Mexico received Soviet cosmonauts Tereshkova and Gagarin.
This year a Soviet parliamentary delegation headed by Yu. Paletskis visited Mexico; agreement was reached during the trip about the creation of a Soviet-Mexican parliamentary group.
At the beginning of April the text of a letter (of 20 February) from Lopez Mateos to N. S. Khrushchev was published. This was a reply to Khrushchev's 31 December 1963 message. Appraising the message positively, Mateos suggested applying a universal nature to the treaty both in the sense of the participants as well as the content. This concerned completely excluding the use of force not only in the solution of territorial conflicts but also in the solution of international disputes entirely.
Trade data in 1961-1962 (there is still no new data) demonstrate a tendency toward a growth of Soviet-Mexican trade turnover. Compared to 1961 trade turnover between the two countries in 1962 increased correspondingly from 0.4 million to 6.7 million rubles.
It is true, from the purely economic point of view the trade is not advantageous for the Soviet Union's foreign trade balance: the Soviet Union imported 6.6 million rubles of goods from Mexico; Mexico imported 0.1 million rubles of Soviet goods, at the same time only 3,000 rubles of machines and equipment.
Mexico has the most active relations with Yugoslavia and Poland among the other socialist countries. Mexico exchanged visits of national leaders with these countries in 1963 (in March J. Cyrankiewicz was in Mexico, and A. Lopez Mateos was in Poland and Yugoslavia, and in October 1963 Tito visited Mexico). Mexico maintains only trade relations with the PRC, refraining from recognizing it for the time being.
Mexico and world problems
Mexico is a UN members and it actively participates in the solution of important world problems. The government of Mexico supports the principle of peaceful coexistence.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on 14 October 1959 A. Lopez Mateos declared, "We proceed in our foreign policy from the firm conviction that there exist no conflicts which cannot be solved by peaceful means".
The 13 November 1962 Proclamation of the National Congress of Mexico to the parliaments of all countries calling for peace, complete disarmament, and a prohibition on nuclear testing for military purposes received a broad reaction from world public opinion.
Mexico plays an active role in the Disarmament Committee. A very important political act of 1963 was the 21 March 1963 A. Lopez Mateos appeal to the countries of Latin America about a declaration of this region as [a region] of peace, a nuclear-free zone. He turned to the presidents of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador with this proposal and received favorable replies.
Mexican representative L. Nerve spoke at the Committee of 18 [Nations] on Disarmament on 6 May 1963 and read a message from A. Mateos that "Mexico commits itself not to allow other powers to create nuclear bases on its territory and proposes the creation of similar nuclear-free zones in other regions of the world". A Declaration of the 11 [sic] was adopted in the UN General Assembly Political Committee by 39 votes and is a considerable contribution to the cause of the fight for peace and disarmament.
Mexico is one of the first to accede to the Moscow Treaty and had a high opinion of it.
Speaking of the Mexican UN Mission the active role which Mexico plays in the group of neutral countries needs to be noted. Soon after the signing of the Moscow Treaty Mexico was one of the initiators of a conference of eight neutral countries, which was held on 19 August in the Committee of 18.
Somewhat earlier, on 16 August 1963, it spoke in the Committee of 18
in favor of the conclusion of a non-aggression pact between the NATO member countries and the Warsaw Pact member countries.
With the support of the 17 countries which participated in the Geneva Talks on 18 October 1963 Mexico submitted the draft resolution of the 17 countries about a prohibition on launching spacecraft into orbit with nuclear weapons on board.
Mexico vigorously opposes the policy of apartheid pursued by the racist RSA government: only it alone of the Latin American countries voted for the practical sanctions against it envisioned by the draft resolution of 33 African and Asian countries.
But, while noting the positive role of Mexico in the UN, one cannot fail to note instances when it has voted in support of American policy:
On 6 June 1963: in the UN Committee to Verify the Credentials of General Assembly Delegates Mexico (along with the US, Greece, Canada, and El Salvador) voted against the Soviet resolution demanding a declaration that the credentials of the Taiwan representative [chankayshist] were invalid.
During the discussion in the Political Committee in February 1962 of the protest of Cuba against a threat which arose as a result of new plans for US aggression Mexico voted together with the Western bloc against the draft resolution of Romania and Czechoslovakia.
Of the recent events relating to Mexico's UN activity it is necessary to note the refusal to send military units to Cyprus.
The curious position of Mexico with regard to the so-called bloc of "non-aligned" countries. In fact, while pursuing a policy of neutrality, Mexico does not join in the practical steps undertaken by the group of neutral countries. It did not take part in the First Conference of the Non-Aligned Countries in Belgrade (1961), and responded to the second invitation made to it by Tito in his 28 December 1963 letter with an actual refusal, referring to the busy schedule of the diplomatic calendar in 1964, although it agreed in principle with advisability of such a conference, only recommending that its membership be expanded.
In conclusion, it can be said that the position of Mexico on the most important issues of international life is positive and, in the final account, promotes the preservation of peace and the victory of the principles of peaceful coexistence. But the Mexican government does not always display sufficient vigor and consistency in the implementation of the principles proclaimed.
MEXICO'S ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE USSR
Mexico was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union (in 1924). After a rupture in 1930, relations were restored in 1942.
Trade ties date their beginning to the middle of the 1920s; however, the trade turnover before the war was insignificant (the maximum [trade] turnover dated to 1936, when the volume of Soviet-Mexican trade reached two million rubles at the current rate of exchange). Mainly lead is exported from Mexico.
In the postwar years the Soviet side has repeatedly offered to conclude a trade agreement; however, this initiative has not received support from Mexico, which is too strongly dependent on the US in its foreign economic ties. In the past several years the maximum trade turnover occurred in 1963, when it increased by 50% over the 1962 level (at the expense of a growth of our imports from Mexico) and reached (according to data of the Soviet Trade Adviser in Mexico) 8,500,000 rubles' (including 8,400,000 rubles of imports from Mexico). Nevertheless, the proportion of the Soviet Union in the foreign trade turnover of Mexico is only 0.4% in recent years.
Our imports from Mexico are chiefly cotton and copper. Rice was also imported in 1962.
The Soviet exhibition in Mexico in November and December 1959, which was visited by 800,000 people, had a positive influence on the development of trade ties. The journal "Comercio Exterior de Mexico" (the publication of the largest National Bank for foreign trade in Mexico) wrote in 1960 in connection with the exhibition and the visit to Mexico of Cde. Mikoyan that "the development of trade with the countries of the socialist camp will lead to a weakening of the pernicious influence of US trade policy on the economies of the Latin American countries["]
Representatives of the government and business circles of Mexico have more than once made statements about the desirability of trade relations with the Soviet Union and the socialist countries (in particular, Minister of Industry and Commerce Lozano, Director of the National Bank for Foreign Trade R. Sebada, and others); however, up to the present time no practical steps have been undertaken in this direction by the Mexican side.
In the middle of May of this year an economic mission led by Sebada left Mexico which was to visit Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Soviet Union with the goal of identifying opportunities for the development of economic ties between Mexico and these countries.
Cotton and copper ought to be named among the Mexican goods whose importation into the USSR might be increased if conditions are favorable; they are also displaying a certain interest in citrus (fresh and canned) [fruits]. Various industrial equipment could be delivered from the Soviet Union to Mexico.
MEXICO'S ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE US
Mexico is one of the most important objects of American economic expansion in Latin America by virtue of geographic proximity.
The latest information available demonstrates that direct American investment in Mexico exceeds one billion dollars, while approximately half of this amount has been invested in the Mexican manufacturing industry. The US has more than 2/3 of all foreign investment in Mexico. The amount of American capital investment in the Mexican economy has more than tripled in the postwar years.
Of the approximately 1,000 enterprises belonging to foreign capital or controlled by them, 500 are American; however, in the middle of the '50s just 25 of the largest of them got a profit equal to the revenue of the federal budget of Mexico.
American companies produce 85% percent of the production of the mining industry. The three largest companies (American Smelting and Refining, American Metal, and Anaconda Copper) have more than 60% of the smelting of lead, 75% of the copper and zinc, and 40% of the silver and gold. According to information published in the US the profits of American companies in the Mexican manufacturing sector amount to 47% of the invested capital (1961). Enjoying the protection of the high customs tariffs in Mexico the subsidiaries of the largest American monopolies of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have been selling cars at twice the price than in the US itself.
The US has a dominant position in Mexican foreign trade. In the last several years their share of Mexican exports and imports has held at the level of 70-75% and only in 1962-1963 was a trend noted toward some reduction of the US share. Nevertheless, in 1963 up to 60% of Mexico's exports went to the US and up to 70% of the imports came from the United States. For a number of goods, also including the primary goods of Mexican exports, the US is the largest sales market. For example, up to 100% of all the sugar and meat exports go to the US, 95% of the copper, more than 75% of the coffee, lead, zinc, shrimp, 70% of the exports of cotton (however, 90% of the cotton imported from Mexico is then re-exported from the US), 60% of the cattle, etc. Since the US stopped purchases of sugar in Cuba and switched them to other countries, including to Mexico, sugar has occupied second place in its exports after cotton, pushing coffee into third place.
Equipment for the oil and electrical engineering industries, rail and automotive transportation, tractors, agricultural machinery, spare parts for them, etc. are imported to Mexico from the US. Although in a number of cases American equipment costs more than European [equipment] Mexican firms nevertheless buy American since they know it better, the delivery time is shorter, and the cost of transportation is less. In addition, the US is the main purchaser of Mexican goods. All this creates firm ties with American companies and leads to Mexico getting 70% of all imports of industrial equipment, 65% of the imported tractors, 80% of agricultural machinery, 80% of petroleum products, 70% of chemical products, etc. from the US. In trade with the US Mexico has a considerably negative balance, which is covered both by proceeds from foreign tourism and from foreign credits.
Up to 500,000 agricultural workers (braceros) head to the Southern States of the US from Mexico; however, in recent years the American authorities have been limiting the influx of the workforce from Mexico in every possible way. As a result of this only 195,000 people headed to the US in 1962, and 135,000 in 1963. Such a restrictive measure from outsiders creates additional difficulties for Mexico's balance of payments, and also aggravates the problem of employment in the country.
MEXICO'S ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE COUNTRIES OF THE WEST EUROPEAN "COMMON MARKET"
The countries of the European "Common Market" have about 10% of Mexico's total foreign trade turnover. West Germany occupies second place after the US; its share of Mexico's imports is about 8%, and more than 25% of the exports. Mexico has a negative trade balance with all six members of the "Common Market", which on the whole reaches $110-120,000,000. Cotton, coffee, silver, and non-ferrous metals are exported to West Germany and the other countries of the "Common Market". In 1963 85% of the French imports from Mexico were cotton, and about 75% of Italian [imports]. Mexico's trade turnover with the countries of the "Common Market" is tending to grow; however Mexico, like the other Latin American countries, is afraid of competition from the goods of African countries. As is well-known, the exports of coffee from African countries has quadrupled compared to the prewar level, whereas exports from the Latin American countries are not increasing. It is approximately the same situation with cacao. At the present time, for example, customs duties are not imposed on the imports of bananas and cacao in West Germany; however, the associated African countries end up in more favorable conditions than the Latin Americans, including Mexico, when a common tariff for third countries is introduced.
MEXICO'S ECONOMIC TIES WITH OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES
Mexico's trade turnover with the countries of Latin America is tending to grow. At the present time (1963) these countries have 3.6% of Mexico's total trade turnover; however, the share of Latin American countries in exports grew from 4% in 1961 to 6% in 1963, and from 1.5% to 2% in imports. The total turnover with all the countries of Latin American (including Cuba) increased from 590,000,000 pesos in 1961 to 733,000,000 pesos in 1962 and 987,000,000 pesos in 1963, that is, it grew by 67%.
The fastest growth has been noted in Mexico's trade with the countries of the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAST): during the same years turnover with these countries tripled (from 150,000,000 pesos to 460,000,000 pesos), while the growth of trade with Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru was especially notable.
The exports of manufactured household goods is beginning to develop both to the LAST countries and to the countries of Central America (fabrics, petrochemical goods and pharmaceuticals, and radioelectronics). The lowering of duties in the LAST countries for cast iron and steel by 32% is exerting a favorable influence on Mexican exports.
According to a report of the Soviet Trade Adviser in Mexico the turnover of Mexican trade with Cuba more than tripled in 1963 against the 1962 level, and reached almost $3 million (including $2.7 million of exports from Mexico).
Although there are definite prospects for the further development of economic ties between Mexico and the countries of Latin America, including those in LAST particularly, nevertheless at the present time the importance of these countries both for Mexico's exports and imports is relatively small. Approximately 90% of the value of all Mexican exports and more than 90% of imports are still to and from the US, the European countries, and Japan.
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This detailed report discusses the ruling political parties of Mexico, it's foreign relations and economic ties.
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