Mexico: The Birthplace of U.S. Interventionism (La Jornada, Mexico)
For those seeking to understand the growing suspicion in Mexico that the “drug war” is being used as a pretext for U.S. intervention if not outright invasion, this article by Gilberto Lopez y Rivas of Mexico’s La Jornada will undoubtedly prove illuminating. This is history from a Mexican point of view – and it is anything but flattering to the the United States.
For La Jornada, Gilberto Lopez y Rivas writes in part:
Mexico is the only developing capitalist country with a land border with the United States, the hegemonic head of the imperialist global system. It is also unique in Latin America for having had a conventional war with the country (1846-1848). Significantly, Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to our country, distinguished himself by his interference in our domestic affairs and his insistence on acquiring the northern or interior provinces, which were then completely conquered through force of arms and formerly bequeathed to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in February 1848.
Gastón García Cantú, in his classic book The North American Invasions of Mexico, cites the opinion of [Spanish officer] Félix María Calleja, brigade commander of San Luis Potosi and a leading expert on the interior provinces. Already in 1808, Calleja considered that the United States, “by its proximity, interests, and relationships, should always be considered our natural and permanent enemy.” His work also offers a time line stretching from 1799 to 1918 – before independence and during the Republic – in which he details 285 acts of aggression against our country, including early plans for the occupation of Mexico by New Spain; armed expeditions pursued by militias or adventurers; the capture of schooners flying the Mexican flag and the illegal imprisonment of their crews; the revolt of Anglo settlers against the government on the part of separatists; the abduction and molestation of soldiers stationed at the border; acts by filibusters that included the taking of towns; constant encroachment on our nation’s territory by Yankee troops; cattle-rustling; the pillaging and burning of homes under the protection of the authorities of this country; diplomatic interventions comprised of unacceptable demands that violated our sovereignty; the presence of warships and marine landings at various ports along the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, etcetera. Garcia Cantú maintained that the government’s policy toward the United States was one of the most important parameters for assessing the performance of whatever government was in office.
Although Mexico shares a history of U.S. invasions, occupations and direct military attacks with Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Argentina, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Granada, and Honduras – to say nothing of the clandestine operations suffered by these and other countries in Latin America – our long common border has made our country an iconic case of long-established U.S. interventionism throughout the world.
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