George W. Bush and Vicente Fox had a very pleasant get-together in Mexico on January 12. Could it be that they are amigos again?
They've had their problems the past few years. There was Bush's failure to deliver on an immigration accord. There was Fox's cancellation of a trip to Texas, because of that Mexican cop-killer's execution. And, of course, Fox didn't support the Iraq war.
But all that looks like water under the bridge now.
The backdrop for this friendly reunion was the "Special Summit of the Americas", held in Monterrey, Mexico on January 12-13.
And quite a summit it was. Mexican commentator Sergio Sarmiento estimates that the Mexican government spent $50 million dollars hosting it! (Costo-beneficio, Sergio Sarmiento, El Siglo de Torreon, January 13th, 2004)
Now what could the Mexican government have done with that $50 million dollars, besides hosting a summit?
Nevertheless, the Special Summit was not without its own interesting developments to relieve the tedium—albeit nothing quite like the embarrassing flap with Fidel Castro at a 2002 UN summit in the same city .
Fidel wasn't even invited to this get-together, although every other head of state in the Western Hemisphere was.
The summit ended on Tuesday the 13th (Tuesday the 13th is the Spanish equivalent of the English Friday the 13th, by the way). And at the closing ceremony, as Fox was speaking, a row erupted between the presidents of Bolivia and Chile. Back in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), Bolivia lost its entire coastline to Chile and wants it back. (Clausura Fox Cumbre de las Américas, El Universal, January 13th, 2004)
The "Declaration of Nuevo León" signed at the summit officially supports the establishment of the FTAA, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, of which both Fox and Bush are big boosters.
This proposal deserves more scrutiny, as critics predict it could become a Western Hemisphere equivalent of the European Union.
After President Bush announced on January 7th the proposal which we refer to at VDARE.com as "The Bush Betrayal," Vicente Fox had responded that "It's much tinier than what we were looking for."
But by the time the summit rolled around a few days later, Fox publicly embraced the Amnesty Proposal (Bush, Fox Forge Immigration Agreement, AP, January 12th, 2004) and even congratulated Bush on the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Things seemed pretty peachy-keen between the two amigos.
Just what's going on with these two guys? They seem to have a strange sort of symbiotic relationship—they feel they need each other.
Bush thinks Fox helps him in his quest for the "Hispanic Vote," which he's willing to pursue at the risk of alienating his own base. But try as he might, Bush cannot seem to win the hearts and minds of most Hispanics.
Certainly not the merchants of "Latino T-Shirts," who do a brisk business of hawking t-shirts with anti-Bush slogans. (Click here to see for yourself.)
For Vicente Fox, whose presidency has been a disappointment in many ways, accomplishing something on the immigration issue is and always has been a number one priority. Fox continues to work toward his dream of open borders.
Of course he supports the Bush Amnesty Proposal—because it's a definite step along the way. As long as Mexicans are moving northward, Fox is still in the game.
The fact that the Bush Betrayal doesn't immediately grant citizenship to those legalized is only a detail. If legalized Mexicans stick around long enough, they will acquire citizenship. Meanwhile, their U.S.-born children are citizens already.
Besides, as the distinction between U.S. citizen and non-citizen blurs increasingly, that matters less and less.
Just a few days after the summit, on January 15th, Fox was in the state of Michoacan (a major source of emigrants to the U.S.).
There, he defended the Bush Betrayal, promised that illegals in the U.S. would be legalized, touted the totalization Social Security plan, and made it clear that "his administration would seek a total accord between the [Mexican] government and the American Congress." (Defiende Fox plan migratorio de Bush, January 16th, 2004, El Siglo de Torreón)
Definitely, Vicente Fox is still in the game.
But is George W. Bush? And is America?
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he holds an FM-2 residency and work permit, but serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.