The distinguished visitor from "la madre patria" was speaking to a conference of the PAN party, and openly endorsed the party's presidential candidate Felipe Calderon. (Mexico is engaged in its presidential election campaign.)
Aznar openly and clearly endorsed Calderon's candidacy, telling the group "I am here also to say that I hope and desire that Felipe Calderon will be the new president of Mexico, for the good of all Mexicans and the good of the country."
Aznar went on to say more good things about Calderon and the PAN, and that very night, following the speech, he departed Mexico by plane. But the damage had been done. Jose Maria Aznar, a non-Mexican, had endorsed a candidate in a Mexican presidential election! [Aznar, non grato, Rene Delgado, February 26th, 2006]
Not only was Aznar criticized by pundits and politicians, but the Mexican Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Congress) asked the Mexican government to tell Aznar to stay out of Mexican politics the next time he comes to visit.
Mexican congressman Rafael Garcia fulminated that
"José María Aznar and the PAN broke the law. They transgressed the Consitution. Only Mexicans can meet to discuss internal matters of the country. "
(Rafael García Tinajero, por el PRD, atacó dos frentes: "José María Aznar y el PAN violaron la ley. Transgredieron la Constitución. Sólo los mexicanos podrán reunirse para tratar asuntos internos del país".) [Piden diputados al Gobierno federal reconvenir a Aznar, Jorge Herrera, ElUniversal, Feb. 23rd, 2006]
Calderon's opponent, front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, didn't seem worried about the Aznar statement affecting the election results, but he did make clear that
"We do not want foreign princes nor foreign leaders to come to decide what is the responsibility only of Mexicans."
"Ya la historia lo ha demostrado, nosotros estamos hechos para resolver nuestros asuntos de manera libre y soberana, no queremos que vengan príncipes extranjeros ni líderes extranjeros que vengan a decidir lo que compete únicamente a los mexicanos", añadió. [Minimiza AMLO el apoyo de Aznar a Calderón, Gloria Leticia Diaz, Proceso, Feb. 22nd, 2006]
Calderon himself attempted to distance himself from the endorsement, with this statement:
"I am not seeking the support of former president Aznar. I have a respectful relationship with him. But we Mexicans are the only ones carrying out this campaign."
"No estoy buscando el apoyo del ex presidente Aznar, simplemente, tengo una relación respetuosa con él, pero esta campaña la estamos haciendo exclusivamente los mexicanos" y dijo que será Gobernación quien tome una definición. [Felipe Calderón se deslinda del aval de Aznar, Sergio Javier Jiménez, El Universal, February 23rd, 2006]
Mexicans don't like foreigners meddling in their internal politics.
The Mexican constitution even has a particular and well-known article which deals quite clearly with the status and expectations of non-Mexicans in Mexico. It's the famous Article 33:
Article 33 - Foreigners are those who do not possess the qualities determined in Article 30. They have the right to the guarantees of Chapter I of the first title of this Constitution, but the Executive of the Union has the exclusive right to expel from the national territory, immediately and without necessity of judicial proceedings, all foreigners whose stay it judges inconvenient. Foreigners may not, in any manner, involve themselves in the political affairs of the country.
ARTICULO 33. SON EXTRANJEROS LOS QUE NO POSEAN LAS CALIDADES DETERMINADAS EN EL ARTICULO 30. TIENEN DERECHO A LAS GARANTIAS QUE OTORGA EL CAPITULO I, TITULO PRIMERO, DE LA PRESENTE CONSTITUCION; PERO EL EJECUTIVO DE LA UNION TENDRA LA FACULTAD EXCLUSIVA DE HACER ABANDONAR EL TERRITORIO NACIONAL, INMEDIATAMENTE Y SIN NECESIDAD DE JUICIO PREVIO, A TODO EXTRANJERO CUYA PERMANENCIA JUZGUE INCONVENIENTE.
LOS EXTRANJEROS NO PODRAN DE NINGUNA MANERA INMISCUIRSE EN LOS ASUNTOS POLITICOS DEL PAIS.
Article 43 of the General Law of Population (Ley General de Población) states that:
"The admission to the country of a foreigner obliges him to strictly comply with the conditions established for him in the immigration permit and the dispositions established by the respective laws."
Americans have been expelled on the basis of these laws.
In 2002, 18 gringos were expelled for participating in May Day marches and later in the same year, five American citizens were expelled for participating in a demonstration demanding the release of some campesinos.
Mexico has the right to regulate its own immigration policy. Foreigners shouldn't meddle in Mexican affairs. And if they do, the Mexican government has every right to deport them.
For me this is not simply hypothetical. I, after all, am an American residing in Mexico with a permit granted by the Mexican government.
I strive to obey Mexican immigration law (and Mexican law in general). And if I don't, the Mexican government has every right to deport me as well.
Unlike in Mexico, few in the government or media seem to care about it. That's what's really astounding.
Mexican illegal aliens walk about openly, and even participate in demonstrations.
Mexican officials attack and seek to impede any U.S. legislation which might give us better control of immigration.
As I reported in a previous article, the Mexican government doesn't like HR4437, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. They're working to defeat it, or anything similar.
Former Spanish prime minister Aznar flew into Mexico, made his controversial remark, then flew out. In contrast, Mexican diplomats live in the United States and meddle constantly in U.S. politics. Some behave more like colonial governors than diplomats. And Mexican consulates are centers of support for illegal immigration.
Mexican officials make periodic forays into U.S. territory to work against U.S. immigration law and retain the loyalty of Mexicans and Americans of Mexican ancestry.
President Fox is notorious for this sort of thing. Just two years ago, while opening a Mexican consulate in Chicago, Fox declared that "We are Mexicans that live in our territories and we are Mexicans that live in other territories. In reality, we are 120 million people that live together and are working to construct a nation." [Mexican President Fox Begins Chicago Visit, By Nathanial Hernandez, AP, June 16th, 2004]
But no matter how outrageous the behavior of Mexican officials, none has ever been reprimanded by our government.
And that, my friends, is the real problem.
Mexican leaders meddle in the U.S. because they know they can get away with it.
But when it comes to their own country, they draw a clear line between Mexicans and foreigners.
We could learn from their example.
American citizen Allan Wall resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here, his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here www.allanwall.net. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.