Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A Beginning of a series of reports and opinions about Mexican and American political events...recent and future


The meaning of the Mexican by-elections, 6 June 2016:

     The results of the fourteen States elections were, to be sure and certain, a total loss for the venerable but severely dysfunctional Partido de la Revolucion Institucional (PRI) A few battles were won.  Some allegiances and multi-party arrangements helped them a bit, but the opposition, left and right, managed to convincingly win the war.

     The leading force in this "retaking" of the general political landscape was, thankfully, the Partido de Accion Nacional (PAN), Mexico's bulwark conservative party.   Suffice to say, it is a party with as many complications as the American Republican Party, with as many thin slices and types of conservative thinking as we have.   In this episode, however, there were obvious signs that they were able to  unify forces in mid-battle, and win, win, win.

      Tamaulipas, the State wherein our little home is found, has voted the "government party" way since the Mexican Revolution.  Even during the hiatus of the PAN's holding the Presidency from 2001 - 2013, the PRI managed to hold onto various of "their States", such as Tamaulipas and its neighbour to the South, Vera Cruz State.   Both of those States have not known a governor from any opposition party for over eighty years.

     We cite Tamaulipas, for one reason, because of its proximity as a border state to Texas.  It is also a powerful agricultural State....sorghum, honey, valencia orange, industrial and fine limes, ranching, and now even forestry.   It is a major....let us say, very major....industrial State with massive maquiladora outlays employing nearly 300,000 Mexicans.   There are also an estimated 30,000 Americans (Texans, primarily) who are directly or indirectly employed or tied into these industrial concerns.
   Massive fishing and major maritime shipping concerns, petroleum / natural gas operations and refining, and terrestrial transportation (freight and human) are folded into an economy that does in a week what the "workers' paradise" of the Castros cannot do in a year, even with three times the population.
Francisco Javier Garcia Cabeza de Vaca,
Gobernador-electo, Tamaulipas, Mexico 

     On top of these figures, one must also point out that 31 of the 43 counties of the State of Tamaulipas voted PAN for the office of Presidente Municipal (County President)....including Reynosa where a female PAN president was voted in to head the local government of Tamaulipas's largest city (1,000,000 population).  In all, eight of the largest ten cities/counties went for the PAN.
     To further show the sociological impact of this vote, twelve of the fifteen smallest counties voted PAN.

     The newly elected governor-to-be won the election with 51 per cent of the vote, with his nearest opponent gaining about 35 per cent.  The depiction of Garcia-Cabeza de Vaca we have placed here, speaks to the emblem drawn his maternal surname, Head (or skull) of a Cow.
    The surname is associated with a famous character from the Spanish Colonial Period, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (1490 - 1558) who was a survivor along with his valet-slave of a shipwreck probably just north of what is now present day Corpus Christi, Texas.   He and his Man Friday Esteban (an Arab), and two other Spaniards survivors of the maritime misadventures, dealt with very un-whiteman friendly Indians...but amicably and successfully in the final analysis....and walked from their 'point of disembarkation' all the way to a Spanish outpost presidio in a place that would become the international urban complex of Juarez - El Paso in these times.
   Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's two surnames indicate that he was most certainly carrying large amounts of Sephardic Hebrew genetic material in his genes.  He was also a Spanish aristocrat, adventurer, and lived a good a prosperous life.....with setbacks and success.  He is a combination of El Cid and Don Quijote, (and let me add Jose de Escandon y Hilguera, 1700 - 1770, Conde de la Sierra Gorda y Governor-General of Nuevo Santander), a true and noble aristocrat as well as a type of liberal do-gooder (for his time). 

     We close this analysis with a bit about neighbouring Vera Cruz State.   There an alliance with the centre-left Partido Revolucionario Democratico allowed the PAN to carry the State against the PAN candidate's own first cousin being the "official" PRI candidate.  The PRI candidate was working with an alliance of four other smaller left-wind and "environmental" parties.   There the PAN carried the vote very substantially, spite of the fact that the PRI candidate declared victory on election day, early and often...but finally accepted that the PAN had won a decisive victory.

    Why the alliance between the right-wing PAN and the left-wing PRD?  Primarily because the PRD required only to be allowed to continue governing, if they were to win, in the counties where they had been installed and done good to excellent local municipal where there have been noteworthy community advances and improvements.   There are, to be sure, about ten or so such places in Vera Cruz State.   The PRD in Vera Cruz is decidedly un-like the near-Stalinist PRD's national complexion or the spin-off....Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Partido Moreno (Brown Party).   Lopez Abrader is an old lefty warhorse who led the PRD to defeat in two presidential elections.  He was also famous for having caused traffic chaos in Mexico City for months, leading useless occupations of major traffic arteries and plazas.

     Finally, these by-elections might well become the coup-de-grace of the PRI.  The reconstitution of the revitalised National Action Party (PAN), showing a growing maturity, a defined and understandable mission, and really fine candidates seems to be prepared to re-assume governance and the willingness to continue the disassembly of the organised crime elements.

     There will be much more to-morrow, especially about the issues facing the American electorate.
El Gringo Viejo