US risks alienating Mexico

3/31/2017 Financial Times

trumpThere are two conflicting narratives emerging from Washington on US relations with Mexico. One calls for a hard line that risks alienating Mexico; the other is a more constructive effort involving detailed negotiations on the troika of security, trade and migration.

We do not know which of these narratives will prevail. The former would be disastrous. There have been many times in the first half of the 20th century when enmity, not friendship, prevailed. Just look back to such events as the US occupation of Veracruz in 1914; US General John J Pershing’s 1916 excursion into Mexico; and the 1917 “Zimmermann telegram” when Germany’s foreign minister called on Mexico to enter the war against the US. And in 1938, Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas nationalised oil and other companies — mainly US ones. By contrast, recent decades have seen highly constructive and solid relations between the two countries.

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