Memo From Mexico | Mexican Political Convention—Coming To LA

During this exciting and unpredictable political season, there is a political convention scheduled for September 30th, in Los Angeles, California.

It's not the Democratic Party, nor the Republican Party. Nor is it the Libertarian Party, the Green Party or the Constitution Party. It's not even the Labor Party, the Marijuana Party or the Socialist Alternative Party.

No, the party holding its convention on that date is the PAN—the Partido Acción Nacional, the National Action Party of…Mexico. (It's the party of Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox).

Now this is not an ordinary PAN convention, as they would hold here in Mexico. No, this is a convention specifically designed for Mexican PANistas living in the U.S.A.—some of whom are American citizens!

What's going on here?

What's going on is that the political worlds of the U.S. and Mexico are becoming more and more intertwined. Without debate, the U.S is marrying Mexico—or, perhaps more accurately, Mexico is marrying us. With the growth of dual citizenship, and our failure to plug our anchor baby loophole, we can expect more and more of this.

This is a rather recent phenomenon. If I may quote myself from a previous article:

"There was a time, not long ago, when the Mexican government preferred not to mention nor even to acknowledge the existence of American citizens of Mexican ancestry. Was their existence not evidence that Mexican revolutionary nationalism had failed—the fact that some Mexicans were voting with their feet for the United States?

"However, in the waning years of the PRI, (the party that controlled Mexico throughout most of the twentieth century) this orientation began to change. The pochos or chicanos (slang terms for Mexican-Americans) in the United States began to be viewed not as an embarrassment or a sign of Mexico's economic failure, but as an opportunity –– an opportunity for the Mexican government to gain influence in the United States over migration policy, and thus keep the gates open for continued emigration.

"This change in orientation coincided with the rise of multiculturalism and ethnic identity politics in the United States. A number of links already exist between the Mexican government and U.S. Mexican-American and Hispanic activist organizations such as LULAC, MALDEF, and the National Council of La Raza. "[ Undue Influence -- the Government of Mexico and U.S. Immigration Policies, The Social Contract Press, Winter 2002]

Mexican meddling also goes hand in hand with the democratization of Mexico, which was a gradual process. In just a few decades, Mexico transformed itself from a one-party state to a pluralistic political system. Now, there are three political parties (the PAN, the PRI and the PRD—Party of the Democratic Revolution), which have about equal power.

But Mexican pluralism provides more reasons for friction with the U.S. Nowadays, the Mexican parties compete with each other as to who can stand up to the gringos, who can defend Mexico's sovereignty, and who can better stick up for the poor mistreated migrants in Gringolandia. That's why neither the Mexican Congress nor the Mexican president  can afford to ignore the Elvira Arellano melodrama, and why Felipe Calderon felt the need to bash U.S. immigration policy in his State of the Union address. If he doesn't, the opposition parties will call him a gringo lackey.

In the 2000 Mexican election, candidates Vicente Fox (PAN) and Cuauhtemoc Cardenas (PRD) both traveled to California to campaign among Mexicans there. There was not a peep of protest from our government.

Back in 1996, Mexico legalized dual nationality to allow Mexicans to have their cake and eat it too, and to better influence the U.S. political process. That meant there was no legal impediment to Mexicans voting in both countries.

There was a physical impediment, however. Mexico lacked an absentee ballot system. The Mexican government was dragging its feet on this one. Finally, in 2006, Mexicans in the U.S. were allowed to vote in the Mexican presidential election with absentee ballots, but the system was complicated and comparatively few registered, much less voted.

In the future, though, that could change, especially with Mexican political parties recruiting voters.

The first party to really start moving in the U.S. was the PRD under the party leadership of AMLO (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (1996-1999). The PRD, by the way, has proposed in the past that the entire U.S.A. be converted into Mexico's 6th circunscripción (electoral super-district). Under that plan, Mexicans residing in the U.S. would directly elect Mexican senators and representatives to specifically represent them.

The PAN saw how the PRD was organizing north of the border, and in 2005 began its own organization stateside.

In the ceremony held to set up a U.S. branch of the PAN, then-party leader Luis Felipe Bravo stated that the objective was not to meddle in U.S. politics:

"We are a party committed to the work for Mexico and in Mexico. In that sense, we neither commit ourselves nor will we commit ourselves to any political agenda abroad. Let it be clear, our only agenda is a Mexican political agenda, and we will not take action in U.S. politics." [PAN Press Release, February 6, 2005]

That all sounds fine and dandy…maybe. However, given the dynamics of the current situation, and the profile of some of the PAN activists in the U.S. (more on that later), that commitment might be taken with a grain of salt.

In two years the PAN has done a lot of organizing, and now has chapters in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Texas, Colorado, Philadelphia, Arizona, New York, Georgia, Delaware, Oregon , Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Mexican political parties are more tightly-run than American political parties. And within Mexico , the PAN is better organized than the PRD. So it's not surprising that the PAN already has a network of 10 party committees in the U.S. , ruled by a 9-man general consultative council and a General Representative, who is the party leader in the U.S. In addition, there are officially-designated "state" and "county" representatives. Those "states" are American states, not Mexican states. And Mexico doesn't even have counties, so you know they're talking about American counties. See list here,

The PAN convention is scheduled for September 30th, at the Plaza Mexico, in the chambers of the Restaurant Huasteca. The stated goal of the PAN is to increase membership in the U.S.A. in the wake of the legalization of Mexicans voting in the U.S. It's possible that PAN chairman Manuel Espino is going to attend. [PAN intenta posicionarse entre paisanos en EU mediante congreso, Lilia Saúl,  El Universal, Sept. 4th, 2007]

In theory, I wouldn't object to foreigners meeting with fellow party members inside the U.S., as long as their meetings were all directed toward politicking in their country.

After all, as an American Republican in Mexico I vote in U.S. elections by absentee ballot and I appreciate that right.

The GOP has its "Republicans Abroad" organization, and the Democrats their "Democrats Abroad " organization . But these groups exist to help American expatriates register and vote while living abroad, and to support the party from afar.

I should also add, in the interests of full disclosure, that my Mexican wife and my in-laws vote for the PAN. My mother-in-law is an especially loyal PANista. So I'm not against the party itself.

However, we must face the reality of the present situation. We have millions of Mexicans, growing numbers of dual citizens, an assertive Mexican identity which resists assimilation and even fantasizes about reconquista, and a Mexican government claiming these emigrants' loyalty, agitating in favor of illegal aliens, and meddling.

So it would behoove us to take note of any Mexican political activity on U.S. soil.

A look at a few of these PAN activists in the U.S. shows you why.

One of the members of the U.S. PAN consultative council is none other than Juan Hernandez, of Dallas , Texas .

You may recall Mr. Hernandez, of whom I've written before.

Hernandez is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico. In the 1990s, he set up the first meeting between the future presidents George Bush and Vicente Fox.

When Fox became president of Mexico in 2000, Hernandez became chief of the Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad, serving in that position until forced out in a turf battle with Jorge Castaneda.

But while heading up the Mexicans Abroad office, Hernandez tirelessly made the rounds in the U.S., agitating for illegal alien amnesty and for the non-assimilation of Mexican immigrants and their continued loyalty to Mexico. In a 2001 Nightline interview Hernandez famously remarked that

"We are betting that the Mexican American population in the United States … will think Mexico first."[Nightline With Ted Koppel, June 7, 2001]

Yes, that Juan Hernandez—Mexican agitator, dual citizen, PAN activist. We need to continue to keep an eye on this guy.

Another active PANISTA in the U.S. is Juvencio Rocha Peralta. Rocha resides in North Carolina, where he has managed to establish himself as a Mexican activist as leader of the Mexican Association of North Carolina.  Rocha has naturalized as a U.S. citizen, but apparently didn't take the oath of citizenship seriously, as he is still acting as a Mexican citizen active in Mexican politics.(This is the sort of activity that at one time caused citizenship to be revoked.) And he's a PAN activist and "county representative" in North Carolina.  Here are a few Rocha quotes so you can see where he's coming from:

"We are talking about civil rights, and we feel like it's time for us newcomers across the U.S. to play a civic role. Mexicans have been waiting for a long time for immigration, and the debate has just gone on and on and on." 

And

"The work force in our state depends a lot on us, especially in the farm, poultry and construction industries. North Carolina has a lot of rural communities and much of that work force are Latinos."  [Quoted at  Thinkexist.com]

Yes sir, this fellow has really assimilated, hasn't he?

Juvencio Rocha was even quoted in the New York Times last year, in a nauseating pro-illegal alien agitprop piece by Julia Preston, entitled "Rules Collide with Reality in the Immigration Debate". (May 29th, 2006)

Here's what Julie said about Juvencio,

"Juvencio Rocha Peralta, the president of the Mexican Association of North Carolina, an advocacy group, said Mexicans felt trapped in a system that seemed contradictory.

"'You make us break the law because you don't give us an opportunity to be legal,' said Mr. Peralta, who came here as an illegal farm worker years ago but was granted amnesty in 1986 and is now a naturalized American citizen. 'You take my labor, but you won't give me documents.' "

Yeah, that's the attitude of Juvencio Rocha Peralta, dual Mexican-U.S. citizen. Do you have any doubt what sort of causes he'll be promoting as a PAN activist?

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) 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.