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Mexicans' Feelings Toward U.S. in Crisis

October 18, 2001

Re "Mexico, Fair-Weather Friend," by Gregory Rodriguez, Opinion, Oct. 14: Mexico's tepid support of the U.S. at this time of crisis should come as no real surprise. Mexico has never viewed the U.S. as a friend, much less an ally. The U.S. has never been anything but a pressure-release valve for Mexico's disenfranchised indigenous Indian and mestizo population, which Mexico is happy to export. The upper-caste descendants of the Spaniards who currently rule Mexico are delighted to see their impoverished native populations flock to El Norte, where they get employment, free education and medical care and, what's more, then send their meager earnings back to Mexico.

People rarely like their rich uncles; they tolerate them only because they are rich.

Gordon J. Louttit

Manhattan Beach


The Opinion section had two very different takes on Mexican public opinion as it relates to the U.S. Rodriguez notes that recent polls show that more than two-thirds of Mexicans disagree with their government's decision to support the U.S. counterattack on Afghanistan. Rodriguez also points to a Reforma poll that found that nearly half of all Mexicans identified little or not at all with the U.S. He concludes that the Mexican government has had a much more positive view of the U.S. than the Mexican people have.

Frank del Olmo, in "Border Politics Just Shifted in Three Countries" (Commentary, Oct. 14), cites a Reforma poll that found that 78% of Mexicans feel a sense of solidarity with the U.S. He concludes that the general populace of Mexico has always been much more pro-American than the Mexican government. Both authors rely, at least partially, on Reforma polls.

The real conclusion, I believe, is that if you look hard enough, you can find at least some numbers to support your beliefs. Rodriguez and Del Olmo certainly did.

Jeffrey Stewart

Eagle Rock

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