The Ukraine crisis continues to dominate global politics. Hence, we started our interview with Javier Gutiérrez, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Labor Party (Partido de Trabajo). But as we are in Mexico, the interview evolved fast to the President’s peace proposal, than to US-Mexican relations, with the upcoming elections in mind.
At the end, it was the figure of the British rock star Rod Stewart that helped constructing a bridge over time and space, from the beginning of the 20th century to today, from Türkiye and Mexico that meet in the streets of Frankfurt, Germany or New York, United States.
The interview was made in Mexico City.
As it’s the most debated issue globally, let us begin with your opinion on the Ukraine conflict. Between what actors does the conflict take place?
On the paper, this is a conflict between Ukraine and Russia. These are the two sides fighting each other. But what are the interests behind the conflict?
The West “wants to divide Russia, as they did in Yugoslavia”
In Ukraine, they have made the so-called Maidan coup d’état and forced the legal president out of power, which was taken overnight by armed groups. These established a pro-Western, pro-NATO, fascist government that planned to deploy missiles at the Russian border, violating previous agreements between the West and Russia. Supported by global Western powers, the Azov Battalion committed great massacres against the Russian-speaking population, of which nobody speaks.
Just as they divided and destroyed Yugoslavia, they want to divide the Russian Federation, because there is the great territory and the great resources behind.
And they committed incredible crimes in the Eastern parts of the country against Russian-speaking population. This population is actually Russian, their parents, their grandparents are Russians. And these massacres were the final straw.
Did you know what Fidel Castro said 30 years ago? ‘The next war in Europe will be between Russia and fascism. Just this time, fascism will be called ‘democracy’.
How does Latin America perceive the conflict? The way that you do?
No, there is a huge control in communication media here by the United States. They turn the story upside down, not acknowledging the history.
The US does the same as they did when they annexed Texas from us. They told the US Americans were the majority there, and then, they invaded us.
But Russia has a standing, regular army. It is not Mexico in the 19th century, nor Granada, nor Santo Domingo.
But the Mexican government takes a different stance.
Yes. Look, the Mexican government and its fundamental program of the Fourth Transformation is a coalition between MORENA, the Labor Party and the Green Party.
Mexico has made a proposal to save the peace and reestablish dialogue. We consider that the UN has failed here, and we observe that NATO is not willing to support peace.
NATO’s plan “will fail terribly”
But NATO’s plan will fail terribly. We can already observe that in the field of energy trade. Besides, the Russians are of a kind that speaks less and acts more. They clearly warned against the deployment of missiles. They said: We have our own here, they are ready, and if necessary, we will use them.
Very specific relation between the US and Mexico
Mexico has made a peace proposal. But even before that, the Mexican government has rejected applying sanctions. Does that position still hold, and do you think that Mexico will be able resist possible US pressure?
Yes, we are against sanctions, because these harm the people and not the governments. In case of pressure, what we will do is to enter a dialogue.
Mexico has a economic, geostrategic and military relation with the United States different than others. What is the difference?
The United States is no. 1 in the world economy. The state of California alone is number 6 in global economy, and the state of Texas is number 12. And we as Mexico have a very strong relationship to these two states.To begin with, they were part of Mexico before.
25-30 million Mexicans from California to Texas
Secondly, along this belt from California to Texas, there are approximately 25 to 30 million Mexicans or people of Mexican origin. And they are not only dishwashers. Some of them are engineers, lawyers and businesspeople. And they command an economy hundred times that of the Cubans in Florida, to give you an idea.
And when he came to power, we told this to US President Trump: When the United States arrived to that territories, there were already the Mexicans. That is the reason why his ‘wall’ against immigration has failed and will fail.
Additionally, we have economic relations with the United States incomparable to other countries. 5 years ago, the trade volume between the US and Mexico was one million dollars – a minute! That is, every minute, goods worth a million dollar were exchanged between our countries. (To help with the number, that mounts to approximately 1.5 billion dollars of trade daily and more than 500 billion a year, UWI.)
What does that mean for the situation that the US exercises too much pressure on Mexico?
There are a number of interests that would oppose a treatment of Mexico, as Washington does that against for instance Türkiye.
Mexico and elections in the US
Let’s take a closer look at that relation. The elections are coming in November in the US. What is your expectation for them? Do you support one of the sides, bet on one them?
We cannot say we bet on this or that side, because that would correspond to an intervention into domestic affairs, which contradicts our principles. We are very Juaristas: “Among individuals as among nations, the respect to other people’s rights is peace”, as Benito Juarez had postulated.
It is the matter of the people of the United States of America to choose it’s government.
Now take good care: the Spanish had conquered this part of the world. In the schools, we were taught that the Spanish had conquered us. But when we went to Spain on ourselves, we discovered there were 5, 10 or even 15 different Spains. There were the Basks, there were the Catalans, there were the Castilian and so on.
Well then. The following is the position of our government and of my political party: We cannot meddle into a foreign election. As I said, we are very Juaristas in the sense. This is the first point.
The second point is the following: We do well have the possibility to make a call to the Mexicans in the US – and these are a lot: that they should not vote for people who have a terrorist attitude against immigrants. Now, 5 million votes can change the results of an election, right? There are far more than 5 million Mexican voters in the United States.
This is without making a call for whom to vote. Whoever wins the elections is for us the government of the United States.
If Mexico destabilizes, “something will happen to the US too”
Let us take an example: The governor of Texas has called Washington to define drug traffickers as “terrorists”. What does that mean in that context?
You know what using the expression “terrorist” means? This means the possibility that the United States interferes militarily and politically into Mexico. Therefore, we do not accept this.
And we also reject that some of us are defined with this category, because this is not true. And if they want to do that, they will have problems.
We told them right in the face in the United Nations: ‘The drug traffickers and the drug addicts are you’. We will not permit that under any circumstance. When he was President, Trump wanted to do that, but he could not. And Biden has promised that he would not follow that path.
If Mexico destabilizes, something will happen to them too. If Türkiye destabilizes, nothing happens to the US. But if we destabilize, that has direct consequences for their own stability.
There is also the argument that Trump was less interventionist than Biden currently is, with all the pressures concerning energy reform, trans genetic corn, the financing of civil society groups, what the Mexican President himself denounced..
I had once a friend who was formerly federal deputy, then president of a city named Ciudad Acuña, right at the border to the US. He told me, years ago, something I still remember: ‘Ay cabrón! Our experience is that, every time the Democrat Party comes to power, we feel like in a turning wheel. You guys don’t see it, because you are at the center, but we at the border suffer like hell’.
Therefore, what we have to do in foreign policy is to insist that our sovereignty and we are respected. We do respect the people of the United States and its government sometimes does not exactly represent them. We will continue in insisting on respect, we will not meddle into their politics.
We will only say ‘consider and think about your vote’. If the Democrat candidate harms immigrants, ‘think about your vote’. We cannot tell them for whom to vote, but we can say ‘think about your vote’.
Mexicans: The ‘Young Turks’ in the US
How patriotic are the Mexicans in the United States?
As patriotic as the Turks in Europe. You know that the famous British rock star Rod Stewart made a song named “The Young Turks”. That term, coming from the nationalist movement in Türkiye at the beginning of the 20th century, is used in Britain to describe rebellious people. The Mexicans in the United States are like “Young Turks”.
You travel to New York of Chicago and visit the neighborhoods where the Mexicans live. You will see that they are good citizens of the United States, that they speak well English, but they are at the same time proud of Mexico and visit us frequently.
They are like “Young Turks”.