Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ebrard and Calderón on Argentina's nationalization

It appeared perhaps rather odd that president Calderón would offer such strong pronunciations on Argentina's recent nationalization of YPF-Repsol. After all, this is a man who just went to Cuba, where he reversed the "Castañeda doctrine" by offering not a word of criticism of the Cuban dictatorship and its atrocious human rights record. Yet now he saw fit to declare Argentina's decision "irresponsible and irrational."

The human rights of oil company stockholders are worth more than a word of encouragement for human rights in Cuba, it seems. Of course, there's also a direct stake here: PEMEX, Mexico's sclerotic state-owned oil company with, as it were, more restrictions on private capital than even Cuba's national oil company, has a share in Repsol.

Mexico City mayor and hopefully Mexico's next president in 2018, Marcelo Ebrard, instead responded,
we have to respect the decisions made elsewhere.In all of Mexico's history one has done this, in the self-determination of peoples, and if the people of Argentina and its government have made ​​this decision, we must respect it.
And he noted the obvious, of course: Mexico's oil industry is in national hands following its own nationalization in 1938.

Yet that is exactly the point, though: Calderón's party founded PAN the very next year, 1939, as a direct reaction to Cárdenas' progressive policies. And among the parties founders were none other than Luis Calderón Vega. As such, Calderón's criticism of Argentina is absolutely logical.

That doesn't necessarily make it valid.

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