Courtesy Reuters

Mexico Shifts Her Foreign Policy

THE election of July 7, considered for months in advance as likely to be a turning point in Mexican affairs, undoubtedly deserves to be recorded as an event of singular importance, if only because it was both the freest and the most bitterly contested that had been held in that country for over a quarter of a century. Indeed, the violence of political rivalry which has marked the aftermath of the election bears witness to the intensity of the emotions and convictions which it brought into play. Nevertheless, in another and perhaps more significant sense, history may well refer to this consultation of the electorate as something of an anti-climax. Nearly a month before, the Mexican Government had already made what amounted to a declaration of policy, of which the full consequences cannot yet be determined but which disposed, at least for the time being, of the most acute issue of the day -- the possibility of armed insurrection by the opposition candidate for the presidency, General Juan Andreu Almazán.

On June 11, the publishers of the metropolitan press of Mexico City were convoked by Señor García Téllez, Minister of the Interior and ranking member of the Mexican Cabinet. With considerable solemnity, he informed them that President Cárdenas had just sent the following cablegram to President Lebrun of France: "I wish to inform Your Excellency of the painful impression upon my Government caused by Italy's declaration of war against the great French people, which has traditionally been the spokesman of human liberties and the rights of man, as well as of international morality. I reiterate my best wishes for the prosperity of the French people and for the personal well being of Your Excellency."

Taken at its face value, this communication was merely Mexico's customary expression of sympathy for a victim of aggression -- Italy having taken the initiative in declaring war on France. But viewed in relation to the trend of Mexican foreign policy since the outbreak

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