Courtesy Reuters

Mexico: The New Challenges

In 1985, Mexico will commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of its revolution. A new political system and social order was founded after 1910, which modernized our nation within a climate of democratic freedom and political stability. Now, toward the end of the century, Mexico faces harsh new challenges. Our economic development has brought structural imbalances which must be corrected, and we face the immediate impacts of external pressures, the international economic situation, and conflicts afflicting the international system in Central America, the Middle East and other regions of the world.

Contrary to predictions made two years ago, at the height of our crisis, when some said Mexico's capacity to maintain political stability and an adequate functioning economy was in doubt, the progress attained in overcoming our most critical difficulties is widely recognized today.

My government and the Mexican people have confronted severe tests of endurance. We have had to respond with drastic economic adjustment measures to resume a sustained recovery. We instituted reforms to strengthen the honesty and efficiency of the government. We are conducting a responsible foreign policy and, most important, we have drawn strength from the exemplary solidarity of our different social groups. Our citizens' participation has been decisive in overcoming the crisis.

Mexico is reaffirming its fundamental values. To the extent that we are able to maintain our nationalism, the commitment to satisfy the basic needs of our population, and our respect for law and democratic freedoms, our society will remain united. The greatest challenge we face at present is to translate these essential principles into new forms of public and social action.

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Our country's achievements and basic strengths can be understood only through an appreciation of the way our major social movements and unique political institutions developed over time.

After three centuries of colonial domination, Mexico was a predominantly agrarian and mineral-exporting country which had provided the largest single source of income for the Spanish Crown. The first struggle to inspire a broad-based movement of the Mexican people was

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