For a second day, Mexican TV news was devoted largely to Octavio Paz, the
occasion being his state funeral attended by a crowd of intellectual and
other leaders. In attendance was the whole cabinet, headed by President
Zedillo, who read a eulogy. In Spain also there were similar expressions
of sorrow, but Mexico tried to give the impression that the world was in
mourning. This was helped by a State Department spokesman, who said that
the American people shared Mexico's sorrow. The State Department would not
have issued a similar statement had the deceased been Carlos Fuentes, a
nagging critic of the U.S., or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Castro's buddy.
Octavio Paz, on the contrary, was friendly to the United States and a harsh
critic of Castro's regime. Mexican TV ran an interview with a Cuban writer
who had been a political prisoner and for whom Octavio Paz obtained
permission to leave Cuba.
Ronald Hilton - 03/27/98