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MEXICO: Vincente Fox

The WAIS July 27-28, 2001 conference on "Globalization and its Discontents" will include a session on Mexico, viewed as excellent for a case study. I am hoping that we can get Vicente Fox to come to give a major address. He is now in Canada, where he addressed the Canadian parliament in Spanish, whereas Prime Minister Jean Chretien spoke in English. I assumed that Fox spoke good English, and I have received several messages saying he does, since he studied at Harvard. I suspect that in Canada he spoke in Spanish because it was an official address rather than a press conference (in Mexico he addressed one in English) and because he wanted to avoid the English-French problem. Mexico has a special relationship with Canada. In the past, it often stressed the Catholic "Latinity" of Mexico and Quebec, but Fox, after Ottawa, headed for Toronto, where the money is.

With the name "Fox," his family is obviously of Anglo, I believe American. However, his autobiography on his home page avoids the issue ,since he wants to avoid the charge of malinchismo, being the tool of the United States. To appeal to the common Mexicans, he suggests that he is of poor origin, but this is clearly not the case. He does not mention that his mother was Spanish. He says that he was educated by the Jesuits, and speaks of his children but not of his divorce. It may be assumed that someone is writing a biography of him which will fill in these blanks.

Ronald Hilton - 8/23/00