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HAVE YOU BEEN LIED TO?™

THE LIE:

NAFTA has been great for America and Mexico.

WRONG!

By Robert Colaco,
National Chairman
of Citizens For A Better America®.

The Clinton Administration and those that went along with the President in both major parties told us back in 1993 that the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would be great for the United States. They told us that it would drive our exports higher, that it would produce more jobs here than in Mexico, that it would really cut down on the traffic of illegal immigration coming across the southern border of the United States. They also told us that it would improve the Mexican economy, they told us that it would give Mexico the incentive to clean up its environment including environmental problems that affect the United States such as the polluted Rio Grande River by El Paso, Texas and the polluted Tijuana River by San Diego, California.

National Geographic published a special issue in August 1996, an in-depth expose on Mexico. I would certainly encourage you to get that issue and read it. The whole magazine is dedicated to just one article, “EMERGING MEXICO”. On page 7 of that issue National Geographic writes, “Today Mexico’s 95 million people seem poised for another momentous change. Rich in natural resources, blessed with strong family ties and a hardworking populace, Mexico is ready to move from the ranks of developing nations into a new role, this time as a modern player on the world stage. But those hopes have been tarnished, at least for the moment, by political corruption, civil unrest, environmental pollution, and the Mexican government’s devaluation of the peso. The resulting economic woes have exacerbated tensions along the United States-Mexico border, where drug trafficking and illegal immigration rise each time the peso falls.” Remember this is after NAFTA. The article goes on to say, “Such ripples touch neighbors in all directions, for our lives are ever more closely linked - by the North American Free Trade Agreement, by the recent guarantee of 20 billion dollars in U.S. loans to Mexico, by the growing influence of hispanic culture spreading north of the border, by the hefty U.S. investment in new businesses south of the border,...”.

Did you see that, “by the hefty U.S. investment in new businesses south of the border”. If U.S. businesses are investing in Mexico, that would mean they are investing less in the U.S. No wonder we have the high anxiety about jobs that we do. NAFTA continues to negatively affect your job, your future. This is exactly what the Pro NAFTA bunch told us would not happen.

The National Geographic expose continues on page 10 with more, “Drug trafficking is increasing. Pollution is legendary. Politics are in turmoil. And, though the country is a partner in a dramatic new experiment in trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico has been battered by the recent devaluation of its currency. The gap between rich and poor is widening. The poor-both the cramped residents of the teeming cities and the indigenous peoples of the forests-are growing restless. Even the relatively small middle class has conducted protests and work disruptions. Everyone, it seems, wants something new.” In fact, National Geographic goes on to talk about (on page 23) how everything was going so great for Mexico. Then they say: “But catastrophe hit in 1994: Indians rebelled in Chiapas on the day NAFTA took effect.” It’s important to note that not only were the overwhelming number of Americans upset about NAFTA but the “Indians rebelled in Chiapas on the very day that NAFTA took effect”.

Lets, let Foreign Affairs, the magazine published by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. (an organization that certainly seems very Pro NAFTA) shed some more light on this. In its November/December 1993 issue the summary for its article “The Uncomfortable Truth about NAFTA” said, “The trade agreement is really about helping a friendly and important neighbor in its yet uncompleted economic and political reform.” The article went on to explain how Salinas proposed NAFTA, how “Salinas has overseen a radical liberalization of the Mexican economy, above all in international trade.”... “But the reform has not yet delivered ...” “Unemployment remains far higher and real wages far lower than in 1980.” “For the United States, this agreement is not about jobs. It is not even about economic efficiency and growth. It is about doing what we can to help a friendly government succeed.”

The National Geographic article explains what happen, let me quote at length:

“The PRI’s presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, was assassinated by a 23-year-old factory worker, who claimed to be acting alone, although conspiracy theories abound. Investors from abroad-and Mexican businessmen - lost confidence in Mexico, forcing the new president, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, to devalue the peso. A severe recession ensued, throwing more than a million people out of work. Although Mexico’s trade surplus with the U.S. surged to an all-time high in 1995, based largely on the peso’s lower value, the economy is still floundering.

“So is the PRI. Salinas’s once shining image and the hope it represented to the Mexican people were both tarnished by the revelations that his brother may have spirited more than 100 million dollars from the nation’s treasury.

“‘The system is dead,’ author Carlos Fuentes told Charles Krause, who found evidence of change all over Mexico, though not that dramatic: A free press is struggling to emerge in print and television. Opposition parties have won important local elections. The middle class, battered by the crisis, is restless. ‘People are really frustrated,’ said a teacher. ‘they want to pay off what they owe, but they can’t. If things get worse, an uprising could very well come from some sector of the population. What else could people do?’”

This is not Presidential Candidate Pat Buchanan saying these things, it is National Geographic. I have never heard of anyone accusing National Geographic of being “extremist”.

As if it was not bad enough what the National Geographic says but lets conclude with some quotes from Reader’s Digest (January 1996 article “Our Drug-Plagued Mexican Border” on page 54). “The root of the problem? Insiders say the agency is more concerned with making border trade convenient than with interdicting drugs. As the Treasury Department’s assistant inspector general for investigations, James M. Cottos, told U.S. Customs Commissioner George Weise, ‘While facilitating international commerce, customs procedures may also be facilitating the entry of contraband.’” Reader’s Digest also has a highlighted, bolded box that says: “’The agency is letting up, ”says a former customs official. “And we’re drowning in drugs.’”

Again, this is Reader’s Digest saying this, not “extremist” Pat Buchanan.

What can you and I do about this? Well, my friends as I would tell our members in my monthly newsletter “The Good News Report” (sm), there is actually some good news here. You can vote for and do all you can to elect the men and women that are on our “GOOD GUYS” list. It is these men and women that responded to our Candidate Questionnaire as opposing this agreement. We asked the same questions whether they were running for School Board or U.S. Senate. It is all too easy for us Americans to complain about what is bad in our elected leaders, but when there are men and women that have gone against the Presidential Candidates of both major parties and opposed this agreement you and I need to do all we can to see to that they win their office. Even if you need to stay up all night rolling and tossing these flyers on your neighbor’s driveway through election day then you need to do just that. They are putting their careers and their lives on the line and you need to sacrifice much time, money and energy to help them because they have stood against the sell out of America.

Published and paid for by Citizens For A Better America®, P.O. Box 7647, Van Nuys CA 91409 PHONE (818)757-1776
(c) copyright 1996 Citizens For A Better America®, all rights reserved. F.E.C. ID #C00278333

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