May 25, 2006
President Vicente Fox is visiting Mexico's former territories (!), and confronted Gov. Schwarzenegger over the immigration issue while in California. Speaking to the Utah legislature,* he insisted that building a wall will not solve the immigration problem (see BBC), and he is correct in a sense. The problem will continue as long as the Mexico retains its corrupt, statist economic system, and as long as the United States accommodates it by tolerating undocumented workers whose money sent back home props up the economies of Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
* [The U.S. Constitution forbids states from entering into agreements with foreign countries, and the meetings Fox is having with state officials might be considered a trespass into an exclusively Federal domain. Imagine if President Bush held direct talks with the governors of Chihuahua or other Mexican states.]
Votes have been counted from the legislative and local elections that were held last week, and the centrist Dominican Liberation Party of President Fernandez won a clear majority in both houses of Congress, with 22 Senate seats, up from just two before, and at least 90 of the 178 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Even former President Hipolito Mejia, of the center-left Dominican Revolutionary Party, has acknowledged that the elections were clean. The PRD won only 6 Senate seats, down from 29, and the center-right Reformist Social Christian Party won 4, up from just one. The PRD-PRSC alliance won 83 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Some election disputes have yet to be resolved, however, so the results are not yet final. See CNN.com.
Populist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala has fallen at least 12 percentage points behind Alan Garcia in the polls, and now he is warning of possible fraud as the June 4 elections approach. Ironically, he cited a comment by third-place candidate Lourdes Flores, who complained that she "lost at the tabulation tables, not at the ballot box" in the first-round elections on April 9. Humala's close affinity to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has alienated him from many Peruvians, who are too proud of their country to let Peru become a satellite of the tyrant in Caracas. See CNN.com.
I have put the final batch of photos from my 1989 trip to Central America on the new Honduras photo gallery page; just click on the adjacent thumbnail image. Also, the news chronology and political background sections of the Honduras page have been updated.