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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

neighbors, one is left with the feeling that we are hearing the pleas of
sophisticated attorneys arguing the case of their clients.
Both agree that Mexico's immense foreign debt, primarily to U.S.
banks, is the result of an asymmetrical relationship between two uneven
economies. Mexico, in spite of grand efforts, does not earn enough dol-
lars to pay for what it buys, and the United States cannot help reverse
the trend by paying more attention to its neighbor because it is so con-
cerned about its eroding world prowess.
But Pastor prescribes less reliance on dollar-devouring protected in-
dustries and trade barriers and further integration of both economies,
a recommendation that is certainly not original. Mexico would become
one giant maquiladora, argues Castafieda, who does not give up com-
pletely on import substitution. Besides, severe economic dislocations
and tragic cultural ramifications would ensue from such a policy.
They also make disparate observations when they examine foreign
policy between the two nations. When Mexico did not support the
Reagan administration against Sandinista Nicaragua, the U.S. retali-
ated and sabotaged the Mexican economy, or so goes a prevailing opin-
ion in Mexico that is not Castafieda's. It has also engaged in Mexico
bashing, a la Jesse Helms, stirring up time-honored sources of resent-
ment among the American public, such as drug running and illegal im-
migration. But, Pastor counters, United States policy has been misread
and misinterpreted by overly sensitive, sometimes paranoid Mexican
politicians and intelligentsia. Castafieda partially agrees but offers that
the most scathing criticism of the United States has some basis in truth.
After reading this book, one does not come away startled by new reve-
lations or offended to any great degree by either position. At times,
however, Pastor's opinions seem to come from State Department press
releases, while Castafieda is more careful to extricate himself from con-
troversial positions held by Mexicans and their government.
The reader benefits to a larger degree from a wealth of knowledge
not available to scholars or laymen. These two scholars approach their
task confidently and self-assured, not just because they are careful re-
searchers but also because they have been intimately involved in the af-
fairs of their respective nations, prying out valuable knowledge for
those of us who are not privy to such sources. Castafieda has a long-
standing relationship with the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, and
Pastor has held high-level positions in the Department of State.
Arizona State University F. ARTURO ROSALES
Texas Forgotten Ports: Mid-Gulf Coast Ports from Corpus Christi to Mata-
gorda Bay. By Keith Guthrie. (Austin: Eakin Press, 1989. Pp. viii+


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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