"There are people who, like fine wine, mature and develop well, constantly learning and doing things better. Then there are people and there are wines which go in the opposite direction." - Vicente Fox
Former Mexican National Action Party (PAN) president Vicente Fox, who held office from 2000-2006, was interviewed by a national press source last week and once again used the opportunity to advance his arguments for worldwide drug legalization.
Fox has a plan on who should run narcotics enterprises, too: Mexican drug traffickers.
"Forgiveness is the greatest of human virtues," Fox said in a wide ranging interview. "We should pardon them. Those drug capos are going to change, once the product is regulated. They're going to begin to say to themselves, ' Why am I risking my hide, when I can turn a buck legally, even though, sure, I'll have to pay high taxes.' "
In May 2013 Fox and former Microsoft exec James Shively called a press conference in Seattle, where they announced that they wanted to create America's "first national brand of retail marijuana and open a cannabis trade with Mexico."
"We’re going to mint more millionaires than Microsoft with this business," said Shively, who told reporters he and Fox would offer a proposal for regulating marijuana commerce between the two countries. The men have been friends for many years.
Shively, who is fluent in Spanish, has been a guest speaker at the Vicente Fox Center near the former president's ranch in Guanajuato, where he addressed legalization issues. A regular pot smoker, the former Microsoft strategic planner said last year, "I've fallen in love with the plant."
Fox, who has repeatedly denied having tried cannabis, sees hypocrisy in U.S. marijuana laws. "We all surely know that using drugs is bad. But Steve Jobs did for 10 years, and so did presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama."
Fox, who is a virulent critic of the drug war policies of his PAN successor in office, Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), maintains that the billions of dollars being spent on enforcement would be better applied to education and narcotics addiction treatment. His views have attracted few followers in Mexico, however, where heavy majorities are solidly against legalization of marijuana or any other substance.
Fox was also questioned about his relationship with other leading politicians. He admitted that his dealings with Calderón were "very cold, very distant," adding that his successor's policies "left the nation as if it were a narco burying ground, with 80,000 dead - cases which were never investigated."
Fox called Calderón's drug war strategy a "flagrant violation of the human rights of every Mexican citizen."
During the 2012 Mexican presidential campaign Fox turned on his party's candidate, PAN nominee Josefina Vázquez Mota, and in net effect endorsed Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. Peña Nieto won the July 1 election with a comfortable majority in a four way race, while Vázquez Mota ended up in a distant third place. Later that year Fox was forced out of the National Action Party, although he insists that he quit. There were rumors he would be rewarded by PRI with an ambassadorship or other high post in the new government, but they never materialized.
Fox expressed strong support for the energy, education and tax reforms of the new administration, and said he was ready to help carry them out in any way possible. In Mexico, 2013 was the year of Enrique Peña Nieto.
Vicente Fox didn't miss the chance to offer a few words about the dean of Mexico's ultra-Left, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has already announced that he plans to run an unprecedented third time for president in 2018. López Obrador, who lost to Calderón in 2006 in a photo finish race and finished in respectable second place to Peña Nieto in 2012, filed a federal criminal complaint against the new president on Feb. 5, precisely because of those reforms. On Mexican Constitution Day, far Left pol files charges against Enrique Peña Nieto for treason.
"There are people who, like fine wine, mature and develop well, constantly learning and doing things better," said Fox. "Then again, there are people and there are wines which go in just the opposite direction. That's what's happened to Manuel López Obrador. He's gone crazy over his obsession with capturing the presidency of the Republic, no matter the consequences."
Opining on Mexican history, Fox said that among the nation's worst presidents was Lázaro Cárdenas del Río (in office 1934-1940). Cárdenas seized foreign oil company assets on Mar. 18, 1938, creating Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), a strict state monopoly, in the process. In December Mexican federal and state legislators, by overwhelming majorities, voted to open PEMEX to private capital and foreign technical participation. Commemorating both events last month, Peña Nieto called the energy reforms the "most important change in Mexico in the last half century," which will "transform the country's energy sector for the benefit of the entire nation." Fox strongly supports the PEMEX reform package.
During his interview Fox called Lázaro Cárdenas a "populist with a leftist, a communist ideology, who caused enormous damage to this country."
"I believe that Lázaro Cárdenas was one of the greatest obstacles which has prevented this nation from escaping its chronic history of underdevelopment, which still besets it. Because of Cárdenas' populist approach, his demagoguery and his far left, communist orientation, he and his team never understood that the only way out is by creating a market economy, where democracy prevails. Those are the true roads to success," said the former president.
"I was better than Benito Juárez. How could I respect him?" - El Informador, Guadalajara, 7/18/2013
Last July Fox said he had done a better job than Mexico's beloved 19th century president Benito Juárez, whom most Mexicans revere regardless of their political affiliation. In the southwestern state of Oaxaca, where Juárez was born, the city council of the capital of Oaxaca de Juárez responded by declaring Fox an unwelcome person. Ex-president Vicente Fox: persona non grata in Oaxaca.
PAN politicians and spokesmen, who still feel betrayed by Fox, offered little reply to his comments.
Gustavo Madero Muñoz, a former PAN chairman and currently a candidate for the same post, said "Fox's opinions have no relevance to us. PAN is not going to waste time responding to Foxisms. Leave Fox in the Vicente Fox Center, and let PAN move ahead with its agenda, as we've always done."
June 5 - Vicente Fox: "I'd raise marijuana, were it legal"
May 30 - Former president Vicente Fox and ex-Microsoft exec want to "open pot trade with Mexico"
Dec. 15 - Former president Vicente Fox quits National Action Party
July 3 - Vicente Fox faces expulsion from PAN
June 5 - Vicente Fox, a PRIsta in very thin disguise
Apr. 16 - Vicente Fox: legalize all drugs immediately
Apr. 12 - Vicente Fox does his best to sink Josefina
Oct. 18 - Vicente Fox urges legalization of all drugs in Mexico - and worldwide
© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.