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George W. Bush’s Decision to Make His First Overseas Trip to Mexico

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George W. Bush’s Decision to Make His First Overseas Trip to Mexico

George W. Bush’s decision to make his first overseas trip to Mexico, in mid-February, has generated a great deal of speculation about what this could possibly mean for changes in U.S. policy toward Latin America over the next four years. It is clear that Mexico is vastly more familiar and comfortable for Bush than any other foreign country. In light of the questions raised about the former Texas governor’s foreign policy experience and competence during the campaign, it is hardly surprising that he would look first to the country immediately south of the Rio Grande to show he is up to the job.

Bush could be tempted to explore some initiative that would symbolize the “special relationship” he is seeking with Mexico. This would naturally mean responding in some fashion to Mexican President Vicente Fox’s bold proposals on the two most contentious issues in the bilateral relationship: drugs and immigration. During the U.S. presidential campaign, both Bush and Gore seemed to be caught off guard by Fox’s audacity. They had presumably wanted greater democracy in Mexico, but were not prepared to deal with such an independent

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