Page 9, 27th May 1938

27th May 1938
Page 9
Page 9, 27th May 1938 — MEXICO IS RIPE FOR REBELLION But Government is Secure, for the Moment

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MEXICO IS RIPE FOR REBELLION But Government is Secure, for the Moment

From a Diplomatic Correspondent All attempts to classify General Cedillo's rebellion in Mexico as a " Fascist " uprising would be entirely premature.

Certainly, Germany, Italy or Japan, all clamouring for Mexican oil, may decide to interfere, but for the moment all " evidence " of such intervention is the mere presence of some half-dozen aeroplanes of German construction (along with several

dozen from the U.S.) in the General's possession.

And if anyone is having anything to do with those " Fascist " powers, it is rather the " liberal " Cardenas Government itself, which, after firmly promising it would only open her doors to Fascist countries if forced to do so by economic isolation (ingenious blackmail), is nevertheless engaged in negotiations with Germany and Japan, and is effecting sales of oil to the former both for cash and by barter of machinery.

Not Unexpected In point of fact the revolt was in no way unexpected. Ever since General Ccdillo resigned last August his portfolio as Minister of Agriculture in the Mexican Federal Government to mark his disapproval of its increasing radicalism, he has been earmarked as a potential leader of revolt

Undoubtedly he has been preparing for civil war. But of recent years such has been the principle occupation of opposition leaders in a country where revolution of one kind or another is more or less endemic. From 1910 to 1920 it ravaged the land continuously, from 1920 to 1930 spasmodically. And today Mexico is ready for a fresh outbreak.

It was inevitable that the Government's decision to expropriate the foreign companies would lead to general discontent. Effected under pressure from the extremist C.T.M., a large proportion of workers were against the measure from the beginning.

Conditions were notoriously better in the foreign than the Mexican owned companies; and the ranks of discontented workers have since swelled considerably through promised wage-increases never received. The economic condition of the country is generally depressed as a result of the expropriations and the suspension of silver sales to the U.S.A.

With the country more than ever in need of foreign capital and foreign cooperation, the Government finds itself tied to a policy alienating both. Hence general unrest, and dissension.

Widespread Hostility Hostility to the Government is widespread, but for the most part purely negative, anarchic. But for the time being the Government's position is fairly secure because of the lack of armed force among the insurgents, and the lack of adequate

communication between centres of unrest. Yet its apprehensions are obviously well founded.

Given a strong and resourceful leader to organise the opposition, it may well find itself fighting a precarious and losing battle on two fronts: against commercial " interests " and workers alienated by its suicidal economic policies, and against the Catholic elements of the community alienated by its intense anti-clericalism.

But whether General Saturnino Cedillo will prove such a leader seems, at present, doubtful.

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