For several weeks now I've been meaning to send you a
note about Arnoldo Garcˇa's "After NAFTA" article in the
February issue of CrossRoads. In what is an otherwise very
fine piece, one issue grated on my nerves, which are
admittedly over-sensitive since I'm currently immersed in
writing a book on the Mexican left. In describing
developments leading up to the 1988 C rdenas campaign and
subsequent formation of the PRD, I think the article
exaggerated the role of the political left and especially
the PSM (Mexican Socialist Party). In fact, much of the
socialist left was initially quite reluctant to back
C rdenas until forced to do so by the overwhelming response
of grassroots organizations and movements. The PSM in
particular was very slow to give C rdenas its endorsement
and only withdrew its own presidential candidate quite late
in the campaign. There were exceptions, of course, like
Punto Critico, whose close relationship with Mexico City's
Asamblea de Barrios encouraged it to support C rdenas early
on. It is also true that the socialist left, including many
members of the former PSM, subsequently have played an
important and laudable role in building the PRD, but in the
decisive moments of 1987-88 the political left lagged far
behind the grassroots, social left.
     This is clearly a somewhat minor point in your article
on NAFTA, but I thought it was worth raising, because we on
the left have so often exaggerated our contributions in
hindsight while remaining embarrassingly lacking in
foresight. I send my congratulations and thanks for the
important contributions you and CrossRoads are making to the
U.S. left's own slow recovery of vision! Keep up the good
work. --Ed McCaughan, San Lorenzo, California