A recently uncovered speech in the Congressional Record reveals Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) praised a member of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution, Adolpho Aguilar Zinser, as a “true patriot, a true fighter for his country, and a friend to so many of us.”
Brown went so far as to proclaim himself an “admirer” of Zinser. Although this speech by then Representative Sherrod Brown received little attention at the time, this peek into Brown’s ideological soul should give all voters in cause for concern.
Just who is this Mexican politician that Sherrod Brown honored as a “true patriot”?
In 2003, while serving as Mexico’s UN ambassador, Zinser delivered a speech in which he declared the United States was only seeking a “relationship of convenience and subordination” with Mexico and that the United States views Mexico as “its back yard.” Zinser’s condemnation of the United States forced President Vicente Fox to demand Zinser’s resignation.
Senator Sherrod Brown’s decision to label Zinser a “patriot” causes some to wonder whether Sherrod Brown shares Zinser’s misconception of our foreign policy objectives. Zinser’s views proved too extreme for the president of Mexico, yet seemingly are embraced by a sitting United States senator as “patriotic.”
As Secretary of State Colin Powell stated in response to Zinser’s incendiary rhetoric, “Never, under any circumstances, would we treat Mexico like it were our backyard or a second-class nation.” Does Sherrod Brown agree with the “patriot” Aguilar Zinser, or with Colin Powell?
Sherrod Brown also explained he “admired” Aguilar Zinser as one who fought for “social and economic justice.” In actuality, Aguilar Zinser was involved at the highest of levels with the administration of Mexican President Luis Echeverria in the 1970’s. As a Echeverria loyalist, he headed the Center for Economic and Social Studies of the Third World. While committed Marxists and socialists may consider the actions of the Echeverria government to have advanced “social justice”, advocates of Western democratic ideals recoil in horror. Echeverria and his close allies, such as Aguilar Zinser, strove to nationalize industries, redistribute land, and increase a myriad of subsidies.
Aguilar Zinser’s commitment to radical Leftism continued beyond his involvement in the Echeverria government. He represented the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) for three years, beginning in 1994. Don’t let the name fool you. Political parties including the Mexican Communist Party, Unified Socialist Party of Mexico, and Socialist Mexican Party combined in 1989 to create the PRD.
Voters in Ohio deserve to know exactly what Sherrod Brown meant when he referred to Zinser as one committed to “social and economic justice.” In this nation, “justice” does not involve nationalizing industries or seizing private land. And voters in Ohio deserve to know why Brown praised someone as a “patriot” whose views of United States foreign policy towards Mexico were both needlessly hostile and largely inaccurate.
Photo credit: Center for Latin American Studies, UC-Berkeley