There currently exists a tall electrified fence, which runs along 1,000 of the 3,200 kilometer border separating Mexico and the United States, the result of U.S. occupation in the 19th century, which saw the former loose more than half of its territory. The very same country which usurped Mexican land back then, has now decided to build a wall costing over 10 billion dollars along the same border.
Of course, in none of its arguments for building the wall, does the new U.S. administration mention the history or the humiliation imposed on the neighboring country when over 2 million square kilometers of its land were appropriated.
What Washington has made clear from the outset is that: "Mexico will have to pay for that wall."
And, although almost two centuries have transpired since Mexico was stripped of its lands and mineral resources, which contribute to sustaining the imperialist north, these latest plans - considering the methods and aims - seem to be the continuation of the desire expressed in 1804, by former U.S. President John Adams, when he said that: "The people of Kentucky are eager for ventures and although they are not poor, they feel the same yearning for plunder that dominated the Romans in their best times. Mexico sparkles before our eyes. We only hope to be the rulers of the world."
In one of his Reflections published on August 10, 2009, and entitled "Yankee bases and Latin American sovereignty," the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro wrote: "In 1848 they robbed Mexico of more than 50 percent of its territory during a war of conquest launched against the militarily weak country, occupying the capital and imposing humiliating peace conditions. The stolen territory had large oil and gas reserves, which would later supply the United States for more than a century and to a certain extent continue to do so."
So as not to leave any loose ends, the United States government imposed a treaty on Mexico in 1882, giving the U.S. military the right to freely make incursions into the country.
This all forms part of a history which neither Latin America or the world must ever forget, much less when, now in the 21st century, we are seeing clear indications of a revival of imperialist aspirations, using modern-day methods.
Meanwhile, in regards to the construction of the wall, a report by the BBC suggests that one of the possible ways to finance the project, in addition to imposing a 20% tax on Mexican imports – will be to tax remittances sent by Mexicans in the United States back to their families.
Of course this would worsen the already difficult financial situation facing many Mexican citizens, who are largely dependant on remittances, which according to statistics from the Central Bank of Mexico, exceed 25 billion dollars a year.
In this sense, RT citesWhite House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, as stating that by taxing Mexican imports "…we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone. That’s really going to provide the funding.”
Meanwhile, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has warned that "I regret and reject the United States' decision to go ahead with building a wall which for years, far from uniting us, has continued to divide us. Mexico does not build walls. I have said it time and again: Mexico will not pay for any wall."
The plan is to build a wall along the 3,218 kilometer border which, to date, has been guarded by high, metal, electrified fences, the silent witnesses to the death of many people who in their attempt to reach the neighboring country, have been killed by U.S. soldiers who patrol the border day and night.
Another crucial aspect of the issue is the corruption exposed by a New York Times investigation, which reported the existence of thousands of court records and internal agency documents which indicate that over the last 10 years almost 200 employees and workers contracted by the Department of Homeland Security, have received almost 15 million dollars in the form of bribes.
According to an internal affairs official at the Department of Homeland Security who spoke anonymously to the U.S. newspaper: “It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees."
The matter of the border between Mexico and the United States is as complicated as their shared history. But exposing the Central American nation to hegemonic, discriminatory and racist measures, more than solve the problem, only brings to mind what happened centuries ago with the expropriation of half of Mexico's territory, an open wound that has yet to heal.
Cutting off the universal right of people and goods to travel across borders with an expensive wall can not be the solution.