Mexico in the middle

Mexico's presidential candidate Felipe Calderon

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: President Bush is in Mexico on the final leg of his five-nation Latin American tour. Today he meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. He's considered a key ally to the U.S. Bush is hoping Calderon will serve as a free market counterweight to socialist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.


DAN GRECH: In his first four months as Mexico's President, Felipe Calderon has spoken out in favor of democracy, globalization and foreign investment.

He has not, however, spoken out against Chavez.

Eric Farnsworth is with the Council of the Americas.

ERIC FARNSWORTH: I don't see, to be honest, the leaders of Mexico or frankly any other country wanting to stand up and take on anybody face-to-face or head-to-head.

Calderon was elected last year with just 35 percent of the vote. He eked out a victory over a leftist in the mold of Chavez.

Farnsworth says that's made Calderon reluctant to become the anti-Chavez. In fact, after years of strained relations, the chatter in Mexico City is Calderon may try to mend fences with Caracas and Havana.

The challenge he faces is how to this without offending his big neighbor to the north.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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