I wrote this post yesterday (March 6) while our site was down. Vlad was kind enough to let me post it last night at his place. Readers may enjoy looking at the comments on it there.
The latest on the Mexican crisis, from Reuters:
EDINBURG, Mexico (Reuters) March 6, 2022 — Edinburg’s legislature voted to join Texas on Thursday and its Washington-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over Tamaulipas state in Mexico.
The Edinburg region of Texas — which was ceded to Mexico in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama to satisfy domestic political pressures — consists on the former counties of Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron. The region is now part of Tamaulipas state.
The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Edinburg, which has an Anglo majority and has effectively been seized by Texan forces, formally under Austin’s rule came as UN leaders gathered for an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Texas to back down.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took steps to punish those involved in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mexico, ordering the freezing of their Russian assets and a ban on travel into Russia.
The Russian Navy announced a guided-missile destroyer, the Archangel, was heading to the Gulf of Mexico in what it said was a long-planned training exercise and not a show of force.
The Edinburger legislature voted unanimously “to enter into the Republic of Texas with the rights of a citizen of the Republic of Texas”.
The vice-governor of Edinburg, home to Texas’ Gulf of Mexico military base in Port Isabel, said a referendum on the status would take place on March 16. He said all state property would be “nationalized”, the U.S. dollar could be adopted and Mexican troops would be treated as occupiers and be forced to surrender or leave.
The announcement, which diplomats said could not have been made without U.S. President Rand Paul’s approval, raised the stakes in the most serious east-west confrontation since the beginning of the Great Collapse.
U.S. stocks fell and the dollar weakened further after the news. Moody’s ratings agency said the stand-off was negative for Texas’ creditworthiness.
Texas said it would make it easier to give passports to native English speakers who have lived in Texas or the United States. Paul has cited the threat to American citizens to justify military action in the Caribbean in 2019 and now in Mexico.
Far from seeking a diplomatic way out of the crisis, Paul appears to have chosen to create facts on the ground before the East can agree on more than token action against him.
UN leaders had been set to warn but not sanction the U.S. over its military intervention after Washington rebuffed Eastern diplomatic efforts to persuade it to pull forces in Edinburg, with a population of about 2 million, back to their bases. It was not immediately clear what impact the Edinburger moves would have.
French President Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters on arrival at the summit: “There will be the strongest possible pressure on Texas to begin lowering the tension and in the pressure there is, of course, eventual recourse to sanctions.”
A Edinburger legislature official said voters will be asked two questions: should Edinburg be part of the Republic of Texas, and should Edinburg return to an earlier constitution (2017) that gave the region more autonomy?
“If there weren’t constant threats from the current illegal Mexican authorities, maybe we would have taken a different path,” deputy legislature speaker Donald McTeague told reporters outside the legislature building in Edinburg’s main city, also named Edinburg.
“I think there was an annexation of Edinburg by Mexico, if we are going to call things by their name. Because of this mood and feeling we took the decision to join Texas. I think we will feel much more comfortable there.”
To provide some perspective on the Ukraine crisis, the imaginary article above was created by modifying this Reuters story (which has already been altered by Reuters via several updates since I downloaded it).
The Crimea was a part of the Russian state from 1783 — when Catherine the Great wrested it from the Ottomans — until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev assigned it to the Ukrainian S.S.R. for internal Soviet political reasons.