In Mexico, A History Of Welcoming Leftist Dissidents

By Jorge Valencia
Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 6:14pm

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who fled to Mexico after being forced out by his country's military and civilian protesters this week, joins a history of leftist political leaders who have sought refuge across the border from the U.S.

Mexico has received political dissidents mostly from the Spanish-speaking world. They include Cubans who fought for independence from Spain in the 1800s, Spanish leftists who fled during the Civil War of the 1930s, and Guatemalans who escaped civil war in the 1980s.

Mexico also welcomed European Jews who fled Nazi Germany, and Americans who fled the U.S. during the Cold War.

Morales used his first news conference from Mexico City to discredit findings from the Organization of American States that there were serious electoral irregularities during his reelection on Oct. 20. He also denounced Bolivian police who have clashed violently with protesters who support him.

“Don't stain yourselves with the blood of the people,” Morales said in the Museum of Mexico City.

In the past year, Mexico has been less charitable with migrants. Under pressure from the Trump administration to reduce the number of people seeking asylum at the U.S. border, Mexican immigration officials have detained tens of thousands of migrants — mostly from Central America — near the country’s southern and northern borders.