MEXICO: Russian Headway

  • Share
  • Read Later

Crisscrossing Mexico in President Adolfo López Mateos' twin-motor Fairchild Fokker last week, the Soviet Union's First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan sold an image of Russia that was impressive and friendly.

Before cooperative farmers near Monterrey he eulogized Peasant Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (1872-1919), saying: "Zapata's slogan, 'land and liberty,' was also the slogan of our Russian Revolution." Farther south, in Poza Rica, he shouted "Viva Mexico" to oil workers, heard a loud "Viva Russia" in reply, glowed: "I love Mexico because no one is afraid of the word revolution." All the while the Soviet Fair, a near duplicate of the U.S.S.R.'s recent Manhattan exhibition and official reason for the presence of the First Deputy Premier, did a roaring business in Mexico City.

Mikoyan's major gain, as he left for Moscow at week's end, lay in persuading President Adolfo López Mateos to agree to make the first visit by a Latin American President to Moscow, thus paving the way for others to follow. Boasted a Soviet embassy official: "In a year we expect to have diplomatic relations with most of the Latin American republics."*

* The present count: three — Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico.