Transpacific Revolutionaries: Latin Americans Learn from Maoist China (aMexican Case Study)
This paper is part of a larger work in progress, my dissertation, on the influence of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in Latin America, using case studies from Mexico, Peruand Bolivia in addition to doing a broad overview of the continent. In this paper, I’ll useexamples from my Mexican case study to talk about the impact of the CulturalRevolution in Latin America. I’ve chosen to focus on Mexico because Mexico is, in myopinion, a good representative example for the development of Maoism in Latin America.It’s not as spectacular as the Peruvian and Colombian experiences, but it’s morerepresentative of the experience of other Latin American countries where a significantMaoist trend developed, but didn’t engender the sort of crises Peru and Colombiaexperienced.
Maoism First Comes to Mexico
Mexico didn’t establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of Chinauntil 1972, which is around when most Latin American countries switched their diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China to the PRC. But between 1949 and1972, quite a bit of people’s diplomacy or cultural diplomacy took place. In 1949,Vicente Lombardo Toledano, the leader of Mexico’s People’s Party and a union leader attended the Conference of Workers’ Unions held in China in November. The next year he published a memoir of his trip, which was one of the first Latin American publicity pieces in favor of the PRC. Now, the People’s Party is not the sort of outfit that one would typically assumeto have had an enduring relationship with Maoist China. Lombardo Toledano and his party supported what they considered the anti-feudal, national democratic and anti-1