Tags: Bush | Says | U.S.-Mexico | Ties | Stronger

Bush Says U.S.-Mexico Ties Stronger

Sunday, 06 May 2001 12:00 AM

"The history of Mexican-American relations has had its troubled moments, but today our peoples enrich each other in trade and culture and family ties," Bush said in his weekly radio broadcast taped on Friday.

The president added, "We know that we must protect the integrity of our border, yet we understand how that border can be viewed from the other side, as the gateway to better wages and a better life."

Bush pointed to his relationship with Mexican President Vicente Fox, who will be the guest of honor at Bush's first White House state dinner this fall.

"I consider him a friend," Bush said of Fox, who the president has met with three times since taking office, including a visit by Fox to the White House this week.

"We are committed to working together in common purpose, for the good of both countries. Whether the issue is free trade or energy production, environmental protection, or the control of illegal drugs, our interests are often the same," he said.

On the White House lawn a day early, Bush hosted Cinco de Mayo festivities Friday, when Mexican dancers, mariachis and some 300 guests celebrated Mexico's 1862 victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

Bush trotted out the Hispanic nominations to high offices in his administration, including the head of the Small Business Administration, Hector Barreto, a high-ranking Export-Import Bank official, Eduardo Aguirre, and Rosario Marin, Bush's nomination for U.S. treasurer.

Bush aggressively pursued the Hispanic vote, typically a Democratic bloc, in the 2000 White House race against former Vice President Al Gore. But he failed to make significant inroads with the minority, despite his frequent use of Spanish and familiarity with Hispanic issues as governor of Texas.

With the Hispanic community increasingly influential in U.S. politics, the White House hopes to garner more Hispanic votes in the 2004 contest.

Bush's taping of the weekly radio address in both English and Spanish was unprecedented. Bush will give future radio addresses in English with Spanish translations, White House aides said.

Bush is to spend Cinco de Mayo behind closed doors with his family at Camp David, the wooded presidential retreat in the nearby hills of Maryland.

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Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The history of Mexican-American relations has had its troubled moments, but today our peoples enrich each other in trade and culture and family ties, Bush said in his weekly radio broadcast taped on Friday. The president added, We know that we must protect the integrity...
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Sunday, 06 May 2001 12:00 AM
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