The New York Times kindly linked to my blog item about Jorge Castañeda, the author of their latest pro-amnesty op-ed (go here to the op-ed and page down to the bottom). I must say, though, that I've gotten more traffic from Larry Auster's View from the Right linking to it than from the NYT's link.
Here are three more interesting things about Castañeda that I only learned recently even though I read almost everything about him published in English back in 2000-2001, when he became Vicente Fox's foreign minister.
1. He is known in Mexican newspapers "as 'El Guero' ('the Blond One') for his fair complexion."
2. His Soviet mother was an employee of Stalin's government when his father met her.
In 2002, Bianca Vazquez Toness wrote in the Princeton alumni magazine:
"Perhaps the biggest irony of Castañeda’s rise as a full-time opponent of the old system is that he is a product of that system. His father, PRI member Jorge Castañeda de la Rosa, was once foreign minister. His mother, a Russian Jew and naturalized Mexican, met her husband while working as a translator at the U.N. in New York. Young Jorge’s pedigree gave him advantages unavailable to most Mexicans: He grew up a polyglot between New York and Geneva, perfecting his English and his French, while his father served as Mexican ambassador to the U.N. He enrolled at Princeton in 1970...
His doctorate gave him clout upon returning to Mexico at age 25, but his family connections opened the door to the political elite. Castañeda, a political science professor at the national university, called himself a Communist, but that didn’t stop him from moonlighting for his father, who was appointed foreign minister in 1979. The son convinced his father to abandon Mexico’s historically anti-interventionist policy. Calling on contacts made during his school days in France, the younger Castañeda helped negotiate a joint recognition with France of rebel forces in El Salvador, much to the dismay of the U.S., which supported the government in the civil war against the Marxist guerrillas.
3. Castaneda's chief advisor while he was Foreign Minister was his older half-brother, Ambassador-at-Large Andres Rozental, who is his mother's son by a previous marriage. Rozental personally advised Mexico's immigration negotiators with the Bush administration.
Isn't it remarkable how little the press tells us about the men running Mexico?