Blanco Art Collection

Introduction by Lázaro Cárdenas.

WORKERS’ VISION OF ART IN THE AMERICAS

A letter from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.

( The original letter in Spanish follows below).

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas

The exhibit Artful Revolution presented by Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland, in September of 2008, displays engravings made at Taller de Gráfica Popular and remembers Lázaro Cárdenas, (Jiquilpan, Michoacán, May 21, 1895 – Mexico City, Mexico, October19, 1970), who was President of Mexico from1934 to 1940.

History recognizes the period of Lázaro Cárdenas’ presidency as one during which the constructive work of the Mexican Revolution came to fruition.

The Revolution, which exploded on the 20th of November 1910 with the Banner Slogan Election Suffrage. No Re-election, after many confrontations, set the principal popular demands into the 1917 Constitution, making it the first Constitution in the world to include a strong social content. Highlighted in it are the recognition of the basic democratic rights of a person, to an education that is secular and free, to land for the peasants, of the worker to strike, to a salary that is sufficient and decent and to a work day no greater than 8 hours long, to the essential national sovereignity that originates from the people and establishes the domain of a nation over its natural resources and to its subsoil.

Lazaro Cardenas arrived to the presidency with the firm conviction that he would fulfill those tasks not yet accomplished by the revolutionary movement. Among these and primarily, the task of putting in the hands of the people, the lands of the vast agricultural estates or “latifundios”. Thus, during his term in office, 20 million hectares (44 million acres), a surface area greater than any which had been handed over by all previous revolutionary governments, is distributed among the peasants throughout the country.

On the other hand, attention is given to rural education, that of the children of workers and the children of soldiers, the political organization of workers and peasants is stimulated in order to promote and defend their interests, institutions such as the National Politechnic Institute and the Bank of Credit “Edijal” (expropiated lands) are created, and a politic of fulfillment and defense of the principles of international law is developed, with Mexico contesting in the League of Nations the invasion of Abisinia by Italy, that of China by Japan, that of Finland by the Soviet Union, and the forceful anexation of Austria by nazi Germany, providing an active support to the legally elected government of the Spanish Republic in its fight against the fascist uprising and opening the doors of Mexico to the spanish republicans and those who were persecuted by fascism in Europe.

When the conflict between the workers and the oil companies over the salaries and loans came up, his government sought a conciliation of interests. The conflict was handled within legal channels and ahead of the resolving authorities, who disowned with rage their companies’ representatives, by issuing a decree on the 18 of March 1938, which expropriated their goods, upholding the law of the land, and the soverignity of the nation.

From an early age, before turning 18, Lázaro Cárdenas became an integral part of the Revolution. He was a fulfilled military and worked his way up throughout his career, and was put in charge and entrusted with important assignments in different parts of the country. He was Governor of his natal state, Michoacán, in 1920 as the provisional Governor and from 1928 to 1932 as constiturional Governor. He occupied the position of Secretary of Government and Secretary of War and Navy before his presidency.

Upon finishing his period in government and facing the risk that Mexico would participate in the Second World War, he asked to be reincorporated into the Army and was assigned , first as Regional Military Commander in the Pacific, and later Secretary of National Defense, a position he held until the conclusion of the armed conflict.

Subsequently, he headed regional development projects and maintained himself active in the fight for peace, against colonialism, foreign dependence and interventions in domestic affairs, in the practice of legal assylum for the persecuted by dictatorships and as a driving force of the agrarian reform and the defense of the nationalized petroleum.

He gave his life to those causes he believed in.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.
September 2008.

————————————————————–

Mr. Cuahutémoc Cárdenas, President of the Alternative Democracy and of the Debate Foundation, is known in Mexico as the Moral Head of the Mexican Political Left. He is the founder of the Democratic Revolution Party, know by the initials PRD.

He has been elected to several relevant positions such as: Mexico City Mayor, the first mayor elected to that position; Governor of the state of Michoacán and Senator to the Republic. He also has occupied high level administrative position in Mexican Administrations, such as Under Secretary for Forest among others.

His very active political life keeps him in touch with people from low income and depressed regions of Mexico. In those regions his work is considered an important element in the creation of political programs for the improvement of the regions, and the welfare of the people.

Because of his close contact to these areas, and his political honesty, his opinions and his voice is sought by the Mexican Political Establishment for the creation and implementation of policies, and political decisions at the highest levels regarding natural resources, industrialization, and for their general development.

Under his Administration as Chief Executive of Mexico City, he fulfilled all of the requirements which made it possible for him to give the Taller de Grafica Popular, the building where it is presently located, as a gift for the Great National and International work the Taller had done.

_______________________________________________________________
La exposición Artful Revolution y Lázaro Cárdenas.

La exposición Artful Revolution que presenta el Howard Community College de Columbia, Maryland, en septiembre del 2008, exhibe grabados hechos en el Taller de la Gráfica Popular de México, y con ella recuerda a Lázaro Cárdenas (Jiquilpan, Michoacán, 21 de mayo de 1895-México, D. F., 19 de octubre de 1970), quien fuera Presidente de México de 1934 a 1940.

La historia reconoce al período de gobierno de Lázaro Cárdenas como el período de culminación de la obra constructiva de la Revolución Mexicana.

La Revolución, que estallara el 20 de noviembre de 1910 con la bandera de Sufragio Efectivo. No Reelección, tras pasar por fuertes confrontaciones, plasma las principales demandas populares en la Constitución de 1917, siendo ésta la primera constitución con un fuerte contenido social en el mundo. En ella, destacadamente, se reconocen los derechos democráticos básicos de la persona, el derecho a la educación laica y gratuita, a la tierra para los campesinos, para los obreros a la huelga, a un salario digno y suficiente y a una jornada de trabajo no mayor de ocho horas, se have recaer la soberanía nacional esencial y originariamente en el pueblo y se establece el dominio de la nación sobre los recursos naturales y el subsuelo.

Lázaro Cárdenas llega a la presidencia con la firme convicción de satisfacer los compromisos incumplidos del movimiento revolucionario, entre ellos y de manera principal, el de poner en manos de los campesinos las tierras de los grandes latifundios. Así, durante su período de gobierno se distribuyen entre campesinos de todo el país 20 millones de hectáreas (44 millones de acres), una superficie superior a la que todos los anteriores gobiernos revolucionarios les habían entregado.

Por otro lado, se atiende la educación rural, la de hijos de trabajadores y la de hijos de soldados, se estimula la organización política de obreros y campesinos para la promoción y defensa de sus intereses, se crean instituciones como el Instituto Politécnico Nacional, el Banco de Crédito Ejidal, la Comisión Federal de Electricidad, el Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior y se desarrolla una política de cumplimiento y defensa de los principios del derecho internacional, protestando México en la Liga de las Naciones por la invasión de Abisinia por Italia, la de China por Japón, la de Finlandia por la Unión Soviética y por la anexión por la fuerza de Austria que have la Alemania nazi, brindando un apoyo activo al gobierno legalmente elegido de la República Española en su lucha contra del levantamiento fascista y abriendo las puertas de México a los republicanos españoles y a los perseguidos por el fascismo en Europa.

Cuando se presenta el conflicto por salarios y prestaciones entre los trabajadores y las empresas petroleras, su gobierno busca la conciliación de intereses. El conflicto se conduce dentro de los cauces de la ley y ante las resoluciones de la autoridad, que rechazan y desconocen con soberbia los representantes de las compañías, decreta el 18 de marzo de 1938 la expropiación de sus bienes, haciendo valer la ley del país y la soberanía de la nación.

De muy joven, antes de cumplir los 18 años, Lázaro Cárdenas se incorporó a la Revolución. Se desempeñó como militar y fue ascendiendo en su carrera, y se le encomendaron mandos importantes en diferentes partes del país. Gobernó su Estado natal, Michoacán, en 1920 como Gobernador provisional y de 1928 a 1932 como Gobernador constitucional. Ocupó los cargos de Secretario de Gobernación y de Secretario de Guerra y Marina antes de la presidencia.

Al terminar su período de gobierno y ante el riesgo de que México participara en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pidió su reincorporación al Ejército y fue designado, primero, Comandante de la Región Militar del Pacífico y posteriormente Secretario de la Defensa Nacional, cargo que mantuvo hasta que concluyó el conflicto bélico.

Con posterioridad encabezó proyectos de desarrollo regional y se mantuvo activo en la lucha por la paz, contra el colonialismo, la dependencia y las intervenciones extranjeras en asuntos internos de los países, en la práctica del derecho de asilo a los perseguidos por las dictaduras, en el impulso a la reforma agraria y en la defensa del petróleo nacionalizado.

Su vida fue de entrega plena a las causas en las que creyó.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.
Septiembre del 2008.

April 30, 2008

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