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Rallying cry for Christ: in the 1920s, when Marxist-influenced politicians in Mexico virtually outlawed practicing the Christian religion, both priests and parishioners stood their ground.

"Viva Cristo Rey!" ("Long Live Christ the King.") That was the rallying cry for millions of Mexicans during the second and third decades of the 20th century, as revolutionary governments, modeled after the Bolshevik regime in Russia, unleashed round after round of persecution and terror throughout Mexico. For Greater Glory, the recently released epic film starring Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria, provides a stirring introduction to the "Cristero War," or "Cristiada" (1926-1929), a heroic chapter of Mexico's history that, until now, has been almost virtually unknown in the United States (as well as in Mexico, where the government has suppressed true reports of the persecutions and all favorable mention of the Cristeros, people who finally rose up to fight for religious liberty).

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The wholesale raping and pillaging; destruction and desecration of churches; torture and murder of Catholic priests; closing of Catholic schools, hospitals, seminaries, convents, and orphanages; takeover of education by anti-Christian propagandists; and other outrages initiated by the regime of President Plutarco Elias Calles, ultimately drove the long-suffering Mexican people to take up arms against the dictatorial oppressor. Tens of thousands--mostly peasants--joined the Cristero army, led by General Enrique Gorostieta (played in For Greater Glory by Andy Garcia). Although poorly armed and usually outnumbered, the Cristeros repeatedly inflicted decisive defeats upon Calles' army. Unable to defeat the Cristeros militarily, Calles resorted to diplomatic treachery, suing for peace and promising to restore religious liberty. Hundreds of Cristero leaders who accepted his amnesty and laid down their arms were imprisoned, tortured, and executed; thousands of Cristero supporters were hunted down and murdered.

It is to America's everlasting shame that our White House and State Department not only aided Calles in this deception but also provided him with arms and airplanes, while blocking all attempts by the Cristeros--Christian freedom fighters--to buy arms and munitions. In so doing, the U.S. government aligned itself with the anti-Christian forces that have been initiating communistic revolutions throughout the world since that great atheistic prototype, the French Revolution of 1789.

Complicit Against Christ

In For Greater Glory, actor Bruce Greenwood plays Dwight Morrow, the U.S. ambassador dispatched to Mexico to smooth over relations and protect the oil interests of U.S. companies. A lawyer and Wall Street insider, Morrow was a partner in the largest American commercial bank of the era, J.P. Morgan & Co., and sat on the boards of many of our nation's major corporations. He was also an influential member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as have been many of the other key actors who have aided the long crucifixion of our southern neighbor. While the ambassadors of England, France, and other nations remonstrated the Calles government for its barbarities against the Catholic Church, Morrow, the suave, reserved patrician, far from criticizing Calles, made a public show of support for the man and his ongoing brutal policies. Greenwood's portrayal of Morrow's cool indifference to the victims of Calles' vicious programs comports well with the actual record.

Father Michael Kenny, in his 1935 expose, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, especially excoriates Morrow for flying to Calles' aid at the very time that the blood of martyred Father Miguel Pro was still wet on the ground. Noted Father Kenny:
 Failing even to acknowledge a legal protest submitted to him by a
 lawyer's committee, Mr. Morrow hastened to tour the country with
 Canes, who gaily played the Toreador to amuse his friend. He thus
 impressed the world that all was well with Mexico, and made it clear
 to his own people and the Cristeros that even in the savagest
 excesses of persecution, the United States Government stood back
 of him.


Father Miguel Augustin Pro, the most famous and beloved of Mexico's martyrs, was a young Jesuit priest noted for his cheerful sanctity and daring heroics in ministering to his persecuted faithful. Falsely accused by the Calles regime of involvement in an assassination attempt, he was hunted down and arrested, along with his brothers Humberto and Roberto, and then ordered to be executed without trial or due process of law. Such was the standard operating procedure in Calles' "republic" championed by Ambassador Morrow and the powers that he served.

Ann Ball, in her biography Viva Cristo Rey!: Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J.--Martyr for Christ the King, describes Father Pro's execution, which was carried out on November 23, 1927:

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 Father Pro was led out first. He blessed the firing squad and then
 gave them his forgiveness. Refusing the traditional blindfold, he
 knelt for final prayer in front of the bullet-riddled walls. Rosary
 and profession crucifix in hand, he stretched out his arms in the form
 of a cross. Through the rifle fire, his strongly spoken last words
 could be heard: "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long Live Christ the King!")


Calles had ordered that the execution be photographed, the images to be used for propaganda purposes. As it turned out, the photographs had quite an opposite effect to what Calles had expected. The images of Fr. Pro kneeling in prayer before his execution, then sublimely receiving the fatal volley with outstretched arms, and, finally, the picture of a soldier standing over his crumpled body and firing a rifle shot into his head, did not terrorize the Mexican faithful into submission. To the contrary, Father Pro's heroic martyrdom inflamed their zeal, and the photographs provided dramatic documentation of the barbarous nature of the Calles regime, belying the claims to civility and tolerance made by Calles, Morrow, and the Calles publicists in the American media. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets for his funeral procession, in open defiance of the Calles dictatorship. Father Pro continues to inspire. In 1988, Pope John Paul II journeyed to Mexico to formally pronounce Fr. Pro's beatification, the penultimate step in the formal process of canonization, or sainthood, in the Catholic Church.

Many other priests suffered similar fates--and left similarly stirring examples. Father Wilfrid Parsons, S.J., recounts, in Mexican Martyrdom, 1926-1935: First-hand Experiences of the Religious Persecution in Mexico (1936), the execution of Father Elias Nieves in March of 1928. A company of soldiers had been sent to arrest Fr, Nieves at his parish in Michoacan, but the villagers had hidden him and smuggled him to a neighboring village. By breaking down doors and terrorizing enough villagers, the pursuers eventually tracked down their prey and dragged him forth from his hiding place, along with two sturdy peons who tried valiantly, but hopelessly, to defend him. The three prisoners lay bound all night, and the next morning, recounts Father Parsons,
 Father Nieves and the others were called early, and the troops kept
 the villagers cowed. The two peons knelt down for Confession and
 absolution, and they stepped forward together. "We are ready," they
 announced. One after the other they took the hail of bullets without
 flinching.

 It was the priest's turn. As he walked to the wall beside
 the two motionless bodies, he turned and asked for a few moments to
 recollect himself. He knelt a long while, then standing, said: "I am
 ready." But at the moment that the soldiers lifted their rifles, he
 raised his hand.

 "Kneel down," he said, "I will give you the blessing of a priest--and
 along with it my pardon for what you are about to do." Every one of
 the simple soldiers knelt down and piously received the blessing of
 the priest, making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies.

 The Captain laughed. "Even for you there is a blessing and my
 pardon," said Father Nieves. For answer the Captain drew his revolver
 and shot him dead. Then to make sure, he stepped forward, and gave
 him the coup tie grace in the temple, blowing the brains out.


For Greater Glory provides a moving and accurate account of the heroic actions of one of Mexico's youngest martyrs, Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio (played by actor Mauricio Kuri), who joined the Cristero armed resistance as a flag bearer shortly after becoming a teenager. During a battle in early 1928, Jose gave his horse to Cristero General Prudencio Mendoza, whose steed had been shot from beneath him, then gave covering fire until his ammunition ran out and he was surrounded and captured. The 14-year-old reportedly told the Mexican troops, "You may take me, but I don't surrender."

After two weeks of prison failed to break the young Cristero's resolve, he was ordered to be tortured and executed. Historian Ruben Quezada, who wrote For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, a companion book to the film, gave this brief account to Zenit, the Vatican-based news agency, of Jose del Rio's execution:
 Consequently they cut the bottom of his feet and obliged him to walk
 around the town toward the cemetery. They also at times cut him with
 a machete until he was bleeding from several wounds. He cried and
 moaned with pain, but he did not give in. At times they stopped him
 and said, "If you shout 'Death to Christ the King' we will spare your
 life." Jose would only shout, "I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!"
 When they reached the place of execution, they stabbed him numerous
 times with bayonets. He only shouted louder, "Viva Cristo Rey!" The
 commander was so furious that he pulled out his pistol and shot
 Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio in the head.


According to eyewitnesses, before dying, Jose traced the sign of the Cross on the ground with his finger, using his own blood.

To those unfamiliar with Mexican history and the Cristiada, a question naturally springs to mind: How and why did such violently anti-Christian revolts occur in an ostensibly Christian nation? It is important to understand that the revolution in Mexico was not entirely homegrown, and definitely was not a movement of the masses, as is commonly presented in histories, as well as news accounts of the era provided by writers for the New York Times and other pro-revolutionary newspapers.

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Although Mexico is overwhelmingly Catholic (and was even more so at the beginning of the 20th century), the Mexican Constitution of 1917 reflected the Marxist and anti-clerical zeitgeist of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of that same year. In addition to confiscating the property (churches, schools, universities, hospitals, monasteries, convents, rectories, etc.) of the Catholic Church, the new constitution placed draconian restrictions on Catholic worship and Catholic clergy, forbidding priests, bishops, and nuns even to wear their religious garb in public, on pain of fine and imprisonment.

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It is worth noting that the anti-church restrictions applied, in theory, to all churches, but, since Mexico was 99 percent Catholic, 'it applied in practice only to the Catholic Church--at first. In order to win popular support from Americans and to counter the reports that his regime was unfriendly to religion, Calles invited Protestant churches to come to Mexico. To some he sold confiscated Catholic churches at cut-rate prices. To some he even gave confiscated churches, schools, and hospitals for free. However, most of the Protestant churches, which had welcomed Calles' generosity with elation, eventually ended up experiencing some of the same persecution that had been visited upon the Catholics.

Red Mexico

Mexico's Constitution of 1917 was the culmination of a series of convulsive revolutions that had wracked Mexico for nearly a century. They were convulsions that stretched back to a "Hidden Hand" from the French Revolution. When Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Spain in 1808, he brought an officer corps thoroughly saturated with members of the Grand Orient Lodge of Freemasonry, as well as the Scottish Rite. The Grand Orient, especially, was steeped in the Jacobin anti-clericalism that had unleashed the Reign of Tenor during the French Revolution. The leaders of both organizations shared unbridled hostility toward the Catholic Church. The officer corps of the Spanish military was soon completely permeated with men who shared the antipathy of the "enlightened" intellectuals toward the Catholic Church. From Spain, the anti-clerical virus was transmitted, via the military ranks and the more atheistic or skeptical intelligentsia, to Mexico's military leaders. U.S. Minister to Mexico Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the York Rite to Mexico in the early 1820s. While this led eventually to violent fratricidal wars between the rival masonic rites, the dominant leadership of the lodges--and their political branches--was united in its enmity toward the Catholic Church.

In his important 1935 history of Mexico, Blood-Drenched Altars, Francis Clement Kelley, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, quotes from the works of distinguished Mexican historian Lucas Ignacio Alaman and American historian Hubert Howe Bancroft on the extensive reach and influence of freemasonry throughout the Mexican military. Bishop Kelley also quotes important revelations by Deputy Jose Maria Bocanegra, a member of Congress under President Iturbide.

Senor Bocanegra wrote in his memoirs: "It is necessary to confess that the deputies from the provinces were all of us victims of our own inexperience and lack of knowledge of the management of an Assembly, and of our good faith, and on the other hand the prearranged partisan combination of those comprising the party called Bourbons."

The political combination Senor Bocanegra referred to as the "party called Bourbons" was a reference to the masonic leaders behind the scenes in the government. The policy these hidden leaders pursued, wrote Bishop Kelley, "was then quite simple: elect friends to Congress; see that they covered strategic points in the Councils and the Army; if all the legislators could not be of the lodges, arrange to 'elect' young uninitiated men without much knowledge of their duties. These could be influenced easily by the initiated."

That is what happened, and the anti-Catholic forces solidified their power in government year by year, culminating in the Constitution of 1917. Some prominent American voices, besides those of Catholic clergy, were raised in objection to the ongoing policies of U.S. administrations aiding the revolutionists who came to power in Mexico and supressed religion. One voice was that of Theodore Roosevelt, who blasted President Wilson in the New York Times of December 6, 1914, for aiding Venustiano Carranza's overthrow of President Victoriano Huerta.

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"The act of permitting the passage of arms across the frontier, on the part of Wilson, meant that he not only actively helped the insurrection," said Roosevelt, "but without any doubt provided the means of achieving success, in so far as he actively prevented Huerta from organizing an effective resistance."

Wilson had "thus proved that he was actively interested in arming the revolutionists, and when he so desired, he gave permission; when he wished otherwise, he refused it; he was therefor absolutely responsible for this."

Roosevelt continued:
 And again the United States would not have had the least
 responsibility for what has been done to the Church, if the faction
 which committed these outrages had not been enabled to triumph by the
 United States. But since the United States took part in a civil war in
 Mexico, in the manner in which Wilson and [U.S. Secretary of State
 William Jennings] Bryan obliged our government to take part, this
 country, through this act alone, is responsible for the horrible
 injustices, the terrible outrages, committed by the victorious
 revolutionaries against hundreds of believers of both sexes.

 Not long ago, President Wilson, in a speech in Swarthmore, Pa.,
 declared that "In no part of this continent can any government
 survive that is stained with blood," and in Mobile he said: "We shall
 never forgive iniquity solely because it may be more convenient for
 its to do so."

 At that very moment he was pronouncing these high-sounding phrases,
 the leaders of the faction which he actively aided, were shooting
 down hundreds in cold blood; they were torturing men supposed to be
 wealthy; they were casting forth from their homes hundreds of
 peaceful families; they were sacking the churches and maltreating
 priests and religion in the most infamous manner, from assassination
 to mutilation and outrage.

 In other words, at the very time the President assured us "That in no
 part of this hemisphere can any government endure if it is stained
 with blood," he was helping to put in power a government that was not
 only stained with blood, but was stained with stains worse than those
 of blood. At the very time he announced. "that he would not continue
 relations with iniquity even if it were more convenient to do so," he
 not only consorted with iniquity, but openly supported and put into
 power men whose actions were those of barbarians.


Bishop Kelley of Oklahoma likewise placed onerous culpability on President Wilson. "Carranza was chosen by the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, to be the President of Mexico," he accused in Blood-Drenched Altars. He continued:
 When the Turks massacred the Armenians, the Christian world shouted
 its protest. When the Russians murdered the Jews the shout was
 repeated. No people shouted louder against the massacres than the
 Americans and the English. About the horrors perpetrated against the
 Catholics of Mexico few voices were raised. President Wilson told an
 Indianapolis audience that he would allow the Mexicans to shed all
 the blood they wanted. He told me in his office in the White House
 that, as the inspiration of democracy had come out of the French
 Revolution, which had shed as much blood as Carranza and his men,
 perhaps something good would come out of the Mexican debacle.


For Plutarco Elias Calles, the anti-clerical provisions of the revolutionary constitution were insufficient; he illegally augmented it with his own more brutal measures. Although For Greater Glory does portray on film some of the cruel reality and barbarism of Calles' attack on Mexico's Catholics, it understates the depravity and the viciousness of his pitiless campaign. It also understates the ties between the Soviet Revolution and its Mexican counterpart.

Under Calles, Mexico became the first country in the world to recognize the new Soviet Union, and the Soviet embassy that was established in Mexico City grew to be one of Russia's largest in the world and a key center for NKVD/KGB subversion, espionage, and terrorism throughout the Americas. However, even before Calles came to power in 1924, the new communist regime in Moscow had begun exercising its influence in Mexico. Soviet dictator Lenin sent top Comintern (Communist International, also known as the Third International) agent Mikhail Borodin to Mexico in 1919 to coordinate a growing communist-socialist movement that was heavily larded with foreign elements, mostly American and European intellectuals. Among the agents Borodin recruited there was Manabendra Nath Roy (more commonly known as M. N. Roy) of India, who had studied at Stanford University before coming to Mexico, where he was a founder and first secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Mexico. Under Borodin's tutelage, Roy became a Comintern delegate and a founder of the Communist Parties of Mexico and India. (Borodin: Stalin's Man in China, Dan N. Jacobs, 1981.)

The Kremlin next sent Comintern agent and feminist revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai as ambassador to Mexico, though her real job was to prepare Mexico for its role (as perceived by Moscow) in the world revolution. As was frequently the case in other countries as well, Mexico's native revolutionists didn't always want to take orders from Moscow, even though they were muy simpatico with the political, social, and economic programs of the Soviet Union. As always among the criminal class, it was a matter of who was going to be "el Jefe" (the chief); the Mexican Bolsheviks wanted to run their own show. This resulted in an uneasy up-and-down partnership between Mexico and the Kremlin that has continued up into the present.

One of the key features of Russian Bolshevism that found its counterpart among the Mexican communists/socialists was a fanatical hatred for Christianity. Foremost among Mexico's atheist fanatics was the infamous infidel Tomas Garrido Canabal, governor of Tobasco, whom Calles brought into his Cabinet. Canabal (called "Cannibal" by his critics) deported or killed virtually all of the Catholic priests in his province. The few whom he allowed to remain, he forced to many. Canabal named one of his sons "Lenin," in honor of the Soviet dictator. He named his murderous enforcers "Las Camisas Rojas" ("The Red Shirts"), who adopted "The Internationale," the anthem of communists worldwide, as their own.

One of Canabal's nephews, a member of his Red Shirts, was named Lucifer. Canabal himself took delight in publicly burlesquing Christianity at every opportunity, and at one livestock exhibition christened a donkey "Christ," a bull "God," a cow "The Virgin of Guadalupe," and an ox "The Pope." Canabal delighted in festivals featuring the burning of crucifixes, crosses, religious statues and paintings, vestments, Bibles, and the libraries of Catholic schools and universities. His thugs desecrated cemeteries, destroying all crosses and tombstones with angels, religious symbols, or Scriptural passages. As in Russia, cities, villages, streets, and buildings with Christian names were given new, revolutionary names. One of Canabal's top officials, and his representative for Tobasco to the National Convention of 1933, was Arnulfo Perez, who styled himself "The Personal Enemy of God." (Revolution in Mexico: Years of Upheaval, 1910-1940, James W. Wilkie and Albert L. Michaels, 1969) Perez told the National Convention:
 Yes, gentlemen, the Revolution has the imperative duty of combating
 the false divinity that is venerated in every temple and that has many
 altars in the hearts of the people. We must fight this outdated and
 absurd belief, inspired only by the fear and ignorance of humanity. We
 must fight "God," the maximum myth from which the greatest lies have
 been derived to exploit humanity and keep it on its knees throughout
 the centuries. "God" does not exist.


For militant atheists like Calles, Canabal, and Perez, anti-Christian propaganda was an essential and integral part of their concept of "scientific" and "socialistic" education.

Calles illegally "amended" the Constitution in 1933 so that Article 3 read:

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 The education imparted by the State shall be a socialistic one and, in
 addition to excluding all religious doctrine, shall combat fanaticism
 and prejudice by organizing its instruction and activities in a way
 that shall permit the creation in youth of an exact and rational
 concept of the Universe and social life.


President Calles himself confirmed the worst fears and accusations of Mexican parents, teachers, and pastors: that his revolutionary, socialist government's aim was the collectivization and brainwashing of the children, purging them of the "taint" of religion, tradition, parents, and family. In his address to the people of Guadalajara on July 20, 1934, Calles declared:
 The Revolution has not ended. ... It is necessary that we enter a new
 period, the psychological period, of the Revolution. We must now
 enter and take possession of the consciences of the children, of the
 consciences of the young, because they do belong and should belong to
 the Revolution. ...

 I refer to education, I refer to the school ... because the children
 and youth belong to the community; they belong to the collectivity,
 and it is the Revolution that has the inescapable duty to take
 possession of consciences, to drive out prejudices and to form a new
 soul of the nation.


Typical of the oaths required of teachers under the Calles regime's "socialistic education" is this pledge that teachers in the State of Yucatan were forced to sign:
 I, __, before the Federal Board of Education, solemnly declare,
 without any reservation whatsoever, to accept the program of the
 Socialist School and to be its propagandist and defender; I declare
 myself an atheist, an irreconcilable enemy of the Roman, Apostolic,
 Catholic religion, and that I will exert my efforts to destroy it,
 releasing the conscience from every religious worship and to be
 ready to fight against the clergy in whatever field it may be
 necessary.


On April 22, 1928, Archbishop Arthur, J. Drossaerts of San Antonio, Texas, expressed the views of many during his eulogy on the death of Archbishop Mora y del Rio, the Primate of Mexico, who had been driven into exile by Calles. Archbishop Drossaerts indicted U.S. complicity in the ongoing persecution, saying:
 Liberty is being crucified at our door and the United States
 contemplates the tragedy with indifference. ... Has despotism become
 popular among us? Are we not trying to gain the friendship and favor
 of the men whose hands are bathed in the blood of uncountable victims,
 while poor Mexico lies wounded to death, bound hand and foot with the
 chains we have helped to forge? Did we not support Carranza and the
 arch-bandit Villa and raise Obregon to the presidency? Have we not
 sent Calles the airplanes with which he is now bombarding the heroic
 men who are dying for liberty of conscience in Jalisco? We ourselves
 are, in great measure, responsible for this Mexican tragedy.


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The Improbable Cristero Champion

General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde was an unlikely champion to lead the Cristero uprising against the atheistic onslaught. Not only was he not a Christian, but he was also a 33rd degree Mason and outspokenly anti-clerical. He has even been characterized as an atheist. His wife Tula (played in the movie by Eva Longoria), however, was a devout Catholic, and had a decisive influence on his choice to accept the invitation by the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty to lead the Cristero army. At first, however, boredom and the pecuniary impulse may have more strongly influenced his decision to throw in with the ragtag Christian army. Military action was more to his soldierly liking than his current occupation, at the time, of running a soap factory, and the National League offered him a salary nearly double what generals of his rank were then receiving in the Mexican army--plus a $20,000 insurance policy on his life for his family.

The general, for a time, maintained a scornful attitude toward the religion of those who fought for him. But, as depicted by the film, and as most of the literature available on Gorostieta attests, he gradually was converted. General Gorostieta was killed in a firefight with federal troops in Jalisco on June 2, 1929, shortly before the false truce arranged by Calles and Morrow. Gorostieta's granddaughter wrote to Andy Garcia, who so skillfully portrays the complex character of the Cristero general, to share a touching letter from her grandfather. "I don't know if you read the letters which we sent to you through the Director, but I believe that my grandfather had the arrogance with which you characterized him, and the tenderness he showed his people," wrote Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta, adding, "He had a great love for his family."

The wistful love of a soldier separated by war from his wife and children is evident in the excerpts of the letter she shared, which read:
 For my little children, who I can't give a kiss to, who I can't buy a
 ball for, who I can't, as I did so often, let sleep in my arms, on
 such a great date for the world, on a day in which even wild beasts
 become tender with Glory!, by your conduct I send them this gift: all
 the privations which they suffer, all the sorrows which you and I
 suffer, are only obedient to one end--leaving them a road, marking
 for them a route. I know well that there are smoother roads in the
 world, and God well knows that I know how to walk them. But those
 aren't the ones that I will leave marked for them. It's the same
 bitter, gloomy road that their grandfather marked for me, the only
 one that exists, if one is to be forever content to have finished
 it and able to give an account of the journey. The only one which,
 having been walked, imparts true peace. I give them as a gift, the
 privations and the sorrows which the road is giving me. Give them
 many kisses, and never rest from preventing--I don't say now, but
 [even] within many years--that they should lose their faith on such
 a road.


The general's granddaughter then related to Garcia: "I will tell you that I cried in the first scene in which, when talking to Eva Longoria, he says to her, 'Tula, Tula, Tulita!' At the moment in which he called out to my good grandmother like that, what can I say? It took me back to my days with her, and I imagined my grandfather speaking to her in that way."

She ended her moving letter by noting:
 The film for you is just another film, but for our family, it made us
 proud to call ourselves Gorostietas; it gives us a place that history
 could never take away from us.

 In the love of Christ,
 Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta.


RELATED ARTICLE: The Continuing Revolution

by William F. Jasper

Mexico has not completely repudiated its Bolshevik legacy. Although the anti-clerical extremes of the Calles regime have been attenuated or repealed, article 24 of the constitution, prohibiting prayer and the teaching of religion in schools, remains in place and has become a political hot issue in this election year. Most of the politicians of the ruling Partido Accion Nacional (PAN), including President Felipe Calderon (whose six-year term ends December 1, 2012), favor repeal of the religious prohibition. The party of Calles, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), which ruled Mexico for 70 years (and is now coming back to power after a 12-year hiatus), is split on the issue. Meanwhile the far-left Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD), an off-shoot of the PRI and the Mexican Communist Party, not only adamantly clings to the anti-Christian constitutional provision, but has moved aggressively to implement policies favoring abortion and homosexual marriage in a way that would warm the revolutionary hearts of Comrades Calles, Canabal, Borodin, and Kollontai.

After losing the 2006 presidential election to Calderon by less than one percent, PRD candidate Andres Lopez Obrador used his party's control of Mexico City to pass one of the world's most liberal homosexual marriage laws and a law legalizing virtually all abortions through the 12th week of pregnancy for the nation's capital, the huge Federal District. In the July 2, 2012 presidential elections, Obrador lost a tight race to left-liberal PRI candidate Governor Enrique Pena Nieto, who will assume the presidential office from Calderon in December. Both the PRD and the PRI are member parties of the Socialist International, the radical, global organization of communist and socialist parties.
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Title Annotation:HISTORY--PAST AND PERSPECTIVE
Author:Jasper, William F.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Sep 3, 2012
Words:5066
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