Yesterday, President Taft clarified the position of his administration with regards to the current Mexican situation and his deployment of troops along the U.S.-Mexico border. He reiterated that he has no intentions of sending those troops across the border unless the situation on the ground in Mexico provides him with no other alternative and even then, not without the consent of Congress. The objective of the deployment was to protect the lives and property of American citizens in Mexico. Taft believes that the the heavy military presence along the border has had a "sobering" effect on the combatants south of the border. As a result, he feels that Americans in Mexico are now safer from attack than they were before this month's mobilization.
He reassured the Mexican delegation that the U.S. desires peace and friendly relations with Mexico and feels that this desire has not changed as a result of the mobilization of 20,000 troops along the border in Texas and California. While the speed of the deployment raised alarm bells in Mexico City as well as here in the United States, that was not Taft's intention. He felt that the reports of a chaotic situation in Mexico made it imperative that the United States respond and do so quickly to prevent the loss of lives and property of American citizens. He also felt that it was his duty as commander-in-chief to have the army and navy prepared in case Congress decides to intervene in Mexico.
As far as how long troops will remain along the border, the president provide less specific answer. While nominally the force is expected to remain there for four months, Taft also stated that he would keep the army there for as long as there was a possibility of danger and there would be a need to enforce this country's neutrality laws.
In other news, the secretary of state for the insurrecto government and the rebel secretary of the Mexican State of Chihuaha, Gonzales Garza and Braulio Hernaudom, stated that would not lay down their arms while negotiations took place with the Diaz government. They believe that Diaz and his finance minister, Jose Limantour, are only talking about reform because of their armed rebellion, and that before, their demands were flatly rejected. Their comments come after Limantour gave an interview in Mexico City yesterday where he stated that he felt that the rebels demands were reasonable and that Diaz could be convinced to institute the reforms the rebels are demanding, but also stated that the insurrectos must disarm before negotiations could begin. With this impasse, it is unlikely that the optimism expressed here and in newspapers around the country earlier this week regarding the situation in Mexico will come to fruition.
Link: Taft's Mexican Policy Justified [The New York Tribune]
Link: Garza Throws the Gauntlet to Limantour [The Bisbee Daily Review]