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"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Kola_boof

Post Number: 511
Registered: 02-2005

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0

Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 05:39 pm:   

the United States with provisions
for Hurricane Survivors



NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A Mexican army convoy rolled into the United States on Thursday with food, water and medicine for Hurricane Katrina victims, the first Mexican military operation on U.S. soil in 90 years.

Part of an aid package that includes ships and rescue teams, the convoy of 45 olive-green vehicles and some 200 troops went over the Rio Grande into Texas from the city of Nuevo Laredo, witnesses said.


Mexicans, who often have a love-hate relationship with their northern neighbor, are surprised and proud at being able to help in the hurricane aftermath. Mexico has often been the recipient of foreign aid for earthquakes and other natural disasters.

People cheered, waved, honked car horns and rang bells in villages as the convoy snaked up to the border this week.

While millions of Mexicans have trekked north in pursuit of the American dream, many at home are still sore at having lost half their territory to the United States in the 19th century.

Mexico is one of dozens of nations, including some as poor as Cuba and Bangladesh, to offer aid to the United States as it grapples with one of the worst natural disasters in its history in hurricane-swamped New Orleans and surrounding areas.

The Mexican army trucks, filled with of thousands of ready-to-eat meals, drinking water and medical equipment, were searched like regular vehicles as they crossed the border early on Thursday headed for San Antonio, Texas customs officials said.

"It's a good thing because they're taking aid to the victims," said Beatriz Gonzalez, 26, who gave the troops free soft drinks as they stopped for gasoline on the Mexican side of the border.

Troops inside the trucks were given malaria tablets and vaccinations against diseases like Hepatitis, Cholera and Tetanus -- ironically the same shots wary American tourists might get before visiting parts of Mexico.

Mexican forces under revolutionary Gen. Francisco "Pancho" Villa, angry at U.S. support for a rival, staged a small raid into New Mexico in 1916.

They were the bedraggled remnants of an army faction on the losing side of the Mexican revolution but their action is seen by historians as the last military incursion into the United States.

The Villa troops killed several people on a raid on Columbus, New Mexico, prompting Washington to send a larger force into Mexico in retaliation.

The two countries fought a full-blown war in the mid-19th century, when the United States took what are now its southwestern states from Mexico.

Mexico and the United States are now trade partners and President Vicente Fox told Reuters this week that the military convoy was a sign of how close the two nations now are.

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