The interventionism of Matías Romero

The House of Representatives approved yesterday to initiate the impeachment, for the second time, of President Donald Trump after inciting the assault on the Capitol.

In this regard, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador invoked the principle of non-intervention in order not to pronounce on the insurrection, which was interpreted by some as a gesture of sympathy towards the troubled Trump.

According to American historians, however, there is a history of Mexican interventionism in the United States. It happened in the government of Benito Juárez regarding the failed impeachment trial against Democratic President Andrew Johnson.

In 1868, Republicans in the House of Representatives tried to impeach him by impeachment, but he was acquitted by a single vote in the Senate. So the process was without consequences and Johnson was able to finish his term, as was Trump.

At that time, the intrigue was forged by a group of radical Republicans, friends of the Minister of Mexico in the United States, Matías Romero.

« In late 1866 and early 1867, Romero played a secondary but not insignificant role in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, » said historian Thomas D. Shoonover in his work Mexican Lobby, Matías Romero in Washington, 1861- 1867.

« At the beginning of December 1866 – the academic said – Romero was aware of the plans, hopes and aspirations of the radicals to remove President Johnson and William Seward (Secretary of State) and thus alter a domestic and foreign policy repudiated by him. (Rosemary) ».

“The plan presented to Romero in December 1866 included forcing Senator Lafayette Foster of Connecticut to resign, then electing Senator Benjamin Wade as president pro tempore of the Senate, and finally impeachment of Johnson to do Wade President of the United States ”.

According to Dr. Shoonover, the representative of Mexico was sympathetic to the political plot of the Republican radicals to remove President Johnson because there was a rumor that his government had offered to assume the payment of Mexico’s debt with France, in exchange for seizing some Mexican states.

In his report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of December 3, 1866, Romero wrote:

« If the election took place in the heat of the moment, possibly Wade would be elected, or perhaps General (Ulysses) Grant … » which was the case in the second.

Grant himself, who participated as a young lieutenant in the US invasion of Mexico and a close friend of Don Matías, advocated sending US troops to our country to help expel the French to the applause of the Mexican diplomat.

I believe that Matías Romero, a patriotic and committed diplomat, became involved in United States politics because of his desire to defend the government of Juárez during the French occupation, a valid foreign policy objective, but he was wrong to support United States military interventionism in Mexico to combat French interventionism.

The principle of non-intervention applies equally to any foreign interventionism, wherever it comes from.