Nobody does it better?
When former President Antonio López de Santa Anna — then serving as general of the defeated Mexican Army — hoping to save what was left of his forces from the invading United States forces as well as his own skin, attempted to bring his troops through the State of Oaxaca, the state Governor, one Benito Juárez called together the state legislature to pass a bill specifically excluding the former president and general from entering the state. The troops… fine. Antonio López de Santa Anna?: no.
In his memoirs, Santa Anna would claim Juárez feared him because the General had known the Governor when Juárez had worn the white pajamas of a Mexican peasant and did not own shoes. Juárez, in Santa Anna’s view, was — and always would be — an peasant, an Indian with a bad attitude. Which is true enough.
Juárez — a Zapotec — had started working at the age of three (as a shepherd) and being recognized as a highly intelligent lad, had been sent at the age of 12 to the City of Oaxaca where — working as a bookbinder and servant — had put himself through law school. That Santa Anna would have run across Juárez working as a waiter is quite probable. When Santa Anna returned to power in the early 1850s, he had Juárez forced into exile. The former Governor of Oaxaca joined with some fellow political exiles in a small business, supporting themselves and their families peddling cigarettes in the bars along the New Orleans waterfront. If Juárez had a personal grudge, it is more likely due to Santa Anna being a lousy tipper, though one presumes it was something a bit more of a philosophical difference.
Vicente Fox, of German-Basque heritage, was born into a wealthy family of agricultural exporters. A mediocre student with a business degree, he did a stint of honest labor in his 20s… as a route driver for Coca-Cola while in an executive training program. In his 70s now, he is joining with a former Microsoft executive from Seattle in a venture selling smoking products …
OK, so both guys having become President of Mexico there are a few similarities. But in comparing himself to Juárez — claiming he was an even greater president than the “Benemérito de las Ámericas” — the peals of laughter were the only things drowning out the howls of protest coming from the defenders of Juárez.
The City Council of Oaxaca (or, as it is known officially, “Oaxaca de Juárez”) seems to be channeling the ghost of the stiffed waiter … while the cannot prevent Fox from entering their municipality, have voted to declare Vicente Fox “persona non grata”.