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In January 2004, the Carlyle Group put together a new team to begin investing in Mexico. The team consisted of Luis T?llez, who was then an executive vice president of Desc, one of Mexico’s largest companies; Joaquin Avila, who was then a managing director of Lehman Brothers; and Mark McLarty, the president of Kissinger McLarty Associates and chief of staff to and special envoy to the Americas for President Bill Clinton.
From 1987 to 1993, T?llez had served in several important positions within the Mexican government, including head economist at the Ministry of Treasury and undersecretary of planning at the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.
As reported in The Guardian in 2001, Bush 41 and 43 have been connected to the secretive Carlyle Group equity fund in various ways resulting in substantial compensation to the Bush family from Carlyle Group investments. Dubai International Capital also co-invests in Carlyle Group private equity deals, as disclosed on the website of Dubai International Capital. Earlier this year, Dubai International Capital surfaced in the U.S. press as Dubai Ports World and sought to acquire P&O Ports, the port operations subsidiary of the London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co.
Recently, the Carlyle Group participated with Televisa, Mexico’s largest private broadcaster, to acquire Univision, the U.S.-based Spanish language broadcaster. According to an analysis published in London’s Financial Times, the Televisa plan was to expand their current 11.4 percent interest in Univision to 25 percent, the maximum percentage U.S. law would permit a foreign company to own in a U.S.-based media company. To get around the restriction in U.S. law, Televisa planned to rely upon four private equity firms to participate along with Cascade Investment, Bill Gates’ investment vehicle. The other participating funds were the Carlyle Group, the Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, all experienced acquisition private equity fund groups. Here is how the Financial Times described the proposed $12 billion transaction:
The news finally confirms what the market has known for some time: that Televisa is desperate to sink its teeth into the fast-growing U.S. market of broadcasting in Spanish. But it is also just the latest – if indeed one of the most prominent cases – of highly successful and cash-rich Mexican companies looking to expand into the U.S. market.
On the theory of “follow the money,” the interest of the Carlyle Group in Mexico investments might help explain why President Bush has been so reluctant to secure our border with Mexico. Clearly, the economic value of such a deal would diminish greatly if the U.S. Congress were to pass an immigration law tough on enforcement provisions, or a law that classified the conservatively estimated 12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S. as “felons” if they did not return to their homelands. Reuters reported that a May 2006 Univision board meeting included discussions of other potential acquisition bids, including those possibly forthcoming from Robert Murdoch’s News Corp, CBS and Disney. Reuters also noted that Televisa currently has a 17-year deal to provide Univision with programming for U.S. Hispanic viewers. Reuters further reported that Univision expects acquisition bids to be submitted by June 8, 2006.
In December 2005, Rigzone.com announced that the Carlyle Group, together with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, had provided $500 million in financial backing for Cobalt International Energy L.P. to engage in oil and gas exploration in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Cobalt will be managed by a senior team that includes four highly experienced industry leaders, including Joseph Bryant (former president and chief operating officer of Unocal), Samuel Gillespie (former general counsel at Mobil and Unocal), James Painter (former SVP of exploration at Unocal) and James Farnsworth (VP for world-wide exploration and technology at BP).
Another interesting set of connections involves CSX, the international rail shipping and container company that was formerly headed by U.S. Secretary of Treasury John Snow.
- In December 2002, while Snow was CSX CEO, the Carlyle Group acquired the international CSX Lines division of CSX in a $300 million transaction.
- On Dec. 9, 2004, Dubai Ports International announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire CSX World Terminals from CSX in a transaction valued at $1.15 billion.
- On Feb. 7, 2003, John Snow was sworn-in as secretary of Treasury.
- On Jan. 17, 2006, President Bush announced his intention to nominate David C. Sanborn to be administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. At the time, Sanborn was serving as director of operations for Europe and Latin America at Dubai Ports World. Prior to working at Dubai Ports World, Sanborn had been an executive at CSX. On March 27, 2006, the Bush administration notified the Senate that Mr. Sanborn’s decision to withdraw his nomination had been accepted.
CSX of Mexico continues to operate rail shipping at border crossing points, including Calexico (on the California border), Nogales (Arizona border), El Paso (Texas border), Laredo (Texas border) and Brownsville (Texas border).
At the March 2005 meeting at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, President Bush, President Fox of Mexico and Canada’s Prime Minister Paul Martin announced a joint decision to form a tri-lateral partnership named “The Security Prosperity Partnership of North America,” or SPP.
As outlined in a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report entitled “Building a North American Community,” the goal of the SPP is to move toward the creation of a North American Union in which the borders between the U.S. and Mexico and between the U.S. and Canada will be erased, permitting free movement of people, capital and trade within the three countries. The U.S. Department of Commerce has established a website to document the extensive work that has been done since March 2005 to advance the North American Union agenda.
Conservative critics of President Bush have found it difficult to comprehend why the administration has fought so hard to avoid securing our border with Mexico. The Dubai Ports World deal also troubled conservative critics who said the Bush administration was more interested in global business ties with Dubai than U.S. port security.
If we continue to “follow the money,” we begin to see that the Bush administration may well be following a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, which would be consistent with nearly unregulated migration of people from Mexico to the United States.
Earlier this year, the nation debated which was more important – allowing Dubai Ports World to acquire P&O, or U.S. port security? We may be seeing a similar debate take shape over illegal immigration. Which is more important now? Allowing unrestrained movement of people, capital and trade in an emerging North American Union, or securing our southern border with Mexico from a continuing invasion of illegal aliens?
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