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Mexico had seen its government caught between pro-Communist and
pro-Fascist forces during the 1930s, to which the United States
responded with both covert and open aid to prop up the weak
government. This culminated with the U.S. acquiescence in 1938 to
nationalization of the Mexican oil
industry. Mexico broke diplomatic
relations with the Axis
following the attack on Pearl
Harbor, but did not declare war until after the sinking of
the tanker Potero de Llano
by a German U-boat in June 1942.
Mexico was the only Latin American country to send a combat unit to the Pacific. This was the 201 Fighter Squadron (the "Aztec Eagles") which was trained in the United States and saw combat in the Philippines.
Though Mexican raw materials (particularly antimony) were a
significant contribution to the
struggle against the Axis, Mexico's greatest contribution to the
was probably in a negative sense: By adhering to the Allies, Mexico denied
the Axis a safe haven for naval forces and intelligence networks.
Los Angeles Times Magazine (2004-7-25; accessed 2010-7-6)
(2008; accessed 2010-10-8)
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