Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/32616
Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Skirius, Juozas
Title: Lietuvos Respublikos ryšiai su Meksika XX a.
Other Title: The Republic of Lithuania‘s ties to Mexico in the 20th century
Is part of: OIKOS: lietuvių migracijos ir diasporos studijos, 2014, nr. 1(17), p. 23-37
Date: 2014
Abstract: The government of Mexico was one of the first in Latin America to recognize the Lithuanian state both de facto and de jure on May 5, 1921. The Mexican government and its diplomats in Washington were especially active in offering cooperation and in being open to signing treaties. These factors were among the more important reasons why Mexico City became the site of an honorary consulate of Lithuania charged with solving problems arising for the none-too-numerous of emigrants from Lithuania and with strengthening economic ties between the two countries. Washington unofficially served as the location at which both countries were represented and signed mutual agreements. At the suggestion of Consul General in New York Povilas Žadeikis and Minister Plenipotentiary Bronius K. Balutis and upon the recommendation of Mexico‘s diplomats, the President of Lithuania on March 16, 1932 appointed Tomas Vilchis (1894–1975) as Honorary Consul in Mexico. This lawyer and professor at a local Mexican university served until the 1950s; the exact date he ended service is not known. As a consul, Vilchis was not very active; from 1935 onwards the representatives of Lithuania in the U. S. – the Minister Plenipotentiary Žadeikis and the Consul in New York Jonas Budrys – often complained that he was slow at corresponding and at informing the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in Kaunas about the economic situation in Mexico. Yet Vilchis did try to promote Lithuania in Mexico. However, Lithuania’s diplomats were unable to fulfill his requests for literature about Lithuania in the Spanish language, while his knowledge of English was very limited. The modest scale of his activities may also be explained by the fact that the number of emigrants from Lithuania, most of whom were Jewish, was indeed small, and the volume of trade between Lithuania and Mexico was low as well. Still, the balance of trade from 1926 to 1938 was in Lithuania‘s favor and brought a profit of 1.5 million litas. Nevertheless, the Lithuanian government showed little interest in Mexico; that’s why it took so long to conclude and sign a Frienship Treaty on May 31, 1938 and to exchange ratification documents on August 29, 1939. It turned out that in the absence of a Friendship Treaty the Mexican government would not conclude a Commerce Treaty, which was more important to Lithuania; and Lithuania ran out of time to conclude the latter. After Lithuania’s occupation by, and incorporation into, the Soviet Union, Tomas Vilchis refused to obey the order of the now Communist- controlled Lithuanian Foreign Ministry to abolish the consulate and turn its assets and archives over to the nearest diplomatic service of the USSR. The fact that Mexico did not recognize the Soviet take-over of Lithuania played a role here. During World War II and in the postwar years the Honorary Consulate of Lithuania in Mexico served as a symbol of Independent Lithuania. When the consulate was closed, its archives were taken over by Mexico‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Internet: https://eltalpykla.vdu.lt/1/32616
https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/32616
Appears in Collections:OIKOS: lietuvių migracijos ir diasporos studijos 2014, nr. 1(17)

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