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Trade War by Robert Panzullo

Trade War

by Robert Panzullo

296 pages
A novel about a fictional war between Mexico and Canada.

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Category: Fiction:Adventure
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About the Book
This is a novel about a fictional war breaking out between Canada and Mexico.

The story emphasizes the contrast of two very different main characters living within two very different cultures – French Canadian and Mexican/Hispanic, both living on the North American continent, separated by the United States with its English speaking, anglo dominated culture.

Honoré Peletier is the French Canadian protagonist hailing from Drummondville, a medium-sized city lying on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the heart of French speaking Quebec. He is in his early twenties, loves hockey, and is a reservist with the Canadian Forces on the weekends and an accountant working in Montreal during the week. Honoré has a wife, Soleil and a three year old daughter named Rui.

José Baez is a worker in an automotive manufacturing plant in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. He and his wife Aida are also in their early twenties; both work in maquiladoras (basically sweat shops) and live in a small house with Aida's mother Carolina in a lower class area of the city.

The American head of NAFTA, Deek McEnroy, keeps a suspicious eye on the escalating events happening in Mexico, specifically the growing dissension from the peasant farmers and the EDLM (Mexican Army of Liberation), a radical left wing guerilla group that wants to protect the rights of the indigenous Mexican farmers from the predatory practices of Mexico's two northern NAFTA trade partners, the U.S. and Canada.

When growing tensions over continuing unfair NAFTA dumping practices from their two wealthier trade partners reaches critical mass, the EDLM decides to jump in and act in a protectionary capacity on behalf of their disenfranchised countrymen. Maybe because it is a much fairer fight (taking on Canada as opposed to the United States), but the EDLM decides to kidnap the Canadian Ambassador, burn down the Canadian Embassy, and demand that all of the unfair trade dumping practices cease immediately.

The Canadians send a covert air squadron carrying a Special Ops group to ferret out and save their Ambassador, despite Mexican leaders admonishments not to do exactly that. Mexican military planes fire on and destroy one of the Canadian planes. Things escalate helped on by the Mexican President's lack of rationality, hawkish, self-delusional and self-aggrandizing nature.

When the EDLM's kidnapping does not produce the desired result according to his own private timetable, the Mexican guerilla leader grows impatient and decides to behead the Canadian Ambassador on a live feed of the group's internet site.

The United States leaders decide that in light of the condition of the U.S.'s current economic problems, the best path to follow will be to stay as neutral as possible and to play peacemaker while trying to resolve the conflict between its two largest trade partners as soon as they can. The U.S. issues a stern warning that any plane or ship entering U.S. territory will be destroyed, yet behind the scenes does its best to resolve the conflict diplomatically.

Militarily speaking, things continually escalate fueled on by the Mexican President's intransigence and unwillingness to consider any form of diplomacy with Canada. Mexico is the early aggressor, but eventually the Canadian people push for a more proactive response after the early losses start to pile up against Canada.

Honoré goes out for a night on the town with the boys from his reserve unit and has a few too many drinks and starts a relationship with a townie girl which turns into an obsession on her part. This tryst causes him a good deal of problems when he gets leave and has to divide his time between going home to his wife and daughter, and trying to smoothly resolve his affair which he starts to realize that he really wants to keep going more than he initially thought he did.

Honoré's extremely flamboyant brother visits from Vancouver and forms a tight bond with their three year old daughter, Rui. Eventually, one of his dogs rips open his private stash of oxycontins hidden in his temporary bedroom and Rui ODs when she thinks that they are candies.

José Baez is sent to La Paz, Baja California when he joins the army. His wife Aida calls and informs him that she is pregnant and wants to visit him while they plan their wedding. On a walk in a deserted part of town, a gang of teenage street kids appears and robs them and then stabs Aida in her stomach with a switchblade.

Canada decides to hit the oil fields of Campeche to limit human collateral damage but still give a show of power to hopefully induce the Mexicans to start diplomatic measures of resolution.

Meanwhile, Mexico purchases some expensive fighter jets and surprise attacks Canada hitting their oil fields in Alberta as revenge for the only Canadian aggression in the entire conflict at Campeche.

Eventually Canada realizes that the only solution will be to oust the Mexican President by force and to launch a ground war. Honoré and José eventually come face to face with each other on the battlefield in western Mexico.

 

 

About the Author
Robert Panzullo resides outside of Philadelphia, PA. This is his first novel. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in Fine Art.

 

 

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