Emilio Óscar Rabasa

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Emilio Óscar Rabasa Mishkin[1] (23 January 1925 – 14 June 2008) was a Mexican politician, diplomat and academic.

Early life[edit]

Rabasa Mishkin was born in Mexico City, the son of Oscar Rabasa, a distinguished Mexican diplomat, and Mrs. Lillian Mishkin, and grandson of constitutional lawyer, poet, and one-time Governor of Chiapas Emilio Rabasa Estebanell (1856–1930). He studied law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he also earned his J.D. and later founded the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences.

Political career[edit]

Rabasa served as Ambassador to the United States in 1970–71, during the government of U.S. President Richard Nixon. On 1 December 1970, President Luis Echeverría appointed him Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He oversaw a period of intense diplomatic activity, during which Mexico doubled (from 67 to 129) the number of countries with which it maintained diplomatic relations, particularly among the nations of the Third World and the Non-Aligned Movement. During Rabasa's time at the foreign ministry, Mexico refused to impose OAS-led sanctions on Castro's Cuba and admitted a flood of political refugees from Pinochet's Chile. Rabasa was also instrumental in the country's adoption of a 200-nautical-mile (370 km) Economic Exclusion Zone and the creation of the Matías Romero Diplomatic Studies Institute. He also signed Mexico's first cooperation agreement with the European Economic Community.[2]

Rabasa resigned from the cabinet on 28 December 1975, due to differences of opinion with President Echeverría arising from heightened international tensions following Mexico's vote in favour of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism. He was replaced by Alfonso García Robles.

After he stepped down he wrote several books including History of the Mexican Constitution, The Political Thought of the Constituent and Environmental Law. He later served at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and on the OAS's Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro.


Rabasa died on 14 June 2008 of heart failure.[3]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Antonio Carrillo Flores
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Alfonso García Robles