The Opinion page article "NAFTA and Mexico," June 3, is excellent. The author mentions the fear that a presidency by Cuauthmoc Crdenas Solranzo, the son of a president who nationalized the oil industry, could lead to a return of state intervention in the economy. He then writes, accurately, that such fears are exaggerated. In 1938 President Lazaro Crdenas had no intention of nationalizing. International oil barons rejected a ruling of Mexico's Supreme Court and threatened to "bring Mexico's economy to a grinding halt." My wife's uncle, then secretary of the Treasury, was with the president at the time. The oilmen provoked the oil industry's nationalization. The real threat to the US, Mexico, and their treaties is Mexico's lack of democracy. Indeed, "Why fear Mexican democracy?" Jorge Prieto, Chicago Questioning tradition In contrast to the editorial "Keep Whaling Commission Intact," May 14, I commend the International Whaling Commission for extending the international moratorium on whaling. Japanese representatives justified whaling as a tradition and challenged Americans to stop eating beef. In fact, both traditions deserve challenge. Protecting whales represents an opportunity for the global society to demonstrate self-control in exploiting other species - a beacon of hope in the current mass extinction. In addition, many individuals around the world have found new reasons to value these animals alive more than dead. Eating beef also deserves reevaluation, as the raising of beef cows in many areas of the world is questionable land use, and many aspects of current factory farming in the United States today are inhumane. Society needs to evaluate actions on their own current merits as well as by the values of past generations. Catherine Badgley, Chelsea, Mich.