Written By: - Date published: 1:24 pm, December 3rd, 2018 - 23 comments
Categories: elections, im/migration, International, Left, liberalism, Politics, quality of life, social democracy, spin - Tags: AMLO, mexico
When Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won the Mexican Presidential race, I commented that he was probably no more than a Jacinda Ardern in terms of being “left” but that seeing as how we were talking about Mexico, that was quite a big thing. I was wrong. He’s way to the left of Ardern – he’s left.
And so the international press has offered a rather muted response to his ascendancy to the position of President. Across some 20 articles, there is a common thread that suggests AMLO is out of touch, may be authoritarian, can’t possibly pay for the promises he’s made and is divisive. These days, I guess we really shouldn’t expect much else from mainstream media when it’s commenting on figures from the left.
So, putting aside the supposed analysis coming from such sources as the Wilson Center who want to cast AMLO as an authoritarian keen to undermine democracy and consolidate power, (that’s the same jokers, who through Professor Anne-Marie Brady, have recently gone all arm wavy about China’s possible influence in NZ btw), here’s a taste of the things AMLO want’s to initiate, pursue and achieve during his six year Presidential term.
From abc7 we learn that AMLO reckons –
“Mexico’s crisis originated not only with the failure of the neoliberal policies applied over the last 36 years,” he said in his inaugural speech, “but also in the prevalence of the filthiest corruption.”
So presumably AMLO will pursue a decidedly social democratic suite of policies and seek to stamp on corruption. Now, of course, that might be about where the screeches about “authoritarianism” begin. After all, if he’s going to stamp out corruption, he’s going to have go full metal jacket and crack a few heads. But as reported in the same piece as above on his inaugural speech to Congress
The rowdiest response from Congress came when Lopez Obrador pledged “not to persecute officials of past administrations,” saying “revenge is not my strong suit.”
That suggests to me something along the lines of a “truth and reconciliation commission” – hardly the preference of a “strong man”.
But look, I’m fairly sure many media and talking heads will stay up late trying to convince all and sundry that everything AMLO does is along the same lines as what Chavez did or tried to do. And since Chavez was successfully portrayed as some kind of a monster, then of course, should any of AMLO’s policies bear so much as a passing resemblance to anything Chavez did, then we should properly view AMLO in similar terms- as a monster.
That shit has already begun with criticism of his intention to back his policies by way of referendums – the referendums will be rigged and suspect – ie, not reflective of what the country’s elites want or desire. The referendum that was run to get a feel for public opinion on the now cancelled $13 billion Mexico City airport is being touted as an example of how suspect and unrepresentative future referendums will be.
Meanwhile he is seeking to convince the US and Canada that they should help fund economic development in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as a way to stem the flows of people seeking to escape the poverty of those countries. It’s a tall order, reportedly involving the injection of some $20 billion. And there’s the clash. On the one side, there’s a President who thinks –
…progressive governments, democratic governments respect migrants and respect the right that all human beings have to seek a [better] life, that’s the principle of human rights,”
And on the other, there’s a President who wrongly thinks that immigrants are miscreants.
Alongside policies designed to alleviate poverty, (such as offering more financial assistance to students and raising pensions), AMLO also intends to ban fracking and the growing of genetically modified crops. That’s to happen alongside expanding Mexico’s oil refining capacity (currently at a 20 odd year low) and satisfying international investors in terms of government borrowing, taxes and maintaining an “independent” central bank.
A very tall set of orders I’d have thought. But then, to head up a government seeking to advance any degree of social democracy in this day and age, after some decades of liberal economic prescriptions and social policies scourging a country…well, it’s bound to be a tall order. The good news is that it will get eaasier as the centre continues to come under pressure and collapse. And I guess that might be party why AMLO, in the day before his inauguration said the following of Jeremy Corbyn –
Those from Latin America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, are our brothers and now the English people will have the opportunity – I hope, I want it with all my heart, with all my soul – to have a prime minister like Corbyn, I don’t know what the laws are, I’m not yet formally the president of Mexico, I won’t be the constitutional president until tomorrow, that’s why I dare to say these things. From tomorrow I have to put a limit on myself but now I say what I think and I have always said what I think,
Did I mention he turned up to his inauguration in a normal car (a volkswagon sedan), is selling the Presidential jet and won’t be residing in the Presidential Palace? I like that kind of shit.