Andrés Manuel López Obrador, referred to as AMLO, is certain to be Mexico’s next president and that is not very good news for the United States. Our neighbors to the south are poised to elect a populist who leans heavily on liberal nationalism while sometimes slipping into socialist leanings. AMLO has run twice previously for president and is a former mayor of Mexico City. His anti-Trump rhetoric inspires and motivates his supporters.
Election Day is July 1, and AMLO is polling a healthy 20 points ahead of his nearest opponent. He is running as an Independent, not as a candidate for either of the two traditional parties. Known as “Juntos haremos historia” (“Together we will make history”), Americans should be wary that he may accomplish what he sets out to do. He is feared to be the next Hugo Chavez, remaking Mexico into the next Venezuela with his “radical revolution”.
Mr López Obrador, who has run for the presidency twice before, has a folksy air of incorruptibility that enchants many Mexicans. He promises a “radical revolution”. Some hear that as a threat. Mr López Obrador has at times opposed the measures earlier governments have taken to modernise the economy. His critics liken him to Hugo Chávez, whose “Bolivarian revolution” has brought ruin to Venezuela. The nationalist populism he offers is unlike anything Mexico has seen since the early 1980s. And if the polls are right, he will win.
Much like his stated nemesis, Donald Trump, AMLO is running on a platform that appeals to the working class, the poor, and those fed up with cronyism and the status quo brought about by Mexico’s two ruling parties, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN). Mexico’s current President Pena is a member of the PRI. Instead of running on draining the swamp as Trump did, AMLO calls it the mafia of power that now rules Mexico.
AMLO’s socialism is from the liberal side. He campaigns on cutting the salaries of top government officials in half, including the president, and raising wages of workers with the savings. He sounds like Robin Hood or Bernie Sanders. He pledges to cut the income of wealthier Mexicans and increase the incomes of the poor. He’s non-committal on social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Most of all, those fearful of AMLO’s victory blame it all on Trump.
So far Lopez Obrador has kept a lid on potential conflict within his alliance by adopting ambiguous stances on contentious issues such as abortion, gay marriage and economic liberalization.
Still, Mexico’s next president will face a more challenging start than his predecessors. Murders are at record levels, the peso currency is languishing close to historic lows against the dollar and a trade war has been brewing with Trump.
However, the U.S. president could prove useful. If Trump stays hostile, insisting Mexico will pay for his planned border wall and seeking to repatriate jobs to the United States, it could help Lopez Obrador paper over divisions on how to move Mexico forward.
“If Trump continues on the path he is on, he could easily help Lopez Obrador bring the country closer together,” said Andres Rozental, a former deputy foreign minister.
On the issue of Mexicans seeking to emigrate to America, AMLO’s most radical opinion emerges. He calls on Mexicans to just storm the border. He calls a mass exodus “a human right”.
“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said on Tuesday while calling on people to “leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”
This fleeing to the United States would be “a human right we will defend.”
Great. Things aren’t chaotic on the border already, right? Now we have the next president of Mexico calling for a mass exodus of Mexicans escaping poverty (over 40% of Mexicans are poor) and escalating murder rates to flood into America. The arrogance of it’s a “human right” is unbelievable. He issued three demands of President Pena to protest America’s treatment of those illegal aliens who have already crossed over onto American soil.
Speaking at a rally, AMLO demanded President Enrique Peña Nieto take three immediate actions against the [azure]”Inhumane, Racist, and arrogant”[azure] US government.
The first actions is to issue a diplomatic note of protest against the US government, the second being to request intervention by the high commissioner of the United Nations Organization to stop the racist, inhumane deportation of children by separating them from their family and stuffing them in cages.
The final demand that the president send a team of psychologists, lawyers, and social workers to help the children.
Now that his victory is all but certain, AMLO is looking to make more friendly gestures to smooth things over with the very wealthiest of Mexicans. His campaign even plans to end at the country’s largest venue.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador may be struggling to mend bridges with Mexico’s richest tycoons, but at least one is showing support by booking him the nation’s largest party venue: Estadio Azteca.
The presidential candidate says he’ll close his campaign on June 27 at the site that’s hosted two World Cup finals and seats over 80,000. His Morena party will rent the stadium from broadcaster Televisa, chaired by Emilio Azcarraga, whom the candidate had once labeled part of the “mafia of power.” Now his stadium will be the site of what Lopez Obrador promises to be a blowout music festival.
Sounds a little swampy, doesn’t it? Good luck, Mexican citizens. You’re going to need it.