In 2018 Mexico elected as president the previously unelectable Andrés Manuel López Obrador, an extreme left-wing politician.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2006 and two times unsuccessful candidate to the presidency in 2006 and in 2012. He has been one of the most prominent figures in Mexican politics in recent years, confronting the PRI structure in Tabasco, his hometown, at a very young age.
Morena leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the 2006 and 2012 local elections. However, they committed fraud and hid the results, so his reputation remained somewhat intact with his supporters. But due to the ensuing media campaign against him, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has a terrible reputation in some sectors of Mexican society.
The president of Mexico (Spanish: Presidente de México), officially known as the President of the United Mexican States (Spanish: Presidente de Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the constitution, the president is also the supreme commander of the Mexican armed forces.
Currently, the office of the president is considered to be revolutionary, in that the powers of the office are derived from the Revolutionary Constitution of 1917. Another legacy of the revolution is its ban on re-election. Mexican presidents are limited to a single six-year term, called a sexenio. No one who has held the post, even on a caretaker basis, is allowed to run or serve again. The constitution and the office of the president closely follow the presidential system of government.
Obrador ran for presidency under a three-party coalition led by the leftist National Regeneration Movement party (Morena) he founded in 2014.
Opponents of Mr López Obrador said before his election, his leftist sympathies risk turning Mexico “into Venezuela.”
They warned that he shared the authoritarian approach and drive to expropriate of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and that he will wreck Mexico’s economy in the same way that of Venezuela has been.
The worries by his opponents seem to be working out the way they guessed and predicted they would. He has taken positive sides with the sullied president of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, attempting to help keep Maduro in power. Obrador’s support of Maduro, like all the hemispheres 21st century socialist leaders is based on socialist solidarity, supporting wrong at the expense of the people.
Obrador needed to test his standing with the Mexican people and to do that first he needed to know how far they can be led or even pushed into backing him through a crisis. So a crisis was invented around the supply of gasoline to gasoline service stations. While doing that he also wanted to keep public transport and essential delivery and distribution services running, busses and those transport companies essentially run on diesel and not petroleum. So diesel was not part of the crisis, delivery of diesel to the gas stations flowed unhindered.
The created shortage in supply of petroleum was done on the pretext that it was necessary to stop the theft of petroleum spirit through the pipeline service to gas stations. Of course, there are thousands of people in the know, if people are stealing gas via tapping into the pipeline, people know where and by whom, so do the authorities. So it would be a relatively simple matter of arresting suspects and closing down such operations.
The whole operation showed that the Mexican people are willing to put up with disruption and hardship if they believe it is in a good cause. Lining up at gas stations for sometimes five or six hours, getting up at 4 am to be in a line of vehicles queuing for gas was indeed a difficult time for many, but no one revolted.
So it’s now known that if the presentation of what appears a genuine reason for grabbing industry and services to make them state-controlled would be acceptable if the people are fed the right story.
Giving up salary, giving up the presidential jet, the president taking public transport are all part of the plan of deception. As are the promises of doing great things for the underprivileged, making free education and extra university places a priority.
According to Lopez Obrador, he will fight for the interests of the poor, the working class, the farmers, women, the indigenous people, and gay and lesbian people, increasing scholarships for young Mexicans and expanding social welfare programmes for the elderly. Perhaps most important eradicating or curtailing the cartel which currently controls the country’s finances even more than the government.
He also promised to resist measures that Peña Nieto set in motion in privatizing the state oil company PEMEX as well as the electrical industry and to increase sales taxes on food and medicine. It’s the same type of rhetoric used by Chavez, promise them everything, give them very little [sometimes nothing], until the country ends in the Venezuelan style failure.
All those kind of expensive promised goodies is indeed the road to a Venezuelan situation. Many of his opponents were correct in their beliefs, although the majority of Mexican people including the poor and disenfranchised, even middle class, want to believe because it’s human nature to believe, even an obvious untruth if it sounds good.
But the real worry about such a man is what will he do after his six-year term; will he try and get a change in the constitution to allow him more than one term? That’s what Chavez did in Venezuela, through what he called 21st century socialism. Despite Obrador’s promise, saying he will not carry out expropriations or seek re-election after this term in office.
The people are actually being primed right now for the constitutional change required to allow several terms of presidency. The introduction by Obrador of giving the people a say through referendums is in fact the introduction of a double-edged sword. Such polls are in fact a significant facet of democracy if appropriately used with a sincerity that most politicians lack.
Take for instance the first trial of this ballot procedure, used in stopping the development of the new airport at Guadalajara. The people were allowed to make a choice through a referendum.
Obrador said his administration, would heed the results of the informal referendum that called for abandoning the current project. But how informal was a ballot when the star political player had already convinced the public to reject the new airport, despite it being partially if not almost finished. The people did just that, they rejected the airport, why? Because they wanted to believe the judgment of Obrador, their chosen one.
Now that is over, Obrador knows that he can convince the majority of people to vote in a referendum to extend the time limit on his presidency through a referendum, but of course a formal one next time. A binding change on the constitution, it’s all been done before in Venezuela. Remember this will not be Obrador seeking an extension of his presidency; it will be by the people through a referendum.
As Obrador has privately voiced, “If the US president can have two five-year terms, that should be the least I can expect.” “You cannot expect me to complete my extensive programs in six years” [eventually two terms may become a lifetime dictatorship].
Like-minded 21st century socialist politicians support each other, the Castros, Chavez, Maduro, Obrador, they even believe their “great minds think alike”.
Perhaps more appropriate “if you lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas”.
Good luck, Mexicans, for the future, you will surely need it.