The War on AMLO

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1775 ... March 1, 2019

The War on AMLO

Kurt Hackbarth and Colin Mooers

Ten weeks into the administration of progressive president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the Mexican right has made it clear how it plans to oppose him: not as an adversary to be defeated, but as an enemy to be destroyed. And in a war of this kind, as the Spanish saying goes, Todo vale. Anything goes.

The first of the false furors flared up even before AMLO took office, when former presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón -- both from the conservative National Action Party (PAN) -- criticized his decision to invite Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to his inauguration, setting off a tempest-in-a-teapot firestorm within the nation’s corporate media. Inviting foreign heads of state to... an inauguration, of course, is part and parcel of diplomatic protocol, something both Fox and Calderón had adhered to when inviting then-president Hugo Chávez to their respective ceremonies.

But hypocrisy was no object when it came to the PAN’s attempts to tie AMLO to the Bolivarian Revolution, an obsession that dated to the party’s shadowy attack ads in the 2006 election and repeated faithfully through last year’s campaign. When, during his inaugural speech in Congress, AMLO read out Maduro’s name among a list of the foreign leaders in attendance, deputies from the PAN leapt up on cue and, with cries of "Dictator!," ran to the front of the chamber to unfurl a banner condemning the Venezuelan head of state (a stunt strangely not repeated for the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel).

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