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AMLO Presidente! A New Era for Mexico?


AMLO Presidente! A New Era for Mexico?

Jim Cohen

The months leading up to the July 1st victory of Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador were fraught with uncertainty: would entrenched economic and political interests ever allow him to win? The attempt to prevent him from ever becoming president succeeded twice, in 2006 and 2012, through a combination of outright electoral fraud, vote-buying, terror, murder, judicial harassment, and McCarthyite scare tactics.


The POTUS and Oligarchy Congress will doubtlessly increase the CIA budget. Can’t have the “threat of a good example” at our doorstep.


Exactamundo. While the CIA, or even the US, still exists there will never be a “new era” for Mexico, regardless of any electoral outcomes.
What concerns me is the barrage of pundits trying to equate AMLO with Sanders for some reason.


Let’s just hope he’s not gonna try some stupid Bolivarian Revolution a la Venezuela. Didn’t work out too well for those guys.


All comparisons are approximate, but the comparison with Sanders is closer to reality than the stupid comparison with Trump (as in a certain Washington Post editorial published a few days before the election). With both AMLO and Sanders we’re in fairly moderate social-democratic territory. The thing is, to get anywhere near social democracy in Mexico, you need first to uproot the corruption, the impunity, the endemic violence. That could take quite awhile and will take lots of concentration and persistence.


The forces of conservatism tried to discredit AMLO for years by comparing him with Chávez (see article above), but it’s a weak comparison. Not even close. AMLO will be a prudent president. Maybe too much so! But not a firebrand who goes out of his way to enrage Washington. Even with this crazy guy in the White House.


Prudent? Time will tell but his campaign rhetoric was most definitely nationalist, not that there’s anything wrong with that but when you’re writing checks you can’t cash…

Mexico has huge problems. Drug cartels have been allowed to bribe their way into controlling vast swathes of the country. Corruption is rampant and has been a way of life.

His new talk about amnesty for drug dealers is every crazier: This is just an admission of what anyone who cares to already knows: Mexico is run by a collection of drug cartels and other violent outlaws. This collection of criminals has killed thousands of public officials, police and reporters – all in the name of preserving a criminal status quo that no one even feels like pretending does not exist anymore. They even write songs glorifying them.

Throw promises of more freebies onto that pyre and it will accelerate any socialist country’s demise and it’s ripe for even more millions to try their luck at our border.

I wish Mexico the best, I used to travel extensively through there back in the 70s and the people are great. But I see even worse trouble down the road, many of AMLO’s promises are identical to those made by Chavez.

The US/NAFTA spigot is being turned off and the billions that illegals send back is being eyed. Nationalizing various industries especially energy is the road to ruin. As the border, pressure relief valve is closed and more & more illegals are deported, Mexico is going to have to come to grips with reality.

And BTW since CD won’t even make note of it, today is the celebration of our Founding so HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!


Yes, Jim and natureboy, the U.S. Empire’s bad-populist Emperor Trump will certainly try to slap down hard any good, democratic progressive-populism in Mexico.

Here’s a string of three (3) comments in the NY “Times” that I posted (also on TD) with the hope of educating (Americans as well as Mexicans) about the promise and dangers of (respectively) good democratic progressive-populists vs. bad Imperialist Emperor-populists:


Happy 4th, likewise. Slow down! Who said anything about nationalizing? He may go back on the decrees of the current administration concerning the privatization of water (of all damn things to privatize!) but he’s not talking about a program of state control of industry. Today he met with a council of businessmen and came out of the meeting talking about concertation and working things out by reason. The Chávez comparison, as I suggested in the article, is completely a figment of the imagination of his right-wing opponents. That is so obvious that they didn’t even try it this time. Why would you?

Yes, Mexico’s people are great and they deserve a change in direction. That’s what they voted for and that looks more like democracy than anything I’ve seen in quite awhile.


He’s certainly singing a slightly toned down song since he was elected. I read that he intends to nationalize the oil industry and that’ll be a disaster just as it was, although it took over a decade, after Chavez did it in Venezuela. So it’s not so far fetched to compare him to AMLO.

He has a tough row to hoe. I wish him the best but I also want the best for my country and that means no more Mexicans.


Oil was nationalized in Mexico in 1938. Nationalization does not necessarily mean good management but it doesn’t necessarily mean bad management either. PEMEX has been run into the ground intentionally but it could also be revived and better managed, intentionally.

As for “no more Mexicans” in the US, I hope you’re joking. Two neighboring countries with a long land border are bound to spill over into each other. There are said to be over a million US retirees in Mexico. One place where Trump and and AMLO could agree is on diminishing migration flows but that would mean a very different kind of development in Mexico – the kind that creates job opportunities for everybody. As for the idea that there should be “no more Mexicans” in the US… where have we heard that kind of language before? In a world of instantaneous communication and easy air travel how are you going to keep countries apart, and why the hell would you want to?


Let me amend that-no more illegal Mexicans-no more illegals. Period.

My mistake.

As I’ve said elsewhere, anyone that wants a piece of the American dream and jumps through he necessary hoops, is heartily welcome.


Yes, but as I’m sure you know, immigrants without papers don’t really come by choice. Especially the ones coming now from Central America. Their situation is tragic. This is a question of basic humanity. They need to be welcomed. (Maybe you won’t agree.) It’s also a question of development, not just what the law says. The history of these countries is closely tied up with the US and the very deformed type of economic development they’ve known is in great part a responsibility of the US. US policy needs to reach out more to these countries, not just to deport migrants but to help promote and inclusive form of development so that people won’t need to migrate. We’re all in this together.


To correct common misperceptions on this site, in 1938 Mexico nationalized its oil industry (formerly British, hence why USA’s FDR chose to not intervene). I haven’t heard statements about how well or badly PEMEX is run, although I think I’ve heard that PEMEX workers are well-paid.

In recent years PEMEX production has been declining. One theory was that PEMEX needed outside help to restore production to old levels. The current president Peña Nieto loosened previous strict laws against foreign oil companies operating in Mexico. AMLO had campaigned for reversing those changes.

In 1976 Venezuela nationalized its oil industry. The governments of Venezuela at the time knew how badly other nations nationalized oil companies were run and wanted to avoid that. I’ve heard that it was well-run up to the Chavez presidency, but there were also complaints that such a rich resource wasn’t sufficiently benefiting the pobre (poor) of the nation. Chavez ran in 1998 on seizing more money from PdVSA and spending it on the people. Between that and a general PdVSA strike against Chavez in the early 2000s, management at PdVSA was totally overhauled. It is now run by a military general with no oil industry experience. PdVSA’s production has fallen below the amount Venezuela needs to produce to fulfill contracts. (Socialists should celebrate. Isn’t refusing to participate in the capitalist economy the most important thing to leftists?)

One of the problems Pres. AMLO has to make decisions on is what to do with PEMEX. …

Generally, I recommend filing this article in a place where you can find it in 5 or 6 years. Dig it out then and compare attitudes, hopes and expectations now with the actuals that Mexico will have in 2023 to 2024.

Just as a general comment, the previous President, Felipe Calderón, began the war against the drug cartels, with an official number of murders on the order of 60,000. The current President, Enrique Peña Nieto, was elected to do something about the drug cartels and the war. My impression is that he failed, and my impression is that all this talk about ‘corruption’ is code words for the continuing problem of the drug cartels.

The problem with drug cartels and criminal gangs seems to be substantially caused by Americans. Note that I wrote “Americans”, not “America”. This is because so many Americans have affluenza and spend so much of their money on mind-numbing substances. - As has been remarked in more than one place, “A drug habit is God’s way is saying that you’ve got too much money.”


Hugo Chavez and AMLO have little in common, except an interest in creating new jobs in their countries. The Mexican has a different reality than Venezuela geographically next door to the BIGGEST BULLY in the world, so it calls for extreme caution in the way AMLO acts as president. Ironically both AMLO and Trump are nationalists even if ideologically opposites, they have the same purpose to create more jobs for their own citizens. So the more jobs AMLO creates in Mexico, the less pressure there will be for Mexicans to try to emigrate to USA looking for a job there. That’s why there’s a plan to convince Trump to have an economic program to aid Mexico and central American countries to create their own jobs to stop the thousands travelling North to USA. Let’s see if it happens.