Above photo: By David Bacon.
The arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to the Presidency of Mexico had an important impact on the momentum of anti-neoliberal struggles in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the presidential elections approached and his candidacy grew, it was a cause of joy and hope in revolutionary and progressive circles in our America. Let’s remember some historic moments
When the Mexican presidential election was held (7/2018), our region was suffering a major political regression towards the right and towards the hegemony of neoliberalism as a result of the temporary successes achieved by a runaway oligarchic imperialist offensive, which continues. The electoral defeat of the Argentine left in 2015 was followed in 2016 by the parliamentary-judicial-media coup against the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and the establishment of a US puppet government in that country, which marked a great turn to the right in the regional correlation of forces.
Then came Lula’s imprisonment to prevent him from competing in the Brazilian elections of October 2018, where he would have been the sure winner, an indispensable measure to consolidate the neoliberal return. This was accompanied by a monumental campaign to discredit the Workers’ Party, many of whose members went to jail, prosecuted as Lula did with total lack of evidence. Another gigantic fraud in Honduras prevented the return of progressive forces to government in 2017 and allowed the criminal agent of imperialism Juan Orlando Hernandez to remain in office. The judicialization of politics or lawfare extended to Argentina, where Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and several of her collaborators were subject to fierce judicial persecution and several of them went to jail with fabricated cases.
On top of all of this, shortly after Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, he unleashed an extraordinary onslaught with his ferocity, cynicism and irrationality against the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, as if Obama’s punitive and as unilateral anti-Venezuelan measures hadn’t been enough and those that Cuba continued to suffer from after the discreet opening of the African-American leader. The objective is to kill Cubans and Venezuelans with hunger and disease, not to punish their rulers as shamelessly stated by the spokespeople of the empire.
In this context, AMLO’s electoral victory was the cause of great jubilation on the left in Latin America and the Caribbean, which rightly celebrated the event as its own. Thus also the execution against the neoliberal policies in his first year of government, with an extraordinary transfer of economic resources to large disadvantaged sectors of the population, particularly to the native peoples, the rescue of the energy sector from ruin and delivery to the transnationals in which the neoliberals left it, the defense of sovereignty, non-intervention and other very important principles of foreign policy enshrined in the Mexican Constitution, are measures that have exercised a very important stimulus in the unleashing of the current anti-neoliberal rebellion of the peoples of our America.
It is not that the Mexican government has set out to do so, nor has it had anything to do with the organization of the ongoing protests in the region. Far from it. What Mexico has done is simply to give the example that an alternative path to the neoliberal can be taken at a time when the right wing and self-proclaimed authors of the left have closed the so-called progressive cycle in Latin America and the Caribbean. Supposedly we would enter an endless stage of conservative restoration, but what we are seeing is an outburst of rebellion against the brutal repression of the neoliberals. Important proof, together with everything we have mentioned, is the electoral victory of the Fernández-Fernández binomial in a country of Argentina’s importance.
A fact that has magnified and gained enormous respect in our American lands for the government of Mexico has been the admirable rescue and political asylum operation in Mexico for Evo Morales and Alvaro Garcia Linera, president and vice president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, overthrown by a fascist coup d’état. AMLO has been very clear: Evo is not only our brother who represents with dignity the majority indigenous people of Bolivia. Evo was a victim of a coup d’état. And from Mexico to the world, we maintain: democracy yes, militarism no. No less important is the fact that the first state visit of a president to Mexico in the 4th Transformation was that of the Cuban Miguel Díaz-Canel.
It is of great importance for our America that Mexico will assume the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as of January 2020, since it constitutes a guarantee that the unity and integration of our region will be revived.