AMLO Meets with Trump in D.C.


Note: It’s beyond the purview of this diary to speculate as the many possible reasons AMLO’s election had been celebrated so widely as the ‘Great New Hope for Mexico’.

‘Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People’, Laura Carlsen, July 8, 2020

“To praise a tyrant is to insult a people. López Obrador’s proposed visit to Washington is an insult to the American people, and especially to the 37 million Mexican migrants who live in the United States.  The purpose of the state visit with Donald Trump on July 8 is to celebrate the entry into force of the Mexico-United States-Canada Treaty (T-MEC) on July 1. It comes at the worst possible time.

First, AMLO is traveling to the United States at the height of the pandemic in both countries. In the U.S., a new outbreak concentrated in the southern states has secured its position as the world leader in deaths from COVID-19, largely attributed to the lack of measures and strategies by the federal government and the disregard for scientific knowledge that President Trump and his supporters publicly express.” […]

“If the health context is serious, the political context is even more serious. The main purpose of López Obrador’s first trip abroad, his first since taking office a year and a half ago, is to display the good relationship he has with Donald Trump. Appeasement has always been AMLO’s strategy, ignoring Trump’s racist, authoritarian and often illegal actions, and accommodating aggressions against Mexico and the cruel treatment of the migrant community. Now he plans to pat Trump on the back at a critical moment for Trump’s reelection campaign. With only four months to go until the presidential elections, everything Trump does is thought out in electoral terms. He’s losing in the polls. Trump needs at least part of the Latino vote, and the praise of the Mexican president will serve to dress him up as a statesman and friend of Mexico, despite the constant attacks.

The Mexican president’s show of political support for Donald Trump will also come at a time of massive protests in the United States against racism, and the growth of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This movement is profoundly radical – anti-capitalist, feminist and pro-human rights–the antithesis of Trump-ism. With broad support from many sectors of U.S. society that are fed up with a repressive government of the 1%, the movement has made remarkable progress in defending human life and proposing new visions for society.”

I admit I’m uncomfortable that she calls the Black Lives Movement ‘feminist’, but it may be that she’s imagining the three founders: Garza, Cullors, and Tometi who have indeed been funded by the Ford Foundation to essentially sheep-dog for the Democratic Party, according to Glen Ford at BAR, but travel under the flag of LGBT as well.

But clearly the movement has spread globally, often under the BLM banner, with different nations protesting police assassinations of their own George Floyds.

Mr. López Obrador goes to Washington: Mexican president kowtows to his “friend” Donald Trump’, Eric London, 9 July 2020, wsws.org

“Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s appearance with Donald Trump yesterday will rank in history as among the most demeaning and sycophantic visits to Washington by any Latin American head of state.

López Obrador, known in Mexico as AMLO, won a landslide election in 2018 by pledging that he could unite Mexican workers, peasants and the “progressive” sections of the capitalist class to end austerity and stand up to decades of exploitation by American corporations. AMLO’s visit to Washington confirms that all such promises are fraudulent, as the interests of all sections of Mexico’s ruling class are entirely antagonistic to those of the country’s working masses.

During his visit, AMLO allowed his government to be used as a prop in Trump’s efforts to distract the American population from his administration’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The goal of the Mexican ruling class and its American handlers is to protect the profits of American and Mexican corporations, secure a swift and deadly return to work, and stymie the growing influence of China across Latin America.” […]

“This exchange shows why the Mexican president’s visit is so unpopular in Mexico. AMLO’s poll numbers are sinking as Mexico climbs in the global rankings of coronavirus deaths.

“You have treated us as we are, a country and a people that are dignified, free, democratic and sovereign,” AMLO said to the man who referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and “criminals,” deployed thousands of soldiers to the US-Mexico border and threatened to impose massive tariffs on imports from Mexico to extract concessions in trade negotiations. This is the man, moreover, whose immigration agencies are terrorizing immigrants—including millions from Mexico—on a daily basis throughout the US.

During his remarks in the Rose Garden, AMLO justified his relationship with his “friend” Trump by referencing Benito Juárez, Mexico’s president from 1858 to 1872, who led Mexico’s war against the Franco-Habsburg occupation of Mexico and who collaborated with US President Abraham Lincoln in opposing French involvement on the continent.

AMLO’s analogy is an insult to the legacy of both Juárez and Lincoln. While Juárez took up arms against the French, AMLO took a delegation of Mexican billionaires and millionaires by the arm to dine with the fascistic Trump. At a corporate dinner last night, Carlos Slim and various bankers represented Mexico. CNBC reported that the American attendees included “FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith, UPS Executive Chairman David Abney, Intel CEO Bob Swan and Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet, according to a partial list obtained by CNBC.” The business cable channel added that executives from Sempra, Shell, Ford, Nucor and other corporations were also slated to attend.” […]

File under: ‘Comprador Grifter meets with his Counterpart’.

“AMLO was called to Washington by corporate America to pledge that Mexican workers will be forced to keep supply chains running, no matter the death toll, making possible the full “reopening” of the United States. Doctors and health officials in northern Mexican cities, home to many maquiladora sweatshops that produce parts for export to the US, have warned that morgues are filling with the dead bodies of workers killed after contracting the virus on the job.

Beyond the pandemic, the USMCA’s overall purpose is to integrate supply chains across North America at the expense of China. In a Wall Street Journal article published July 6, former Trump National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster praised AMLO and Trump, noting that “the reduction of trade barriers among the USMCA’s parties will strengthen US, Mexican and Canadian supply chains, returning manufacturing jobs to North America from China.” […]

“AMLO referenced these geostrategic interests when he stated that the purpose of the USMCA was to seek “a better integration of our economies and a better functioning of the productive channels, to recuperate the economic presence that North America has lost in the last five decades.”

I’m guessing this must be the correct video (25 mins.);  I haven’t watched it.

London then quotes  Jacobin op-ed that claims that AMLO is inspired by ‘liberation theology’ and lives it himself, and links to four other wsws titles on AMLO below.

I will say that the Zapatistas sure never trusted him, even though he’d “Reached out to them”.  For instance:  ‘We won’t back AMLO’s projects’ [nor his ‘non-militarization’ hypocrisy] at globaljusticeecology.org, Jan. 3, 2019One outtake:

“The Maya Train is a large-scale infrastructure project proposed by Lopez Obrador to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation and economic purposes.

To mark the start of the project, Lopez Obrador held a traditional ceremony “to ask Mother Earth for permission” with sympathizing local Indigenous leaders and organizations, a move that was criticized by many because “Mother Earth couldn’t give him an answer.”

The EZLN called Lopez Obrador a trickster. “The one in power is treacherous,” said Moises. “He says he’s with the people of Mexico and keeps tricking the Indigenous people, bowing to Earth asking it for permission and saying that all Indigenous peoples believe him, but we tell him we don’t believe him.”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Some DNC stooge? Maybe she wants Mexico to declare war on the USA? Less drastic would be to embargo all trade (including telephone calls) with the USA. That would be a disaster for Mexico.

Lopez-Obrador should do what's best for Mexico, not the DNC.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

column at counterpunch:

Laura Carlsen is the director of the Americas Program in Mexico City and advisor to Just Associates (JASS).

the link to the americas program is broken, but i did find it. i hdn't looked up JASS, though.

but you seem to believe that any criticism of AMLO meeting w/ trump is some sort of DNC psyop, then?

'Lopez-Obrador should do what's best for Mexico...'

best for: Mexico's GDP? preventing more coronavirus deaths? the oligarchs? the citizenry? the indigenous?

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@wendy davis
Because Mexico's President should care more about snubbing trump than his country's economy.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

from Boss Tweet huntin' for votes:

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@wendy davis
And, to be fair, Illinois' Legislature refuses to meet, proffering to let Pritzker make his own decrees.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

i have no idea what you're talking about. now i don't mind if you disagree with what i've pasted together, but i wonder if you'd even read past carlsen's bits.

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@wendy davis

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

Who are the businessmen that visited the U.S. with AMLO?; A group of Mexican entrepreneurs traveled along with AMLO to celebrate the USMCA and have dinner in the White House with President Trump, july 10

On the other hand, some questioned the contradictions between a populist and leftist leader signing a treaty that promotes capitalism and the free market. Let’s not forget that AMLO was one of the main detractors of the old treaty, NAFTA, signed in 1994 by then president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, whom AMLO has pointed out as the "father of modern inequality.”

And to add to the contradiction, a group of multi-millionaires (some billionaires) were part of AMLO’s posse going to the U.S.

Carlos Slim Helú: The richest man in Mexico, according to Forbes, and number 12 worldwide. Owner of Grupo Carso, principal investor in the construction of the new airport, a project cancelled during AMLO’s presidential term.

Ricardo Salinas Pliego: The businessman has benefited the most during the actual presidential term.

According to Forbes, TV Azteca’s owner has increased his fortune in the last two years with government contracts. As a result, he has become the second-richest person in Mexico.

Carlos Hank González: Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Financiero Banorte, Vice Chairman of Gruma and Managing Director of Grupo Industrial Hermes. González is a descendant of the Hank family, known for being involved in corruption scandals in Mexico’s politics for a long time.

Patricia Armendariz : Current CEO of Financiera Sustentable and advisor of Banorte Group.

Her focus is to support Mexican micro-entrepreneurs. Altogether with Carlos Bremer, another of the entrepreneurs invited to the dinner, she is part of the reality show Shark Tank Mexico where investors choose whether or not to fund entrepreneurial projects.

Olegario Vazquez: Entrepreneur, executive director of Grupo Empresarial Ángeles, owner among others of Camino Real Hotels and, in the area of communication, Grupo Imagen.

Among the other businessmen that attended the meeting were:

Daniel Chávez Morán owner of Vidanta, an important tourism company, Bernardo Gómez Martínez, Televisa 's CEO, Francisco González Sánchez, President of Multimedios Group, Miguel Rincón Arredondo, president of Bio Pappel, a company in charge of printing books for the Secretary of Public education (SEP), and Marcos Shabot Zonana, a representative from the architecture and construction fields.

The principal objective of AMLO’s presidential term, also called “Mexico’s Fourth Transformation,” is to eradicate poverty and promote national industry.

The international free market proposed by the new USMCA is a lifesaver against the economic crisis and the austerity generated by the coronavirus crisis.

However, only some companies will receive benefits from the USMCA, while the economic profits of a few groups will continue to divide and make Mexico’s social inequalities even more clear.

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wendy davis's picture

Trump’s ‘Hispanic Prosperity’ Initiative is full of empty words; The order comes at a puzzling time, when Trump’s battle against COVID-19 is lax, and Hispanics and Latinos have the highest infection and mortality rates;, july 10

The executive order contains no mention of Latino’s as a separate group from Hispanics. And in its totality, it is a contradiction to what the president has symbolized to Hisapanic and Latino communities during his entire tenure as president.

“Their [Hispanic’s] collective contributions continue a legacy of inspiration that is cherished part of the American experience,” reads the initiative.

“While we celebrate the many ways Hispanic Americans have contributed to our Nation, we also recognize that they face challenges in accessing educational and economic opportunities,” it continues.

Latinos are currently the most disproportionately affected demographic group in the nation.

Racial injustice is prevalent in every aspect of life. ICE is restricting work visas for international workers, DACA debates continue to put 700,000 lives on the line, and international students have been ordered to return to their country of origin if their school is going virtual.

Where is this “celebration”?

“The Executive Order by the President today is little more than words for the Hispanic community,” said Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Joaquin Castro.

The Latino victory fund issued a statement on the Executive Order, calling it a “cruel trick designed to gloss over the fact that he has failed the Latino community,” wrote CEO Nathalie Rayes.

“One executive order will not erase the damage he’s done to Latinos – thousands of children separated from families, millions at risk of losing their healthcare, a nearly 18 percent unemployment, and the highest infection and mortality COVID-19 rate, to name a few,” Rayes continued.

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magiamma's picture

Sad to see so many people suffering with covid while these two talk politics.

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wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

long, but i'd kinda forgotten to check back for additional comments. but yes: Boss Tweet wants 'Hispanic' votes, AMLO wants more lucre for the mexican oligarchs, meanwhile...the deaths keep piling up.

i hadn't even taken the time to check with lori wallach and friends at Public Citizen (iirc) about this 'improved' NAFTA deal, to say the truth.

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Lookout's picture

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/18/mexico-overthrow-president-amlo-boa/#...

López Obrador has also posed a challenge to the US foreign-policy consensus. His government provided refuge to Bolivia’s elected socialist President Evo Morales and to members of Evo’s political party who were exiled after a Trump administration-backed military coup.

AMLO also held a historic meeting with Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and even stated Mexico would be willing to break the unilateral US blockade of Venezuela and sell the besieged Chavista government gasoline.

The “plan of action” makes it clear that this powerful opposition alliance seeks to use its extensive control over the media to obsessively blame AMLO for “unemployment, poverty, insecurity, and corruption” in Mexico....
BOA document reluctantly acknowledges that the López Obrador “government has managed to mitigate the economic impact of the health crisis of coronavirus by giving large amounts of public money to the affected, through social programs.”

Like us all, there is good and bad in everyone and perfection is impossible. AMLO is certainly a better leader than Trump.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

as i'm almost overwhelmed with family blues.

but yes, i'd read at least one part of ben's news, but i don't remember the prt about his meeting with diaz-camel, and so on. but i had grabbed the telesur english version, which is where i'd thought i'd read ben's.

"AMLO makes known a document that attempts against his goverment; and he indicates to his spokesman, 'Jesus, you present it, because I have not read it well.' They present a generic document, presumably with the participation of opposition parties."

Among the promoters and actors of the Opposition Block there are the Business Coordinating Council, Coparmex, Grupo Monterrey, National Citizens Council, and former presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón.

i had wondered if AMLO;s campaign didn't look great in comparison to Fox, Calderon, and even Nieto. but as with obomba, campaigning and actions were two different things.

i'm not quite sure that the 'leaked documents' were For Real, as our kids used to say, given AMLO's dropping poll ratings.

i have been trying to suss out the reason that evo only stye in mexico for a month, then headed for argentina, though.

and no, it's likely that people are not all bad or good, but some skirt the edge of being 'all bad', even evil.

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