Socialist poison has been festering in Mexico’s veins for centuries, but this week the contamination took a turn for the worse after President López Obrador unveiled more than ever his support for two of Latin America’s worst socialist tyrannies: Nicolás Maduro’s in Venezuela and Miguel Díaz-Canel’s in Cuba.
Both dictators visited Mexico this week, with the red carpet of AMLO’s government, which apparently has decided to set aside the prudence it had shown in the first half of his administration. While Trump was in the White House, Obrador understood that he needed to keep the party peaceful with the United States, because Donald knows how to negotiate and knows how to pressure. However, now that the American presidency is in the fragile hands of Biden, there is no need to dissemble. And AMLO took off his disguise.
For the celebrations for the anniversary of Mexico’s independence, Obrador brought Díaz-Canel as his special guest, “showed him off” and threw himself in open support of the Cuban dictatorship, while the recently unpacked U.S. ambassador (Ken Salazar) was left as a mere tourist in the last row of the grandstand for the military parade, closer to the fried food stands than to the Mexican president.
Then, to add mockery to impudence, the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro, arrived in Mexico under the pretext of participating in the VI Summit of the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States, which brings together in the Mexican capital most of the heads of state of the region.
Of course, Maduro’s presence was not expected and was a very unpleasant surprise for many countries, and some presidents were particularly clear about it:
Lacalle Pou, from Uruguay, pointed out that “participating in this forum does not mean being complacent, Mr. President…when one sees that in certain countries there is no full democracy when the separation of powers is not respected when from power the repressive apparatus is used to silence protests, when opponents are imprisoned, when human rights are not respected; we in this calm, but firm voice, must say with concern that we seriously see what is happening in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela”.
Mario Abdo Benítez, of Paraguay, added: “My presence in this summit, in no sense or circumstance, represents a recognition of the government of Mr. Nicolás Maduro. There is no change in my government’s position and I believe it is a gentleman’s way of saying it up front”.
Both are absolutely right. The dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela deserve neither the consideration, nor the respect nor the invitation of any democratic country, and by opening Mexico’s doors to Maduro and Díaz-Canel, AMLO has taken a very clear step away from democracies and towards tyrannical socialism.
Socialist poison advances in Mexico
Let us not fool ourselves, this is not a mere social visit, it is not coffee and cookies. The presence of the two dictators and especially the special guest treatment of Díaz-Canel is a very clear political signal that López Obrador is sending to his followers and to society as a whole.
What is the message?
AMLO has decided to openly and directly assume the socialist poison. Radicals within the ruling party have the green light to redouble their efforts to imitate in Mexico the tyrannies they admire so much in Caracas and Havana. On the contrary, the moderates within Obradorism will have to shut up, or leave the movement, with all that this implies.
At least in the media, that same signal was very clear to Washington.
In 2018, when AMLO won the presidency, the only one he took the call from was Trump, and the relationship with the United States was a priority. In contrast, now that Biden is here, his ambassador stayed in gayola, while the Cuban dictator was the star guest.
The inescapable interpretation is that, with Joe Biden in the presidency, America no longer commands the same respect. As the cat is weakened, the rats will have a party, and Obrador has literally already set up a pachanga with his cronies from Cuba and Venezuela.
Now, does this mean that Mexico will break lances with the United States? Not necessarily, but even so, what has happened this week is very bad news for both countries.
I see two possible scenarios. There is a small chance that the whole theater with Diaz-Canel and Maduro is arranged with Kamala and the CIA, as part of the diplomatic dance that accompanies the negotiations also taking place in Mexico between the dictatorship and the Venezuelan opposition;
There is another, much more likely option: that Mexico is simply (in more ways than one) reverting to its old foreign policy patterns, which include a demagogic contestation of the United States, accompanied by affectionate gestures to leftist dictators, as a way of leveraging the legitimacy and “independence” of the Mexican government in the eyes of home. This is how it was done in the days of the old PRI.
Socialist poison in Mexico is a danger to America
In any case, even if the presence of Maduro and Diaz-Canel does not represent an immediate danger to the national security of the United States (either because the visit was negotiated beforehand or because it is mere rhetorical bravado) it should raise red flags in the Americas since AMLO’s closeness to the tyrants of the continent will further spread the socialist poison in Mexico’s veins.
And make no mistake, Mexico is not simply an inconvenient neighbor. It is the United States’ largest trading partner, surpassing China and Canada. Mexico is also home to one of the largest cultural communities within the United States, with nearly 40 million people.
One need only walk through a Walmart to understand that the lives and destinies of Mexico and the United States are deeply intertwined. It is not a relationship that is limited to the embassy or that can be severed by decree, but a symbiosis so profound that it has become irreversible. Therefore, if socialist poison spreads in Mexico, its damage will also be reflected north of the border.
And south of the Rio Bravo? The socialist poison will bring with it more poverty, violence, corruption, instability, and disorder, which may not only lead to a new migratory crisis, much worse than any we have seen so far, but also to greater regional weakness. A scenario where America loses, where Mexico collapses, and where only tyrants win.