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By Raúl Tortolero
With Joe Biden’s ratification in the Electoral College, I can see Marcelo Ebrard smiling. The Chancellor (Minister of Foreign Relations) is the wokest member of the Mexican cabinet, and with this, he puts himself at the forefront of a presidential candidacy in 2024.
Biden is a bonus for Progressives and one of the last presidents in the world to congratulate him after his electoral triumph was Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the Mexican leader who founded Morena, the party now in power, which is affiliated with the Sao Paolo Forum. It seems that AMLO professed great ideological closeness with Donald Trump -like Jair Bolsonaro-, but it is just the opposite.
AMLO never wanted Trump
I see four highly symbolic keys that portray the present relationship between the Government of Mexico and the new U.S. Government.
First key, the letter. Only on December 14th did AMLO send a congratulatory letter to Biden. I see it written in an annoying, unfriendly tone. It emphasizes the sovereignty of Mexico and its free self-determination, without any relevance. It warns Biden as a customary interventionist.
The second key is the reform of the Security Law, which will regulate the activities of foreign agents in Mexico. Morena’s work, the law already causes irritation among U.S. political elites. It is a response by AMLO to the detention of General Salvador Cienfuegos by DEA intelligence officers, which caused consternation in military circles.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz wrote that this new legislation undermines the performance of the anti-drug agency by forcing its elements to share information gathered with Mexican authorities. This shatters binational cooperation on security issues.
General Salvador Cienfuegos, Secretary of Defense in the last administration, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking in Los Angeles, as a result of DEA recordings. The reaction was a silent but radical protest among the Mexican military. AMLO’s government, under pressure work for the release of the General to relax the military’s animosity towards him.
Thirdly, the untimely departure of the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Martha Bárcenas, who, loyal to AMLO’s circumstantial Trumpism, withstood great pressure from Biden’s team to have Mexico recognize him as president-elect. Bárcenas also had tensions with Marcelo Ebrard’s Foreign Ministry. Today she is leaving, arguing her desire to retire. Another point for Ebrard.
The fourth key point is the appointment of Esteban Moctezuma, former Secretary of Education, as Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States. He will be a bridge builder.
The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, did an excellent job supporting investment and conflict resolution. It will be unfortunate for him to leave so that Biden can put in a one of his own.
Biden to support Progressives in the Mexican government
I find three approaches in the U.S.-Mexico relationship: the ideological, the structural and the geopolitical.
At the ideological level there is not as much agreement between AMLO’s and Biden’s agendas, but even Morena’s high profile militants of Communist origin supported Hillary in 2016.
There are woke Mexican intellectuals in the opposition who have always been devoted to the Democratic Party, that is, globalists (close to George Soros), and they believe that the arrival of Biden is in Mexico’s interest only because they reject Trump and AMLO. I don’t think so. Biden will end up shoring up the Fourth Transformation Government.
There was never a relationship of ideological closeness between Trump and AMLO, only of mutual convenience. AMLO understood from his arrival in 2018 that it was better to have the party at peace with Trump, so as to allow him to rule at will.
Mexico’s relationship with Trump did not begin with AMLO, but, on the contrary, with the group he took out of power, that is the one of Enrique Peña Nieto, the former president, and, especially, with Luis Videgaray, who today is threatened by the 4T government which has him in their sights to put him in jail and present him as a trophy for electoral purposes. Videgaray was the Chancellor as well as close friend to Jared Kushner, to whom the previous government even gave its highest distinction, the Aztec Eagle.
Peña and Videgaray bet on Trump in 2016, inviting him to Mexico as a campaigner, but with the protocol as a Head of State, not a candidate, which gave great support to the New Yorker.
So AMLO, paradoxically, inherited from his political adversaries a “good” relationship with Trump. But they are at opposite poles: the President of the United States is [part of the popular right, a nationalist, and AMLO is a 1970s socialist.
However, Biden’s left is Progressive, the same as Obama’s and Hillary’s, and AMLO feels uncomfortable with that ideology. Feminism, the gender agenda, abortion, homosexuals, and environmentalism are foreign to him, and he is often criticized and repudiated for it.
At the structural level, things remain on the path of united regionalism, with the T-MEC -the North American Treaty- even though Mexico is no longer the main trading partner with the United States: China now occupies that place, with trade worth $444.5 billion, between January and October 2020.
Globalists and Chinese-American Capital
On the third front, the geopolitical one, the United States knows that it cannot let itself be overtaken by China in a fierce war in which the eastern country is already moving ahead. But the Biden administration -unlike Obama’s- will not veto large Chinese investors from entering Mexico.
In February 2014, Barack Obama, in Mexico, during the summit celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), spoke privately with then-President Peña Nieto, and blocked the operation of the Mexico-Queretaro Rapid Transit Train, which had been awarded to Chinese investors.
Biden was his vice president, and both belong to the same political group of those who prefer a world government, and who operate within both the Democratic and Republican parties.
This is the establishment long denounced by Trump, made up of multi-million dollar foundations that promote cool socialism as an ideology, Progressivism, and which control the mainstream media, the social network police state, and an interventionist war industry.
But AMLO is no Peña and he could take refuge in China if he were pressed by the interventionism of the American establishment. In fact, there is already Chinese investment in a section of the Mayan Train, an iconic project of the López Obrador government.
While Trump vetoed doing business with Chinese firms with a Red Army presence, in Mexico the government eliminated tariffs on the importation of electric trolleybuses, and the head of the capital’s government, Claudia Sheinbaum, gave a contract to one of those firms: CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive.
The geopolitics that Biden has played is one of good relations with China. It is foreseeable that he will lower tariffs. He is not worried about this in the middle of a trade war, because Chinese investment in the United States is also American, it belongs to globalists.
Trump played Russia against China. Biden, as the spearhead of the globalists, will play with China to corner Russia and control Europe. This scheme could push large investments from China to Mexico, which Obama and Donald Trump opposed.
Marcelo Ebrard is the main winner with Biden’s arrival to the throne. In 2016 he helped Hillary Clinton’s campaign to get the Latino vote. He is close to the Democratic Party. Then with AMLO’s triumph came his appointment to Foreign Relations in 2018. With no experience in that field, why there?
There was a reason. There AMLO already calculated that the globalists could regain the presidency in 2020. And so it happened. Ebrard remains at the forefront of the race for the presidency of Mexico. And today, he is almost a de facto vice president.
Raúl Tortolero is a Mexican journalist. He is a philosopher and has a doctorate in Human Rights.