* Nicolás Maduro in Mexico: a postcard of the Latin American political moment

By Franco Vielma

At the inauguration of the new president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the presence of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was anything but unnoticed. The rise of López Obrador as a new milestone in Latin American politics has left the Latin American moment delineated, reaffirming that in foreign policy, or is in favor or is against the policy of encircling Venezuela. There are no half measures.

In Mexico there was a show of disapproval to the Chavez president that began early on Saturday when a small group of demonstrators, only some of them from Venezuela, gathered around the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro in Mexico City to protest against the presence of the Venezuelan leader.

“Maduro, murderer” or “Traitor” were some of the texts that could be read on the banners that the protesters raised against President Maduro, one of the more than 100 representatives of some 50 countries invited to the inauguration of López Obrador .

The invitation of López Obrador to the Venezuelan President at his inauguration was attacked by the now political opposition of Mexico, composed of parties and right-wing leaders who, in the framework of the outgoing Enrique Peña Nieto government, ruined the traditional foreign policy of his country that was based for decades not to intervene in internal affairs of other countries. The Mexican right now assumed its position in the labyrinth of attempting to isolate Venezuela and to subscribe, through its role in the Lima Group, the policy of siege that the United States ordered to its regional puppets.

It also happened that the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro was greeted by cries of “dictator” by PRI-PAN members during the inauguration of the progressive López Obrador on Saturday at the headquarters of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico [even though he doesn’t attend the ceremony].

Inside the Mexican Congress, legislators from the conservative National Action Party (PAN) hung a large banner with the text “Maduro, you are not welcome” at the beginning of the session. During the act of investiture of the new Mexican president, the poster was displayed before the attendees and in protest against the presence of the Venezuelan leader.

The presence of Maduro in the act had been defended days before by López Obrador himself, who stressed his campaign promise to establish political relations of “respect and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.”Obrador, who according to some polls is now more popular than at the time of his election, would be counting on 71% support from Mexicans. Considered a credible politician as leader of the left, the president has broken into his rise with a discourse focused on dismantling corrupt institutions, reversing social asymmetries and reestablishing Mexico’s sovereignty as a principle. By inviting Maduro to his inauguration, Obrador has departed from the position of other regional leaders, such as Iván Duque of Colombia, who, following the policy of isolating Venezuela, have not acknowledge Chavismo in power.

However despite the embarrassment of the bench, now opposition and minority of the PAN in the Mexican parliament, other situations were in the journey of Maduro in Mexico.

López Obrador appeared in video thanking the Venezuelan leader for his visit. Later, the image of both leaders was revealed along with their wives in the government palace.

But an outstanding element of Maduro’s presence was the spontaneous reaction of followers of López Obrador. Upon being named Maduro in the act in the Zócalo of Mexico City the crowd broke into applause.

In fact the arrival of Maduro to the Zócalo also generated applause among the crowd that waited for the beginning of the act. Breaking the protocol and security control somewhat, Maduro stopped to greet those who applauded him in the distance.

The presence of Maduro placed on the table the contradictions of the Latin American political moment by sending several messages.

For starters, it does a bad favor to the Mexican right wing itself and to its public opinion, which have concentrated their opposition to begin with, it does a bad favor to the Mexican right-wing and its public opinion, which have concentrated their opposition to Obrador, stigmatizing Venezuela and Maduro, although it is public and notorious that the foreign policy of the outgoing government followed US dictates, for such purposes. The PAN deputies looked like the US caucus in parliament at the worst moment of Mexican-US relations in decades.

In addition, the levels of delegitimization and unpopularity of the PAN and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the main promoters of the anti-Chavez discourse in that country in the last presidential campaign, could instead legitimize through their actions the position of Maduro and Venezuela against the heterogeneous mass that follows Obrador, although the political and ideological distances between Maduro and Obrador have been clear in the Mexican presidential race.

The beginning of Obrador’s Administration has served to polarize positions in Mexican society on various issues, such as the Texcoco airport in the state of Mexico, now canceled. Obrador has preferred to use these resources for social welfare and a new railway project in the south of his country, putting his hand on the interests of large capitals.

Then, Mexican politics could be taking the profile that if something is used to attack Obrador, then it will be rejected.

On the other hand, the reaction of the applause to Maduro by the assistants in the act of Obrador, reveals that the power of the mass media and other propaganda vehicles with which the Venezuelan leader in recent years was demonized is not absolute. This population, imbued with a consistent anti-left narrative during the last presidential campaign, was approached through a semiotics of discourse that tried to associate Obrador with Chavismo through the severe action of dirty propaganda and the disproportionate presentation of the economic situation in Venezuela. .

Apparently, such a speech did not go as deep as expected. Obrador won the presidency and Maduro was applauded by the followers of Obrador, against many predictions.

The rise of the new Mexican president refreshes the regional political scene, as it is a point of honor of the forces of the left in the face of the rise of the extreme right in Brazil and the reproduction of a reactionary wave in other countries of the region. The picture of Maduro with Obrador imposes a political milestone that makes presume a change of momentum.

The new Mexican government is emerging as a pragmatic instance, which although it will not have the characteristics of a leftist revolutionary government like others in the region, will establish a reference point that, at least for Venezuela, will mean the leap of an insolent and interventionist Mexican foreign policy, for one of respect and non-interference in Venezuelan affairs.

Source URL: Mision Verdad

Translated by JRE