By Katu Arkonada – Mar 8, 2021
During the last few months, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticizing the United States for interfering in the internal affairs of Mexico, due to the financing the US government provides to several “civil society” groups that play an active role in the political and media assault against López Obrador’s administration.
One of these organizations is Mexicans Against Corruption, directed until recently by Claudio X. González Jr., whose family owns Kimberly-Clark in Mexico, and who has financed the opposition platform Yes For Mexico.
Those organizations denounced by López Obrador constitute only a small sampling of the wide network that the US administration deploys in Mexico against this nation, a network which also includes other countries in the region. However, although we are aware of the history of interference by the political, economic, and media elites in Mexico, there is much ignorance about how funding from the United States supplies the coup operation against the government of López Obrador.
Most of it is channeled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), created by Ronald Reagan’s administration to legitimize covert actions carried out by the CIA. From 2016 to date, the NED has allocated about $8,376,549 to programs in Mexico for “democracy,” gender violence, emigration, elections, and “political empowerment.”
Another institution, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), also created during the time of Reagan, the Cold War, and the fight against communist guerrillas in Central America, has received about $3 million since 2016 for its operations in Mexico. It would be a great exercise in transparency for both NED and NDI to declare what these funds have been used for, especially those linked to political programs and media (which then operate against the government).
But in addition to NED and NDI, the Mexican opposition has sought help on other fronts to attack López Obrador’s administration, for example from the Cuban extreme right. There we have the case of the ultra-right National Anti-AMLO Front (FRENAAA), a self-styled peaceful citizen’s movement outside of political parties, created by businessmen that include Pedro Luis Martin Bringas, Juan Bosco Abascal, and Rafael Loret de Mola.
The best known figure of FRENAAA, because he is so grotesque, is Gilberto Lozano, and we are in a position to affirm that he maintains close relations and coordinates with the Miami-based Cuban opposition leader Rosa María Payá, with a view to nurturing joint actions from Mexico.
These links between Gilberto Lozano, FRENAAA and the Cuban Rosa María Payá are evidenced in the closeness of Payá with the National Action Party (PAN) youth, since they converged in the Latin American Network of Youth for Democracy, a network that has had the PAN as its main hub, and whose president was Rosa María Payá. And who is Rosa María Payá? President of the NED project Cuba Decides, she has been linked in the past decade to destabilizing figures in the region such as Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), and politicians such as Donald Trump and former prime minister of Spain José María Aznar.
Payá has been linked to the violent riots in Cuba last July 11-12, and the call for an invasion of the island. FRENAAA had a prominent and active participation with opposition elements in the demonstrations in front of the Cuban embassy in Mexico, where other figures financed by the NED also participated, such as the extreme right-wing former deputy of PAN René Bolio Hollarán.
René Bolio, president of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, has links to the historic Cuban exiles in Miami linked to state terrorism, and to the organization Cuban Democratic Directorate (DDC), also involved in the official request for military intervention in Cuba. It is therefore necessary to examine the organizations in Mexico that receive money from the NED.
One of them, the Mexican Council on International Affairs (COMEXI) ran the subversive program Voices of Cuba between 2017-18, with an NED budget that last year alone amounted to $130,000. Other entities that receive NED funding in Mexico and are active in subversion against Cuba are the Mexican section of the NGO Article 19, the Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Amnesty International, Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), and Investigation and Innovation (Factual AC).
President López Obrador is therefore correct when he says that no foreign government should intervene in the affairs of our country, that it should respect Mexican sovereignty. The US government’s financing of these projects is an interventionist act that violates our sovereignty. It is a foreign government. It cannot provide funding to political groups from another country.
Featured image: Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Roberto García / La Jornada.
Additional translation by Orinoco Tribune.
Katu Arkonada (Barakaldo, 1978) has a degree in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Public Policies. He has been an advisor to the Vice Ministry of Strategic Planning, the Legal Unit Specialized in Constitutional Development and the Foreign Ministry of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.