4T bets on the left in Latin America

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San José.— A series of appointments that will begin next Wednesday between the presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and of Bolivia, Luis Arce, will strengthen the alliance of the Mexican government with the ruling left in Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, in a process that intensified in 2021 and coincided in the United States with the transition of Donald Trump a Joe Biden.

Without being a new ideological preference for López Obrador since he assumed the presidency in 2018, the foreign policy of the first Mexican leftist government towards Latin America and the Caribbean now it would tend to place a sign to define the boundaries of independence with Washington in the post-Trump era.

The delimitation would have begun to be done after, at least in the prolonged and sensitive migration crisis with Central America that worsened in the last quarter of 2018, Mexico was questioned by accepting in 2019 to submit to the mandate of the White House and the radical struggle Trump’s anti-migration.

In June 2019, López Obrador complied with pressure from Washington and shielded the Mexican borders with the military and police, installed a security wall and blocked irregular migrants to prevent them from reaching the United States.

Various sources consulted agreed that, without Trump’s obsession on migration, a new US focus with Biden on this factor will be key for Mexico and Central America.

Also read: Senate will receive in solemn session Luis Arce, President of Bolivia

Another wink

With the change from Trump to Biden the previous January, and by consolidating Mexico’s rapprochement with the governments that are within the XXI Century Socialism or in its orbit or support ring, Arce will arrive next Tuesday at mexican territory At the invitation of López Obrador for a visit that will conclude on Friday 26.

The dialogue between López Obrador and Arce will begin on Tuesday and will give continuity to the close link of the Mexico City-Buenos Aires-La Paz axis that was reinforced with the visit that the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, made last February to the Mexican capital to meet with the host president.

It is yet to be confirmed whether López Obrador will send similar invitations to the presidents of the rest of the bloc: Miguel Díaz-Canel, from Cuba, Nicolás Maduro, from Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua.

“The government of Mexico is reading the signals that are coming out of Washington,” said retired Costa Rican diplomat Melvin Sáenz, former Costa Rican ambassador to Spain, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Cuba and the United Nations in New York.

“There is a foreign policy [en EU] totally different from that of Trump and, towards Latin America and the Caribbean, this is related to the opening of spaces that in the past four years were closed. This has to do with resuming dialogue with moderate leftist governments, such as Argentina and Bolivia, ”Saenz explained to EL UNIVERSAL.

“I do not think that they will be approached [de México] with Venezuela or Nicaragua. This is moving in Washington and many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will adapt their regional policies to the signals coming out of the White House ”, he added.

A crucial element will be that Washington redefines the treatment of Havana, after Trump practically reduced it to a minimum, so “I do not doubt that, depending on the signals, Mexico would return to its traditional policy of strong ties with Cuba,” he said. .

President López Obrador celebrated the arrival of Arce to the presidency in November. Photo: Special.

Defending

After a telephone interview between López Obrador and Biden was recorded on January 23 of this year, the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, defended his government’s foreign policy as “equitable, supportive and with total respect for the sovereignty of the peoples ”and stressed that, in the case of the United States, it will work“ with a common vision ”of the area.

For the Bolivian diplomat Jaime Aparicio, former Bolivian ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), “Mexican foreign policy is very wrong: it gives priority to a ideological alliance without any practical sense for the great problems of Mexico ”.

“I hope that the next guests to Mexico are not Ortega or Maduro. Cornered internally, López Obrador tries to get out of international isolation and tries to regroup some countries again. That’s why he invited Fernández, ”Aparicio told this newspaper.

“Despite the fact that Arce is in a clear authoritarian drift and follows the policy of Evo Morales to accumulate and control all the powers to persecute the opposition, López Obrador invited him. Ideology predominates in the Mexican government more than the interests of Mexican society, “he pointed out.

Also read: Mexico rejects OAS interference in Bolivia

Controversy

The block of López Obrador, Fernández, Díaz-Canel, Maduro, Arce and Ortega was activated in support of the Bolivian government after, on the 12th of this month, former Bolivian president Jeanine Áñez, Morales’s successor, was arrested in her country. for sedition, terrorism and conspiracy by participating in the events that in November 2019 led to Morales’ resignation.

The six countries never recognized the president and remained loyal to Morales after classifying him as the victim of a coup led by Bolivian opposition forces that brought Áñez to power.

With the capture of Áñez, the Uruguayan diplomat Luis Almagro, secretary general of the OAS, once again became the target of the sextet’s attack. After the arrest, Almagro showed “concern at the abuse of judicial mechanisms that have once again become repressive instruments of the ruling party” in Bolivia.

Almagro must “conduct himself according to his powers” and avoid meddling in Bolivian internal affairs, demanded the Mexican Foreign Ministry due to Áñez’s mess. Cuba branded the secretary general a hypocrite.

“There is a foreign policy [en EU] totally different from that of Trump (…) towards Latin America and the Caribbean (…) it is related to the opening of spaces that in the past four years were closed “; Melvin Sáenz, former ambassador of Costa Rica to Spain, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Cuba and the UN in New York.

Fernández endorsed Áñez’s arrest, blamed Almagro for what he classified as a coup in Bolivia and stressed that, if he “had dignity,” the Uruguayan should resign. La Paz threatened to initiate legal action against the OAS chief. Managua sympathized with Arce and lashed out at “those who believe themselves more.”

In the background of the struggle are the complaints that, after assuming his first five-year period in 2015, Almagro launched on the political repression of Maduro in Venezuela since 2014, lthe atrocities of Ortega in Nicaragua as of 2018 and the lack of democracy in Cuba.

Another central point was the conclusion that Morales resorted to fraud to try to be reelected in the 2019 elections for a fourth consecutive term since 2016.

An audit that OAS issued on November 10 of that year confirmed the irregularities and, upon learning of it, Morales agreed to call new elections. But on the afternoon of that day he resigned under pressure from the military and police leaders and on the 12th he traveled to Mexico to take refuge in López Obrador’s political asylum and a month later to Argentina, protected by Fernández, and after making arrangements in Cuba.

Also read: A new turn to the left in Latin America?

As the winner at the polls in the consultation on October 18, 2020 when he was nominated by the leftist Movement for Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP), Arce took office on November 8 for five years with the shadow de Morales, his mentor, after more than 12 months of acute crisis.

The OAS is “bigger” than Almagro, since “he is only the secretary general, sometimes he forgets,” Ebrard warned in March 2020, rejecting the criteria of the Uruguayan and the audit that there was fraud.

“They want to derail Almagro,” said a high-ranking OAS source who spoke with EL UNIVERSAL on condition of anonymity.

“The genesis is not from yesterday either and they are Cuba and its revolution, which are the dictatorial heart and point of origin that articulates and generates these artificial crises. The old Cuban intention and obsession is to derail the OAS and that has been its attitude for almost 60 years: to tear down everything that smacks of elections and real and genuine democracy, ”he added.

With abundant inter-American experience, the source stated that “the surprising thing” is that Mexico and Argentina “agree to fall into this gambit [trampa] Almagro bothers him because he faces hard. Neither Mexicans nor Argentines handle the strategy: they are Cubans. The Mexicans only send signals to the United States of independence ”.

“These are variations of an old melody whose inspiration, origin and script was born in Cuba. The foreign policy of Mexico and Argentina is so poor that they repeat the old Cuban danzón that Mexicans dance to the rhythm of a ranchera and Argentines to a tango ”, he described.

In the tune, he insisted, they excluded human rights, free elections Y political prisoners.

“Despite the fact that Arce is in a clear authoritarian drift (…) López Obrador invited him. Ideology predominates in the Mexican government over the interests of Mexican society “; Jaime Aparicio, former Bolivian ambassador to the OAS.

.

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