Mexico: President infuriates his believers by targeting the “oligarchs”

“Viva Mexico!”: Nationalist leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador incited huge crowds at a public meeting in Mexico City on Saturday by attacking the right wing in the United States and Mexico’s “oligarchs”. one year from the election of his successor.

“Cooperation, yes, submission, no”, he launched in front of thousands of supporters, condemning “some lawmakers” Republican who talk of sending US forces to Mexico against the cartels.

“Mexico is a free and independent country, not a colony or a protectorate of the United States”, he hammered in front of the human tide that filled the vast symbolic space of the Zócalo beneath the windows of the presidency.

Officially, the rally was called by Mr. López Obrador to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the nationalization of the oil industry by President Lázaro Cárdenas on March 18, 1938.

In a lengthy historical account, Mr. López Obrador blamed the birth of the Mexican right-wing party PAN “by criticizing the confiscation of oil” that allowed the nationalization of the industry.

Supporters of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador listen to his speech in Mexico City March 18, 2023 (AFP – Pedro Pardo)

“Whatever they do, the oligarchs will not return to power,” he said, defending his policy (increasing average wages, increasing the strength of the peso, etc.) as the end of his single mandate. Six years in 2024.

Buoyed by his popularity, his Movement for National Regeneration (Murrayana) has every chance of retaining power during the presidential and local elections due in mid-2024.

The two favorites in the race to succeed him, the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, and the minister of foreign affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, listened to his speech sitting behind him.

The president said he was “confident” that the “aspirant” who would be nominated as his movement’s candidate would “implement the same policy in favor of the people and in favor of the nation”.

Supporters of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gather in Mexico City Saturday, March 18, 2023 (AFP - Claudio Cruz)
Supporters of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gather in Mexico City Saturday, March 18, 2023 (AFP – Claudio Cruz)

The rally took place three weeks after an opposition march against an electoral reform approved by parliament.

The reform threatens the National Electoral Institute (INE), which is in charge of organizing the election, according to the opposition and part of civil society that has announced an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The reform puts “to the test the independence of electoral and judicial institutions”, alarming the United States, immediately accused of interference by Mr López Obrador.

“I think we have to replace INE. They are corrupt and they have already stolen an election from López Obrador,” says 22-year-old student Eduardo Ramirez. defeat.

AMLO had already spoken to tens of thousands of people at the end of a more than five-hour march on 27 November, fifteen days after the opposition’s previous mobilization.

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