Saturday, September 23

AMLO and Boric, the first meeting between the old and the new Latin American left


The Chilean president maintains his visit to Mexico, after the cancellation of the Pacific Summit, and seals his alliance with López Obrador

Boric and AMLO, this Wednesday.Mario GuzmanEFE
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The Mexican President, Andrs Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), received this Wednesday his Chilean counterpart, Gabriel Boric, in the National Palace of Mexico City to kick off a state visit that takes place after the surprising cancellation of the Pacific Summit. In statements to the media, both leaders have shown an enormous harmony, despite the great generation gap that separates them and their well-known differences on issues such as the environment, feminism, the economy or the treatment of regimes such as those of Nicaragua, Cuba or Venezuela.

“I am very grateful for the advice that comes from the experience of so many years of struggle and work for the people, where honest courage is felt precisely in the support he has from the Mexican people, when he has been in office for more than half of his mandate,” he said. insured Boric, 36, after meeting privately with AMLO, 69. For his part, the veteran Mexican leader has drawn on memories and explained, with special emotion, how did the coup against Salvador Allende continue in 1973, when he was just a young university student and his Chilean counterpart was not yet born, “he showed that a reality of injustice and oppression can be transformed without violence.”

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Gabriel Boric, whom AMLO has described as “young, intelligent, sensitive and human, as the Chilean people deserve”, has celebrated the progress achieved in terms of bilateral cooperation and has invited the Mexican president to travel to Chile, in September 2023, to participate in the events scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the coup against Allende. Despite the good harmony shown to the media, the Mexican and Chilean presidents belong to two generations of the Latin American Left, the old and the new, who do not always share the same sensibilities, proposals or interests.

The old and the new Latin American left

While Boric came from the student unions, handles social networks with ease and has a strong environmental, feminist and LGBT conscience, AMLO is a political dinosaur who has gone through three different parties, has stood in three elections, is at odds with feminist movements, it avoids ruling on equal marriage and promotes an energetic policy based on the rescue of the old state oil company Pemex. The two projects could seem antagonistic and the difference of 33 years between their leaders, insurmountable, but common interests justify the encounter and the proximity.

The trip to Mexico arrives in a Delicate moment for Gabriel Boric: After the failure of the constitutional referendum and the militarization of the Mapuche area, the latest surveys show that only 31% of the population supports its management. His open criticism of the regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have caused discomfort among some of his regional counterparts, “it angers me when you are from the left and can condemn human rights violations in Yemen or in The Savior, but you can’t talk about Venezuela or Nicaragua (…) we have to criticize this,” the Chilean president recently assured.

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Unlike Boric, the Mexican president maintains an approval rating of 58.7% that this Sunday he intends to reinforce by leading an unprecedented partisan demonstration in the capital of the country. His foreign policy, profoundly Latin American and based on the principle of “non-interference” in the affairs of other countries, has established him as a one of the main defenders of the Bolivarian Axis in the international sphere. Last June, AMLO decided not to go to the Summit of the Americas, as rejection of the decision of USA not to invite the presidents of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

This week we have experienced a similar chapter with the Pacific Summit, organized by Mexico, which Lpez Obrador canceled 48 hours before its start due to the absence of the Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo, to whom the majority opposition Congress had denied authorization to leave the country. Since his arrival at the Presidency, AMLO has become one of the main allies of the Cuban regime, whom he visited on the Island last May, on his only international tour since he was President. The Mexican leader has also raised his voice on numerous occasions to denounce the trade blockade on Cuba that he describes as “infamy” and a “retrograde, medieval and inhumane measure.”

AMLO’s mandate has been marked by symbolic gestures -such as the pardon requested from the Spanish Crown, popular consultations to try former presidents, the raffle for the presidential plane or the transformation of ‘Los Pinos’ into a museum-, a policy that wants to export to the regional scope. His vision for the Americas calls for greater regional integration, “something similar to the economic community that gave rise to the current European Union,” which is less dependent on the US. For this, the Mexican leader has proposed Eliminate the Organization of American States (OAS) and replace it with a new, more inclusive body, “Are we going to continue with the policy of two centuries ago, of manifest destiny or of America for the Americans, understanding that America is the United States?”, he recently asked himself.

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After the official meeting with AMLO, Boric will maintain an intense schedule of activities before returning to Chile on Thursday night. The Andean president is going to meet with businessmen and residents of the Chilean community in Mexico and with three of the favorites to succeed Lpez Obrador at the helm of Morena: the mayoress of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, the head of the pro-government bench in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, and the foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard. The Mexican president has also invited his counterpart to participate in his ‘Maanera’, his daily press conference, but Boric has not yet confirmed his attendance.

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