Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Alberto Fernández Visits AMLO

I am quoted in this Associated Press story about Alberto Fernández visiting AMLO. The basic question is whether this means much for the future. Nicolás Maduro, for example, claimed AMLO could lead a new front against imperialism, with Argentina by his side. My take was that this wasn't going to happen.

On the Mexican side, AMLO does not seem to be interested in being a regional leader. He said as much:

"No (encabezaré un eje progresista), porque cada país tiene su propia realidad... su propia historia. Por eso es el principio de autodeterminación de los pueblos, de ahí viene, cada pueblo tiene su propia historia, su idiosincrasia, y cada quien tiene que actuar de acuerdo a sus circunstancias", expresó el mandatario mexicano.
He has his own problems and isn't going to make international enemies. He has been careful not to get Donald Trump's negative attention, so a high-risk, low-payoff anti-imperialism front does not appeal to him.

On the Argentine side, why travel to AMLO? My take here was that Alberto Fernández wanted to make a symbolic statement about his political orientation. That means a country with a stable leftist (or center-left) government. That rules out Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. He could go to Uruguay, I suppose, but there are indications the left won't be ruling there much longer. That left Mexico. I will be surprised if there is much more to it than that.

Lastly, visiting a leftist president first allows Fernández to next visit countries in the southern cone that are much more important to Argentina.  I don't see a "Latin American left rising," as Reuters put it.


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