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Saturday, April 7, 2018

López Obrador nationalist message


In his first campaign speech, López Obrador fired against the economic policies implemented in Mexico in the last three decades. "Neoliberalism has unleashed the most colossal corruption," he said after criticizing the privatizations of various sectors carried out in the presidency of Carlos Salinas (1988-1994), his great political adversary. "In 30 years the real growth of the economy has been zero”, said the leader of the left in Mexico.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador started his third presidential campaign in 12 years. The candidate of the Movimiento Regenaración Nacional (Morena, for its Spanish acronym), who heads the alliance “Juntos Haremos Historia” (Together we will make history together) with the Labor and the Social Encounter parties, held his first meeting in Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), on the border between Mexico and the United States. From that place, he launched a nationalist message and defense of sovereignty before the belligerent Donald Trump. "We are going to demand respect for Mexicans. Neither Mexico nor its people will be piñata of any foreign government", he said.

López Obrador reviewed in a long first speech the ideas that he has been repeating throughout the last months of a campaign with imperceptible pauses. The candidate said that his government will strengthen domestic consumption. "We will seek modernity from below and for all. There will be horizontal growth throughout the country and not just in some small islands. " The leader of the left emphasized his speech against the political elites. He promised to cut the salaries of senior officials and end their privileges. "The Government will stop being a factory for the new rich ... we will lower the salaries of the upper ones and we will increase the wages of the lower ones".

"Ciudad Juarez represents the glorious past and the present of the great national problems," said López Obrador, referring to the feminicide and violence overflowed by the war against drug trafficking undertaken by President Felipe Calderón, who defeated López Obrador in the elections of 2006. This region of the country is not a bastion of the left. The situation could change in the third presidential campaign of López Obrador. In 2013 Morena was born in Chihuahua with just over 3,000 members. In 2015, in its first elections, the organization was the fourth most voted force with 53,000 votes after the PRI, PAN and Nueva Alianza.

The López Obrador phenomenon seems to have considerably increased the number of militants, which today exceeds 47,000 in all of Chihuahua, which has a population of 4.7 million people. "The North has always been reluctant with López Obrador, but its annoyance with the current situation have caused that things are changing," said Fabián Vázquez, a businessman who arrived from Tamaulipas to listen to the candidate.

If you judge the first speech, you may understand why some may be willing to unite Obrador. The candidate said that if he succeeds in the July 1 elections, he will double the minimum wage in the border area between Mexico and the United States. According to him the measure will not increase inflation because it will cut the ISR to 20% and VAT to 8%, a figure similar to the tax rate that California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have. Its government plan includes the creation of a free zone in the more than 3,000 kilometers of border. Customs would travel "20 or 30 kilometers inland" to promote productive and technological development.