Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is refusing to recognize the clear victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the US presidential elections, while making increasingly explicit statements in support of Donald Trump as the incumbent Republican president pursues a conspiracy to annul the election results.
The Mexican president is undoubtedly consulting White House aides and top American executives, while his military-intelligence agencies work daily with their American counterparts. To the extent that he is hedging his bets on whether Trump will stay in power, López Obrador’s stance should caution against any belief that Trump does not intend to carry through his coup d’état.
Initially, López Obrador (known as AMLO) said on election day that he would not make any predictions. “If we don’t want foreigners making opinions of what happens in our country, we should do the same,” he said. During the following two days, he insisted that “we cannot give an opinion” until the vote count ends.
He also pointed several times to the stability of the peso to suggest that Mexico’s economy will not be affected by the result. On Friday, he added that, regardless of the result, investors like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, and Banco Santander, will think “Mexico is the most attractive country to invest in Latin America.”
On Saturday, November 7, days after the victory of Biden had become indisputable, the corporate media in the United States declared Biden president-elect, and numerous world leaders congratulated him. Every Latin American president has recognized Biden as president-elect except for AMLO and the fascistic Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.
Instead, AMLO declared in a press conference on Saturday: “We are going to wait for all the legal issues to be resolved.” He added: “President Trump has been very respectful with us and we have reached some good accords. We thank him because he has not been a meddler and he has respected us. And the same thing with the candidate Biden. I’ve known him for more than 10 years.”
He then made the unfitting comparison of the current situation to the 2006 Mexican elections, when the US and European leaders congratulated Felipe Calderón as “president-elect” to consolidate a flagrant electoral fraud against AMLO.
Two days after the 2006 elections, Mexico’s electoral chief defended the “integrity” of the election while acknowledging “inconsistencies” in the certificates from polling stations showing that they had tallied 3 million more votes than were actually cast. The alleged margin of victory for Calderón was below 250,000 votes, or 0.6 percent. An initial recount showed inconsistencies in half of the polling stations and that Calderón’s lead disappeared, while results of a larger, second recount were never revealed.
Trump officials have not produced a shred of evidence of significant voter fraud in the November 3 US election.
AMLO went further on Monday, when he went out of his way to protest that “president [Trump] is being censored; it’s not nothing, it’s unprecedented. … On the internet, social media and then in the large networks, the large news media, where are the liberties?”
He has also cited a constitutional clause and a broader “tradition” of non-interference in the affairs of other nations. Nonetheless, he is providing fodder for Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud and backing the main battle cries being used to organize a coup d’état. AMLO’s statements have been reproduced by the fascistic website Breitbart and pro-Trump acolytes like Michael Johns and John Solomon.
On Tuesday, El Universal reported that the Mexican government rejected a request by the Biden team to the Mexican Embassy in Washington for a call between the president-elect and AMLO.
In effect, AMLO is contributing to the installation of an American presidential dictatorship under a clique that has sought to mobilize a fascist base among immigration officials, police and anti-immigrant militias, by scapegoating the more than 40 million people of Mexican origins on US soil.
By taking the enormously unpopular stance of supporting Trump’s coup, AMLO is making a general appeal to US imperialism and its junior partners in the Mexican oligarchy. The message is that he will drag himself through the mud as much as needed to satisfy their profit and geopolitical interests and, secondly, that he is the most suited to lead the Mexican state along a similar authoritarian path.
He has made many such appeals. For instance, after the reckless killing of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani by a US drone, AMLO adopted “a posture of neutrality, non-intervention, respect in the decisions of nations.”
In July, AMLO made his first official trip abroad to the White House, where he showered Trump with praise. He also vowed to Trump and numerous American executives that plants in Mexico supplying US industry would remain open, despite mounting deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, by allocating record budgets and major building projects to the military, AMLO has already sought to cultivate a political base within the armed forces. His administration has increasingly employed its new National Guard against demonstrations by teachers and manufacturing workers.
In a stark escalation, municipal police under local authorities of AMLO’s Morena party used volleys of gunfire on Sunday night to disperse hundreds of youth protesting “gender violence,” while federal troops participated in the repression. Two journalists were hit by bullets.
Insofar as AMLO prefers Trump, it is not due to some ostensible “friendship.” AMLO sees in a Trump coup a potential impetus to move more swiftly toward authoritarian forms of rule in Mexico, as the country’s social crisis is exacerbated by the pandemic and stark levels of inequality.
Some media outlets have suggested that Biden would not attempt to move production from China to North America as aggressively as Trump; however, Biden’s foreign policy is focused on escalating the US confrontation against China and Russia.
Other commentators aligned with the traditional right-wing parties in Mexico, whose leaders already congratulated Biden, are making the case that AMLO’s stance “will cost him dearly” in case of a Biden administration.
However, such arguments are aimed at winning favor with factions of the American state. In the final analysis, Biden would see in AMLO a loyal stooge of US imperialism as much as Trump does.
This is the man promoted by pseudo-left outfits like Jacobin Magazine, which speaks for the faction of the Democratic Party in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), as a “firebrand champion of the working class” with “pro-poor politics.”
Above all, AMLO’s support for Trump’s coup attempt confirms the bankruptcy of the pseudo-left middle-class politics, which seek to chain workers and radicalized youth to bourgeois politics by presenting one or another faction of the national ruling elite as more “progressive” and as a potential platform for opposing the threat of authoritarianism and fascism.