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Michael Swartz / Jun. 29, 2018

Mexico's Rising Communist Regime

Our neighbors are about to elect a communist president backed by the drug cartels.

Because the American media depends on constant coverage of the race between the red and blue horses — turning even primaries and special elections into seminal events — Americans rarely pay attention to balloting that occurs beyond our borders. But this coming weekend will, without a doubt, affect how President Donald Trump deals with our neighbors to the south. Mexico, now one of the most violent nations in the world, is about to be under a communist president backed by the drug cartels.

Since Mexico limits presidents to one six-year term, its field is more wide open and the leading contender in Sunday’s election is a twice-unsuccessful candidate who once served as the mayor of Mexico City. But the third time may be the charm for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known to the Mexican people by his initials, AMLO, and his projected victory would take that nation in a radical direction.

Obrador is a socialist who proposes income redistribution to students and seniors, government picking winners and losers in the energy sector, and possible amnesty for some drug criminals. He’s backed by the drug cartels, you see. It’s a laundry list of promises that appeal to the “throw the bums out” mentality that Mexican voters have adopted, but it’s not without its critics. “I am going to vote for whoever is in second place, to take a bit of strength away from (AMLO),” said one voter who works for a government energy agency. “The important thing is keeping the economy running, and I am afraid Lopez Obrador will screw it up.”

AMLO, however, also supports the economic boost (for his country) of offloading Mexico’s poor onto their far wealthier neighbor to the north, according to Tucker Carlson of Fox News. After all, Obrador has called emigration “a human right,” and this may cause a little conflict with the American idea of border security.

Mark Alexander had it right earlier this week: “The immigrants flooding across our southern border, risking their lives and those of their children to get here, are fleeing statist regimes in their Central American countries, along with the corruption and poverty generated by such regimes.” Voters may ensure Mexico stays on that list of statist regimes.

Complicating matters in this election cycle is the rampant drug-fueled crime that’s plaguing Mexico. While most Mexican leaders pledge to fight the cartels — and more than 100 politicians have paid for their stance with their lives during the campaign for local and legislative offices also at stake in this weekend’s balloting — AMLO has been comparatively silent. In past campaigns, though, Obrador has openly supported the cartels by promoting a stance of “hugs, not bullets” when it came to their leaders, like the notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman (who was extradited to the U.S. last year to face trial this fall.) “The Mexican war on drugs will come to an abrupt end” if AMLO wins, warned one observer.

At a recent rally near Mexico City, AMLO laid his idea out in plain language: “For the good of all, the poor come first.” To Obrador, advancing the poor would not only require spending billions of pesos but perhaps involve scrapping NAFTA rather than embarking on the separate bilateral deals with Mexico and Canada that President Trump wants. According to economic adviser Gerardo Esquivel, “We are not really looking for a bilateral agreement with the U.S. or Canada. The trilateral agreement (already in place with NAFTA) is what we want.” Yet last year, Obrador was singing a different tune, stating, “We should put a national emergency plan in place to face the damage and reverse the protectionist policies of Donald Trump.”

AMLO’s rhetoric sounds eerily like something we’d hear in Venezuela or Cuba. Calling the country’s electoral prospects “so clear a danger,” political commentator Dick Morris worried that Sunday’s balloting “may be Mexico’s last free election.” Nothing should be put past a “Hugo Chavez wannabe” if he wins as expected on Sunday.

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