MEXICO CITY, Sat. Dec. 1, 2018– Andrés Manuel López Obrador (also known by the acronym, AMLO), the hope of millions of Mexicans who have not been getting their rightful share of the goods and services produced by that country, took over the reins in a ceremony in Mexico City at around 11:30 on Saturday morning, December 1. The 65-year-old new president, who won an overwhelming 53% of the vote in a three-candidate race earlier this year, promised, in his inaugural address, that change, true democracy, was coming to his country.
AMLO had campaigned on promises to eradicate violence and corruption. He has said that his country’s free market policies were a disaster for Mexico. He has said that he would govern for everyone, but his government would give preference to his country’s vulnerable poor.
López Obrador has indicated that he will be pragmatic in his approach to bringing necessary change to his country. Those capitalist systems that can be tolerated, will not get the axe, and those that can actually help lift the economy of Mexico, he endorsed.
He is not going to expropriate land (it is expected that he will introduce land tax reform). In his inaugural address he promised that the investments of foreigners will be safe in his country. He wants more investment from Canada and the US, to help develop southern Mexico and his neighbors in Central America, but he also wants to build more state-owned oil refineries.
He promised to end corruption and impunity. He said: “Vamos a limpiar al gobierno de corrupcíon de arriba yabajo.” But he said he wasn’t out for revenge, or prosecution for past offences.
AMLO extinguished the thoughts of anyone who wasn’t sure of the direction the wind was blowing when he declared that the presidential plane was going on sale, and that the fat for top government officials was going to end. He reverenced the names of Benito Juárez, Simón Bolívar, and José Martí — bygone heroes of the region who used their platforms to promote policies and programs for the masses.
He promised lower fuel prices, and said that salary increases will not be less than inflation rates.
In a special touch, President López Obrador called out the names of all the leaders who were present for the inauguration. It was a special moment when he called out the name of our Governor General, Sir Colville Young, and our country. Our delegation also included our Foreign Minister, Honorable Wilfred Elrington, and Major Eric Neal, Jr., Aide-de-Camp for the Governor General.
A press release from the Government of Belize said, “Mr. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the Morena party, ran as a candidate in the presidential elections as part of the Juntos Haremos Historia Alliance and was elected by voters on July 1, 2018. Obrador won in a landslide, carrying 31 out of 32 of the country’s states.”
The release further said, “Belize and Mexico established diplomatic relations on 21st September, 1981, and this partnership has resulted in benefits for the citizens of both countries through cooperation initiatives in culture, security, education, trade and healthcare.”
Belize has never interfered in Mexico’s internal politics, accepting all Mexican leaders with respect. However, this new president is of particular interest, especially to those of us who are not fully supportive of privatization and other free market initiatives. In Belize, more than forty percent of our citizens are considered to be living below the poverty line. Democracy cannot survive and flourish where so many have so little. Our brothers and sisters in Mexico, who are not making it in the free market system, believe that shifting to a less capitalist system, to AMLO, will bring the changes needed to better their lives.
Above all, Andrés Manuel López Obrador represents hope for the masses in Mexico and our region. Sadly, the open market in our region has produced fruits for the few, and much misery for the many.
AMLO’s path to remedy the failures of the past will not be easy. There will be resistance from some of the people who think that Jesus the Christ was talking foolishness when he said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for the greedy to find favor with Him. Hopefully enough of those who cling to an economic system that hasn’t proved to be of benefit to all citizens in countries like ours yield a little space so that our brother, López Obrador, can get the job done.
To our brothers and sisters in Mexico, we celebrate your new revolution. May it bring great improvements in the lives of those who need it most.