Mexico’s election and ours, the different and the same

Across the US political spectrum it is now widely understood that the US government does aggressively intervene in Latin America, no matter whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. So no matter what political stripe your average Joe and Jane neighbor may be here in Colorado Springs, you are not too likely to have one deny that the US has historically intervened South of The Border in some form or another; militarily, economically, and culturally. The neighbor leaning Left might say that this has been negative for those countries, while the Rightist will most probably sing interventionism’s praises. The memory of Reagan’s Central American wars of the ’80s remains strong, because some of these wars were so widely covered in the press.

There is one caveat to mention here. The belief that the US is intervening, and has intervened in the past in Latin America, is mostly confined within opinion by the American public, that this is so only south of Mexico. Why? The answer is in that the US press as a whole, treats mention of US interventionism in Mexico and its politics as its grand taboo. Despite the fact that Mexico is a huge and populous country and is where the Third World meets the US to our South, the US press does all it can to keep Americans just as ignorant about Mexico as they can be made.

As one example, just how many non Hispanic Americans can name the Mexican states that border the US? How many of these same Americans know that Mexico is divided into states even? But how many of these same folk yet have strong and basically uninformed opinions regarding immigration from that country? The sum total of belief the US non Hispanic public has been taught by the English language US press, is that Mexico is poor and that many want to live here because of that. Further information is kept back, and the widespread Anglo public view is that Mexicans run their own country and the US has nothing to do with that. Unfortunately, that perception is totally false.

To illustrate the point that the US in fact has a major role in directing Mexican life, let me just mention a few facts about Walmart in Mexico. This American company is Mexico’s largest private employer with over 100,000 employees and over 800 stores there. It now is entering into the countries banking structure as a major player, too. It is just ridiculous to imagine that the Walton family of Arkansas is just standing to the side when political and economic decisions are being made, whether in Spanish, or not.. They have an agenda, and push it just as hard in Mexico as they do in the US. Their agenda, in short, is to make profits in that country and to move those billions to Bentonville, USA.

I don’t want to pick on Walmart here. They are just one of many prominent examples of US presence in Mexico, and exploitment of it. They have high level company officials, as other US companies and the US government itself do, that interact with the Mexican elites themselves to maintain a ‘good business climate’. What existed before the year 2000, was the longest running one-party dictatorship in the world. Both Mexican and US elites decided was that this was not good for business at that time. Previously, they had agreed that this dictatorship was absolutely just the thing for business and US government support for the PRI dictatorship was kept solid. And the US press’s silence about this ran solid for decades, too.

In the last 2 US presidential elections, the results left many believing that fraud had carried Bush into office twice. At any rate Bush received less votes (called popular votes, as if that made them insignificant) than Al Gore did in 2000, and yet got the office! Gore realized that though he had won the vote count and that the Republicans had fraudently purged voter lists of largely eligible Black voters, that he was not as popular amongst the US elite as Bush was at the time. So he laid down his claim for the presidency, and conceded without a struggle! And America has been as it has, ever since.

Mexico had its presidential election about 10 weeks ago. News of it was kept quiet in the US daily press, as if it was of no real concern to Americans. Pretty strange behavior for what bills itself as the ‘free press’, but not real shocking if we consider how the US press has been largely lap dogs in support of Bush’s multiple invasions, occupations, and wars. Not much coverage of Bush in Haiti these days, neither. How much real examination has there been of whether the Israeli invasion of Lebanon had roots in the White House?

But what came out of this election south of us was a fraudulent result that will possibly impact the US as much as Iraq now does. After all, the US and Mexico are intertwined on the North American continent, and neither country will ever become an island into itself,no matter how hard it is tried. I could go into the many details of why the results were fraudulent, something that is now being denied in US daily editorial after another. That would seem arcane and boring to most readers though. What counts, is that about half of the Mexican population is certain that the results are fraudulent and the official president stands with little legitimacy in their eyes. And the US supports that man, as do the Mexican church, government, and economic elites that have long impoverished that country.

What really is fearful to the US media, is that the official ‘loser’ of the Mexican presidential race, Antonio Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has chosen a path completely in contrast to that of our US loser of the past, Al Gore. He has decided to struggle against the fraud rather than to meekly surrender to it. Despite the effort to reconstruct Gore’s image amongst the US public as Mr. Ecology, he will probably go down in history as the goat that led to the construction of the Bush Administration. Mexico’s ‘loser’, AMLO, may well go down to being seen as a hero in the struggle against US control of his country, and the destruction of its national integrity.

The situation in Mexico now is quite complex. The country’s highest court just put a man in office, that even with fraud in his favor, gathered less than 40% of the votes! The south of the country went for AMLO, and the north went more to Calderon, now the official ‘president’. About 30% of the country stuck with the PRI, party of the no supposedly defunct one-party dictatorship of the past. Fact is, that both Calderon’s party and the PRI have been acting in conjunction with each other, as if they were but 2 wings of one corporate party. Does this ring a bell for some Americans?

Our government and institutions should not fall into line accepting Mexican electoral fraud as they are now doing. The fact that they have done so bodes poorly for our own embattled system. Neither country can afford to continue where only elites make decisions that effect all of us. Neither country needs Tweedle-Dee/ Tweedle-Dumb governance. That way leads to national insecurity for both nations.

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