Trade Wars

AMLO and Cuba, unnecessary applause

Miguel Diaz-Canel, President of Cuba with AMLO during the military parade to commemorate the 211 years of the cry for independence, in the capital, Zocalo. Photo: Moisés Pablo, Cuartoscuro.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s intention to promote a review of Latin America’s relations with the United States is not only reasonable, but necessary. The multilateral bodies that exist today, in particular the Organization of American States (OAS), do not correspond to the new geopolitics facing the planet, after the crisis of globalization of the last five years. Regime changes in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and El Salvador, among others, are rendering an organization obsolete that, in the context of the Trump administration, has suffered a conservative, unrelated decline. that the government is experiencing. the continent.

And for the rest, ideologies aside, countries around the world are trying to explore new ways of fitting into a complex reality. Economically, the protectionist actions of the megalopolises themselves and their trade wars are forcing nation states to rethink the previous strategy, which consisted of the haphazard opening of world markets. Regional and national interests have assumed a fading importance, although new constraints on economic and energy self-sufficiency have yet to be determined. Politically, the critical role of new players, especially China, and the fluctuations resulting from the rotation in Washington, require us to improve the bargaining power of our countries.

Lopez Obrador knows that Mexico can and must play a vital role through its strategic position as a trade and industrial ally of the United States. It has, so to speak, the right to cross the door that no other Latin American country has towards Washington.

The OAS, which is not respected by anyone because of its subordination to the United States, ends up being useless even to its master. In this sense, the Biden government could be sensitive to the call for renewal that the Mexican president is now calling. Washington could use the space to negotiate consensus and establish standards that recreate a new, sleeker, more humane version of the old slogan “America for Americans.” If not, China will continue to gain ground (and control over raw materials) thanks to the appropriate and often irreplaceable global investment from the governments of Central and Latin America. Even if for purely selfish reasons (to reduce immigration flows), the United States should be interested in organizations capable of promoting policies of mutual interest. Perhaps he will not accept the disappearance of the OAS in favor of a new one, but at least its reestablishment according to the new era.

So far, Lopez Obrador’s intention is impeccable. On the other hand, the devices threaten to escape from the hands of the Mexican president. The Cuban president’s particular private invitation to speak on the parade, patriotic military action, and Biden’s active advocacy to demand an end to the boycott of the island are counterproductive for basic strategic purposes, little no matter how. There are many ethical reasons that help you. Certainly, they make him the hero of the moment, but at the cost of exploding the possibilities of achieving what is desired. To make matters worse, the sudden arrival of Nicolas Maduro, the feather to vomit from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, darkens the panorama.

Why? First, because it is one thing to accept the formation of a more pluralist and democratic Organization of American States by the White House, and to face the danger of an organization, with Cuba and Venezuela being superior, becomes a union of the United States. And I’m not saying it will be, but that’s what the hawks in Washington will interpret based on the tone and symbols used by AMLO, the notoriety of Maduro and Díaz-Canel. This will increase Biden’s political bill.

Second, because no power likes to give something after the public reprimands. It is one thing to diplomatically negotiate the need for the White House and Congress to relieve unfair and absurd pressure on Cuba, and to demand something publicly in one hostile forum for another. First, diplomatic forums would allow Biden to manage the deadlines and the means to overcome the harsh resistance that exists in his country. The second, a joint Mexican-Cuban claim to the National Palace would only harden the White House. Public opinion in this country is massacring its president for increasing immigration flows and unregulated exits from Afghanistan, the two crises being interpreted as an expression of the weakness of democracy. In such circumstances, it is difficult for him to make more arguments for his detractors who will become a red carpet for Trump’s return to power.

Finally, we cannot ignore the natural distrust that Mexico’s privileged relations with the United States arouse in other important Latin American countries. As much as the courageous attitude in certain situations, notably those related to Cuba, sets us apart, they know that the interdependence between the Mexican economy and this third country on both sides of the border makes Mexico a geopolitical entity in halfway between North America and Latin America. America. Plus, they understand that beyond rhetoric, Mexican governments will ultimately act in their best interests, just as any other country would. It is precisely these interests that would explain the role of “chain guardian” that Mexico plays on the southern border, for the benefit of the United States, to discourage the arrival of Central Americans and the Caribbean in the Rio Grande.

Understandably, in the face of the harsh questions the 4T government has received about this “dirty” act, López Obrador feels inclined to raise his voice sovereign on rhetorical issues. Yet it seems to me that for a quick and fleeting gain he is losing the opportunity to do something deeper and more transcendent for the people of America. Historic opportunity for the personal charisma and the strategic role of Mexico. We appreciate specific actions like the rescue of Evo Morales or solidarity to demand vaccines for the poorest countries. But I am convinced that a presentation and a speech on the history of the Bronze was not the best way to help the Cuban people.

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Jorge Zepeda Patterson

He is a journalist and a writer.