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Obrador rejects a break with Spain, but maintains his attacks on companies

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. / REUTERS

The Mexican president softens his criticism and classifies them as “respectful and fraternal protests” against the abuses of some firms

Goaded by his multiple internal problems, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has chosen to imitate the leaders of the neighboring country to the north and look abroad for enemies that will overshadow his internal crises. This tactic has worked for US leaders throughout history. It does not seem that this will be the case of AMLO. This Thursday he began to realize his mistake and retracted the “break” with Spain announced twenty-four hours earlier. The diplomatic confusion and discomfort created by his “pause” in relations with the second largest investor in the Aztec territory have made him change his mind quickly.

López Obrador backed down by assuring that he never sought to “break with Spain”, but that his expressions were actually “respectful and fraternal protests” against abuses suffered by his country at the hands of some Spanish energy, construction and tourism firms to obtain contracts. In his opinion, these companies – he cited Iberdrola, Repsol and OHL – must “internalize” that there is no longer room for “looting” or “corruption, that has already happened.” “What I said yesterday is let’s go, for the good of our peoples, to calm down the relationship.” To do this, he advocated distancing the political-economic relations that were created in the last two decades between Spanish businessmen and Mexican governments.

THE KEYS:

  • New relationships.
    “They must internalize that in Mexico there is no longer room for looting or corruption, that’s already happened”

  • High cost.
    “There was a collusion in business, economic and political promiscuity that cost the people money”

The leader stated that abroad that “sometimes it takes time to understand that there are already other conditions” in Mexico” -referring to the new Executive- and, therefore, he sees it necessary to “warn” that companies can no longer opt for public contracts without any paperwork, with the alleged collusion with local authorities. “It’s not xenophobia, it’s that we have to respect each other,” he insisted. “They saw us as a land of conquest,” alleged the Mexican leader, who again questioned whether, with each previous president, there was a “favorite” company. In fact, he mentioned former president Felipe Calderón, incorporated into the management bodies of Iberdrola.

Fraudulent contracts

AMLO has repeatedly accused Spanish companies of unfairly taking advantage of the opening to the private sector to sign fraudulent contracts to build power plants in US territory. “They have offended us Mexicans, because it is not only the fact that high officials work with these companies, but also what this type of relationship costs us. “There was collusion in business, economic and political promiscuity that cost money from the Budget, which belongs to all Mexicans, which instead of being used to lift the people out of poverty, was used to favor these companies,” he denounced.

The president of Mexico takes

“We have intimate relations with the people of Spain, but in recent times during the neoliberal period, Spanish firms supported by political power, both in Spain and Mexico, abused our country and our people,” he assured in similar terms to what he has repeated since he arrived at the presidential palace in December 2018.

It should be remembered that López Obrador, who in the past asked the Spanish Executive to apologize for the brutal conquest of Mexico in 1521 and the centuries of colonial rule with abuses against native peoples. His criticisms were repeated last year when he stated that “they are not good relations with Spain.

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