Mexico
AMLO risks further alienating United States after OAS comments, expert says
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called for the Organization of American States to be replaced, risking further strain on Mexico's relationship with the US.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has proposed replacing the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) with a more autonomous entity linked to the "history, reality and identifies" of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Additionally, Lopez Obrador said that the new organization should be "nobody's lackey."

The Mexican President's statements come at a time in which Mexico and Argentina face rifts with OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro over various issues in the region.

Almagro denies differences with Biden over Venezuela and attributes tensions to AMLO and Alberto

In an exclusive interview for LPO, Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Michael Werz said he believes AMLO's remarks are "political posturing" rather than a serious proposal. 

Lopez Obrador has done nothing to establish a good working relationship with the Biden administration, except for a few compromises that VP Kamala Harris negotiated on her recent trip to Mexico

"It is completely contrary to Mexico's national interest. AMLO is the president that has put national sovereignty above all else, and the fact that he would propose a massive transfer of national sovereignty to something like the European Union in Latin America is not credible at all," said Werz.

The Mexican government has been outspoken in its support for the Cuban regime, firmly opposing US "interventionism" and offered humanitarian support to the island.Mexico is the only Latin American country outside Cuba's traditional leftist allies to maintain uninterrupted relations with the island.

Mexico is the only Latin American country outside Cuba's traditional leftist allies to maintain uninterrupted relations with the island.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, right, yields to his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel during a welcoming ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico in 2019.

"What unifies Latin American governments are two things," said Werz. "They agree on their criticism of the US policy towards Cuba, and they oppose the possession of the Falklands/Malvinas by the United Kingdom."

"Everything else, there it's absolutely no agreement," he added. "That is not really a sufficient foundation to create a meaningful institution." 

What unifies Latin American governments are two things. They agree on their criticism of the US policy towards Cuba, and they oppose the possession of the Falklands/Malvinas by the United Kingdom. Everything else, there it's absolutely no agreement.

The Mexican President also railed against the hegemony of the United States in Latin America, saying that "Washington has never stopped carrying out open or covert operations against the independent countries located south of the Rio Grande."

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, center, takes Vice President Kamala Harris on a tour of the National Palace, June 8, 2021, in Mexico City. 

When asked about the consequences that AMLO could face from Washington, the policy expert said that "Lopez Obrador has done nothing to establish a good working relationship with the Biden administration, except for a few compromises that VP Kamala Harris negotiated on her recent trip to Mexico".

In June, Vice President Kamala Harris took her first trip abroad - visiting Guatemala and Mexico- to stem migration flows to the United States.

"When it comes to politics, Lopez Obrador seems to think that alienating the United States, [which is] also alienating 36 million Mexican Americans, is a good strategy," Werz said.

As a member of the National Security Team, Werz has focused his research on issues like migration, security, and emerging democracies, especially in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.

"Things are not looking well in Mexico and Lopez Obrador should rather focus on violence, corruption, rule of law, stop criticizing judges and NGOs, instead of coming up with grandiose projects," added Werz.

Lopez Obrador's government, known as the "4th Transformation", has vowed to uphold Mexico's principle of non-intervention that marked its foreign policy for most of the 20th century.

"This is not because the United States wants to interfere in domestic Mexican affairs in any way, shape, or form. This is because North America, namely Canada, the United States and Mexico are becoming an economic, political, and social cultural unit," Werz said. "Whether people like it or not, because of the economic exchange, increasing integration and the massive migration that we see between our countries, this is an issue that nobody can escape."

"The fact that the Mexican president seems to think that alienating the United States is a good and sound political strategy shows that he seems to be living in the 1970s. It could become a substantial political problem for us here in the United States."

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