Contributing to the New York Times, former Foreign Minister of Mexico Jorge Castañeda opines that this month’s electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in Mexico poses serious doubt regarding the continuity of Mexican foreign policy in the region.
Why? Amlo’s ability to create an “outsider” coalition of political parties that contested establishment politics in Mexico was a major reason for his success. Though, a central tenet of the coalition’s platform was its commitment to Mexico for Mexicans. Following through on this promise will require the allocation of far fewer resources to foreign policy — more specifically, foreign policy geared toward the internal politics of other nations.
“Among the points Mr. López Obrador has stressed is an uncompromising return to Mexico’s traditional views on not getting involved in other nation’s politics and not expressing opinions on the human rights situation in other countries. His foreign minister-to-be, Marcelo Ebrard, stated that simply discussing the Nicaraguan or Venezuelan cases at the O.A.S. was tantamount to interfering in these nations’ internal affairs. The new government, which takes office on Dec. 1, would accordingly refrain from such initiatives. Mr. López Obrador sent the chairwoman of his party, Morena, to the Havana conference of the São Paulo Forum, whose final declaration she signed. Another of his envoys there made a strong speech of support for Latin American governments of the left, including Nicaragua’s.
In other words, Mexico, the second-largest nation in the region, will no longer be part of the broad Latin American coalition seeking, unsuccessfully until now, a solution to the Venezuelan nightmare and to the Nicaraguan quagmire.
At best, from the perspective of human rights and collective defense of democracy, it will look homeward and inward and simply distance itself from any regional challenge. At worst, it will side with regimes such as the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan ones, evoking the principle of nonintervention but in fact sympathizing with them politically and ideologically.“