[Marxism] AMLO: "I'm gong to fight to the end." (La Jornada/Granma)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 17 07:06:03 MDT 2006


This interview occupies a full page in Friday's Daily Granma.
With a population of over a hundred million, Mexico's voting
outcome shouldn't be forgotten, especially by participants in
a list based on Marxism. With a hundred million people and a
border contiguous with that of the United States, and also it
having relatively normal relations with Cuba, even considering
the various frictions, the states in this struggle are of high
importance, especially from the vantage point of the United
States where something like twenty MILLION Mexicans live.

Note the careful editorial comment from Granma that AMLO "heads
a coalition that believes it won the Mexican presidency". While
Cuba's sympathy is obvious, they really aren't INVOLVED in this
process, and promptly reported the fact that Calderon planned to
have normal relations with Cuba. 

OPPENHEIMER ATTACKS CALDERON FOR HIS (Calderon's) CUBA STAND:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/52030

GREG PALAST INTERVIEW WITH DEMOCRACY NOW ON THE MEXICAN ELECTION:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/12/146201
================================================================

GRANMA
July 14, 2006

Interview with Andres Lopez Obrador

"I'm gong to fight to the end."

In a La Jornada newspaper interview published on Thursday,
presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he is
"totally determined not to permit a retreat of democracy in Mexico."

Lopez Obrador heads a coalition that believes it won the Mexican
presidency in the July 2nd elections. They have formally contested
the results which gave a 0.6% victory to governing National Action
Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon.

"We won't let them squash the hopes of millions of Mexicans. That
would mean a backtracking to other periods thought to be overcome,
when power circles elected the country's leaders instead of the
people," said Lopez Obrador.

The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate pointed to a
second reason for contesting the vote: "If Felipe Calderon wants to
impose himself in the way we've seen so far, through fraud and a hate
campaign against his opponent, it's not hard to imagine how he would
govern: without legitimacy, without scruples, without morals, without
principles," added the former mayor of Mexico City.

Some powerful groups, including some media, have asked him to accept
the results issued by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE in
Spanish). Lopez Obrador responds: "If I do what they want, I would be
throwing away not only my political capital but my dignity and my
principles. I am not the type of traditional politician prone to
yielding and debasing himself."

SUBJECTING THE VOTE-CONTESTING STRATEGY TO PUBLIC APPROVAL

Lopez Obrador said that at this Sunday's mass rally at the Zocalo
Square in Mexico City, the second such gathering since the elections,
he will announce strategies to fight the electoral fraud, which will
be submitted for the approval of those present.

The battle will not be easy --he emphasized-- because we are up
against an entire State apparatus. "But have no doubt, I am going to
fight to the end so that the democratic gains are not erased."

"I have faith in the people. Our main defense is the consciousness of
the citizenry. Independent of the misinformation campaigns,
manipulation and the dirty war, they will not be able to erase the
fact that the elections were fraudulent as the voting results
announced by the Federal Electoral Institute differ from the will of
the voters on July 2. We have shown it and we will continue doing so,
because every day more evidence of the electoral fraud is being
discovered."

"That's why are demanding that the ballot boxes be opened, that there
be a new recount, and people understand that. The slogan "vote by
vote, polling booth by polling both did come from me. It came from
the people. When I was planning this in the Zocalo there were already
signs. This is a movement that has leadership, but it is a movement
where the people mark the rhythm and the intensity."

THE PEOPLE WILL PUT THINGS IN THEIR PLACE

"When the outrage occurred they said the three powers had already
decided and we had no hope, but the people took charge and put things
in their place. It's true, the campaign against us is very strong,
but the people are committed to defending democracy. Something that
motivates me is that when [last] Thursday morning I called for a
rally, two days later on Saturday, people turned out at the Zocalo
Square. I am confident that the people are going to respond."

Does it seem that the onslaught against you is greater now?

"Yes, but the people are not stupid. If something has changed in
these last years it is the mentality of the people. The elections
were proof of that. It was all staged for us to be overwhelmed with
the fear campaign and all the money spent on radio and television
ads. The people turned out to vote and we won the election even with
the entire State apparatus, the Business Coordinating Council and
other privileged sectors against us. That should have been enough to
squash us. But it wasn't, and even on Election Day they had to use
fraud, falsifying the vote tally sheets.

"If the people respond and the movement for democracy is consolidated
we are going to triumph. I have not the least doubt. This would mean
defeating the dark campaign in the media and the entire State
apparatus, which is lined up to discourage, confuse, terrify and make
anti-democracy prevail."

Lopez Obrador repeated that the person responsible for deceiving the
Mexican people is President Vicente Fox Quesada, and for that reason
he called him "a traitor of democracy."

"It's an offense, an act of treason, to reach the presidency and
instead of advancing, give up what had been accomplished. I am not
going to shrug my shoulders. I can't do it, because I have
convictions and a sense of history."

In a televised interview (Tuesday evening) you said you will go as
far as the people decide. What does that stance mean?

"In this process we are going to use democratic methods and all the
decisions are going to be made after consultation. It's going to be
the people that decide each step. Even on the most difficult issues
we are going to find a mechanism so that every action is agreed upon
by a majority and in that way the people define the course, rhythm
and depth of the movement. It won't be only the leader's decision.

"This puts aside the idea that the people won't stop at anything and
act violently, which is irrational. I have confidence in our
supporters, who are mature, very aware, and very politicized. The key
is guiding it in a democratic way and making sure that the decisions
to be made are well thought out."

Are there risks of confrontations with members of Felipe Calderon's
National Action Party (PAN), due to the anger among their supporters?

"That must be avoided. We are going to continue insisting on that. I
said in on Saturday and I am going to repeat it this Sunday. The
people are going to understand that we can't fall into a provocation.
If the people demonstrate peacefully it will be something
extraordinary. So then, why fall into confrontation and insults? Why
get mad? Let others get upset. We have reason on our side so, calmly,
we are going see what the people think."

Lopez Obrador says the ability to respond to the July 2 fraud is
different than the one back in 1988.

"Now there is more social organization. I think that's an element in
our favor. The media isn't as closed, despite what we are seeing. In
1988 the blockade was total; there was far less space for expression
and a less aware population. Another factor is that we have greater
political representation, something normal after 18 years."

His adversaries maintain that the PRD structures and the coalition
erred on Election Day by not having representatives at a large number
of polling booths.

"I believe that yes we made mistakes but that that was not the
deciding factor. We didn't act perfectly, there were errors, but that
was not the deciding factor."

He also discarded the version circulating in the radio, TV and print
media that his coalition was over confident and didn't plan for a
possible defeat.

"No, we were organized as best we could. Those who participated
should be recognized for confronting the State power structure as
they did. I don't know if my destiny is to be president or not. But I
have no doubt that I will fight to the end so that the country's
democratic spaces are not eliminated."

What's the end?

The future will tell. We will not allow for imposition or for
undemocratic methods to establish an illegitimate government that was
not elected by the people."

Do you trust the Federal Juridical Power's Electoral Tribunal?

"I believe in the people, I have always believed in the people. I
would like to see the institutions of my country act with honesty and
integrity. However, it isn't a straight jacket, you must understand
that the institutions are in the hands of people that may have
principles and honesty and also others that don't act in such a
manner."

Would you give the tribunal a vote of confidence?

"A vote of confidence, no, because the institutions are in very bad
shape. We are going to wait for the results. I hope the magistrates
act honestly."

(Version of the interview published in the Thursday edition of La
Joranda)





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