[Marxism] Lopez Obrador continues fight against declining Mexican regime

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Tue Nov 21 04:04:04 MST 2006

The photo looked like the crowd might be considerably bigger than the
100,000 claimed here.  Also given the past mobilizations, it is  odd that
the  article portrays the event as “huge.”  The Don Quixote imagery is
intended to be  dismissive, but again implies something much more powerful.
Reminds me of the line from the Sinatra song “High Hopes”:  “Oops, there
goes a million kilowat dam.”




November 21, 2006

Yes, He Lost Mexico’s Vote, So He’s Swearing Himself In 


MEXICO CITY, Nov. 20 — Don Quixote, move over. The losing leftist candidate
for president swore himself in on Monday as “the legitimate president of
xico/index.html?inline=nyt-geo> ” before a huge crowd of his avid fans,
ignoring rulings by federal electoral authorities and the courts that he
narrowly lost the election last July. 

The candidate, Andrés Manuel López
lopez_obrador/index.html?inline=nyt-per>  Obrador, a former Mexico City
mayor who took on Mexico’s entrenched oligarchy, chose the anniversary of
the Mexican revolution for the event. He has continued to assert that his
opponents used fraud to deny him victory. 

Appearing on a stage in the historic Constitution Plaza, with Mexican flags
and an enormous eagle banner behind him, Mr. López Obrador promised to goad
the government of the president-elect, Felipe Calderón
n/index.html?inline=nyt-per> , a conservative from the National Action Party
of President Vicente Fox, into adopting his proposals. 

About 100,000 people crowded into the square and roared with approval when a
copy of the traditional green, white and red presidential banner was placed
across his chest. 

“We are assembled here to confront a fraudulent election,” he said, “and to
take on a regime of corruption and privileges, to start the construction of
a new republic.”

Mr. López Obrador maintains that powerful business leaders colluded with Mr.
Fox’s party to mount a smear campaign depicting him as a dangerous leftist
totalitarian. He also says Mr. Fox’s party made a pact with the centrist
former governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, to defeat him
in northern states. 

Both accusations are true to a degree, but the nation’s highest electoral
court ruled that those actions were not enough to skew the election results.
Mr. Calderón, 44, a former energy minister, won by 240,000 votes. 

Mr. López Obrador, who is 53, said he intended to have members of his
Democratic Revolution Party introduce legislation in Congress, then use
public pressure to force the laws through. Among his proposals are measures
to break up near monopolies, improve health care, raise the minimum wage and
cut government salaries. 

He said he intended to continue touring to promote his ideas. 

Earlier in the day, Mr. Fox took a veiled swipe at Mr. López Obrador at an
event marking the anniversary of the 1910 revolution, saying society should
never permit strongmen and populists to trample civil liberties. “Elections
are the path that Mexicans have to preserve a political and public life that
is plural, peaceful, orderly and civilized,” he said. 

It remained to be seen if Monday’s political theater was a graceful exit for
a candidate who could never acknowledge defeat, or truly the start of a
unified left-wing movement to challenge the oligarchy of politicians and
business executives who have controlled the country for a century. 

The crowd was smaller than at Mr. López Obrador’s previous rallies, and
divisions have appeared in his party. Some supporters have threatened to
storm the dais to try to prevent Mr. Calderón from taking the oath of office
on Dec. 1, while others are negotiating with his party, hoping to get the
new president to adopt part of their agenda in return for political peace. 

Forming a shadow government is astute politically, some analysts said,
because it could keep Mr. López Obrador in the public eye during Mr.
Calderón’s six-year term and set up a possible run in 2012. 

Most of the people who turned out to support him, however, have high hopes
that he will somehow deliver on his campaign promises despite losing. “He is
our last hope,” said Consuelo Sánchez Quiroz, a 64-year-old retired hotel
worker. “Fox and Calderón are both for the businessmen.”

But others saw the ceremony on Monday as a grand romantic gesture, something
Don Quixote could relate to. “It’s something that goes beyond material
things, it’s something more spiritual,” said Beatriz Ramírez, a 54-year-old
psychologist, “to believe in the future, in a more equal society, to believe
that some day it will become reality.” 


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