No matter how you look at it, the Venezuelan dictatorship–currently presided over by Nicolás Maduro, and imposed by Hugo Chávez in 1999–is indefensible. The country’s annual inflation sits above 2,600%, more than half of the existing businesses in the country have gone bankrupt, there are hundreds of political prisoners, and Caracas has become the most violent city in the world.
The leftist presidential candidate in Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), understands this. Yet each time someone asks his opinion about Venezuela, he answers with evasiveness and goes off on a tangent, referring to the “sovereignty of the people” and his respect for the alleged democratic will of his Venezuelan brothers and sisters. Obrador dares not accept, much less denounce, the atrocities of the Chavez-inspired government in Venezuela.
AMLO’s followers and his MORENA party militants belittle the predictions of those who claim that Mexico would end up like Venezuela should Obrador become president. His followers claim the times have changed, that the socio-political characteristics of Mexico are unlike those of Venezuela, and that the problem of the Venezuelan economic model was its implementation process, and not the policies it proposed.
AMLO’s followers forget that most of the Venezuelans who voted for Chávez in 1998, seeing new hope and the opportunity for”change” in the army commander, now live in extreme poverty or have had to flee their country, with all the drama and pain those circumstances involve.
Let’s be clear: no matter how careful López Obrador is with his statements on Venezuela, and regardless of whether he is bold enough to accept it publicly or not, his political agenda is practically the same as the one that has immersed Venezuelans in the most desperate social crisis the region has suffered in recent times.
Here are six points to support this affirmation:
1.Evident communist tendencies:“You know who,” as Lopez Obrador is known in Mexico, is very careful when it comes to Venezuela, but when it comes to demonstrating his admiration for murderers and dictators–like Che or Fidel Castro in Cuba–AMLO does nos hesitate. The way his closest allies openly support regimes such as Cuba, Venezuela, and even the absolutely indefensible North Korea, demonstrates the ideological dividing line between them and MORENA does not exist.
2.Denial of free trade: To pretend that all products Mexicans consume can be produced domestically is to pretend to travel back in time–it implies an attitude of denial about the global reality. Besides being a utopian idea, it would also be a tremendous mistake that generates poverty at a macroeconomic level.
3.Exaggerated egocentrism: According to AMLO, once he becomes president, all the country’s problems would be magically eliminated, including corruption and drug trafficking. This is not only highly improbable, but it also clearly shows the absolute fixation he has on his own person, and his self-conception as national “caudillo” and the country’s only savior.
4.Childish vision for combating corruption: AMLO argues that the money recovered by avoiding acts of corruption will be enough to make us a thriving economy. That is demonstrably not the case. Although corruption represents a burden on the productivity of the country, it is not the only problem that the Mexican economy has to face in the years to come.
5.Fondness for social programs: ALMO’s affinity for unlimited public spending and social programs can only be financed through debt (which will be paid for by generations to come) or through a tax increase, even if he denies it. These policies can only generate economic stagnation, less productive investment and hyperinflation–in addition to the government dependence and cronyism. Social programs, such as the”prosper” program, far from fighting poverty, end up becoming incentives to remain in poverty, however counterintuitive it may seem.
6.Weak commitment to Democracy: Throughout his political career, AMLO has not been able to accept a single defeat of the many he has suffered at the polls, either as a candidate or through his party. In addition, he shows no respect towards his ideological or political opponents.
The Venezuelan agenda
Betting on a national project for welfare, where half of the population understands that it does not need to work since the other half, the more productive one, will provide for it, is to bet on a perverse project with a history of failure. The government should not give one what it takes away from another, that only ends up generalizing misery–it unlawfully and unjustly empowers and enriches only a few.
If you work and are productive, and a socialist project like AMLO’s is imposed by law, you will be forced to work more in order to maintain the “social programs” and the future free-riders.
So, if you are someone who really does something for Mexico and work for what belongs to you in an honest and productive way, do not be fooled by populist leaders who only sell illusions.
Today, in Venezuela, there is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, cattle are hunted down with machetes and stones to eat, pharmacies sell “smeared” deodorant, and cold-blooded murders by the regime are an everyday occurrence. In addition, the scarcity of basic products (like toilet paper) have caused millions of Venezuelans to regret having opted for an alleged “change” that promised much but only brought pain and misery.
- Read more:Venezuela’s Exiled Attorney General Accuses Maduro Regime of Human-Rights Violation in Killing of Military Rebels
In Mexico, we much to change and improve, but we have to do it with a view towards the future and not to the past as AMLO and his political agenda–one identical to the 70’s PRI party agenda–proposes.
“You know who” does not like being compared to Chavez or Maduro, but all of his methods and political proposals mimic his revolutionary comrades and South American “Bolivarians”.