Mexico is not Venezuela or will it be?

It is common to hear that López Obrador wants to turn Mexico into another Venezuela and that we are going towards a popular dictatorship.

There is no doubt that his speech on many occasions is very similar to that of Hugo Chávez at the time and that some measures he has taken seem to be traced back to the Sao Paulo Forum; However, the geographical, economic, social, and political reality of our country is very different from that of Venezuela and that of other Latin American countries.

Our neighborhood and economic dependence on the US makes it impossible for the current government to move towards a socialist or statist one; That country has never allowed us to go beyond a populist discourse and any attempt to go further to the left, as happened with Cárdenas or Echeverría, was reversed in the following six-year term. The recent ratification of a Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada forces the opening of the economy and investments, and makes the nationalization of any sector impossible, as has happened in Venezuela.

On the economic side, while in Venezuela oil represents 80% of exports, in Mexico oil revenues represent only 10%, and 50% of our economy depends on foreign trade. Private activity in our country is the basis of the economy and the State represents only 30% of it. Public finances live on the payment of taxes from companies and individuals and oil revenues do not reach 10% of public revenues. In other words, our economy depends fundamentally on private and market activity, and to a great extent on the US economy.

Probably in social terms of inequality and poverty, there are many similarities, but in political terms, there are profound differences. Mexican federalism guarantees the political plurality of governors, as we have seen in these two years of government, the Judiciary enjoys total autonomy and independence, Congress is renewed every three years and elections are organized independently of the government and parties are the basis of national political life.

The Mexican Army is not a power as it is in Venezuela, but a popular Army totally subordinate to our Constitution. Hugo Chávez was a general and had the power within the Army since before he was president; López Obrador is a civilian who only during his term has authority within the Army and will lose it the day he leaves office, not one day less, not one day more. The media and organized civil society in Mexico are becoming stronger and more participatory.

On the other hand, López Obrador wants to go down in history as Madero and not as Porfirio Díaz and knows better than anyone that in our country any presidential re-election attempt is impossible, as has happened in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

The danger of López Obrador is not that he can turn Mexico into Venezuela, the danger is in his inability to correct his mistakes that are leading Mexico to a security, economic and social crisis that is unprecedented. The danger is in his spiteful and confrontational speech that is causing a division among Mexicans that may take many years to heal.

That is why it is so important to win a majority in the Chamber of Deputies next year, to prevent any authoritarian attempt by President López Obrador y Morena.


Mexico Daily Post