AMLO and Trump in the White House—An Ugly Celebration of the Imperialist Domination of Mexico and the World



Editors’ note: The following was translated by, from Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico.

The words of [Mexican president] López Obrador [AMLO] and [U.S. president] Trump before the media, and the very brief “joint statement” they signed on July 8, highlight the domination of Mexico by U.S. imperialism.

López Obrador praised Trump and his government, a fascist regime based on white supremacy, male supremacy, and American xenophobia that continues to attack Mexicans, immigrants (and Blacks, Latinos, and indigenous people in the U.S.), with these phony words: ...“During my term as President of Mexico, instead of grievances towards me and, what I consider to be most important, towards my country, we have received from you understanding and respect.” He thanked “the people of the United States, your government, and you, President Trump, for being increasingly respectful of our Mexican compatriots.” And he ended his compliments for Trump with this: “But what I appreciate most is that you have never sought to impose on us anything that might infringe or violate our sovereignty... You have not sought to treat us as a colony, but have instead honored our status as an independent nation. That is why I am here, to express to the people of the United States that their President has behaved towards us with kindness and respect, he has treated us for what we are: a dignified, free, democratic, and sovereign country and people.”

AMLO oozed submission, flattering Trump and covering up his vile attacks on the peoples of Mexico and Central America. Indeed, the aggressions of Trump’s government against Mexico, its sovereignty, and especially against Mexican and Central American migrants are constant. Sixteen days before his meeting with López Obrador, Trump “autographed” a piece of his wall in Arizona and proclaimed that if it were not for that wall, the coronavirus would have “flooded” the United States. Two days before the meeting, he again branded migrants in New York and Chicago as criminals. In June 2019, under the threat of crippling tariffs, the Trump government dictated that the Mexican Army and National Guard would hunt down, repress, and deport Central American immigrants, acting as “border patrol” for the United States, crimes that they continue to commit today.

In addition, since December 2018, immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. have been thrown on this side of the border to await in Mexico—outdoors and under attack by gangs and criminal police—the hearing that “someday” will deny asylum for the vast majority of them. The Trump government not only “sought” to impose something that “infringes or violates our sovereignty”—it did so blatantly and the López Obrador government accepted it. At the same time, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) keeps hundreds of migrant children, and detained adults who become ill with COVID-19, incarcerated. Young “Dreamers” (mostly Mexicans) continue to be threatened with deportation, and the Trump administration uses the pandemic as pretext for other attacks on immigrants.1 In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, migrants sick from COVID-19 were deported to Mexico and Guatemala. The U.S. demanded that the “supply chains” of the automotive and aerospace industry be resumed, and the Mexican government complied, reclassifying them as “essential,” with the imperialist sweatshops in Mexico forcing people to continue working in these and other branches of industry dominated by firms from the United States, which concentrate the profits from the superexploitation of millions of workers in Mexico (and in many other oppressed countries).2

Why does the President of Mexico silence all this and praise the treatment of the United States and the current fascist regime in relation to Mexico and Mexicans in the United States? Fundamentally because, as president of a country so completely dominated by imperialism, he depends on the approval of the big capitalists in the United States and its government. As they constantly explain to us, “we need” foreign investments, that is, the investments of the big capitalists from the United States and other imperialist countries. The current capitalist economy does require constant imperialist investments, but we, the people, do not need them. Big foreign and Mexican capital is what makes it impossible to put an end to the horrors suffered by the people—and the future socialist society will not have such investments—because those companies only come to superexploit workers and peasants, paying them 8 to 10 times less that in their countries of origin, and to cut other “production costs,” sacrificing the safety and health of workers and destroying the environment, etc.

Those who do need these investments are the big capitalists and their state, as well as the world imperialist capitalist system, in which large monopolies and financial institutions dominate economic activity throughout the world, compete with each other to maximize their profits and to control territories, markets, natural resources, and human lives. Thus, the duty of the head of state of Mexico (and of every oppressed country) is to serve the operation of this system, attract more imperialist investments and keep at bay the majority of the people, who do not possess any capital, and especially the exploited and dispossessed, supplying big capital with the cheap labor it needs to be profitable and competitive. That is why, although the style of each president and the times in which each governs have particularities, every Mexican president from Porfirio Díaz [1876-1880, 1884-1911] until now has had to accommodate himself to imperialist domination, mainly by the United States, to adjust to governing the country as it is within the current system—a subordinate link in the international chain of its empire—and to be coupled with the consequences that this domination implies.

When he was a [presidential] candidate, López Obrador was able to pretend to represent other interests, so he responded to Trump’s xenophobic defamations by saying that “It is despicable that Trump and his advisers spoke of Mexicans like Hitler and the Nazis spoke of the Jews, just before undertaking the infamous persecution and the abominable extermination.” But months before he was elected president, AMLO sent “messages of tranquility” to the fascist; he told the former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, that, as president, “his number one priority would be to have a positive relationship with the United States.”3 He has done so, becoming a loyal “junior partner” of the capitalist-imperialist system and a conscious collaborator of the fascist Trump regime.

The TMEC—A Treaty to Support the U.S. Empire Against Its Rivals

The pretext for this meeting was that the TMEC was taking effect: the new “free trade” agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It is an agreement to accelerate Mexico’s subordinate integration into the U.S. empire, and to strengthen the U.S. against its rivals, especially China. The two leaders boasted that the TMEC will bring employment and “prosperity” to “the three countries and their peoples,” but it will bring the intensification of the horrors brought by the 25 years of NAFTA [North America Free Trade Agreement], as a continuation and sharpening of imperialist domination: Millions of peasants expelled from the countryside; increased dependence on food imported from the U.S.; poverty for half the population; the health crisis (prior to the pandemic); the destruction of forests, land and water by imperialist “death projects”; and the explosion of organized crime, driven by imperialist globalization, the tearing up of old ways of working and living, as well as the extreme precariousness and insecurity that people suffer under the current “imperialist modernization.”

In his speech, AMLO praised this oppressive and unequal integration as follows: “Mexico has something extremely valuable to make effective and to enhance economic and commercial integration in the region. I am referring to its young, creative and responsible workforce.” In other words, Mexico puts up the superexploited workforce to increase the profitability of big capital. He sees no problem with the lopsidedness between Mexico on the one hand, and the United States and Canada on the other—between an oppressed country and the imperialist countries. On the other hand, he is concerned about the trade deficit of the “North American region” and the fall in the percentage of world production that this represents. He backs the TMEC because “It seeks to reverse this imbalance through greater integration of our economies and improvements in the operation of production chains to regain the economic presence that North America has lost in the last five decades.” He makes it very clear that the “4th Transformation” [AMLO’s so-called vision for Mexico] is just another way of trying to uphold the same capitalist system under imperialist domination, which cannot solve any of the horrors suffered by the vast majority of people.

In his statement, Trump blatantly lied, saying, among other things, that the two governments “together” are fighting the coronavirus, “saving countless thousands of lives.” In reality, his regime is responsible for greatly increasing deaths, for its antiscience and criminal response to the pandemic. The U.S. is the country with the most infections and the most deaths—more than 4 million confirmed cases and almost 150,000 deaths.4 While Trump spoke of “mutual respect” with Mexico and its president, he violated the previous agreement to not mention immigration or the wall at this meeting, saying, “We are really having significant results on the southern border. And we’ve been helped greatly by Mexico on creating record numbers, in a positive sense, on our southern border,” referring to the detention of migrants by the Mexican government.5

As the scoundrel he is, Trump continues to attack Mexico: In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, July 19, he said that “Mexico is not helping us.”

This meeting between the presidents of the two countries was, in truth, an ugly celebration of the imperialist domination of Mexico and the world.

1. See: “En plena pandemia, EEUU y México arremeten contra los migrantes: Para este sistema, los inmigrantes son ‘cosas’ para explotar, satanizar y desechar. Para la revolución comunista, son seres humanos valiosos que cambiarán el mundo” [In the Midst of the Pandemic, U.S./Mexico Onslaught Against Migrants: For this system, immigrants are “things” to exploit, demonize and discard. For the communist revolution, they are valuable human beings who will change the world.]. [back]

2. See: “Maquilas: tumba de trabajadores, sustento esencial del capitalismo mundial” [Sweatshops: Tombs for the Workers, Essential to Sustain World Capitalism]. [back]

3. Jon Lee Anderson, “Why Andrés Manuel López Obrador Went to Dinner with Donald Trump”, The New Yorker , July 9, 2020. [back]

4. The two governments are responsible for many unnecessary deaths. López Obrador has also minimized the pandemic, he has declared five times that “the virus is tamed,” he has insisted on the premature reopening that increased the confirmed infected persons to more than 360,000 cases and more than 40,000 deaths, and his government refuses to do mass testing and contact tracing, all which also increase unnecessary deaths. See: “Covid-19: La apuesta a la muerte” [COVID-19: Gambling on Death] and “De 3 a 4 veces más muertes de Covid-19 en CDMX que las cifras oficiales” [Three to Four Times More COVID-19 Deaths on Mexico City Than Official Figures]. [back]

5. The emphasis is ours, because the emphasized sentence does not appear in the official Spanish translation. [back]

AMLO and Trump at White House

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