This is what Mexico's newly-elected president thinks about Donald Trump

Greg Evans
Monday 02 July 2018 09:15
news

Mexico's left-wing candidate in the country's presidential election has claimed victory in a landmark moment for the nation.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, nicknamed AMLO, is projected to win around 53 per cent of the vote after his rivals conceded the race.

The 64-year-old, who is the former mayor of Mexico City and represents the National Regeneration Movement party, has vowed to tackle the "evil" of corruption in his victory speech.

López Obrador's ascension to the highest office in Mexico comes at a significant time for Mexican/US relations.

Both López Obrador and Donald Trump's political leanings couldn't be more opposing and, given the anti-Mexican rhetoric that has dominated most of Trump's presidency, it will come as no surprise that he isn't a big fan of the POTUS.

Prior to his victory, López Obrador had vowed to put Trump "in his place" if he won - and that's just one in a series of critical quotes that he has aimed at Trump.

As an example, AMLO has gone as far as to label Trump a "racist neo-facist", which is just the tip of the iceberg.

Shortly after Trump's inauguration and amid Trump's initial talks to construct a wall along the US/Mexico border, López Obrador called on his country to lodge a lawsuit against Trump because of this issue.

Reuters quoted him as saying:

I respectfully suggest that the government of Mexico presents a lawsuit at the United Nations against the U.S. government for violation of human rights and racial discrimination.

During a Washington news conference in March last year, he continued to rally against Trump and complain about the administration's treatment of Mexican migrants at the border, and claimed that Mexico would not make themselves inferior for any nation.

We do not want a relationship of subordination.

We will not accept it. Mexico is a free, independent country — not a colony, nor a protectorate.

Never will we subordinate ourselves to any foreign government.

He repeated this sentiment during a presidential debate in May of this year.

I want a friendly relationship with the government of the United States, but not one of subordination.

Mexico is a free country, it is a sovereign nation. We will not be subject to any foreign government.

During a campaign rally in April at the border city of Ciudad Juárez, he once again lashed out at the US president, with those in attendance reportedly erupting into jeers at the mere mention of Trump's name.

He said:

Mexico and its people will not be the piñata of any foreign government.

It’s not with walls or use of force that you resolve social problems.

AMLO hasn't always been quite as diplomatic when referring to Trump and US foreign policy.

Previously, when discussing the administration's decision to keep child migrants in cages, he stated it was "oppressive, racist, inhumane", before stating that he will aim to defend Central Americans' right to live and work in the US.

El Financiero quotes him as saying:

Very soon, with the triumph of our movement, we will defend migrants from Mexico, Central America and the entire continent and all migrants from all over the world who need to leave their cities to go and make their living in the United States. It's a human right that we're going to defend.

Although they would appear to be polar opposites on the political spectrum, AMLO and Trump are both fiercely loyal to their countries and their policies reflect that.

Despite opposing Mexico's relationship with the DEA, he has expressed interest in renegotiating the NAFTA terms to make them more favourable to Mexico.

That being said, he does wish to do so by strengthening Mexico against foreign threats. The Atlantic quotes him on the issues as saying:

Everything depends on strengthening Mexico so we can confront aggression from abroad with strength.

López Obrador is not entirely opposed to working with Trump on policies but, as is evident, he seems to be firmly in favour of putting Mexico first.

Last month he was quoted as saying:

Our dream, which we’ll achieve regardless of whether Trump accepts or not, is that the Mexican can work and be happy where he was born.

It is unavoidable to notice how successfully his anti-Trump campaign helped him win the election.

His passionate and confrontational persona towards the US helped him win support especially at a time when US and Mexico relations are fragile.

However, there could be a potential olive branch between the two and surprisingly it is Trump who has been the first to offer it.

In a tweet sent in the early hours of Sunday, Trump stated he is looking forward to working with him.

More: Trump defends his infamous Mexican 'rapists' comment during rambling speech

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