In 1975, I was a young man who liked to find out about the politics of the country, who read and listened to everything that happened in that environment. He paid particular attention to the speeches of Luis Echeverría, then president of Mexico, his central proposal was the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of the States. I confess that, in those long speeches, I had a hard time finding a viable project. They were rants full of common, naive and demagogic phrases. I came to think that I was at a limited level of information and that was what prevented me from understanding the grandiloquent words of the president, because if he pronounced them, they must have been full of wisdom.
I imagine that today it is the same thing that happens to many compatriots, who cannot understand what AMLO says and does but who consider that because they come from him they must have some deep meaning and purpose.
As time passed and when Luis Echeverría’s daily speech stopped playing, I was able to evaluate with greater distance and objectivity what his proposals meant. Today we know that it was a populist government, that it abused the good faith of the Mexican people, repressive, corrupt and that it left a large debt to the Nation.
Luis Echeverría liked to invent blame or enemies to distract from his failures. He had a penchant for using flashy phrases. He accused the “Emissaries of the past”, “Enemies of Mexico”, “Agents of the Empire” and told the press that “the only criticism that is accepted is self-criticism.”
In 1975, Echeverria was in a frantic campaign to nominate himself as Secretary General of the UN. Because of this, the United States government closely monitored the president’s actions and analyzed his personality. Thanks to revelations that were made known by WikiLeaks, in official documents from various government offices in the United States we know that they described him as: a statesman “relatively unsophisticated, tends to oversimplify”; “maintains a strenuous rate of activity (not always productive)”; “loves the spotlight”; “His reaction to crises is unpredictable”; he has a tendency to ‘he acts now, he reflects later’; “He has strong but naive views on disarmament”; “it would be difficult to advise”; he has “a touch of megalomania”; “Possible growth of a messianic aspect in his character”; “ignores the warnings of those institutionally responsible for advising him”
With all these antecedents of Echeverría’s character, we cannot help but be amazed at the parallelism we are seeing with President López Obrador. On September 16, AMLO took advantage of the forum dedicated to the independence of Mexico to make an inappropriate proposal, nothing less than an urgent agreement to stop the war in Ukraine, and criticized the UN, accusing it of being “prisoner of formalism and political inefficiency.” that leave it in a merely ornamental role”.
A proposal that no one will take seriously, which must have caused laughter among several leaders and astonishment among the involuntary nominated mediators of the conflict: the Pope, the President of India and the Secretary General of the UN. The serious thing was not the smiles but the immediate criticism describing the proposal as internal and pro-Russian propaganda. Via Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, responded: “The ‘peacemakers’ who use the war as a theme for their own public relations only cause surprise. @lopezobrador your plan(s) to keep millions under occupation, increase the number of mass burials and give Russia time to renew reserves before the next offensive? So their ‘plan’ is a plan (Russian flag)”. He must have hurt this message to López Obrador who has refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the national level, a proposal of this type also causes laughter and surprise. How is it possible that, according to UN data, the president of the 5th country with the highest rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants (28.37) only below Jamaica, El Salvador, Honduras and South Africa propose a world peace plan? How to explain that with data from 2020 the president of the nation that is in place 140 out of 149 in the Global Peace Index asks for a five-year universal truce? The logical and responsible thing to do would be to pacify and unite the country, but his thing is to divide and cause bitterness in the population.
Thus it is impossible not to compare the acts of Echeverria and López Obrador. In both cases, when governments fail due to lack of results, foreign policy is used as a reflector and the “powerful” countries as imaginary enemies. Each one, at the time, presents a proposal full of candor and double intentions, neither of them is respected in international forums. The difference is that while Echeverria was clear in seeking the highest position in the UN or the Nobel Peace Prize, AMLO has not said what he wants, although we might suspect that, since he has criticized the UN so much, he may come out with an approach of a new Organization no longer World but Interplanetary of Peace and Unity. There are nights when dreams are hallucinations.
President of the Mexican Academy of Education.