There were no surprises in the result of Sunday’s election for the National Constitutional Assembly in Venezuela. President Nicolás Maduro and his “eight million people bureaucracy” won it in a clear mandate to keep Maduro in power — till death do us apart — and avoid the upcoming 2018 election. So far so fine.
In Mexico, nevertheless, the President Enrique Peña Nieto Administration seems to have a knack for spiking hornets nests by making unpopular decisions, the latest of which came Sunday after the election when Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray issued a statement “not recognizing the results of the election,” and where he “laments that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela made the decision to carry out elections contrary to universally recognized democratic principles.”
Incidentally, the Mexican government is not the only one rejecting Maduro’s clear and obvious attempt to remain as president of Venezuela forever and establish a democratic dictatorship. Colombia, Peru and Argentina, not to mention the United States of America and Spain also issued similar statements.
But in Mexico, the position of the Peña Nieto government has irked once again the nationalist left which decries its position which it is nowadays read as “an unconditional submission to the Trumpian prepotency” and not merely the independent stance of a government.
Of course the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) announced position is not new and everyone could see it coming – as well as the outcome of the election – since last week. That’s why debate on the issue began on Saturday in Mexico when former presidential candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas blasted Luis Videgaray and Peña Nieto for not complying “with what in the past was called Mexican foreign policy that was recognized for its defense, rescue and exercise of national sovereignty… never as ignored as by the current administration.”
There were several public notices in advance of the Venezuelan election such as the one made by the Mexican Chapter of the Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity that questioned and questions the stance of Peña Nieto and just like Cárdenas says that it is “a submission” to the United States and particularly to Donald Trump.
Cárdenas, a free thinker, says that “there can be, and that is totally valid, sympathy or antipathy towards the present Venezuelan government, but it is inadmissible that due to an antipathy imposed from abroad which opportunist is and to the convenience of Mexican officials to have the government of our nation to lend itself to such an abject behavior.”
Now, this is a matter of opinion. Mexico, as part of the Organization of American States (OAS) and signee to different agreements does have the right to have an opinion as to what goes on in other participant nations.
Former Foreign Relations Secretary and current opinion leader Jorge Castañeda – also a corrosive critic of Peña Nieto – however – defends the position taken by the current Administration “because Mexico has signed – right along with Venezuela – a great number of regional juridical instruments over which it can rest its current position: the Bogota Letter, the so-called Pact of San José or the American Convention of Human Rights and mainly, the Inter-American Democratic Letter. These documents put us under obligation to the positions we’ve taken; not doing it would be equivalent to betraying those instruments or Mexico’s adhesion to them.”
The bottom line problem is that Mexican intellectuals and left wing politicians are witnessing the fact that Peña Nieto has struck a good liaison with the Donald Trump Administration officials and consider this as an “abject” sellout.
But the fact that the United States and Mexico do agree on an issue need not be a problem, yet it is but the real reason is that nine out of every 10 Mexicans see Donald Trump as a despicable U.S. president and his positions are not welcome in Mexico and in the case like the Venezuelan election “it is unacceptable and does not express the feelings of the Mexican people.”
But for the meantime Peña Nieto’s and Luis Videgaray’s “friendship” with the Donald Trump Administration remains the worst of all sins for the President and surely every move he makes regarding international affairs such as in the Venezuelan case which proved tantamount to spiking the hornets’ nest.