By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO Headed to Washington
There is no doubt that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) will make his first international outing to Washington D.C. He announced this week that it was a done deal.
The remaining problem is exactly when the trip will take place.
AMLO has repeatedly stated he will do it in the first days of July, but not exactly on July 1, when the United States-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially takes effect.
Yet the date for the presidential summit between U.S. host President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s AMLO has yet to be set.
One reason that has lost validity is that AMLO was hoping for a mass gathering at the Mexico City main square Zócalo on July, which marks his presidential electoral victory two years ago, but with the covid-19 pandemic in full swing, it is out of the question.
Probably, there will be a private National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party minor toast at the National Palace instead to mark the anniversary.
In any case, on Thursday, June 25, AMLO explained that Mexico has no relation with the ongoing U.S. electoral campaign and that it will be “a state visit” and not a show of support to back Trump’s candidacy.
Roberto Velasco, director general for North American Affairs at the Foreign Relations Secretariat said, “The objective is to promote our interests and not mingle in foreign political processes, of which Mexico is highly respectful.”
While visiting “the border wall” in Yuma this week, Trump announced AMLO “is coming to the White House,” adding, “he is a great guy.”
Banxico Cuts Interest Rates, Again
For the fifth time this year, Mexico’s central bank, Banco de Mexico (Banxico), reduced interest rates on Thursday, June 25, this time, from 5.5 to 5 percent.
The rate cut decision had a unanimous vote by the Banxico board of directors, bringing the rate down from 7.25 in January to the expected rate of 5 percent.
Energy Plan Ordeal
After Spanish electric generator company Iberdrola had “officially” announced it would not carry out the construction of a new plant near the Gulf of Mexico port of Túxpam, the company reversed its stance on Thursday, June 25.
Iberdrola’s directors sent a letter to AMLO, which was hand-delivered by Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, in which they showed a disposition to come to an agreement.
During his morning press conference on Thursday, June 25, AMLO said that the Iberdrola letter “is not from a news item.”
“I received the letter from the company executives, reminding me that they operate 26 thermoelectric plants in the nation and are willing to continue investing in Mexico,” he said.
“And they want to come to an agreement with the government.”
The letter was also sent to Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle and Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) Director Manuel Bartlett Díaz.
The notice of suspension was apparently voice-delivered to Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García, as well as to Túxpam Mayor José Antonio Aguilar. Both said that the Spanish company was cancelling the $1.2 billion project because the CFE refused to sell them LP gas for combustion.
AMLO said he had no knowledge of any cancellation plans — “they would have told me in the letter,” he said — but did admit that the government “has differences” with Iberdrola.
Earlier this week, AMLO criticized the Spanish company for having former Mexican President Felipe Calderón on its board of directors.
Refinery under Siege
Army chief Luis Crescencio Sandoval said that after last Saturday’s violent deeds in the state of Guanajuato against a dragnet carried out by the Army, National Guard and the State police, on Wednesday “there was an aggression attempt” on the Salamanca refinery.
When the suspects saw the shield on the refinery, they fled leaving behind a vehicle with
12 explosive “artifacts” allegedly to toss against the refinery.
General Sandoval said he suspected this was probably concocted by Santa Rosa de Lima carter leader Jose Antonio Yepes, “The Sledgehammer” who after having his gang, including his mother and sister arrested threatened the government claiming “I’m going to be a pebble in your shoe.”
Sports: Saturday Night Fights
World Boxing Council (WBC) super-feather weight champion Manuel “The Scorpion” Berchelt said he is ready and “coronavirus-free” to participate in the five-bout card to be aired live at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, by TVAzteca on Channel 107.
Berchelt, with a 37-1, 33 KOs record, will fight against seasoned but unranked boxer Eleazar Valanzuela, a well-known KO artist.
The rest of the card is of young, upcoming boxers, some of them with undefeated records.
No title is at stake and the “Scorpion” Valenzuela fight will be in 10 rounds of boxing.
…June 26, 2020