By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
There is no doubt that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) likes to hear the sound of his own voice.
Some of his daily monologue-press conferences (which are already programmed to run for two hours straight) have been known to drag on for up to four and a half hours.
And once López Obrador gets going on a topic (whether a discourse relevant to current political affairs, a mutilated interpretation on Mexican history or a tirade on morality as professed by Saint AMLO), it is hard to get him to stop, regardless of the fact that he might have other pressing issues to attend, say, like attending to the affairs of the nation, or, as in the case of Thursday, April 22, attending a global summit on the environment.
True to form, AMLO arrived late to the international climate conference hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden because he was too “busy” telling his faithful herd of proselytes (so-called “journalists” who dedicate themselves to painting the leftist leader in the most favorable light, and truth and journalistic integrity be damned) about the evils of violence and how the Biblical concept of an-eye-for-an-eye will only lead to a nation of one-eyed fools.
According to AMLO, he did listen to part of the opening comments of the summit delivered by Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
But rather than hear out what the other 39 participating heads of state had to say, AMLO said he would not attend until it came time for him to give his address.
In other words, whatever the other participants had to say did merit his attention, after all, in the world of AMLO, there is only one voice that matters.
AMLO did say that he would leave his lackey Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, in front of his video screen to “represent” him during the rest of the summit.
“The other heads of state will speak, and when it is my turn, I will attend the summit and deliver my message on behalf of Mexico,” AMLO said.
Meanwhile, López Obrador pointed out that each head of state had been given a full three minutes to present their initial statements (apparently, far too long a time to maintain his attention on any subject he is not personally ranting about).
But eight minutes before he was due to speak, the Mexican president did excuse himself — temporarily — from his infinite bully pulpit of his mañanera presser to deliver his speech at the summit.
And what a speech he delivered!
As expected, AMLO used his summit intervention to propose a new migration agreement between the United States, Mexico and Central America that would put Central American migrants to work planting trees and crops across Mexico for three years in return for an eventual six-month U.S. work visa and a pass to U.S. citizenship.
And who would pay for all this? The United States, of course, AMLO said.
What exactly the United States would get out of the deal, other than maybe a greener neighbor to visit on spring break, was not exactly clear.
But, then again, AMLO has a habit of asking for pie in the sky from Uncle Sam, and, realistically, there is not much chance that his proposal will find a receptive audience in Washington.
Still, if AMLO wants other countries to hear him out, it might just be a good idea for him to start listening to what they have to say.
…April 23, 2021