AMLO’s Not-So-Stringent Nonintervention Policy
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is a great defender of the concept of nonintervention in the affairs of other countries … except, when he’s not.
Should the country in question be a pseudo-democracy such as Venezuela or Cuba, then he is more than willing to toss his unflinching values of nonintervention out the window in order to defend his fellow leftist autocratic leaders.
And should a fellow socialist authoritarian happen to get ousted from power after rigging an election, as in the case of Bolivia’s Evo Morales, AMLO is more than happy to open his political arms (and Mexico’s federal pocketbooks) to provide shelter for the disgraced despot.
More recently, Mexicans have witnessed — much to the chagrin of many — Lopez Obrador dispatching of a diplomatic delegation to Peru to shore up leftist President Pedro Castillo when faced by attempts from the conservative opposition to impeach him from office. (No doubt, Donald Trump is now wondering where was his buddy AMLO when he really needed him.)
The Mexican delegation to Lima, which was led by Mexican Finance Secretary Rogelio Ramírez de la O traveled, had as its mission to support and “provide advice” to Castillo’s Peru Libre government, which came to power just four months earlier.
Calling the impeachment effort (which was based on the unexplained discovery of $20,000 in a bathroom of Castillo’s presidential palace) an attempt to launch “a right-wing coup” against Castillo, AMLO attempted to justify the reversal of his stringent nonintervention policy by saying that he was “helping to protest democracy in Peru.”
But the impeachment effort — which, by the way, failed because not enough Peruvian lawmakers supported it — was in full accordance with the Peruvian legislative process.
In essence, what AMLO was condemning was the legal Peruvian democratic system.
Under Peruvian law, if 52 lawmakers (40 percent of the country’s 130-member Congress, had voted to proceed with the impeachment motion, Castillo would have been tried by the legislators, and, in case anyone has forgotten, an impeachment is a decision to proceed with a trial, not a sentencing.
For Castillo to have been ousted from power, 87 Peruvian legislators (65 percent of the Congress) would have had to voted for his removal.
It is worth nothing that the entire Peruvian impeachment effort was conducted in accordance with that country’s laws and there was no incidence of violence, hence no need for foreign intervention.
Had it been the case that a conservative Peruvian president was facing a possible impeachment, AMLO would not have been in the least bit concerned and would certainly not have sent a delegation to help prevent it.
The crux of the matter is that López Obrador is seeking to export his socialist values across the continent, no matter what the price to regional democracy that leftist manifest destiny expansion may exert.
And as for nonintervention as an official policy, it is a very handy diplomatic ploy … except, when it isn’t.