Just Another He Said, He Said
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Despite the fact that U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry said Thursday, March 31, after a five-hour meeting with Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), that the Mexican president had agreed to make adjustments to his proposed electricity reform to ensure that it complies with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and to respect all existing contracts in order to encourage investment, AMLO the next morning said in his daily press conference that the controversial bill will remain exactly as it was, “with no changes whatsoever.”
And despite the fact that Kerry said that he and his nine-member delegation of U.S. energy business leaders had expressed concerns over potential violations of existing contracts and the prioritization of state-run carbon-based power sources over clean privately owned alternatives, AMLO told his corps of pseudo-journalist followers on Friday, April 1, that “there were no complaints or claims made by the U.S. businessmen and that they were very happy” with his proposed reform.
“It will remain exactly as it is because what (Kerry and the businessmen) were concerned about regarding the energy transition is included in the reform bill,” AMLO said gleefully.
The president went on to say that of the 112 concessions that were previously granted by Mexico for oil exploration and extraction, only two companies are investing and none are from the United States, so that portion of the reform does not affect the U.S. investors.
The president even went so far as to explain that he had taken the time to “explain” the reform to Kerry and the U.S. entrepreneurs, apparently since they had not been blessed with a proper Mexican public education so were not as astute as him in understanding international law.
AMLO also said that he had outright rejected Kerry’s proposal to have a U.S. group led by Ambassador Ken Salazar to work with the Mexican government to make certain that the energy reform empowers a transition to clean energy rather than restricts it, since to allow that to occur would be to allow the United States to meddle in Mexico’s internal affairs.
And again, this statement is a 180 degree variation from what Kerry said the day before.
Thursday’s meeting between AMLO and Kerry to discuss the president’s energy reform bill was the third of its kind in the last five months, but it certainly wasn’t a charm.
There seems to be a serious lack in bilateral understanding here that goes far beyond a language barrier.
As the Captain in the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke” pointed out: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.”
Obviously, AMLO is one of those men.