10:55 GMT +315 November 2018
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    AMLO: Meet the Mexican Trump

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    Andrew Korybko
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    The landslide election of populist leftist-nationalist politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commonly known by his initials as AMLO, as Mexico's next President is thought by many to give the US' southern neighbor their own version of Trump.

    The former mayor of Mexico City and previous two-time presidential candidate is known for his socialist outlook, but he moderated his platform considerably during this campaign in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, which was evidently successful after having secured a whopping 53% of the vote for himself and a majority in both chambers of parliament for his coalition.

    Pre-election polling suggested that Mexicans were tired of the endless drug wars, rampant corruption, and widespread impoverishment, therefore making them eager for a change, which is exactly what they're poised to receive if AMLO keeps his campaign promises.

    Although he's noticeably toned down his criticism of NAFTA and Trump, the president-elect is nevertheless cut from an anti-establishment cloth and predicted to take a tough patriotic stand against the perceived disrespect coming from the US. On top of that, his incoming administration wants to explore the possibility of amnesty for non-violent criminals and the decriminalization of some drugs. Prior to his victory, the president-elect also controversially declared migration to be a "human right" and vowed to defend his compatriots' rights in the US, all of which make him an anti-Trump of sorts and will probably further complicate one of the world's most important international relationships.

    Another variable to keep an eye on is the China factor, since it might end up being one of the most important in determining the future course of the American-Mexican Strategic Partnership.

    Part of AMLO's platform calls for extensive investment in infrastructure, and it's well known that China is funding similar such projects all across the world as part of its One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity. Furthermore, AMLO's socialist ideas are compatible with China's official communist ones, and this represents a point of ideological convergence that could make both of them more attractive to one another as partners than ever before. Should the two Great Powers expand their economic cooperation with one another, then their ties could easily take on political and even strategic dimensions that AMLO could eventually use as negotiating leverage for "balancing" against Trump. 

    Andrew Korybko is joined by Justin Alexander Coley, US-based analyst and Spanish-English translator, and Gabriel Acuna, Mexican political commentator.

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    Tags:
    2018 Mexico elections, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Donald Trump, Mexico, United States
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