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When the world congratulated Biden, the president of Mexico waited

As Latin American leaders rushed to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden this weekend, clearly missing from the ledger are two heavyweights: the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, the populous nations. the region’s largest and home to the two largest economies.

The fact that right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro did not jump into the Biden gang is not surprising: The so-called “Trump of the tropics”, Bolsonaro is an undeterred devotee, openly in favor of re- the election of President Trump and it was recently echoed by Biden̵

7;s suggestion that Brazil has assisted the decline of the Amazon rainforest.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is another case.

It’s true that the leftist populist has developed a close relationship with Trump, despite the ideological pit between the two men and Trump’s periodic attack on Mexico.. But it looks like here, López Obrador will quickly approach the upcoming president of the neighboring superpower – the lifeblood of Mexico’s economy, which accounts for 80% of foreign trade and tens of billions of dollars annually from overseas. exchange from Mexicans living in the United States.

Instead, López Obrador showed difficulty.

The Mexican president told reporters on Saturday, speaking more than seven hours after the US news agency called for the election, a forecast that immediately sparked a wave of global solidarity. for Biden. “I want to wait until the electoral process is over.”

The Mexican leader insisted that he had friendly relations with both Biden and Trump, and that his decision was not valid. But he gave a lot of praise to his American counterpart.

“President Trump has great respect for us and we have reached a number of important agreements,” said López Obrador. “And we are very grateful to him that he did not interfere.”

Other global organizations that did not congratulate Biden late on Sunday included the leaders of Russia and China. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, a close relative of Trump, sent his official congratulations to Biden on Twitter more than 12 hours after American networks called for the race.

In Mexico, the vague message from López Obrador immediately caused a media storm from critics accusing that the Mexican President was fundamentally on Trump’s side.

Jorge G. Castañeda, former Mexican foreign minister, said: “This is a very serious mistake by López Obrador, who notes that those who aspire to the president around the world welcome foreign assertion as a signs marking legality. “The standard of these things, and this is a longstanding issue in diplomacy, is about: You should do what everyone else does.”

Critics claim López Obrador’s hesitation is a de facto testimony of Trump’s diluted legal tactics and claims of election fraud.

“The president of Mexico currently owns Donald Trump’s hallucinogenic observations of the presidential election,” tweeted by columnist Pascal Beltrán del Río. “The relationship with Biden has already become difficult; now more so. “

And the radioactive dust isn’t just on this side of the border.

US Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who heads the Hispanic Caucus Congress, took to Twitter to denounce the wobble of the Mexican president. is “an astonishing diplomatic failure … at a time when the forthcoming Biden Administration is looking to usher in a new era of friendship and cooperation with Mexico.”

US Democrats were unhappy when López Obrador agreed to visit Trump in July in Washington, his first overseas trip as president of Mexico. The Rose Garden Conference has become a Trump-López Obrador love festival. From a Democrat’s perspective, the visit was a demonstration of a blatant Trump campaign to attract Latin-American voters in the United States.

To seasoned López Obrador’s followers, the president’s decision to avoid a seemingly patterned congratulatory message for Biden is characteristic, however questionable remains. Not only does he cherish loyalty, often see politics through the same lens as Trump, me and them, but the Mexican president has long projected an obnoxious image of himself as a victim of electoral composure . Dating two failed presidency attempts before he finally won in 2018.

Like Trump, López Obrador is not a loser. He also doesn’t forget the light feeling.

After a narrow defeat in the 2006 presidential election, López Obrador launched a protracted protest campaign on allegations of fraud that sent tens of thousands of supporters to the streets and closed much of the capital for weeks. . It was futile: His conservative rival, Felipe Calderón, was declared the winner. As president, López Obrador viewed Mexico during Calderón’s rule as a corrupt “drug nation”.

On Saturday, López Obrador recalled with indignation that José Luis R. Zapatero, then the prime minister of Spain, recognized Calderón’s 2006 victory before certifying the final result.

“We don’t want to do the same thing,” said López Obrador.

Others saw another driving force: extreme fear, even haunting for Trump, who turned the border wall into a call for political rally during his 2016 campaign, denounce Mexican immigrants are criminals and “rapists” and, as the president, threaten to impose tariffs on Mexican exports to aid the country in obstructing US-bound immigrants.

Some noted the fact that Trump will be in office until January 20, which will give the US President time to retaliate if he becomes angry at Mexico’s betrayal.

“The mad man can shut down the border, banish people or [do] Something else could do a lot of damage to Mexico and to our fellow citizens, ”wrote journalist Genaro Lozano on Twitter.

Others say that López Obrador – “fearful of Trump’s death”, according to Castañeda’s estimates – is mistakenly allowing his Trump over-anxiety syndrome to alienate Biden and Democrats at the time. Critical point: when Trump’s days are numbered, and the US-Mexico relationship is facing a reset on many fronts.

“What retribution is López Obrador afraid of?” Castañeda asks, a person who regularly criticizes the Mexican president. “Trump will not close the border. Or bomb Ciudad Juárez. Or deport 2 million Mexicans. It is not on the card. “

Special correspondent Cecilia Sánchez contributed to this report.

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