Jorge Ramos: Mexico’s AMLO and his dangerous sympathy for Cuba’s Castro dictatorship

Univision reporter Jorge Ramos takes Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to task for the Mexican president’s unwavering support and adoration for communist Cuba’s murderous Castro dictatorship.


AMLO and his dangerous sympathy for the Cuban dictatorship

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has never hidden his dangerous sympathy for the Cuban dictatorship. Far from it, he defends it at every turn. His visit to Havana last weekend – and the two visits Cuban dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel made recently to Mexico – are evidence of the close, odd and worrying relationship between a democratically elected president and the tyrant on the island.

López Obrador’s generation – he was born in 1953 – grew up amid the enthusiasm and enormous influence of the Cuban revolution on Latin America. When he was a teenager, Fidel Castro had already imposed himself as the lone leader of an increasingly authoritarian and repressive regime. But because the Cuban rebels had toppled the brutal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, the idea of a similar revolution in Mexico remained attractive and had support. Until the year 2000, Mexico lived 71 years of authoritarian rule and one-party dictatorship.

Yet many – Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes, just to name a few – quickly became disenchanted with the Cuban revolution and its abuses. Not AMLO. Today, together with Venezuela and Nicaragua, Cuba is one one of the most repressive dictatorships on the continent. In 63 years in power, it has seen only three rulers: Fidel and Raul Castro and Díaz-Canel. There is no hint of democracy on the island, where political parties are banned. There’s no free press, and anti-government protesters are punished with lengthy prison terms.. Hundreds of artists and dissidents who joined street protests last summer to the sound of the song Patria y Vida remain jailed. And the song, incredibly, remains banned on the island. That is the level of repression.

Cuba is a dictatorship.
Cuba is a dictatorship.
Cuba is a dictatorship.

But no matter how many times we say that, López Obrador continues to defend it. And to admire it.

In a 2017 interview, López Obrador told me that “Jesus and Ernesto Ché Guevara, that’s who I admire. Ché is, I believe, an exemplary revolutionary.” I interrupted him immediately and told him Ché also had “carried out many executions.” He responded that Ché “does face that criticism, but was a man who gave his life for his ideals, for what he believed.”

One thing is to admire the Cuban revolution when you’re young, in the 1960s or 70s, and a very different other is to continue to do so in the 21st Century, when there’s solid documentation of its human rights violations, its torture and executions of opponents and total absence of democracy. But that is precisely the regime AMLO refuses to criticize.

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2 thoughts on “Jorge Ramos: Mexico’s AMLO and his dangerous sympathy for Cuba’s Castro dictatorship”

  1. Odd? What’s odd about it? It’s perfectly commonplace for Latrine heads of state to be collaborationist and complicit enablers of Cuba’s totalitarian dictatorship. Yes, AMLO is flagrantly open about it, more so than some, but that’s only a matter of style–and frankly, there’s a kind of virtue in it, the only virtue hijeputez can have, which is to make no bones about its nature. He’s a miserable SOB, but at least he doesn’t hide it.

  2. Acknowledging AMLO has a “problem” is stating the obvious. It is more relevant and useful to see him in the “Latin” context, which is HIGHLY problematic (to put it charitably) when it comes to Cuba. Any attempt to portray him as a weird outlier is not only inaccurate but disingenuous. He is more “pure” in his perversity than, say, an old zorra like Bachelet, but that doesn’t make her at all trigo limpio. The perversity is pervasive.

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