But now Russia has encroached on Ukrainian territory. What position is AMLO taking?
First, AMLO has categorically rejected the invasion. Second, he’s calling for a peaceful settlement. Third, in the UN Security Council, México voted in support of the resolution condemning the invasion and, in the General Assembly, co-sponsored a resolution with France condemning Russia’s actions. At the same time, México opposes sanctions and refuses to break relations with Russia and opposes U.S. attempts to drag it into the conflict. México is no one’s colony, AMLO publicly and vigorously proclaims.
What different viewpoints do you see within México, particularly within the left?
Morena has not issued any public statements as a party. I’ve been surprised, in spite of AMLO’s pronouncements, at the tremendous sympathy for Russia inside Morena and the Mexican left. Some believe the Russian propaganda that Russia is fighting neo-Nazism. Some see the war as a proxy struggle between NATO and Russia. Others frame the conflict as between a unipolar world dominated by the US and a multipolar world with several centers of power. A multipolar world, they argue, would be to the advantage of México and other smaller countries, who would have more maneuvering room, especially in relation to the dominant imperialist power. Still others have that not unusual — but flawed, to my mind — reaction that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Some groups such as the Communist Party of México and Trotskyist organizations strongly oppose the invasion and see both the US and Russia as imperial countries that must be resisted. One unifying theme — disgust at US hypocrisy — does unite the Mexican left. The US has invaded, annexed, meddled, massacred, and organized coups against democratic leaders throughout its history, with much of that imperial behavior happening in Latin America. US support today for Israel’s behavior toward Palestine stands as a prime example of how the US selectively and self-servingly condemns national aggression.
On the right, México’s PAN party has called for breaking relations with Russia. Why? My sense: Knee-jerk opposition to AMLO, not any ideological position, is driving this PAN position. Breaking relations does not, overall, have any significant public support. Frankly, the situation in Ukraine has not become a major public issue. Most people do not see the war as affecting México one way or another.
But isn’t the war affecting the entire world’s economy, México’s included?
I see a mixed outlook. With México a major oil producer, the rise in oil prices could help the Mexican economy. On the other hand, México imports wheat, and the war has those prices rising as well. México — like the rest of the world — is just beginning to feel the impact of this war. No one can be sure about its ultimate impact. The one certainty: The Mexican people feel committed to a world that resolves national conflicts peacefully.