Friday, January 20, 2017

Mexican meltdown: president's approval plummets to 12%

I know it is not being covered by the U.S. mainstream media because, well, that would be telling, and anyways, Trump, Trump, Trump.
But it looks to me like Mexico might crater.
Image may contain: 1 person, textPresident Enrique Peña Nieto cut his popularity in half in just one month, to levels that in the United States are reserved for Congress and cockroaches.
Right after Christmas he announced a 20% increase in the price of gasoline for the New Year and then went on vacation.
Peña Nieto said it was needed because the world price of gasoline is so high and the government can't afford to subsidize gasoline imports when the price of the crude oil that Mexico exports is so low. He was not very convincing.
Demonstrators have long been demanding Peña Nieto go, and in high circles people have been whispering for a while about how he really should. But now the subject is being broached in the mainstream political arena with Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) saying two more years of this (until the next president takes over) is not possible and Mexico needs a mechanism to remove a president (which it does not have).
In the background are more factors. First, The decomposition and collapse of the Mexican state keeps spreading.
This week there was an attack on a music festival at Playa del Carmen, an hour south of Cancún, said to have been the last safe Mexican tourist resort. Not no more.
Second, Donald Trump becomes president in a few hours. And Peña Nieto just appointed as foreign minister the genius who came up with the idea of humiliating Mexico with a Trump visit last August.
Third, capitalist confidence in Mexico is in decline. That's the REAL reason outfits like Carrier and Ford are pulling back. Both Moody and Standard and Poor's have cut Mexico's credit rating over the past year and say the outlook is negative.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that there is no alternative to Peña Nieto.
This is a crisis not of a president, nor of a party but of an entire political class. And those who think AMLO is the savior, check out his campaign pictures with his party's winning candidate for Mayor of Iguala, who was at the center of the disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher's college in September, 2014.
Sure, he now has a new party which is less discredited than his old party and much less discredited than his original party, which is the PRI, the discredited president's discredited party. He is Hillary without the heels hiding behind a Bernie T-shirt.
The interesting thing is that if it happens, the Mexican political implosion and with it an explosive refugee crisis would be President Trump's to deal with.
And as far as I can tell Trump views the world as an industry like real estate, and the United States as one of many firms. And if one of our competitors suffers losses or fails altogether, so much the better for us.
I don't think he realizes the world isn't really like that.

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