The man who ran for president under a right-left coalition against Andrés Manuel López Obrador has ended more than two years of silence with a scathing rebuke of the election winner’s performance.
Ricardo Anaya, a former leader of the National Action Party (PAN), also labeled López Obrador a megalomaniac in a video message posted to social media on Monday, a week after announcing that he had decided to return to public life.
Anaya began by taking aim at the president’s use of the term “fourth transformation” to describe the change he says his administration is bringing to Mexico.
He charged that López Obrador has no right to say that his government is carrying out a transformation that is just as momentous as Mexico’s independence from Spain, the 19th century liberal reform known as La Reforma and the Mexican Revolution.
“The first thing that has to be pointed out is that no political movement can claim a place in history it hasn’t won,” Anaya said.
“Not even [former president] Benito Juárez dared to assert that he was the protagonist of the second transformation. He won that place in history with his actions,” he added.
Anaya asserted that “the most concerning feature” of the way in which López Obrador interprets the history of Mexico is his “megalomania – his delusions of grandeur in other words.”
He went on to claim that “history teaches us that extreme vanity and pretensions of greatness lead to large errors that turn into catastrophes and disasters.”
“History teaches us that a megalomanic leader doesn’t listen, doesn’t change his opinion. He always thinks he is right and even in the face of contrary evidence he always has other ‘other information,’” Anaya said, using one of López Obrador’s favorite terms when confronted with information he doesn’t agree with or which portrays his administration in a negative light.
“The most dangerous thing,” he added, is that a megalomaniac never corrects his course because “he believes his strategy is the correct one even when everything indicates the ship is sinking.”
Anaya insinuated that the president is like a “madman” driving down a busy highway in the wrong direction while thinking that everyone else is going the wrong way.
“We all know how that ends,” he said before footage shows a car traveling in the wrong direction colliding head on with another vehicle.
Anaya, who was runner-up in the 2018 election with just over 22% of the vote (López Obrador garnered 53% support), asserted that his motivation for speaking out against the president was “profound concern” for “the damage” he is doing to Mexico.
“It’s you who is going to pay dearly for all his follies,” he warned.
The former federal deputy urged López Obrador’s collaborators to stop maintaining a “complicit silence” and “brown-nosing” the president.
Government officials close to the president have a responsibility to make him see his errors and the negative impact they are having on people’s lives, Anaya said.
“On the life of he who has no job, on the life of he who has no income, on the life of he who today has a member of his family who is sick or has already lost a loved one.”
Anaya slammed López Obrador for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which he said many experts have described as the biggest global crisis since World War II.
“At the beginning of the worst crisis of the century he addressed the nation to say this,” he said before the video cut to footage of López Obrador urging people to continue hugging each other because “nothing will happen.”
Anaya also criticized the president for not setting an example by wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.
(López Obrador has seldom been seen wearing a face mask and continued to hold rallies and get up close and personal with his supporters in the early days of the pandemic).
Anaya, who appears to be positioning himself as a leading voice of the conservative party at a time when López Obrador and the ruling Morena party are dominating Mexico’s political landscape, also took aim at the decision to build a new state-owned oil refinery on the Tabasco coast, a move that has been criticized by many experts who say that the project diverts funds from Pemex’s more profitable exploration business.
“Let’s remember that he [López Obrador] insisted on the whim of spending money on a refinery instead of helping you when you most needed help,” Anaya said, taking a swipe at the government’s scant financial support for individuals and businesses amid the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
“We’ll sadly remember that he didn’t live up to expectations in these historic times,” he said before concluding that despite what he sees as López Obrador’s poor leadership and bad government Mexico will overcome the adversity it faces.
Anaya’s return to the national political scene comes eight months before elections in June 2021 at which the lower house of federal Congress will be renewed and voters will elect municipal and state representatives.
The 41-year-old, who has just written a book called The Past, Present and Future of Mexico, has not publicly declared any intention to stand as a candidate at next year’s elections but his renewed enthusiasm for discussing national politics publicly might be a sign that he has one eye on putting his hand up to run for president again in 2024.
Mexico News Daily