AMLO, left, and Taibo, center: expropriation advocated. AMLO, left, and Taibo, center: expropriation advocated.

Morena party co-founder: ‘If businesses won’t cooperate, expropriate’

Party secretary advocates expropriation, social mobilization

A co-founder of the party led by leading presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador has sparked controversy by advocating the expropriation of companies that refuse to cooperate with an AMLO administration if he wins the July 1 election.

Prominent writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II, currently the art and culture secretary of the Morena party’s national executive committee, made the remarks while speaking at an event attended by party supporters earlier this week.

“. . . One day after taking power, I imagined Andrés Manuel in the [presidential residence] Los Pinos, right? Then he welcomes a committee of the powerful men of Mexican finance: [Carlos] Slim is there, the owner of the Modelo brewery is there, to tell him: ‘Careful, Andrés, because if you move in that sense [expropriation], we’ll take the factories to Costa Rica,” he said.

“[I will be surprised] if that same day, at that same time, we are not two or three million Mexicans in the street saying: ‘If they want to blackmail you, Andrés, expropriate them, fuck them, expropriate them,’” Taibo continued in a video currently circulating on social media.

The writer, who is reportedly close to the “Together We Will Make History” coalition candidate, then went on to assert that the social mobilization of the Mexican people will be essential to achieving significant change in the country.

He explained that the support former president Lázaro Cárdenas received from sectors of the population such as farmers and the petroleum workers’ union allowed him to carry out his reform agenda, including nationalizing Mexico’s oil reserves in 1938.

“The social pressure which a leader can be put under, no matter how radical, competent and honest he is, is tremendous. It’s necessary to have the presence of a social movement behind [the government] driving the change,” Taibo said.

He also said that social support was vital because it was “obvious” that the López Obrador-led coalition government won’t have a majority in Congress and most of the state governors will be from opposition parties.

Taibo has previously expressed disdain for the structural reforms implemented by the current federal administration, including its energy policy, which opened Mexico’s oil industry to foreign and private companies for the first time in almost 80 years.

López Obrador’s harshest critics charge that if he wins the presidency, he will take Mexico down a path akin to that taken during the implementation of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s socialist Bolivarian Revolution.

But the leftist candidate has made efforts to allay those fears and has declared that he is not anti-business.

However, he has clashed with the private sector — including Mexico’s richest man Carlos Slim — on some issues, most notably his opposition to the new Mexico City International Airport project and his pledge to review oil contracts granted to foreign interests.

Others have downplayed the suggestion that a López Obrador presidency would have a negative impact on the economy, although financial services company Citibanamex warned that slower growth, higher inflation and a weaker peso would like follow if the Morena party leader takes office.

Nevertheless, opinion polls have consistently shown that AMLO has a commanding lead over his rivals that has continued to widen in contrast to some analysts’ expectations.

A survey by the newspaper Reforma that was published last week showed that López Obrador had 48% support, a 22-point lead over second-placed Ricardo Anaya and 30 points ahead of ruling party candidate José Antonio Meade.

Source: La Razón (sp)

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