Lopez-Obrador invited Maduro to his inauguration
According to news reports, President elect Andrés Lopez-Obrador of Mexico has invited Venezuela's dictator Nicolas Maduro to his inauguration. By the way, he also invited Evo Morales of Bolivia. I'm assuming that Cuba's Miguel Diaz-Canel will also attend.
What does it mean? Not much. Mexicans always invite fellow Latin American leaders to their inaugurations. In other words, Lopez-Obrador is not breaking new ground here.
I do wonder about a couple of things:
First, will President Trump or VP Pence attend? I can't see that, specially after the tough language coming out of this administration about Venezuela. Also, I recall that in 1981 President Reagan told then President Lopez-Portillo that he would not attend a conference if Fidel Castro was present. Of course, that was an economic summit rather than an inauguration. Nevertheless, President Reagan got his wish.
Second, did you hear about the anti-Maduro online petition in Mexico? On Sunday night, a friend from Mexico told me about this:
Within a few hours of the announcement that Nicolás Maduro had been invited to the December 1 swearing-in ceremony, thousands of people voiced their rejection via an online petition.
Some will react to that petition and call it partisan politics. It was started by the opposition center-right PAN party. I don't totally agree that it was all partisanship. I agree with my Mexican friend that this reaction reflects what many Mexicans feel-- something like, what the heck is a failing state dictator doing in Mexico?
Finally, what's Lopez-Obrador motivation? Yes, courtesy to a fellow Latin American leader and tradition. My impression is that Lopez-Obrador understands that Maduro is poison and may not be in power much longer anyway.
As I've told my Mexican friends, Lopez-Obrador has to create jobs to keep Mexicans happy. He needs Trump and the U.S. economy to do that .
Maduro has nothing to offer Lopez-Obrador. They will shake hands and share a toast. And then Maduro will be off to Caracas, where he faces big problems. And don’t expect them to meet again!