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!

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