Anti-Imperialism Today

Raúl Romero*

Photo: Stephan Valentin

Like Mexico, the United States of America (USA) is in its presidential election process. Joe Biden, the current president, is seeking reelection, and his main competitor is former president Donald Trump. Both the Mexican and US elections will take place at a time marked by Russia’s war against Ukraine and Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. In both conflicts the US has openly intervened in favor of Ukraine and the criminal Benjamin Netanyahu. In addition to this scenario, there is the configuration of a multipolar world in which Russia and China are competitors.

Faced with this panorama of global reconfiguration, the US responds in Latin America with significant changes. Defeated in its attempts to impose Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela, or to support the coup leader Jeanine Áñez in Bolivia, the US is combining the strategy of an iron fist and negotiation in a region with greater influence from China. Of special interest is the recent appointment of Daniel P. Erikson, who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department, and who will be the Director of the National Security Council for Latin American Affairs as of March. Erikson knows Mexico well, knows its importance in the upcoming elections and will seek to influence in favor of the US, in general, and Biden, in particular.

Although with different narratives, agendas and voters, neither Biden nor Trump represent a substantial change in their foreign policy: Biden has been assuming part of the anti-immigrant discourse with which Trump attracts thousands of followers, while both respond to the money and war lords, that is, the military industrial complex and its interests in the planet.

In the struggle between Biden and Trump, there are also media “allies.” The New York Times, for example, is a favorite among Democratic Party supporters, while Republicans are more sympathetic to outlets such as Fox News. It is important to identify the message and the messenger, but above all the best interests served by the owners.

The New York Times’ constant and increasing bashing of the President of Mexico, with “reports” that leave much to be desired, is a fact that should be condemned and also reviewed with caution: who really is the sender? What are the effects? How do those competing in the Mexican electoral process use the message and its effects to their advantage and disadvantage? Two hypotheses should be considered: the sender seeks 1) to influence the Mexican electoral process and reorient regional negotiations, and 2) to pressure the Mexican government to also take sides with one of the political forces in the US. Trump, for example, is already openly adding the support of his allies in Argentina and El Salvador, support that was openly expressed at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference.

In the current six-year term, under the guise of “cooperation,” the militaristic agenda that the US has been promoting for decades has not only been taken up again, but also reinforced. In economic matters, dependence has also been accentuated: “Economic integration, with respect for our sovereignty, is the best instrument to face the competition derived from the growth of other regions of the world, in particular, the productive and commercial expansion of China. Let us not forget that while Canada, the US and Mexico represent 13 percent of the world market, China dominates 14.4 percent,” stated President López Obrador in November 2021 during the ninth North American Leaders’ Summit. Two years later, by November 2023, Mexico had already consolidated its position as the main trading partner and supplier of the United States, achieving a trade exchange of 738.4 billion dollars, “which represented 15.8 percent of the total trade of the world’s main economic power,” according to data published in these same pages.

To the above should be added the numerous infrastructure projects that the Mexican government has promoted and which are fundamental for US capital, such as the Inter-Oceanic Corridor -desired by the northern neighbor since the 19th century- or the Mayan Train, projects visited by Ken Salazar, US ambassador to Mexico. The “support” that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gives to different federal government agencies is also a noteworthy point.

Rejecting imperialist interventionism means denouncing the interests behind media such as The New York Times, without jeopardizing the safety of its journalists, but it also means building alternatives to economic dependence on the US, rejecting the militarist and anti-immigrant agenda and ceasing to place national territory and natural resources at the service of its companies and interests. To be anti-imperialist today is also to fight to stop the genocide in Palestine.


Original text published in La Jornada on February 26th, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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