By Ben Norton
February 14, 2023 Geopolitical Economy Report
Mexico’s progressive President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that his country will lead an international movement to end the US government’s illegal blockade against Cuba.The Mexican president, known popularly by his initials AMLO, condemned the six-decade US blockade of Cuba as “inhumane”. He said the global campaign to overturn it must be more “active”, complaining that, while the vast majority of countries on Earth vote against the US embargo every year at the United Nations General Assembly, nothing ever changes.
AMLO also praised the Cuban Revolution for creating “one of the best health systems in the world”. He thanked Cuba for sending doctors to provide medical attention to people in underserved rural areas in Mexico and other countries around the world.
Criticizing the “neoliberal oligarchy” who ruled before him and “the corrupt neoliberal privatizers” who sold off many of the Mexican state’s assets, López Obrador explained that his government’s goal “is to establish a system of public healthcare, to guarantee the people’s right to healthcare”.
“The right to healthcare is a fundamental human rights, and it cannot be treated like a market”, AMLO declared.
The Mexican leader made these comments in a February 11 press conference in the southern port city of Campeche, alongside Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who addressed the two countries’ collaboration in public health.
The event featured dozens of Cuban doctors who were sent to Mexico as part of a solidarity mission.
López Obrador has consistently spoken out against the US sanctions and embargo against Cuba, which violate international law.
In June 2022, the Mexican president denounced the US blockade as a “type of genocide” and “tremendous violation of human rights”.
At the February 2023 event, AMLO honored Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro as “a visionary, a giant to whom we pay tribute”, adding, “Conservatives in Mexico and around the world can say whatever they want, but they will never, ever be able to counteract the teaching, the example of solidarity, of brotherhood that the revolutionary movement and its leaders have left Cuba”.
In his remarks at the public health press conference, Cuban President Díaz-Canel stressed the “deep and historic ties” that his country has enjoyed with its “brothers” in Mexico.
He recalled that Castro and other Cuban leaders planned the revolution while living in exile in Mexico.
Díaz-Canel highlighted the medical support that Cuba and its doctors have provided to Mexico over the decades.
The Cuban leader also thanked Mexico, noting it “has supported us historically in the battle for the lifting of the blockade, which has done so much damage to our economy, and especially to the health sector”.
While Díaz-Canel was visiting, López Obrador gave the Cuban leader the prestigious Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest state honors for a foreign national.
López Obrador is one of the world’s most popular leaders, and has a consistent approval rating of between 60 and 70% since he came to power in late 2018.