Our leading leftist’s British bestie
Jorge Fernández Menéndez
The front-runner in Mexico’s July presidential election already has a staunch ally overseas, said Jorge Fernández Menéndez. Leftist populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known here as AMLO, has forged ties with Jeremy Corbyn, the far-left leader of Britain’s opposition Labor Party. Corbyn speaks fluent Spanish—his second wife was Chilean, and his third and current wife is Mexican—so the men had no language barrier when they first met two years ago. Corbyn has squired López Obrador around London; AMLO has hosted Corbyn in Mexico. While Corbyn is certainly to the left of López Obrador, the two share a great deal. They both support Communist Cuba and refuse to condemn Venezuela’s authoritarian leftist President Nicolás Maduro. The two men are “somewhat nationalist,” and both “can turn on the populism and know how to touch people in a moment of crisis or vulnerability.” It’s possible that in the next year, López Obrador will be Mexico’s president and Corbyn will be Britain’s prime minister. If that happens, the two “would be allies who, until now, no one on either side of the Atlantic has taken into account.” And Corbyn and AMLO will have to learn how to handle the third, unavoidable party in that special relationship: U.S. President Donald Trump.