Saturday, November 04, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to

He's baaaak... AMLO

I was tickled by the idea of a "Department of Honesty and Thrift"... imagine a whole bureacracy dedicated to saving money! Good luck, Sr. Romero Oropeza! (my translation is from today's Jornada, "Presenta López Obrador su gabinete" by Jaime Avila) Reverting to the combative language that marked the long sit-in on the Zocalo - eliminating the dominant "neofascist" class, attacking the "the media of the worse" and, in obvious reference to Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, "political leaders that in other times defended popular causes but are tired and think in the past" -- Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador presented his alternative cabinet, one that will not be "a shadow cabinet", but one in the "total light of day". The team of six men and six women have experience in public administration or academia, and will head the 12 offices corresponding to the present cabinet positions, but with different names: instead of "Governacion" ("Home Secretary" or "Interior Ministry"), "Public Relations", for example. The presented members would be called Secretaries of International Relations, Public Property, and Justice and Security, instead of the "official" Foreign Relations, Hacienda and Public Credit and State Prosecutor. There are also conceptual innovations, like the title given to Luis Linares Zapata, who will head the office of "Economic Development and Ecology, an office designed, in AMLO's words, "to establish balances between the one and the other" and the office of "Honesty and Thrift", which is not the public comproller of "Pejelandia" but will be charged with overseeing the Calderon Government's spending. Octavio Romero Oropeza has taken this position. Raquel Sosa will head the Department of "Education, Science and Culture", and Marta Elvia Perez Bejarano, "State of Well-being" (Public Benefits might be a better translation). A few positions are the same in both the "offical" and "alternative" cabinets: Secretary of Labor (Berta Luján Uranga), Secretary of Health (Asa Cristina Laurel), Public Housing (Laura Itzel Castillo) and National Patrimony (Claudia Sheimbaun). The "legitimate president" has entrusted portfolios to people who will be in the eye of the hurricane, as is already apparent. The ceremony was one of Juarista-style austerity, in contrast to the Porfiriana-style elegance of the restored (during Lopez Obrador's Mayorality) Teatro de la Cuidad on Virginia Fábregas street. The ceremony started just after five in the afteroon, with writer Laura Esquivel, dressed in traditional Chiapas highlander clothing, reading a brief and moving speech. Esquivel spoke of the difference between the two worlds of the legitimate and the spurious. The legitimate, she said, is genuine, allowed, true, and certain thing; the spurious is the opposite: false things, uncertain things, illicit things. As an example of the spurious, she mentioned the "so-called legal president who will assume a government that is fruit of a conspiracy between the the uncertain, and the illicit," a paragraph that received an enthuastic ovation. The novelist introduced Caesar Yáñez, who will be the alternative government's Director of Social Communication, who put an end to the speculation of who the six men and six women were who were defying the "legal government" by joining this cabinet. Lopez Obrador was then introduced, wearing a gray business suit with a light tri-color on his lapel, radiating more energy than he displayed last Tuesday at the Juarez Hemiciclo, where he will also speak this coming Tuesday. He began reading a fluid, precise speech peppered withstrong adjectives that was neither applauded nor rejected by the audience. What was new was AMLO's references to "the media of the worst" and to writers and intellectuals "bitter and dried up" by those in power. It said nothing new, though the language was. In a change from the verbal fireworks, Lopez Obrador did make an announcement that didn't seem to excite the party leaders. He will personally visit each and every one of the 2,500 municipalities in the country, to construct a "a new political organization" giving form to the "travelling government" and "impregnating democracy" in every town, calling for mobilizations when the spurious president tries to roll back the gains made by the 1910 Revolution. Nothing was said about preventing the "other" President from taking office on 1 December. The ceremony lasted just under an hour. Before, during and after, 5000 people were outside the theater, continuously shouting "It is an honor to be with Obrador," even after the "legitimate president" had left the building by private automobile.


Post a Comment

<< Home