Margarita Zavala Could Become Mexico’s First Female President

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jun 10, 2016, 1:49 pm
Margarita Zavala
According to the former President of Mexica, PAN will slowly start to rally around Margarita Zavala. (NDMX)

EspañolFormer President of Mexico Vicente Fox said the National Action Party (PAN) has already chosen its candidate for the 2018 Presidential election — Margarita Zavala — and it will be very hard for anyone to challenge her candidacy.

Fox said it was smart for Zavala not to use her married name — that of former President Felipe Calderón — because the chances of her winning would have been reduced to zero.

In an interview with Radio Fórumula, Fox said Zavala and Calderón worked on elections in the past, and contributed to the success PAN had historically.

“She primarily campaigned nationwide, and did well,” Fox said. “They are a large reason for the party’s success, but a lot remains to be seen. There is still a ways to go. I think National Action already has its candidate.”

“I’m practically giving it to her on the fact that it is going to be very difficult for someone else to take it from her. She has the height, the presentation and the recognition within PAN as well as the devotion and passion for going after the presidency.”

Fox added that former first ladies — to the Governor of Guanajuato Miguel Márquez and to the Governor of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle — could be competitors, but should speed up the process or risk being left out of the competition.

Fox added that they would be competitors of the former first lady, as the Governor of Guanajuato, Miguel Márquez and Governor of Pueblo Rafael Moreno Valle are still handled with some caution and, if not accelerating the passage, will be left out of the competition.

In response to a question about whether his criticism of the government of Felipe Calderón extended to Zavala, Fox said, “Those things still apply to him, but only him.”

One of his biggest mistakes, Fox said, was using the army in the fight against organized crime, as killings continue and the problem has still not been resolved.

“She (Zavala) moves in the opposite direction. Certainly it would be better not to put Calderón or Magarita de Calderón on the task because that would reduce solutions to zero.”

López Obrador out of options

Fox said he doesn’t see strength in tabasqueño or in Obrador’s party for 2018, and although he has some followers, “it isn’t enough of a presence to make a difference in voting. Of the 12 seats at play, they won’t get any … the vote count is indicating that people don’t want to take serious risks in Mexico.”

In the case of Veracruz, where the Morena candidate received close to 800 thousand votes, what happened was a “mix of irritation, and annoyance with the government” that did not end well for independent candidates. The day was marked by an “unhappy vote” and Morena “completely absorbed it all.”

According to Fox, the election results last Sunday represent a “partial defeat” for the President Enrique Peña Nieto, because although he has managed to keep inflation from increasing and the economy has been under control, there are still lots of issues surrounding human rights and general violence in the country.

Source: Excelsior

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

The Unraveling of Latin America’s 21st Century Socialism

By: Guest Contributor - Jun 10, 2016, 12:27 pm
21st century socialism

EspañolBy Carlos Raúl Hernández The catastrophe of 21st-century socialism in Latin America could have been worse — except for Venezuela, who was completely destroyed by it. Since 1990, the insane political project has taken over almost the entire continent. It was a "new era," as Brad Pitt put it when he visited Ecuador. Former President of Brazil Lula da Silva organized the Sao Paulo Forum that year to seek a new revolutionary pathway in the region — a plan that was turned out to be politically successful without a doubt. The left — formerly characterized by insurrections, declarations, and violent acts — transformed into a wolf in sheep's clothing and began preaching about democracy. Read More: Bernie Sanders Flounders when Pressed about Venezuela Socialism They coupled their newly-found democratic rhetoric with electoral campaigns to achieve what they never could with old violent methods. Their strategic shift turned out to be successful. Catalan, French, and Austrian theorists came to aid with an empty and dangerous "neo-Republican" rethoric that was fashionable at the time. They spoke of "true" and "direct" democracy, a "citizen revolution" to found a "new republic" that is against traditional politics and the corrupt elites  — sophistry that fascinated the dim-witted democrats. This is how Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela in 1998, Lula in Brazil in 2002, Néstor Kirchner in Argentina in 2003, Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay in 2004, Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2005, Michelle Bachelet in 2013, Rafael Correa in Ecuador in 2007, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua on and off throughout the years. We Got Out Rather Cheaply Cristina Kirchner assumed power in Argentina in 2007 following the death of her husband and governed until 2015. In 2008, Fernando Lugo with the Patriotic Alliance triumphed in Paraguay but was ousted in 2012. In 2009, José Mujica succeeded Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay, and Mauricio Funes won with the democratic socialist party of El Salvador (FMLN - Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front). Dilma Rousseff replaced Lula in Brazil in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. Keeping it all in the family, Ollanta Humala won in Peru in 2011. Nicolás Maduro assumed control of Venezuela in an unorthodox manner in 2013 after Hugo Chavez’s death. Once again Bachelet was elected in 2014 and the FMLN in El Salvador kept power with Salvador Sánchez Cerén. In 2015, Tabaré Vázquez returned to power in Uruguay. Along the way, fortunately for this ill-fated continent, many of them like Vázquez, Mujica, Bachelet, Funes, and Humala abandoned their revolutionary, populist or raging positions and dedicated themselves to governing civilly. Others pulled out their authoritarian fangs, breaking the law to keep themselves in office — such as Ortega in Nicaragua and Morales in Bolivia — all the while preserving a dynamic economy. The Kirchners, meanwhile, are more of a mafia than a political party, with unbridled corruption and authoritarianism at the heart of everything they do. The family decided not to pay the country's foreign debt, instead faking an economic boom and swindling thousands of bondholders. // Argentina has been unable to free itself from the ghost of Juan Domingo Perón, the immensely popular strongman who managed to destroy a flourishing nation in only nine years. Six decades later, this phantom continues to keep Argentina from holding its head up high. In Brazil, Lula survived okay during the commodities price boom, but ultimately couldn't keep up his predecessor's economic reforms in the face of such a large corruption scheme enriching the leaders beneath him. The recently suspended Dilma Rousseff and the Workers Party benefited the most from this. Read More: Venezuela’s socialism has triggered looting in the streets Ecuador's Correa is perhaps the most pathetic. The press has been forbidden from publishing statistics about the struggling economy, which the president damaged in part with his “electronic money” idea to undermine the official currency, the US dollar. He destroyed the middle class, and yet claims there has been a "decade of gain" in the country. As for Venezuela, we can only pray that future generations get the message and do not have to go through again the shortages, inflation, and death. Latin American countries must face the challenge of making changes from the ground up if they don't want populism to make a comeback in the future. The transitions in Brazil and Argentina are being put to the test; their leaders will need to transform the country without losing support. This Latin American adventure of little despots, corruption, failure, and ideological intoxication has touched almost everyone in some way. There is a lesson somewhere in here for the whole continent. Perhaps it's this: revolutionaries are hopeless, even if they dress in silk. Carlos Raúl Hernández is a Venezuelan sociologist and former politician. He holds a PhD in political science and heads the website Barómetro Político. Follow him on Twitter: @carlosraulher. The original article in Spanish appeared on El Universal.

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