We are not seeing the scope of what is happening. Physically, the entire Zocalo, which is the historic center of Mexico City, is occupied by people who have made this there living quarters, complete with gigantic tents, fuel for cooking, tanks for water. It has become a small city of thousands of people from all parts of Mexico who have NO PLANS to leave anytime soon. On September 15th there is a celebration of Mexican Independence from Spain. It’s like our 4th of July. Normally there is a military parade in the Zocalo. That parade will not take place. Last November I was in Mexico City and I went to the Zocalo. There were a handful of people living there then. I spoke to them and they told me they were there to protest the confiscation of their land by corporate entities. This has grown. Now the entire Zocalo is completely occupied by thousands of protestors. The streets leading to the Zocalo are blocked and occupied as well for miles leading into the Zocalo.
Take a look at these images from U-Tube here, here, and here
(Note that Obrador is completely exposed in the last video, there are no body guards apparent. There are no limos, he is greeting people from the country and exposed to anyone who might want to do him harm.)
Imagine if your downtown area was completely occupied and all the streets were occupied leading into the Downtown area for 35 days. The Protestors are planning to stay at least until December 1st when the new president is scheduled to take office.
The Zocalo is a historic area, with lots of commercial areas, restaurants, hotels and government offices. Access by car seems extremely limited. There is little or no access for government officials, tourists, storeowners or even churchgoers except by foot and possibly subway when the protestors allow it. Other Main Avenues like Paseo De La Reforma are also occupied and blocked and this is perhaps two miles from the Zocalo. This has gone on for 35 days.
PAN is the opposition party to Obrador’s PRD. The current president is Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon is scheduled to become the next president. He is also of PAN. PAN is the most conservative of Mexico’s three parties. It is supported by the Catholic Church and corporations.
It is important to note that the Catholic Church is speaking out against Obrador and the Protestant Churches (which have grown in Mexico in recent years) are speaking in favor of Obrador. So the nation is being divided along religious and political lines to some extent. Mexicans are largely Catholic but their allegiance is not to Rome, It is not to the hierarchy of the Church. It is simply to Jesus or the Virgin Mary. The Church is mistrusted as it’s history in Mexico present and past is one of blatant corruption.
Priests until recently were not allowed to wear priests garb in public. There had been a strict separation of Church and State until Vincente Fox and the pro-Catholic PAN party took power 7 years ago.
Mexico's top prelate, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, lashed out at Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's supporters this week after some burst into Mexico City's main cathedral and used the sacred image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on protest banners.
Mexico is a predominantly Catholic country whose history is full of episodes of bloody wrangling with the powerful church. It strives to keep religion and politics apart, and clergymen had in recent decades stayed on the sidelines.
Another important point is that many of the newspapers and some PAN politicians are suggesting that all members of PRD and the PRD party itself be banned or outlawed. These are elected officials. It is almost the equivalent of Republicans banning the Democrats. But in Mexico there are 3 parties. This is an indication of the severity of the crisis. This is from EL PAIS a major Mexican new paper.
El hecho de impedir al presidente de México leer su informe de gobierno ante el Congreso de la Unión, lleva al candidato de la izquierda Andrés Manuel López Obrador “hacia su fracaso y automarginación”, indicó hoy el diario El País.
Translation: The fact that the President of Mexico was prevented from reading his State of the Union address (by the PRD party of Obrador) has been a fiasco and Obrador has marginalized himself.
They are saying that Obrador and PRD are no longer part of the normally functioning government and this I believe is a way of preparing the people to eventually accept that PRD and Obrador will be removed from participating in the politics in Mexico. That they will be banned or outlawed. Imagine this being suggested of a political party in the US that represents a third of the nation.
And this from El Universal Newspaper:
-No, qué podemos esperar de un partido que exige derechos, que exige el derecho de usar la tribuna y no respeta el derecho de otros de usarla, que exige el derecho de poderse expresar y no respeta el derecho de expresarse del Presidente. No puede un partido como el PRD seguir en dos pistas: ¡o se define por la legalidad o que se vaya a la calle!
"We cannot stand to have a party that makes demands of it’s rights, and it’s right to use the Tribunal (To recount the votes in the disputed election) but does not respect the rights of the President to express himself. PRD cannot go in two directions at the same time. It cannot impose its definition of what is legal and when it doesn’t get what it wants goes into the streets."
So you can see that divisions are appearing and not just one confrontation is looming but many. It has not been reported well that the army was called out, heavily armed and waiting for the protestors to come to the place where Fox was to deliver his State of the Union speech or “Informe”. They were prepared to do battle but Obrador seeing a trap being set by the government to paint him with the brush of violence called the protestors off and used the PRD elected members of congress to do the protesting inside the hall where Fox was to speak. This is the equivalent of Democratic members occupying the podium where Bush would speak for his SOTU and holding up posters of Bush with the word TRAITOR written beneath his image. PRD members held up posters with Fox's image and the word TRAITOR underneath.
THE BIG PICTURE
It may very well be that Obrador will succeed. Somehow he will become either a revolutionary, the next president of Mexico, assassinated or disabled. I believe there is a high probability of assassination.
If he succeeds he will be an ally of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and all other left leaning democratically elected governments in South and Central America.
Hugo Chavez is lending money from oil revenues to South and Central America. He has taken the place of the United States and it’s questionable lending practices. He is a great power in this hemisphere. He wishes to compete against the United States. He is forming alliances with China, Iran and Syria. He will take action if the United States attacks Iran. I believe the plan will be to cut off oil to the US.
For the Neo-con minded people in the Bush Administration, the Revolutionary activities currently taking place in Mexico should be more alarming than the imagined threat of Islamic fascism.
The United States is about to feel the wrath of its abusive history in Mexico, Central and South America. Those nations are allying themselves with the Arab world and China to act in a coordinated fashion AGAINST United States interests. The Neo-cons did not envision a reaction to the attempt of America to place itself as the sole super power in the world.
What we are witnessing in Mexico is a very significant event that in many ways is a reaction to the American attempt at world hegemony. When will the Mexican Revolution be incorporated into the endless talk of talk shows? The answer is SOON. This is going to be the dominant headline for sometime to come.
You can hear now the calls to intervene in order to protect American interests. The call from John McCain (Arizona) on the Republican side and Bill Richadson (New Mexico) on the Democratic side for limited American Intervention. I can hear them saying "This isn't going to be like Iraq". Limited intervention to prevent a stampede of Mexicans escaping the Castro/Chavez manipulated leftists who seek to bring chaos to Mexico and the United States. Limited intervention to keep Chavez from taking over Mexico. Limited intervention to keep Castro from finally realizing his 40 year dream of World Socialism. Just imagine how the cubans in Miami are going to react to the possibility of a Chavez, Castro, Obrador alliance.
I can hear Democrats and Republicans rallying around the cry that, "All the while we thought the theat was Iran, Iraq, and North Korea when all along it was right at our doorstep."
On to the next American misadventure: MEXICO