Political Thermometer

May 10, 2013
Political Thermometer

U.S. President Barack Obama's recent visit to Mexico had Mexican politics on high alert. While the purpose of this meeting was to discuss international political issues, political groups used this as an opportunity to take a stand on issues, to make their presence known and to try to destabilize the current political order. The latter case occurred in the State of Guerrero where a group of dissident teachers, unaffiliated with political parties, sparked riots and violence that has been unanimously condemned. Notably, the political parties showed greatest interest in, and satisfaction with, Mr. Obama's visit. Leftist parties such as the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Labor Party (PT) and the Citizens' Movement Party (PMC) did not use the U.S. President's visit as they had in the past to preach about ideology and condemn the political and economic systems of the United States. Instead, such political parties' leaders participated in the meeting that President Obama had with Mexican leaders. No one condemned "North American capitalism" or "Yankee imperialism"; quite the contrary, there was great interest in participating in the meeting with President Obama. Generally speaking, right leaning parties such as the National Action Party (PAN), as well as the more leftist party PRD, indicated that Obama's visit was very positive. In the opinion of the coordinator of the PRD representatives for the House of Representatives, the U.S. President gave a good speech, and he praised the new tone for the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. Unlike previous visits of the U.S. President to Mexico, President Obama was well received, with no visible protests against his presence in the country. One of the declarations by President Obama that was most praised by Mexican politicians was his statement that the lack of public safety in Mexico is related to U.S. domestic consumption of drugs. Political groups on all sides approved of the U.S. President's initiative to promote immigration reform and the optimism with which Barack Obama views this initiative, which stands to benefit millions of Mexicans currently living in the United States.

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