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The a-Biden lure of imperialism

20 January 2022

When it comes to US-Mexican relations, it doesn’t much matter whether the president at the time is considered a liberal, a progressive, a conservative, or a right-wing lunatic… what they all have in common has been a sense that — whatever the issue — they know what is best for Mexico, and that Mexican economic reforms can only go as far as they… the US administration… permits.

The present adminstration being of the Democratic Party, Democratic Senators — supposedly of the “progessive” bent — are sticking to the imperialist tradition, insisting that when US President Joe Biden meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, Biden defend US energy interests and policy against reforms proposed here.

Senators Bob Menendez, Jeff Merkley, Tim Kaine, and Brian Schatz are claiming that the reforms — which would give the Mexican state electric utility (CFE) majority control of generating capacity in the country (and be designed to meet Mexican energy needs first) will lead to more fossil fuel usage, and worse stifle “competition”, especially since the reforms include state control over lithium deposits.

The US Senators are making the same assumptions those opposing the Mexican administration’s proposals — i.e. the foreign energy companies most likely to be affected (mostly Spanish, but some US as well) — that because several CFE generating plants depend on fossil fuel (or imported gas from Texas), they will stay on line, and that the energy produced by private and alterantive sources will simply shut down. As far as Mexfiles can determine, while there may be some short-term increase in fossil fuel usage, it is only as the alternatives are incorporated into the CFE system, and as the energy now exported (mostly solar power to California and Arizona, which produce on this side of the border simply because the land is cheaper).

MAYBE, just maybe, the US Senators have a argument (though not a good one) when it comes to oil production… a part of the reform (or rather, a related reform)… being the decision by PEMEX to get out of the oil export business in favor of domestic use… less a matter of more fossil fuel usage, than of meeting Mexico’s own demands domestically. Building refineries and not buying gasoline (while exporting oil) doesn’t mean more fossil fuel use, so much as just changing suppliers.

As to the Lithium deposits, “competition” looks to be a code word for the right to exploit yet another natural resource not for the benefit of the producing country, but for US consumers. And… given that the Mexican lithium would be used by the Mexican energy sector … for things like car batteries… fossil fuel usage is likely to drop given the reforms, not increase.

While Biden was probably a better selection for the US electorate than the bufoon he replaced (who’s only virtue for Mexico was that he was so toxic that even the most pro-US politicians here had to distance themselves from any hint of US support for their positions, allowing the present government to …. for once… carve out domestic policies without interference) these US Senators demonstrate that when it comes to Mexican relations (and relations with Latin America in general), nothing has changed since the days of Woodrow “we will teach them to elect good men” Wilson.

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