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  • Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Movement for National Renewal (MORENA) party.

    Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Movement for National Renewal (MORENA) party. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 February 2018
Opinion

In early January, several murals purportedly supporting Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, appeared in various Venezuelan cities.

Mexico's Electoral Tribunal has rejected alleged links between the ruling Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) and fake murals supposedly by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) which claim to be supporting Mexican presidential frontunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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In early January, several murals purportedly supporting Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, appeared in the Venezuelan cities of Caracas, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Valencia and Maracay. The murals read: "Walking alert! Lopez Obrador is the Mexican revolution. PSUV."

The PSUV has denied any involvement and said claims they are intervening in other country's politics are offensive, not least because Venezuela itself has also been the victim of foreign intervention.

"It's not part of PSUV or the Bolivarian government's politics to interfere in any country's internal politics," declared PSUV International Vice-President Jacobo Torres. He also noted that the murals made no sense because no one in Venezuela can vote for a presidential candidate in Mexico.

Obrador, the subject of the murals, believes they are part of a "dirty campaign" to discredit him and has suggested the murals could have been planned and paid for by Mexico's long-time ruling party, the PRI.

Since Obrador first ran for president in 2006, the PRI and right-wing opposition National Action Party (PAN) have repeatedly called him "a danger for Mexico" and publicly linked him with leftist governments in Latin America, especially Venezuela.

They also recently accused Obrador and his party of having ties to Russia, an allegation he has repeatedly denied.

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In a video recently published on social media, Obrador declared himself an admirer of Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti but said he doesn't need foreign role models.

Instead, he draws his inspiration from political figues within his native Mexico, such as Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Maria Morelos, Benito Juarez, Francisco I. Madero, Francisco Villa, Emiliano Zapata, the Flores Magon brothers and former president Lazaro Cardenas.

Obrador has dismissed the mural debacle as a publicity stunt, describing it as "less than original, quite elementary" and "mediocre."

The murals appeared shortly before Venezuelan political strategist J. J. Rendon said in an interview he would do anything to prevent Obrador becoming the next president of Mexico.

Rendon, who was born in Caracas, has worked for several right-wing campaigns, including those of Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico, Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia, Juan Orlando Hernandez in Honduras, and Rafael Calderas and Henrique Capriles in Venezuela.

Although Rendon isn't currently employed by any Mexican party, he has said there are many ways to act on their behalf without being on any official payroll.

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