- AMLO has refused to bow to OPEC pressure.
- His country will only cut oil production by a small margin.
- Mexico is facing economic contraction due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has won a major economic victory for his country in the face of fierce pressure from other OPEC countries. US President Donald Trump recently brokered a deal to have members of the group cut oil production. AMLO, however, refused to cut oil supply by more than 100,000 barrels per day, a move that threatened to reverse progressive talks within the union
The organization had initially aimed to reduce oil supply by 10 million barrels per day. It was forced to revise the target to 9.7 million due to the president’s veto. The development comes after a fiery disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia that saw oil plummet to sub-$25 prices a barrel from a $53 high in February.
Saudi Arabia fueled the plunge after being frustrated by Russia’s consistent flaunting of production agreements. The move saw the country attempt to flood the international market with cheap oil at a time of low demand caused by widespread coronavirus lockdowns, which have curbed movement and crippled the travel industry.
A Political Victory
The oil cut refusal has seen AMLO score a political victory in his country. It has underscored his initially pronounced objective to revive the country’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex. The Mexican economy is projected to contract by 4 to 8 percent due to the coronavirus scourge.
The move by AMLO is likely to silence critics who have been in the offensive since last year. The first notable instance is when he supported the release of Ovidio Guzman, the son of drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, after a botched raid.
More recently, President Lopez Obrador came under fire for greeting drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman’s mother, Maria Consuelo Loera. The meeting, which lasted only a few seconds, took place on a dirt road in Badiraguato, a mountainous region in the state of Sinaloa.
Critics chastised the president for sending the wrong message to the cartels, especially since they’ve overrun the country and caused a spike in violence and homicides. Over 34,000 Mexicans died last year due to drug-related violence.
He was additionally slammed for failing to adhere to the social distancing measures that he’d been preaching to stop the spread of coronavirus. In his defense, President Lopez Obrador pronounced that his job sometimes entails facing white-collar criminals. He also asserted that there was no harm in greeting a 92-year-old woman who had his respect.
“Sometimes, because it’s my job, I have to shake hands with white-collar criminals who haven’t even lost their respectability. How am I not going to greet an old lady who leaves her hand outstretched?” He blamed his adversaries for trying to politicize the matter, revealing that El Chapo’s mother had sought his help in being allowed to see her son, who is incarcerated in the US.
Lopez Obrador’s response was that it was up to the US administration to grant the request.