In a familiar pattern of meddling in U.S. elections, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador once again aimed his sights at Republicans, this time targeting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis following his declaration to run for president in 2024.
Shortly after DeSantis made his announcement, Lopez Obrador seized the opportunity to hold a press conference, where he called on Hispanics not to support the Florida governor. DeSantis has been vocal about implementing stricter measures against illegal immigration, including the potential closure of the Mexico border.
Lopez Obrador claimed that DeSantis endorsed “anti-immigrant” policies, urging Hispanics in Florida to reject his candidacy. As paraphrased from his remarks to The Guardian, he said, “I hope the Hispanics of Florida wake up and deny him their votes.”
This incident is just the latest in a series of attempts by the unpredictable Mexican leader to interfere in U.S. elections. Lopez Obrador has been particularly sensitive to Republican criticism of his immigration policies and the influx of fentanyl into the United States.
In March, he vowed to launch an “information campaign” targeting Hispanic voters, cautioning them against supporting Republican candidates who, he claimed, advocated military intervention to combat the drug cartels responsible for producing and smuggling fentanyl into the U.S.
According to Lopez Obrador, the Republican plan represented an affront to Mexico’s people, independence, and sovereignty. He declared that Mexico would ensure that not a single vote from Mexicans and Hispanics would go to Republicans unless they altered their stance and ceased exploiting Mexico for their electoral and political purposes.
The Mexican president even threatened Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Republican Party, proclaiming that Mexico would urge its citizens residing in the United States to refrain from voting for them.
While Lopez Obrador directed blame at American lawmakers, he simultaneously sought assistance from the Chinese Communist state, as fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico using precursors from China. He accused the U.S. of unfairly attributing problems to Mexico and criticized the loss of values and welfare crisis in the U.S.
In the face of these remarks, DeSantis remained resolute in his commitment to tackling immigration issues. He pledged to deploy law enforcement and National Guard personnel from Florida to the border, offering assistance in dealing with the ongoing immigration challenges at the Texas-Mexico border.
As the political landscape continues to unfold, the clash between Lopez Obrador and DeSantis underscores the complexities surrounding immigration policies, sovereignty, and the delicate balance of international relations.