Monday, November 20, 2006

Mexico City: November 20 -- Inauguration Day!

UPDATED: Please scroll down.

Well, actually today is Revolution Day. It celebrates the 1910 revolt against Porfirio Díaz, who had proclaimed himself president for life. This revolution, which we would call a civil war, ended successfully, on paper, just about 5 months after it began when Díaz fled to -- you guessed it -- France. In reality, the revolution didn't end at all. Within 10 years almost every major player who had a leadership role in the revolution had been murdered, with the exception of several generals who stayed quietly in the background until the butchery started.

President Madero, Vice President Pino Suarez, Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza, just to name a few. That "Decade of Pain" gave birth to the PRI. So, one could legitimately claim that Mexico lost its revolution which it celebrates today.

But Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has other plans for the day. At 5:00 this afternoon he will be self-sworn in and become the self-proclaimed "Legitimate President" of Mexico. He's been passing the hat for some weeks trying to accumulate enough money to pull off this latest extravaganza. A couple of weeks ago, he said he needed 6.5 million pesos (600,000 US eagles, approx) to pull this off.

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,, Mexico City: AMLO drew this crowd in August. It remains to be seen if he can draw the same crowd today.
AMLO could draw a crowd like this in August.
It remains to be seen if he still can today.

Now, AMLO has to be a lttle careful here. Mexico has some laws about the use of "patriotic symbols" as well as the use of the word "Mexico" and the tricolor (translation: tricolor).
Mexico's tricolors are red, white and green. Red for the bloodshed of its casualties, green for the grass growing over the graves of its buried casualties and white for the paper used in the documents which cede more territory to Gringolandia. Or something like that. Check with Santa Ana.

Other countries have their own tricolors. For instance, France has the famous red, white and blue tricolor; red for its battle casualties, blue for the skin color of the 50,000 or so soldiers who froze to death in Russia and white for the surrender flag which France waves to end every war. Or something like that. Check with anybody.

The United States has its tricolor version as well; red, white and blue. Blue for the sky from which rains death and destruction, red for the blood of its enemies splashed hither and yon, and white for the dove of peace for which its enemies soon sue. Or something like that, I think. Check with Donald Rumsfeld.
In Mexico, you are not allowed to use the tricolor to advertise or symbolize a business or political party. The glaring exception here is the PRI, which, since it wrote the rules, exempted itself. You also can't use the word "Mexico" in the title of a business. Hence, while there can be a US Steel Company, Inc., there is no Mexico Steel, S.A. de C.V..

You also cannot use various patriotic symbols, such as the eagle on the cactus with the snake as appears on Mexico's flag. So, AMLO will have to content himself with some other symbol of presidential power in the tricolor motif which he can legally wear.

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,,  Mexico City: AMLOs inauguration sash
AMLO will have to content himself with this "Banda Presidenciál"

Polls conducted by Reforma and others indicate that no more than 25% of the people polled support AMLO's self-inauguration. And those polls were taken in Mexico City, an AMLO stronghold. It remains to be seen how many people AMLO can convince to gather in the Zócalo to listen to his acceptance speech where he will present the Banda Presidentiál to himself from himself. AMLO will be the only speaker.


Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,, Mexico City: AMLOs Self-Inauguration draws thousands to Mexico City's Zócalo.
November 20, 2006. Uh, I guess he can.

Please visit the Pale Horse Galleries online store
for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.

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