A legislator walks past a banner reading “(Nicolas) Maduro, you’re not welcome” taped to the a wall in the lower house of Congress, just a couple of ours before the Venezuelan leader is scheduled to attend the inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at the National Congress in Mexico City, Saturday, Dec 1, 2018. Mexico’s conservative National Action Party has voiced objections to Lopez Obrador’s decision to invite Maduro to the ceremony, because of the economic and political crisis that has marked Maduro’s regime. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

The Latest: Venezuela leader protested at Mexico ceremony

December 01, 2018 - 9:39 am

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

Conservative legislators in Mexico are using their country's presidential inauguration for a protest against Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Several lawmakers have taped a banner reading "Maduro, you're not welcome" to the podium in the lower house of Congress, where leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is soon to be sworn in.

Maduro has been invited to the inaugural ceremony, but it's not clear if he'll arrive.

Mexico's conservative National Action Party has voiced objections to the invitation because of the economic and political crisis in Venezuela and they accuse Maduro of veering toward a dictatorship.

Critics of Lopez Obrador have long attempted to associate him with Venezuelan-style socialism, despite little evidence he favors such policies.


8:20 a.m.

Mexico's new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, hasn't yet been sworn, but new cabinet secretaries have already taken over key security posts.

The midnight handover is part of a tradition meant to ensure there's always someone at the helm of the Army, Navy and Interior Department, the country's top domestic security agency.

New Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero said in a post-midnight ceremony that the new government will "listen to everybody, the majority and the minorities, because in a democracy all opinions can be expressed."

Similar ceremonies were held at the Navy and Army headquarters. Lopez Obrador plans to rely heavily on the military to form his new anti-crime force, the National Guard.


2 a.m.

Mexicans are getting more than just a new president. The inauguration of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will mark a turning point in one of the world's most radical experiments in opening markets and privatization.

Mexico long had a closed, state-dominated economy, but since entering the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs in 1986, it has signed more free trade agreements than almost any other country. It's also privatized almost every corner of the economy except oil and electricity.

Now, though, Lopez Obrador is talking a talk not heard in Mexico since the 1960s: He wants to build more state-owned oil refineries and encourages Mexicans to "not to buy abroad, but to produce in Mexico what we consume."

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