“We are selling all the planes and helicopters that the corrupt politicians used,” Mexico’s new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told the crowd gathered at a rally in the city of Xalapa, announcing the decision to put up former president’s luxurious plane for sale, Reuters reports. According to the news agency, the announcement prompted a roar of approval.
The country’s finance minister confirmed the decision, telling reporters that the former president’s luxurious Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be put up for sale soon. After announcing the decision, the finance minister let reporters explore the plane’s interior, giving them the opportunity to snap photographs of spacious bedrooms, flat screen televisions, and marble-lined bathrooms. The decision to get rid of this “towering symbol of excess,” as Reuters put it, comes as no surprise given that Mexico’s new leftist president Manuel Lopez Obrador has announced a slew of similar measures, vowing to end pensions for all former presidents, and cut paychecks of senior government officials.
The presidential jet is thought to be worth around $218 million, but it is only one of the planes the new government plans on selling. Sixty planes will be put up for sale, along with 70 expensive government helicopters. For the new administration, this is not the first time to make an effort to appeal to the impoverished country’s population. On inauguration day, Manuel Lopez Obrador opened the doors of Mexican presidents’ traditional residence, prompting visitors to run through the corridors and peek into offices. The new government has also vowed to turn the residence into a cultural center.
Reuters notes that Manuel Lopez Obrador won in a landslide, largely thanks to citizens’ disgust with the governing elite. Unlike in other countries — Brazil for instance, where far-right demagogue Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency, as previously reported by the Inquisitr — the rebellion against the elite appears to have swung Mexican voters to the left.
Compared to Venezuela’s Hugo Chaves by critics and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by supporters, according to the Washington Post, Lopez Obrador is promising to transform the country. The new president is vowing to transform Mexico’s neoliberal economic model and put an end to widespread corruption and violence. Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez, a political scientist at the Tecnologico de Monterrey university touched upon Lopez Obrador’s populist campaign promises in a statement supplied to the Post.
“Because for a long time we were in a consensus — which many people in the world are sick of — that says we can’t do anything. López Obrador says, of course we can achieve it… We are going to convert ourselves into this great power of the 21st century,” he said.