Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been used this Tuesday to reduce the differences with the United States on the ninth Summit of the Americas. The Mexican president has defended his position of not excluding the representatives of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the conclave, which will be held from June 6 to 10 in Los Angeles, although he has ruled out that his decision not to attend the regional meeting if Washington does not invite all Latin American governments to have repercussions on the bilateral relationship. “You shouldn’t think that, if we don’t coincide in this case at the summit, then there will already be a rupture. No way”, he stated on the eve of the visit of a US delegation led by Senator Christopher Dodd, scheduled for Wednesday.
The trip of the special advisor to President Joe Biden for the organization of the summit has the purpose of achieving the full participation of the Mexican Government. López Obrador, however, made his presence subject to the participation of executives who were directly opposed to Washington. The White House has not yet made a decision, but is leaning at the moment not to invite “countries that disrespect democracy,” according to State Undersecretary Brian Nichols told EL PAÍS. The Mexican president argues his position by invoking the Constitution, which enshrines the principle of non-intervention in foreign policy. At the same time, by recovering a policy of active support for Havana, it has removed regional diplomacy, creating a front that has been joined, for example, by the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, the Bolivian, Luis Arce, and the Chilean, Gabriel Boric.
“It is that we have to stick to the principles of our foreign policy, of non-intervention and self-determination of the peoples, and we believe that no one should be excluded and that the independence and sovereignty of the peoples must be asserted. ”, López Obrador has abounded during his morning press conference. Despite this, he has highlighted the fluidity of the links with the US Administration. “There is a very good relationship. And in the economic, in the commercial, undoubtedly in the migratory, in the security, we are working in a coordinated manner, ”he added.
These are the issues that most interest both governments and on which Biden seeks to define a common position for North America with a view to the summit. Ambassador Ken Salazar explained on Monday that for the United States “it is very important that Mexico participate” and framed the visit of Christopher Dodd in that attempt. The presence of the Mexican Executive, in any case, is not in danger. But if an agreement is not reached, the participation would be reduced to that of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, a front-line cabinet leader and candidate for succession in 2024.
In any case, López Obrador has focused on exhibiting a good relationship with the authorities and with the society of the neighboring country. “We, regardless of what is resolved, well, we will always have a relationship of friendship and respect with the Government of the United States, and more, much more, with the people of the United States. The United States government has treated us with respect, and we have a lot of respect and esteem for the people of the United States,” he continued.
The relationship between the two leaders and communications have been frequent since Biden’s arrival at the White House in January 2021 despite disagreements on security, migration and energy policy. But both want to address the bilateral agenda through negotiation, against Donald Trump’s policy of preventive taxation, and they also openly maintain that the two countries and their economies cannot live back to back. “More than a million Americans live here in Mexico, it is the country where more Americans live in the world, and now more,” the president recalled before referring to the increase in migration to Mexico City from the country neighbor during the pandemic. “So, what has been happening in recent years? I don’t know if you have already noticed, but a lot of Americans and foreigners have come to live, but more Americans, who live in the city. That would be a good topic for a report. But many, many, many, it is notorious”.
Biden has also had some gestures that his predecessor had tried to bury, such as the celebration of the battle of Puebla, on May 5. “Now President Biden has ordered the ceremony to be redone and led by his wife. And it was as a special guest Beatriz [Gutiérrez Müller], my wife, and she told me that they sat her in a place and President Biden was speaking and he was kind enough to stop and go say hello. Then she finished and they moved her to the White House. They were talking to the president’s wife, the president, Beatriz…”, López Obrador summarized. The president has also celebrated “that he is making progress” towards a softening of Washington’s policy towards Cuba, but he has made it clear that his aspiration is for the economic blockade to end. Meanwhile, the formula for Mexico’s participation in the Summit of the Americas is still up in the air.
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