Mexico, a nest of Russian spies? This was stated by the head of the northern command of the United States (Northcom), General Glen VanHerck, Thursday, March 24, one month to the day after the start of the war in Ukraine. “Mexico currently hosts the largest number of Russian spies in the world,” he told a US Senate committee. A shock sentence neither denied nor confirmed by the Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”), who condemned the Russian invasion but refuses to sanction Moscow. A “neutrality” claimed by the center-left nationalist president who is straining relations with Washington, while deputies from the “AMLO” party have just created a Mexico-Russia friendship group in Congress.
The head of the military region covering the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas specified that these spies were “on the lookout for any opportunity to exert influence or gain access to the United States” from the neighboring country. The revelation echoes the case of Mexican scientist Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, who in February declared himself guilty of spying in the United States on behalf of Moscow, two years after his arrest in Miami.
“Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign country, we are not a colony of Russia, China or the United States,” replied “AMLO”, Friday March 25, affirming “not having information” on the massive presence of Russian spies. A law, passed in December 2020, however, obliges foreign agents to declare themselves to the Mexican authorities. “We are not going to Moscow to spy on anyone (…) not in Washington, not even in Los Angeles”he pointed out.
Its official position vis-à-vis the offensive in Ukraine seems clear: Mexico City is co-author, with Paris, of the resolution adopted Thursday by the General Assembly of the United Nations which « requires » of Russia the judgment ” immediate “ of the war. “But we will not send arms and we will not retaliate economically, a martelé « AMLO ». We adopt a posture of neutrality in accordance with Mexico’s foreign policy. » The president brought up to date the Estrada doctrine, which has long dictated Mexican diplomacy according to the principles of “non-intervention”d’“self-determination of peoples” and of “peaceful resolution of conflicts”.
“Proof of support, solidarity and friendship”
But the creation of the Mexico-Russia friendship group, Wednesday, March 23, at the initiative of the deputies of the Labor Party (left), ally of the party of “AMLO” (Morena), worries Washington. It was an opportunity for the Russian ambassador to Mexico, Viktor Koronelli, to distill the Kremlin’s propaganda to the Mexican Congress: “Russia did not start this war, it ends it (…) The Ukrainian army uses women and children as human shields”, he affirmed, thanking the Mexican deputies for this “show of support, solidarity and friendship” towards Moscow.
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