by Maria Muller
During his tour of several Central American countries, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized that the USA would support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia far more than the ailing countries of Central America.
“It seems inexplicable to me that in Washington, in the Capitol, the approval of the $4,000 million they offered for investments in Central America was so delayed,” said López Obrador. Both US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made arrangements for this project, the Mexican President argued.
“Of course, these are different problems that cannot easily be compared. But more than $30,000 million has already been approved to support the war in Ukraine. But since President Donald Trump was here (in Mexico), we’ve had four We’ve been told over the years that we need $4 billion in support to start an economic recovery, and to this day we’ve received nothing, absolutely nothing,” said López Obrador.
Finally, in his speech in Guatemala, he stated that the American continent must move towards economic integration without discrimination. The ideological differences should not play a role. The Mexican President stated:
“Enough of hegemony, enough of the policies that have been imposed on our America for more than two centuries. We need unity, we need respect for the sovereignty of all countries.”
And further: “The Usumacinta and Suchiate rivers are not walls. They should regain the status of arteries of commerce, culture and brotherhood they once had when the Olmec and the Mayans, our ancestors, sailed their waters.”
Andrés Manuel López Obrador began a tour of Central America in the first week of May, visiting Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Cuba.
Create jobs to curb migration
Mexico stepped up this diplomatic offensive with a meeting of its Secretary of State Marcelo Ebrard in Washington with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of National Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Ebrard again called for the United States to double its investment in Central America to create jobs and curb migration.
Mexico expects the flow of migrants to the United States to increase further in the coming months as the special measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted there in May. Under this pretext, migrants were violently arrested and expelled. The USA has so far passed on the migration problems to its neighboring country Mexico without providing the country with any material support.
In light of this, Mexico’s proposal calls for redoubling efforts to create jobs and improved living conditions in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala so that their citizens are not forced to leave their countries for the United States.
At the Washington meetings, Foreign Minister Gebrard proposed a joint conference to coordinate both countries’ investments to create jobs in Central America.
Mexico invested a hundred million in Central America
Mexico has already committed $100 million to projects like The Seed of Life, which support local agriculture and sustainable farming practices. In El Salvador, 10,000 producers are receiving support from the Mexican government to work in their villages.
In addition, the Mexican government has proposed that the US grant temporary work permits to Central American citizens, as the US needs workers and this could regulate the flow of migration.
Gebrard urged Washington to react quickly. It is no longer about long-term steps, you have to act immediately, otherwise the flow of refugees will become uncontrollable.
March saw an unprecedented record in arrests of undocumented immigrants at the US-Mexico border. According to data from the Office of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), border officials intercepted 221,303 migrants, up 33 percent from February. This is the highest level in 22 years.
López Obrador commented on the aim of the recovery program with the words:
“No one should be forced to experience the dangers of traveling through Mexico, or the discrimination and police persecution north of the Rio Grande; people should only emigrate — that only those who wish to emigrate for friendlier reasons should emigrate. That migration should be a free choice be and not forced by hunger.”
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