In his column in El Financiero newspaper, veteran journalist Pablo Hiriart mentioned this week a topic that has caused many expectations, especially for those close to the Lopez Obrador government.
MIAMI Florida (Pablo Hiriart / El Financiero) – It is well known that the Trump-AMLO relationship was a good one since the Mexican president lived in an eternal genuflexion, something that satisfied Trump enormously. In exchange, he let Lopez Obrador do with the country and the USMCA whatever he wanted. Everything seems to indicate that things have changed.
The government of Mexico will have to prepare for a new relationship with the United States because Joseph Biden’s ways, vision of the world, our neighborhood, and cooperation are utterly different from those of Donald Trump.
-Will there be revenge for the Mexican president’s support of Trump in the campaign? -No, no. The past will remain in the past. There are too many issues on the list to have “high school fights.”
That’s the opinion of Shannon O’Neil, the prestigious chief researcher for Latin American studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
In an interview, she analyzes for EL FINANCIERO the confrontation points that are foreseen between AMLO’s and Biden’s governments. She points out: climate change, democracy, transparency, human rights, press relations, the energy sector, and security in general if Mexico does not agree to collaborate.
This issue is not interventionist since it responds to a reality that is becoming more palpable every day: “what happens in Mexico impacts the United States and vice versa.”
O’Neil explains that Trump only cared about Mexico catching migrants and didn’t give importance to the rest of the issues. That will change. Biden will have a functioning cabinet with a defined policy toward Mexico. The secretaries, undersecretaries, will play their part, and there will no longer be a Jared Kushner to run the relationship.
Synthesize: as of January 20, there will be an institutional relationship that did not exist with Trump, and Ebrard will have to speak with Blinken (Antony, the next Secretary of State) and with the Undersecretary for the Western Hemisphere.
The new U.S. ambassador to Mexico will talk to the press, political and social actors, businessmen, and governors. It will be different.
-Was the offer of asylum to Assange a provocation to Biden? Is there an anti-U.S. spin in the Mexican government coming? Hiriart asked O’neal. -I instead think AMLO is trying to mark his territory before Biden. However, it looks strange the Assange’s asylum because of violence against women (which he is accused of in Sweden). We will have to see how the Mexican government acts in this new relationship, because – says Shannon O’Neil – there is a part of Morena that does understand how the world works: Romo, Graciela Márquez, Gerardo Esquivel (none of them are in the cabinet anymore), and there is another part that seeks to return to the seventies.
The author of “Two Indivisible Nations” takes up the main topic on Biden’s agenda, which is climate change: “Mexico is one of the few countries in the world that has a public policy of returning to fossil fuels, to the dirty energies of the past. That is going to be very difficult in the relationship. The United States is going to start from the beginning of the Biden administration to reduce emissions. There will be a point of conflict there”.
The next administration “is going to defend the rights of companies in the energy sector. Mexico is not complying with contracts and is changing the rules. There will be conflicts for not complying with contracts and agreements”.
The chief investigator of the Foreign Affairs Council notes that both Congress and President Biden’s team “are concerned about the military’s growing role in Mexico. Human rights are fundamental to the bilateral relationship. We will see a lot of that in the next few years: human rights.
Migration is again a severe problem in these months. In recent October and November, migrant flows increased sharply: seventy thousand a month. We had reached the same levels as when the situation became a crisis with Trump, says O’Neil.
“We will have to rebuild the immigration system, which was destroyed, and the two governments will have to work to control the flow of people. In other words, the problem is back.
Security? With Trump, the issue of security was not important, “and now we will see a priority approach to that issue, security, to international criminal organizations. We need to renegotiate the Merida Initiative because it’s not working.
Shannon O’Neil reiterates in the long video call Miami-New York: “in the new government, they are not about revenge. They are professionals. They will enforce the agreements”.
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