Joe Biden highlighted on Monday night, on the occasion of the Bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence, the deep ties of friendship with the neighboring country and the strength of diplomatic and economic cooperation ties. “The United States does not have a closer friend than Mexico,” said the US president in a video broadcast during the ceremony, in which Andrés Manuel López Obrador has exhibited the support of dozens of governments. Surrounded by senior international representatives and envoys from Europe, Asia and America, the president has listened to the congratulations of France, Italy, the Vatican, Russia, India and Belize, among other countries.
Biden’s message is especially relevant because of the day-to-day repercussions of bilateral relations on both sides of the border. “My Government”, he assured, “is committed to continue building on this foundation to strengthen and expand the relationship between our peoples in ways that benefit us all.” The president of the United States, Mexico’s main trading partner, also celebrated the new impetus that both countries gave in early September to the High Level Economic Dialogue (Dean) with the purpose of supporting each other during the economic recovery.
Despite the frictions that have arisen in recent months, mainly in matters of migration, security and the application of the trade agreement between the two countries and Canada, the T-MEC, Biden has promised that his Administration is committed to “strengthening and expanding the relationship”. “Throughout our history, we have learned that we are stronger when we come together as neighbors, partners and friends,” he said. The recording sent by Biden replaces the words that the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, would have had to address from the Zócalo in Mexico City. López Obrador announced weeks ago his participation in the Bicentennial events, but the head of US diplomacy canceled the visit.
During the military parade on September 16, the Mexican president, who today described his message as “very satisfactory”, called on Biden to lift the economic blockade of Havana. He did so accompanied by the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and in front of the new US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, who was attending his first official act in the country. The democrat finally decided to join, even from a distance, in the commemoration of this Monday, an act that culminates a year of historical celebrations and vindication of sovereignty.
López Obrador has avoided mentioning Spain except to say that “what happened 200 years ago forever marked the political separation” of the country. No official representative of the Government of Pedro Sánchez participated in the ceremony. The ambassador to Mexico, Juan López-Dóriga, excused himself for indisposition. The disagreements began in early 2019, when the Mexican president demanded an apology from Madrid and the Vatican for the excesses of the conquest. That forgiveness did not come, although in all essentials the natural channels of cooperation have not been affected.
The politician had announced at the beginning of his speech that he would dedicate the day “to exalting the importance of maintaining friendly relations with all the nations of the world.” Thus, he has thanked various governments, especially those of France, Russia, Italy, as well as the Vatican. Pope Francis sent a letter of congratulations to the president of the Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Rogelio Cabrera López, in which he invited them to “heal the wounds” of the past. The bishop has read it at the president’s morning press conference. In it, Jorge Mario Bergoglio acknowledges that “to strengthen the roots it is necessary to re-read the past, taking into account both the lights and the shadows that have shaped the history of the country.” “This retrospective look necessarily includes a process of purification of memory, that is, recognizing the mistakes made in the past, which have been very painful.
For this reason, on various occasions both my predecessors and myself have asked forgiveness for personal and social sins, for all actions or omissions that did not contribute to evangelization, ”he wrote. However, Francis called not “to evoke the pains of the past” without moving forward, “but to learn from them and continue taking steps in order to heal the wounds, to cultivate an open and respectful dialogue between differences and to build the long-awaited fraternity. prioritizing the common good over particular interests, tensions and conflicts ”.
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