The News
Monday 24 of June 2024

'Expel Roberta'

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico,photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell
Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico,photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell
Why expel the North Korean ambassador and not the U.S.?

On Tuesday, syndicated columnist and The News editor Raymundo Riva Palacio published in Spanish in several national newspapers and article headlined “Expel Roberta” in which he discussed two very hot issues inflaming Mexican opinion nowadays: why now former North Korean ambassador Kim Hyong Gil was kicked out of Mexico by President Enrique Peña Nieto and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray’s response to the misdeeds of leader Kim Jong-un.

The question Rivapalacio poses is why the North Korean ambassador and not the U.S., as President Donald Trump has a heinously nasty habit of destabilizing Mexico and offending Mexicans.

“For the past two years, Trump has been insulting Mexico, Mexicans, immigrants of Mexican origin and national institutions. He has called us all drug traffickers, rapists, criminals and scum. This must be stopped at the border without any consideration. His threats to sanction anyone who invests in Mexico forced multinational companies that had worked for years in this country and had expansion programs to cancel their plan and move their new operations to the United States, when faced with the fear that Trump instilled in them. Thousands of jobs were lost for Mexicans, and some cities in Central Mexico, which depended on these investments, are going to suffer economic problems.”

Kim Jong-un never did this to Mexico and probably never will, said Riva Palacio.

Still, Hyong Gil was forced to leave the country — my sources close to the Interior Secretariat (Segob) claim that he was still in still in the nation Tuesday and did not leave Sunday as we all supposed he did — while Ambassador Roberta Jacobson should be measured with the same gauge given “her proclivity to meddle with internal affairs.”

The affairs Ms. Jacobson has meddled with are like “talking about the justice procurement and administration system without being summoned to make an estrangement.”

In defense of Ambassador Jacobson and not to contradict Raymundo, she has meddled some into the changes that are still being made in the Mexican legal system but in all cases within the agreements made in the Merida Initiative, in which case she’s acting within the law. That’s not meddling but enforcing the investment the United States has made — since the George W. Bush days — to change Mexico’s unfair and faulty juridical system.

Meddling in internal affairs — and I pointed it out last year when it happened — was to have Jacobson parade en masse with the LGBT community down Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, as that was indeed a political statement for which nobody protested or cared about.

But the crux of this article is not the ambassadors but the positioning the President Peña Nieto — with the advent Secretary Videgaray has taken.

“The United States behaves with Mexico as if it was its protectorate and its representative [Jacobson] a sort of proconsul. The Mexican government should have calculated that the cost of being on its knees before Washington is higher than the benefit of the relationship in spite of the constant spits.”

Riva Palacio finishes his article saying that “Videgaray has modified [Mexican] foreign policy with Venezuela and now with North Korea, both of who the United States has differences with. Is Videgaray being a servant of Washington? If so, in exchange for what? Is this good for Mexico? Up until now we have seen nothing tangible in return, either for the Peña Nieto administration or the nation.”

In the end, the real problem is that Mr. Videgaray has broken up Mexico’s traditional non-intervention policies as practiced by the Foreign Relations Secretariat since 1934 known as the “Estrada Doctrine” which Videgaray, an economist and not a diplomat, has shown no respect for.

What Videgaray has managed with this open confrontation policy against friendly nations is that he has spiked a hornets’ nest in Mexico against him and Peña Nieto.

And to think that this fellow dreamed himself president!

Videgaray came down crashing the moment he brought Donald Trump to Mexico on Aug. 31, 2016, only to cause an angry uproar that cost him his post as Treasury and Public Finance Secretary at the time. He’s at it again now versus North Korea, and whatever adds up in the coming week.

But for sure, Videgaray will never expel Roberta! Trump may!