Diplomatic cables | Understanding the Neighbor – El Sol de México


I remember that when they offered me a job in Washington, D.C., they sent the official letter with the offer to my old address in the Coyoacan district of Mexico City; Plus email, of course, because in Mexico mail isn’t used for that kind of thing and it took a long time for the message to arrive (but they had to send both). At the time I was living in a small apartment in a small neighborhood where I remember being very happy. And when I got the famous call to my address at the time, I thought the person in the HR department – from his office on a downtown Washington street – wouldn’t have many ideas about how to write “Coyoacán” (or any other name). like that) and I don’t know what kind of neighborhood or neighborhood it would be or anything like that. In the same way I think of a formal communication received a few years ago in my Washington office in which an institution in Mexico directly notified the head of my organization of a change in the formal association and reiterated the “linkage” between the two organizations and requested a formal meeting to notify the said event. I remember that the head of my organization did not understand the purpose of the meeting, because it was just a matter of protocol.

And so I can imagine many scenarios and events where both countries act automatically and attribute reasons, ways of thinking and reasoning to the neighbor that don’t necessarily correspond to the way things are done on a daily basis on the other side. Although the two examples you gave are blunt and simple, the truth is that this way of working is not just about the way we communicate, but also about the reasons why we do it and that we often think the other knows well.

I can say that sometimes, after many years of witnessing different cultural overlaps, Mexico and the United States (their society and culture) are much less similar than we imagine; And that’s something that always amazed me, because I’ve imagined that Mexico City and Washington would be much closer to each other, and the truth is that sometimes, that’s not the case. Sometimes I think Washington is closer to Berlin and Mexico than Paris.

But for the same reason, it is perhaps useful to extrapolate from the past practice of politics and not to suppose that when a neighbor does things, he has a certain logic which we attribute to him. Sometimes he does, as in the case of messages and communications, because it is a protocol, his culture, or his tradition; It speaks to inner audiences and we mistake it for doing things to send specific signals. I think that is not the case. I think the explanation in the relationship between the two is much simpler and less complex: each does things because it is in their nature, and that is what defines them. If we apply this perspective, I think we can re-evaluate the relationship between the two in light of another perspective.

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