As experts in international relations have made clear in recent days, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which is more than a multilateral organization with real weight and influence, has been a tool that some governments have resorted to to promote at the international or political level. Interests – the internal use of clients or political strategies. Without much more importance than that.
This has been the case since its inception in 2010; Similar to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), although not to the point of exploitation with which the last Venezuelan regime led. This condition appeared again at the top of Mexico City, without any tangible benefit to Mexicans: on the contrary.
The transcendental end of incorporation into speeches and bureaucratic documents has been abandoned; before and now. As the facts have shown, there is no such possibility at the moment, and there is no intention. As we have seen, with the direct criticism of the leaders of Uruguay and Paraguay against the dictatorships or failed democracies and/or fragmented (as they prefer to call them) Cuba and Venezuela. Beyond statements, how can the union be seen there?
It is so important in practice that our country can gain anything in creating a phased supply, rather than integration, it can only lead to further division and deepen the practical irrelevance of a device like Celac. Less so in trying to establish itself as a regional leader defending governments that are questionable and polarized. Even worse, denounce the Organization of American States (OAS), which has the support of the majority of the continent’s countries, our neighbor and trading partner the United States, and our partner Canada. Instead, we lose reliability: we are not seen as a serious international actor.
The limited number of meetings was apparent, which meant, from the start, that any ad that went off the top would lack representation. And the leaders of the countries with the greatest demographic, economic and political weight, especially Brazil, Colombia and Chile, which initially excluded the trip of their leaders, did not attend, and then Argentina, which was canceled at the last minute.
Far from creating a Confederation in Latin America and defeating the Organization of American States, it was emphasized that no capacity for reconciliation was necessary, neither from Selak nor from our government. In exchange for estrangement and international criticism of our country for having ended up doing regimes like the Venezuelans and Cubans, when these same days the island was directly challenged in the European Union for human rights violations.
Insisting on a so-called leadership on the stipulated terms, with what is happening in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, can bring us serious problems in matters and national interests that have national weight and importance, beyond rhetoric. It is worth noting that unnecessary disputes are with our largest trading partner and investor, as well as with the second partner, the European Union itself.
It is necessary to locate the concrete interests of our country: we are highly dependent on foreign trade, which accounts for more than 78% of GDP, and the United States concentrates three quarters of our exports and about 47% of imports. We sell them about $360 billion a year and buy more than $206 billion from them.
The next destinations for our exports are the European Union (4.7%) and Canada (3.1%). To put it in perspective, Mexico’s exports to Cuba do not reach $500 million a year, and our imports do not exceed $21 million. On the other hand, we sell to Colombia about $6 billion and they are to us over $2 billion, thanks in part to the important Pacific Alliance trade and economic agreement.
It can be said that with respect to Cubans, we have a close emotional, cultural and historical relationship: of course. But also with Colombians and other Latin American countries. Speaking of the OAS as a vassal body, isn’t that a relinquishment of those who recognize it?
The same applies to the case of the United States: More than 36 million people of Mexican descent live there and we share a border of more than 3,100 km with this country, with many large cross-border cities. US Ambassador Ken Salazar hits the nail on the head: With the challenges we face in bilateral relations – immigration, trade and security – why are we so distracted?
There is talk of brotherhood with the peoples of Latin America, and our neighbor is criticized for the alleged embargo that the Cuban regime has used as a pretext to obstruct democracy for more than 60 years. However, our country today acts as an immigration guard preventing the passage of desperate Latin American immigrants on their journey to the United States. We cannot pretend that these contradictions go unnoticed in the world. Not to mention assuming ourselves as regional leaders in the south and reliable allies in the north.
Mexico has maintained a reputation for serious diplomacy. Let’s take care of it. International politics must be well grounded in our nation’s true interests, not in ideologies or internal political goals.
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