LatinaLista — On the heels of yesterday’s release of the comprehensive US-Mexico border security initiative, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived for two days of talks with Mexican government officials.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
(Source: El Universal)
She may find the reception a little frio (chilly) in some corners. Latina Lista has been hearing from sources in Mexico that many Mexicans take exception to the U.S. media’s characterization of Mexico as a violent-prone, failed state of a country.
In fact, one bilingual blogger at El Universal newspaper, Ana Maria Salazar Slack, cites a recent Gallup poll that shows Mexicans have a less positive view of the United States than before â€” it went from 76 percent in 2006 to 62 percent in 2008.
Not surprising since the same blogger cites a Gallup poll showing that US citizens have an equally low perception of Mexico.
Yet, perceptions aside, Mexicans are taking the visit from SOS Clinton seriously. The bloggers reported that the press conference with Clinton, scheduled after her meeting with President Calderon, was more than an hour late in starting.
It left a lot of time for rumors to start flying fast and furious about who the new ambassador to Mexico will be.
In a call about two weeks ago, a source in Mexico City said she had heard rumors that three individuals were lobbying for the post of ambassador to Mexico in Washington. In reading the El Universal blog of Anna Maria, I find that she narrows the rumor mill down to one candidate â€” Carlos Pascual.
Rumor has it, that the appointee to be USâ€™s next ambassador to Mexico may be Carlos Pascual, PascualÂ´s background: Career diplomat with 23 years in the U.S. Dept of State, National Security Council and the U.S. A.I.D., Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Most recent State Department post: Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization.
Currently vice president and director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, a D.C. based think tank, with expertise on post-conflict stabilization and international security policy. Born in Cuba and fled to U.S. with parents as a child.
If this rumor is true, this appointment would surely surprise many and Pascual should expect that in Mexico there will be a special focus on the last post he held at the State Department. Mexicans will be very sensitive about this appointment and will question whether he is â€œclose enoughâ€ to Barack Obama. However, there is a lot to be said for appointing a career ambassador to what could potentially be a very difficult time between Mexico and the U.S.
Sec. of State Hillary Clinton joins Mexican Foreign Minister Espinosa at an afternoon press conference.
(Source: Ana Maria Salazar)
While it’s natural that Mexicans would have more than a passing interest on who is appointed ambassador to Mexico, it’s a topic that has some of us also wondering who fits the criteria of not just having diplomatic experience but, in many ways, will serve as the front person for the new US-Mexico Border Security initiative.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.