Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Clinton’s visit to Mexico spurs rumors as to who will be next US ambassador to Mexico

Clinton’s visit to Mexico spurs rumors as to who will be next US ambassador to Mexico

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 — 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 — Carlos Pascual.

Rumor has it, that the appointee to be US’s next ambassador to Mexico may be Carlos Pascual, Pascual´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 “close enough” 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.

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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.

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  • Barbara in Puerto
    March 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Down here in Oaxaca, there is a rumor floating around that Bill Richardson is on the list…

  • Irma
    March 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I am not surprised that Mexicans in Mexico take issue with the perception in this country that their country has been overrun by crime and the drug lords.
    Friends from Mexico city say that there is some truth to this – as some say that they know someone else who has recieved
    a threatening phone call regarding their home or their family.
    It is also “Mexican” to be anti US. This antagonism is an old one – the origins of which stem to a dispute over territories that formerly belonged to Mexico.
    Still, for all that antagonism, many choose to leave Mexico for the US –
    my family did.
    I actually think that the US Ambassador should not be Bill Richardson. Frankly,
    I think a better choice would someone who is not of Mexican heritage. The nominee , however, should definitely learn to speak Spanish.

  • Karen
    March 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    He would be a good choice. The reality is that our government has to pressure the Mexican government to change. The situation the way it is can’t go on. In addition, we have to either repeal or renegotiate NAFTA, so that workers on both sides of the border are not hurt.

  • Horace
    March 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Seems that memories of illegal alien advocates are short in this blog. Richardson had to pull his name from Commerce Secretary because he was under investigation by the FBI (and still is) for illegal activity in his state, so I hardly think that he’ll be chosen for ambassador to Mexico.

  • adriana
    March 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    It is interesting that you say that the US Ambassador to Mexico should not be someone with Mexican heritage. The Mexican Ambassador to the US is actually Armenian. Really, the job should go to the best woman or man who can forge better relationships and problem solve.
    This piece by Al Giordano quotes Naomi Klein with some interesting info about Pascual:

  • Karen
    March 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Re: “Frankly,
    I think a better choice would someone who is not of Mexican heritage.”

  • Karen
    March 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I read the link you posted and it’s scary. Have you read “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein?
    If they appoint that Cuban as Ambassador to Mexico, that will be confirmation. Usually when they are going to do dirty work in Latin America, they put a Cuban in charge to oversee it. That’s what they did in Central America in the 1980s.

  • adriana
    March 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Karen, I have not read “The Shock Doctrine” yet, but it is on my to read list.
    I have another blog post about the US ambassador to Mexico with lots of detail and analysis from Seneca, my co-blogger:

  • Irma
    March 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    My reason for suggesting that the US Ambassador to Mexico NOT be Mexican, is to try to avoid the suggestion of BIAS.
    The American public should have confidence that the Ambassador will
    represent US not Mexican interests.
    Anyone of Mexican heritage will of course
    be viewed by the public with suspicion.
    Yes, a Mexican American like Richardson
    is qualified to do the job. But should
    he get the job ? I say no.

  • Karen
    April 1, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Re: “Anyone of Mexican heritage will of course
    be viewed by the public with suspicion.”
    That’s racist, and only racists would view this with suspicion. We don’t cater to racists.
    According to your “reasoning” we should never appoint any white ambassadors to European countries because they might be viwed as putting European interests ahead of America’s intrests. Right?
    For your information we have had two Mexican-American Ambassadors to Mexico: Tony Garza and John Gavin.

  • Irma
    April 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Both Tony Garza and John Gavin were disasters,,,,,,,,,
    “Only racists would view this with suspicion.”
    Wake up, this is a reality that that our
    government has to face. Obama needs
    to get re-elected doesnt he?
    One must be practical about making political appointments. Thats what vetting is all about and yes that may include some behind the scenes consideration about the ethnic/culture of the appointee. How many Mexican Americans have been appointed to an
    Ambassadorship that wasnt for a Latin
    American country ? One , maybe ?
    I guess we cant be the Ambassador to
    a European country ? Now THATS racist.

  • Sandra
    April 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    If a politican has a track record of putting ethnocentric interests, including those in foreign countries above the interests of this country, then no he/she would not make a good ambassador. I don’t know of any white politicians who put those of Irish or German descent in this country or the countries of Ireland or Germany above the interests of this country.

  • Horace
    April 2, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Irma said: It is also “Mexican” to be anti US. This antagonism is an old one – the origins of which stem to a dispute over territories that formerly belonged to Mexico.
    Yeah, the U.S. is the scapegoat for the Mexican’s frustrations with their own government’s failures. It’s easier for them to focus on the U.S. for what should be a long forgiven offense than to address the solutions to the hard social and economic problems on the home front.
    Do Germany and Japan wallow in the self-pity for their defeats in WWII?
    Mexicans do harm to their own situation by dwelling over a war that ended 150 years ago. The Japanese and Germans are mature enough to have GOTTEN OVER IT! Pounded to a pulp, these two nations have become far more successful than a Mexico that’s not suffered a war since 1847.

  • Irma
    April 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Europe in general routinely denigrates the US as a sort of defensive measure in direct denial that we bailed them out twice.
    No they have not gotten over it. Wake up!
    Dont forget we REBUILT Germany and Japan. The US has NEVER invested that much in Mexico. Seems rather stupid too, since that kind of investment that was needed in the past PALES in comparison to what was spent to prop up Germany and Japan after WWII.
    What about Ted Kennedy ? He has been pushing Irish interests (legal or not)
    for years…………

  • Karen
    April 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Irma: “Both Tony Garza and John Gavin were disasters”
    Says you. lol Your racism is astounding. So much fear…
    Horace: People like you are the ones who are obsessed with what happened in the Southwest 150 years ago. You’re always telling Mexican-Americans to forget our history, but you don’t forget yours.
    It also seems that you are very ignorant about our government’s relationship with the Mexican ruling class. Newsflash: Our government supports the Mexican ruling class. That’s why so many people complain about what our government is doing down there. The media ignore all of this, which is why many people don’t know.
    During the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the United States intervened on behalf of Mexico’s dictator. Right now, our government has implemented something callled “Plan Mexico/The Merida Plan,” which is providing hundreds of millions of dollars to the Mexican military. The ostensible goal is to stem drug violence, but it is also to put down protests, Indian civil rights movements–in other words anybody who opposes the emerging Mexican police state. Why do you think the Quuen just gave Mexican President Calderon a copy of 1984? Even she knows what’s going on down there.
    The cuurent President of Mexico did not win the election. He was selected by their Supreme Court just like Dubya. They elected a liberal who wanted to eliminate income inequality. The ruling class wants to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Hence Plan Mexico.
    As for Japan and Germany, after WWII we gave them money to rebuild their countries. Why would they be angry? Nobody is exploiting them.

  • Irma
    April 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Hello, they resent us BECAUSE we built them up. Doesnt make sense, but it IS
    human nature. That is the same reason the Europeans think we are a bunch of uncivilized dorks….. They resent the fact we HELPED them. This is human nature.
    I repeat Tony Garza and John Gavin were disasters. Seems to me , our problems with Mexico has only gotten worse.

  • Karen
    April 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Irma: “I repeat Tony Garza and John Gavin were disasters.”
    There is no evidence to support your claim that they did a poor job, or that they were worse than any white Ambassador to Mexico. You’re just racist.
    As for immigration, the Brookings Institute and the current interim Ambassador to Mexico Leslie A. Bassett (a white woman) have just made speeches about the future of the United States and Mexico and they both see migration as permanent. They’re just trying to come up with ways to streamline it.
    So blame white leaders, as they are ones who control the global economy, which relies on a steady supply of exploited non-white laborers.

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