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Op-Ed: Mexico criticizes the U.S. for its quick aid to Ukraine — blaming bureaucracy

Mexican President López Obrador is critical of the U.S. for its quick action in approving aid to Ukraine.

Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Source - EneasMx (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Source - EneasMx (CC BY-SA 4.0)

President López Obrador on Tuesday questioned why the United States Congress is taking so long to approve aid for Central American countries when it promptly authorized resources to help Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Lopez Obrador pointed out how quickly the U.S. Congress approved the $13.6 billion emergency military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine earlier this month, while “support for the Central American brothers is already for four years and it’s not approved,” he said at his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

López Obrador has long pushed for the United States to invest more in Central America to help tackle the causes of migration. U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged at least $4 billion to promote development in Central America and southern Mexico.

“The United States) has just authorized resources, and that is fine because it is its policy to protect Ukraine … but that was approved by the U.S. Congress I think in two days, and the support for the Central American brothers is already for four years and it’s not approved,” Lopez Obrador added.

“The relationship is very good, but there is also a lot of bureaucracy there,” López Obrador added, referring to the United States.

The squeaky wheel wants to be greased

Without a doubt, the world is at a critical point because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What is happening in Ukraine could easily escalate into something no right-minded person would ever want to witness.

Yet, for some countries, like Mexico, instead of looking at the global geopolitical ramifications of the Russian invasion, all the Mexican president can see is that his needs are not being met.

The U.S. Congress “just authorized resources for Ukraine and that’s fine because it’s their policy to protect Ukraine, they’ve decided that,” Lopez Obrador said, according to Mexico News Daily.

AMLO also questioned why a commitment to regularize the migratory status of more than 10 million Mexicans who “live and work honestly in the United States” hasn’t been acted upon.

“Why is this initiative stalled in the Congress? Isn’t it important? Why don’t they approve the resources for Central America?” he asked.

“I saw what was approved for Ukraine. … With all respect, it was an amount much greater than what’s needed to support the poor people of Central American and Caribbean countries,” López Obrador said.

“The truth is the [bilateral] relation is very good but there is a lot of bureaucracy there as well. I think that the [United States] elephant is bigger and more rheumatic than ours,” López Obrador said, once again using the world’s largest land animal as a metaphor for cumbersome bureaucracy.

The profits of war?

According to the Times of San Diego, Lopez Obrador is also claiming that Mexico stands to come out “smelling like a rose” because of the war in Ukraine.

To quote the Times, they write that AMLO on Monday said “Mexico will get an investment boost on the back of the Ukraine war, predicting that capital once destined for Russia and other emerging economies will move into his country.”

“With this new economic crisis resulting from the war, Mexico becomes if not the first, then the second or third country with most investment opportunities in the world,” Lopez Obrador told a regular morning news conference.

Of course, AMLO cited an unidentified “financial report” for his assertion, and he also predicted a boost in economic growth and employment.

Lopez Obrador, being a populist, despises bureaucracy and is quick to blame it for anything not going according to his plans. He may call it the elephant in the halls of the U.S. Congress but in most free nations, it is the concept that helps lend a semblance of structure and rules to government.

And personally, right now, you could ask yourself which is more important – Helping out a fellow ally in saving their country from an invasion, or giving money to a few countries to help them change their immigration patterns?


The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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