Vacancy of US ambassador to Mexico could hurt relations

World Today

The United States has not had an ambassador to Mexico for almost six months. By all accounts, it has little to do with the qualifications of the nominee. It’s about politics.

CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports from Mexico City.
Follow Martin Markovits on Twitter @MartinMarkovits

Vacancy of US ambassador to Mexico could hurt relations

The United States has not had an ambassador to Mexico for almost six months. By all accounts, it has little to do with the qualifications of the nominee. It’s about politics.

Roberta Jacobson has one of the best resumes in diplomacy. Skilled in Latin America politics and considered one of the best trade negotiators in her profession, her confirmation to become U.S. ambassador to Mexico seemed like a sure thing.

It all changed when U.S. Senator Marco Rubio from the state of Florida (Rubio is also running for president of the U.S) blocked her nomination because of her role as chief negotiator in Washington’s move to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.

For the last six months, Mexico, the United States’ third biggest trade partner, has not had a U.S. ambassador. This could seriously affect bilateral relations for two countries which share a 2,000 mile border and are partners in numerous security and trade agreements.

The next ambassador will have many challenges including the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, human rights, security cooperation, drug trafficking and an immigration crisis with thousands of people flowing north from Central America hoping to get into the United States.

The effort is stalled for now in large part because of Senator Rubio, one of the biggest critics of President Obama’s rapprochement with Havana.

Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and is driven by a strong contempt of the Castro-led Cuban government.

It’s unlikely any ambassador will be confirmed until after the upcoming U.S. presidential election this fall.

The recent capture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman shows that both countries are going to have to collaborate more. A challenge made much harder without an ambassador.

CCTV America