Biden: Accept Help

The North American Leaders’ Summit is over. President Joe Biden returned to Washington to fight a tough political battle. In his hands he carries a key that Andrés Manuel López Obrador — metaphorically — gave him, and with which he could, if he would and if they let him, open doors and find a way out of some of the serious problems that he, his government and the U.S. are facing.

Biden is reeling from the devastating effects of the pandemic; the Russia-Ukraine war; the threat to political, commercial and military hegemony that China represents; the internal economic crisis; the pressure exerted on the southern border by masses of migrants; the fentanyl plague and the belligerence of a Republican right wing that intends to investigate him and perhaps even impeach him.

This is a propitious moment, like no other in history: The extreme vulnerability of Biden and the U.S. could facilitate a new understanding that would redefine relations between our countries.

No other U.S. president has ever needed more support and cooperation on an equal basis from a Mexican president.

And it is not just any president but one like López Obrador with impeccable democratic credentials and enormous citizen support that crosses the border and is strongly felt among the 40 million Mexicans living in the U.S.

A president who firmly and clearly upholds his convictions and has an inalienable commitment to the defense of sovereignty.

A man of the left who is also aware of the inevitable need for the integration of North America.

Turning the region — as, in fact, the three leaders agreed at the end of the Summit, endorsing López Obrador’s proposal — into one of the most prosperous in the world would have a direct impact on the battered domestic economy of the U.S. and would strengthen its position vis-à-vis China.

The only effective way to stem the migratory tide is to end “that oblivion, that abandonment, that disdain for Latin America and the Caribbean, as opposed,” as the Mexican president said, “to the good neighbor policy of that titan of freedom, Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” thus promoting integration with the rest of the continent.

Accustomed, on the other hand, to seeing the mob boss in their neighbor’s eye and ignoring the local drug cartel in their own, U.S. leaders have done nothing but evade their responsibility in the real fight against drug trafficking, where, to be effective, it should be waged: in their own territory and against U.S. criminal organizations.

The fentanyl plague will not be stopped in Culiacán but on Wall Street — which needs and benefits so much from drug money — and in the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where judges, police and DEA agents protect their local drug lords.

As long as big U.S. cartels continue to operate with impunity, as long as they send guns and dollars to Mexican drug lords, young people will continue to die in the U.S. The war on drugs is not the solution. Peace is a product of justice; drug addiction is a public health issue.

López Obrador effectively told Biden to accept help. Could it be that the U.S. president decides to use the key he has in his hand? Could it be that he can do more than his adversaries or his own allies? Could it be that a dignified, different, fair relationship is possible between our country, the U.S. and the rest of the continent? I would like to think so, to dream, like Simón Bolívar, of a “united America, queen of nations and mother of republics.”

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 180 Articles
I began contributing to Watching America in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with its dedicated translators and editors. Latin America, where I lived and worked for over four years, is of special interest to me. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy the beauty of this rural state and traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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