Mexico is ready to help in U.S.-Cuba talks

The spokesman for the Mexican government, Eduardo Sánchez Fernández, said on Wednesday (Jan. 7) that Mexico will “cooperate” in the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba once it knows “the agenda” of actions that will lead to that objective, the news agency EFE reports.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with President Obama in the White House on Tuesday, to discuss various topics of mutual interest, including U.S.-Cuba relations.

Eduardo Sánchez Fernández
Eduardo Sánchez Fernández

According to EFE, Sánchez said that “we’d have to know which are the channels and topics for communication between the United States and Cuba, but, of course, that task will be done once the countries involved in that relationship have determined their agendas.”

Asked about an eventual mediation by Mexican officials or the possibility that Mexico might furnish a site for U.S.-Cuba talks, Sánchez said that “so far” he is not aware of the content of the process to be followed by both governments.

In statements made to the press after the meeting between the Mexican and U.S. presidents, Obama said:

“I described [to Peña Nieto] my initiative to end the 50-year policy with relation to Cuba, to move towards what we hope will be a more constructive policy but one that continues to emphasize human rights and democracy and political freedom. And at the Summit of the Americas, one of the things I informed Peña Nieto is we will participate but we’ll insist that those topics are on the agenda.”

In turn, Peña Nieto praised “the very audacious decision that you’ve made to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, with President Castro and your countries. And we have offered our desire, our hope to collaborate in this effort so that as soon as possible you can continue with this reestablishment of relations with Cuba and that you can accomplish all the purposes you have set up to accomplish.

“And Mexico will be a tireless supporter of the good relationship between two neighbors.”

[To read the full text of the presidential statements, click here.]

[For an account of the talks in Mexico’s presidential website, click here.]


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