Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he would press his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden to open dialogue with Cuba after hosting talks at the weekend aimed at containing a sharp increase in U.S.-bound migration from Latin America.
Cubans have been among the nationalities most often apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, and Lopez Obrador argues the U.S. economic embargo of the country is “a flagrant violation of human rights” and should be ended.
Lopez Obrador on Sunday met leaders from Latin America, including Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in the southern state of Chiapas to explore ways to get migration under control.
“It was precisely one of the agreements of yesterday’s meeting: that bilateral dialogue be promoted between the United States and Cuba to reach an agreement and resolve pending issues,” he told a regular news conference.
Lopez Obrador is due to meet Biden during a summit in San Francisco next month, and said he would raise Cuba with him.
He noted he would also present Biden with what the Latin American leaders had set out as priorities on migration and economic development during their weekend talks.
Mexico’s government said those discussions centered on addressing the root causes of migration, including development, and that it was offering cooperation via social programs as well as on oil and gas, electricity and renewable energy.
Before the talks, Lopez Obrador said he would encourage the leaders to consider setting up centers for handling asylum claims in migrants’ countries of origin instead of Mexico.
Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher Editing by Dave Graham and Marguerita Choy
Featured image: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador listens during a summit of leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean in the southern city of Palenque looking to broker accords to curb a recent jump in migrants bound for the U.S. border, in Palenque, Mexico in this handout picture distributed to Reuters on October 22, 2023. Mexico Presidency/Handout via REUTERS