Two years ago, President Barack Obama vowed to make Mexico a top priority during his administration. He condemned the fact that "the United States has not lived up to its historic role as a leader in the Western Hemisphere". He called George W. Bush's approach to Latin America "clumsy, disinterested and, above all, distracted by the war in Iraq." The future president promised he would break the mold and establish "a renewed strategic partnership with Mexico."
This has not happened. Obama has proven to be as distracted and clumsy as his predecessor. First came his mismanagement of last year's Honduran coup. The United States flip-flopped on the sidelines in the face of this blatant power grab. The region´s strongmen have now learned that they can violently depose democratically elected leaders without running into trouble from Washington.
The Mexican case is similar. Once again, Obama has refused to put democracy first. Wednesday was a case in point. Instead of taking advantage of the occasion to enter into a sincere dialogue with the Mexican people, Obama preferred to dote on Mexico´s highly questioned President Felipe Calderón. Instead of sending a message of solidarity and hope to the battered border cities of Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, Obama offered a lavish dinner full of overworked protocol and exaggerated accolades for Calderón´s cabinet.
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