Mexico presidential candidate wants to move closer to US as leftist opponent prefers Cuba

Mexico presidential candidate wants to move closer to US as leftist opponent prefers Cuba


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FIRST ON FOX – Mexico will elect a new president in June and, for the first time the race is between two women, Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz from a coalition of center-right-left parties, considered an unprecedented anti-communist coalition, and Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo’s leftist coalition. 

The differences between the two women are vast – Galvez wanting to work with the U.S. as the country’s main ally while Sheinbaum seems to be more intent on following the far-left approach of the outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO.)

Gálvez was recently in New York and Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress, business leaders and officials from the State Department, where she presented her vision for Mexico and for the future of its relationship with the U.S.

During her visit she addressed the border, immigration, fentanyl, organized crime, nearshoring, and the future of the trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC). She reminded the U.S. that “according to a study published in the journal Science, organized crime is the fifth-largest employer in Mexico.”

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Upon her return to Mexico, Gálvez answered Fox News Digital questions at a press conference about the stark differences between her and her opponent. 

“In the first scenario, Mexico gets back on the democratic track to strengthen the rule of law, and it confronts organized crime head on, and reclaims its territory, and reduces violence, eliminates extortion, and provides basic legal certainty for businesses. In this scenario, Mexico and the U.S. build a relationship that brings about not only prosperity but also security, safety, and democratic stability to North America,” she said.

Presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez is running as the underdog candidate. (Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

She claimed a win by her opponent will lead to major problems. “Mexico continues to move toward democratic erosion. Organized crime spreads, and the military gains political power and is incapable of providing security. Mexicans are victims of insecurity, extortion and violence, which hinder growth and development in entire regions. Mexico continues to be a trade partner but is not a geopolitical ally of the U.S., Mexico’s populist government flirts with Russia and China. And threatens to build new partnerships.”

Some analysts wonder why the bilateral relationship has not advanced during AMLO’s presidency and the Biden administration. Gálvez’ response: “Today we are partners, but we are not allies.” 

She said if the ruling left-wing party wins again, “neither immigration, nor fentanyl, nor any other bilateral problem will be able to find long-term solutions. Solving the problems of immigration and fentanyl requires three things that the current government of Mexico and her candidate do not have: a state strategy, institutional capacity, and genuine will to collaborate.”

She said, “presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum only promises continuity and says that Mexico is better than ever when we know with all the evidence that is not true.” 

Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum

Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum speaks during a campaign rally at Plaza Liberación on March 3, 2024, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mexicans will head to the polls for the general election on June 2. (Leonardo Alvarez Hernandez/Getty Images)

Presently trailing in several opinion polls, Gálvez, who hopes to close the gap as the June election gets nearer, told Fox News Digital, “The United States always has the fear that our customs agents let fentanyl pass through, and we complain to them that they let weapons pass through.”

Critics of Sheinbaum warn she has made clear that, under her leadership, Mexico will follow the principles of “free self-determination of the people, non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries and the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” which leads her to promise the continuity of the “hugs not bullets” strategy to avoid confronting the drug cartels

Unlike Galvez, who believes that the Mexico- U.S. relationship is the most important one, Sheinbaum wants to focus more on Latin America, where she has shown enormous sympathy with the regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. She has even gone so far as to declare: “Mexico should never have a submissive relationship with the United States, ever.”

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Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum

Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum waves to supporters. (Victoria Razo/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Economist and political analyst Alfredo Velasco told Fox News Digital, “To evaluate a candidate and her government program, we need to know her preparation, experience and performance in previous positions or activities. Rather than assigning value to her campaign promises, it is important to know her achievements. Of the candidates in the campaign, the most prepared with master’s and doctoral studies is Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo. The one with the most experience in public administration and the one who has accredited important achievements is also Sheinbaum.” Sheinbaum is the former mayor of Mexico City.

Mexico election

Xochitl Galvez holds a Mexican national flag during a political event at the Angel of Independence monument on Sept. 3, 2023, in Mexico City. (Gerardo Vieyra/picture alliance via Getty Images)

He continued, “Where I think there is a significant gap is in the approach to the campaigns. While Claudia Sheinbaum has a diagnosis and a 100-point program to address the country’s fundamental problems, Xóchitl Gálvez focuses her campaign on public insecurity, which is perhaps what worries the population the most.”

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A multi-agency investigation targeting the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. (Tempe PD)

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Political analyst Juan Hernández, a former cabinet member under President Vicente Fox, believes Gálvez was very clear on her visit to the U.S. and that if she wins, she will work with Washington to stop money going to drug traffickers and the weapons going to Mexico. “She didn’t blame the U.S. but wanted to make sure that, to stop this cancer, both countries need to work together in a new way. She said she would be a great negotiator and emphasized that she is aware and concerned of how many people have died in the U.S. due to fentanyl consumption.”

San Diego border wall aerial view

The US-Mexico border fence with camp shelters left by migrants in San Ysidro, California, on Sept, 14, 2023. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Gettay Images)

Hernández continued, “There was more than one meeting with legislators. Their questions were very sincere, and she had a frank conversation with them. They asked her: Will you be strong in stopping the drug business in Mexico? She assured them that she will and that both sides need to work together in a new way. She insisted that they need to do their part as legislators, these cannot be done by Mexico alone.”

Ildefonso Guajardo, the former minister of economy and international liaison for Gálvez, told Fox News Digital that the tour was to basically “Wake up Washington!” 

Mexican election

A musician performs during a campaign rally for presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez in Irapuato, Mexico, on March 1, 2024. (Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images)

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He said, “Gálvez shared her vision of Mexico’s position in the most important relationship it has in North America and its positioning in the world.”

“She clearly established that her vision is focused on a moment in which we return to global polarization in two compasses: one defined by her values where she identifies with governments that protect human rights, advance freedom, and democracy; where, clearly, Mexico’s interest is not associated with countries that are autocracies or single-man governments. And her other compass is that Mexico shares a large border with the United States where most of Mexico’s economic interest is associated with this market and that is why this relationship is of enormous priority.”

Questions sent to the presidential campaign of Claudia Sheinbaum were not returned. 



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