Two dialogues of utter significance took place last week in our hemisphere. Mexico played a main role in both. Both had great expectations behind. One delivered. The other fizzled away hopes for a better hemispheric future. Indeed, the US-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building -an annex to the White House- basically was the launching pad for a new era of prosperity in Mexico and the United States. The second, hosted by Mexico involved the encounter between the Venezuelan Regime and the United Platform of Venezuela. Sadly, it was a renewed display of Latin America’s blindness when it comes to seizing the development doors that change normally opens.
In Washinton Mexico agreed with the United States to speed the implementation of projects aiming at reinforcing the pillars of economic integration with a view to consolidate before the end of the century one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Projects have been designed to created or rebuild supply chains among both countries and Canada; to promote complementary economic activities and to modernize and create the necessary trade infrastructure -that located at the border between both countries. As these are implemented trade links among both nations and Canada will not only thrive but flourish. This will bear a very positive impact upon GDP growth which will nurture the creation of sound middle classes in Mexico. But it will also trigger the growth of employment opportunities for the US middle classes to earn their living through trade complementarity. Finally, both countries will together address the tough challenge of pulling Southern Mexico and Central America into the 21st century.
This binational agenda is rather ambitious, but if only 25% is executed the impact upon growth will be visible enough for Mexicans to deploy all their strengths into supporting and enhancing the economic integration experience.
And while this auspicious event was taking place in Washington D.C. another less promising unfolded in Mexico City. The Regime of Venezuela whose leaders seem to have a knack for the Middle Ages met a devastated opposition front to initiate a dialogue which should lead to regime change through transparent , free, and observed elections. And while the opposition had very little maneuvering room after having failed from 2015 to build an internal front and a strong foreign coalition the road it has chosen to thread could lead its leadership to oblivion. Clearly the Venezuelan regime is seeking two goals with this negotiation. First to attempt to rebuild its worldwide shattered reputation. It is thus playing the repentant sinner card who is undergoing an epiphany. Second, to see economic sanctions imposed by the US and Europe lifted. The United Platform on its side only aims at continuing to play a leading role in the political dimension of the Venezuelan drama. Both ,of course, are wrong and even if they manage to agree on a common agenda, they are both condemned to solitude. Because neither seems to have the Venezuelan people at the top of their priorities. And the people who are seeing their children die because of there is no food, no medicines and, no employment opportunities in a country looted for over a decade have realized that their plight is not their leader’s priority. Venezuela will thus most probably continue to slip into economic weakness and political dissolution with their leaders walking alone while a community of beggars consolidates itself very much like what we see in Haiti.
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