On Monday, Mexico’s President indicated that nearly 10,000 migrants are making their way to the U.S. border daily. He linked the rise to U.S. sanctions imposed on nations like Cuba and Venezuela.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador highlighted that there has been a significant influx from Guatemala into Mexico, with around 6,000 migrants daily over the previous week.
Many of these migrants traverse a path through Central America that passes through the densely forested Darien Gap, situated between Panama and Colombia.
López Obrador’s comments echoed those of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who also attributed the situation to U.S. sanctions on countries such as Venezuela and Cuba. These countries see a significant number of their citizens as part of this migrant movement. While some experts believe that economic struggles and political upheaval are the main drivers for migration from these nations, the U.S. has sanctioned them, citing democratic suppression concerns.
The Mexican President proposed that the sanctions might stem more from ideological differences than genuine concerns about human rights. He stressed that such “sanctions and blockades should not persist.”
Both Presidents have faced criticism regarding their handling of migration. The Colombian government has been scrutinized for its perceived inaction towards the massive smuggling of migrants. Meanwhile, Mexico only recently addressed migrants using freight trains to approach the U.S. border after safety concerns were raised by the country’s primary railway.
López Obrador has also critiqued U.S. financial assistance to Ukraine. He suggested that funds directed to Ukraine could be better utilized to bolster economic growth in Latin America. “The U.S. should be more proactive in addressing poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean rather than allocating huge sums to situations like the Ukraine conflict,” he remarked on Friday.
He urged the U.S. to lift blockades and end its perceived intimidation of sovereign nations. Advocating for a comprehensive cooperation strategy, he expressed that this would prevent the need for citizens of countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Honduras to emigrate.
In recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in Venezuelan migrants in Mexico aiming for the U.S. border. These migrants often attribute their decisions to the worsening socio-economic landscape in their native countries.
While Mexico has criticized Russia’s actions in Ukraine, it remains neutral, opting not to engage in sanctions. Mexico also continues its procurement of 2020-era COVID vaccines from both Russia and Cuba.