Feature

Making up with our old friend Cuba

Mexico and Cuba are friends once again, said Mexico City&rsquo;s <em>La Jornada </em>in an editorial.

Editorial
La Jornada

Mexico and Cuba are friends once again, said Mexico City’s La Jornada in an editorial. These two longtime allies saw relations deteriorate during the 2000–06 administration of President Vicente Fox, a conservative. Fox “abandoned traditional principles of nonintervention and respect for sovereignty” by meeting with Cuban political dissidents. He also appointed senior officials who had a “personal animosity” against the Cuban regime, such as Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, who publicly denounced Castro’s government as an “anti-democratic regime that violates human rights.” Fortunately, all that is over now. President Felipe Calderón, Fox’s successor, may be from the same party, but he has spent the past two years patiently wooing back Cuba with savvy diplomacy. This week, during a visit from Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, Calderón gave Cuba something it has long been seeking: a pledge that Mexico would return illegal Cuban immigrants to Cuba. Most of the 10,000 Cubans who arrive here illegally each year—usually after a dangerous boat trip—are on their way to the U.S., where they can claim instant asylum. Calderón’s announcement that this path is closed will help cut down on the many “tragic episodes” of capsized boats as well as stem “the rise of the human-trafficking mafia.” Most important, it will restore a “civilized and friendly” relationship between our two countries.

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