The networks’ coverage of the ongoing border disaster has been spotty, at best, inasmuch as it is a story that is unfavorable to the Biden administration. Therefore, there hasn’t been any reporting on the demands made by Mexico’s president in exchange for assistance at the border. Shockingly, Univision was the network to finally break that ice.
Watch as former Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan lays out the blackmail attempt by Mexico’s socialist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), during an interview with Jorge Ramos on Sunday political affairs show Al Punto:
AMBASSADOR ARTURO SARUKHAN: President Biden fundamentally needs Mexican support and López Obrador knows it and on the one hand he is taking advantage of it to carry out what I would call diplomatic blackmail...
SARUKHAN: …by asking President Biden to…
RAMOS: What do you mean by blackmail?
SARUKHAN: Yes. To suspend, as López Obrador says, the United States' "blockade" of Cuba, forgetting that this is not an (American) executive power, but a Congressional power. Second, calling for sanctions on Venezuela to be removed, asking for billions of dollars in support for Central America. And deep down it is also a kind of blackmail, because I believe that what we are seeing, Jorge, what we have seen in recent months is the Mexican government opening and closing the valve of migratory flows to the border. That is, they close, open, close and open to create pressure on the Biden administration and thereby do a very important thing: obtain diplomatic capital so that when the Mexican presidential campaign begins to take shape, as it begins to gain speed, López Obrador can use that capital of “I am helping you” in order to prevent the United States from raising its voice and saying, “what’s going on with the election in Mexico?”
It is an astounding assessment of what is happening at the border, given freely by a member of the Mexican establishment, and one which we have not heard elsewhere in American media. No one else is reporting that AMLO has President Joe Biden over a barrel with regard to the border, and that he is blackmailing Biden by making unreasonable demands. In sum:
- $20 billion in “root causes” money to Latin American and Caribbean countries
- The legalization of 10 million Hispanics with clean records and over 10 years in the U.S.
- Repeal of the Cuban Embargo, codified by Congress as the Helms-Burton Act, and the beginning of a “bilateral dialogue”
- The lifting of sanctions against Venezuela
Nor is anyone else reporting that AMLO is basically facilitating the border crisis in order to get the Biden administration to look the other way in the event of any shenanigans during the upcoming Mexican presidential election (AMLO is term-limited, but his successor is on the ballot).
It is not at all surprising that Univision would report these things, as the interview is conducted from a Mexico First perspective. The possibility of a second Trump administration here is viewed as a catastrophe, with the threat of tariffs and mass deportations. Because of the root causes of “democratic degradation” and climate change, there is skepticism that the ongoing migrant flows can be contained any time soon. Ambassador Sarukhan expresses skepticism that AMLO’s successor will implement anything beyond assisting the U.S. with border containment.
An honest mainstream press would have done basic reporting, and revealed AMLO’s demands- made when Secretaries of State and Homeland Security Antony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas made their recent trip to Mexico City. They didn’t, and Univision reported these demands in a transparent manner.
But we’re always watching.
Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned interview, as aired on Univision’s Al Punto, on Sunday, January 14th, 2024:
JORGE RAMOS: This is Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaking during his visit to Eagle Pass, Texas, last Monday. Meanwhile, President Biden has asked Mexico for help to stem the migrant surge. But Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has asked for many things in return.
ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR: 20 billion dollars for Latin American and Caribbean countries. Normalize at least 10 million Hispanics who have been working honestly in the United States for more than 10 years. Suspend the blockade of Cuba and begin a bilateral dialogue. Remove all sanctions on Venezuela.
RAMOS: That's what the president of Mexico is asking for in exchange for helping the United States. Arturo Sarukhán was the Mexican ambassador to the United States and join us from Mexico City. Ambassador Sarukhán, thank you for returning here to the program.
ARTURO SARUKHAN: It is a great pleasure, as always, to be with you.
RAMOS: It is very clear that, whether Biden or Donald Trump, they are going to - they are going to demand that Mexico help them to prevent so many undocumented immigrants from crossing from the south into the north. But what can Mexico ask for, or how should Mexico ask for it?
SARUKHAN: Regardless of who wins, as you say, it seems to me that the immigration issue is not going to go away. The difference, obviously, will be that with a Trump administration 2.0 it will be with a gun to (Mexico’s) head, as it was at the time in 2019 A Biden administration 2.0, well, it will be a little more of the same, trying to use diplomatic capital to get the Mexican government to support them. The immigration issue has become one of the pressure points of the Republican Party. President Biden fundamentally needs Mexican support and López Obrador knows it and on the one hand he is taking advantage of it to carry out what I would call diplomatic blackmail...
SARUKHAN: …by asking President Biden to…
RAMOS: What do you mean by blackmail?
SARUKHAN: Yes. To suspend, as López Obrador says, the United States' "blockade" of Cuba, forgetting that this is not a power of the US executive, it is a power of Congress. Second, calling for sanctions on Venezuela to be removed, asking for billions of dollars in support for Central America. And deep down it is also a kind of blackmail, because I believe that what we are seeing, Jorge, what we have seen in recent months is the Mexican government opening and closing the valve of migratory flows to the border. That is, they close, open, close and open to create pressure on the Biden administration and thereby do a very important thing: obtain diplomatic capital so that when the Mexican presidential campaign begins to take shape, as it begins to gain speed, López Obrador can use that capital of “I am helping you” in order to prevent the United States from raising its voice and saying, “what is happening with the election in Mexico?”
RAMOS: Ambassador, for Mexico, what does it mean for Biden to win and what does it mean for Trump to win? Within the Republican Party, there are very strong voices that are even calling for military intervention by the United States within Mexico.
SARUKHAN: It is very clear what is at stake, Jorge. I believe that Trump's victory would be a debacle for the Mexico-United States agenda. As you point out, Trump has already announced that he will impose 10% tariffs on all imports entering the United States. We must remember that today, Mexico is the United States' top trading partner in the world...
Ramos: And the worst mass deportations, he has also announced that.
SARUKHAN: He has promised mass deportations. There are 5 million undocumented Mexicans. Assuming that 5 million are not deported, if 100,000 of us are deported and they arrive at the border, it will be a social, economic, political problem, and a human tragedy. And third, as you also mention, he has threatened the unilateral use of force to confront organized crime on Mexican soil. What a thing.
RAMOS: I'll finish with this, Ambassador. In the month of December, 300,000 undocumented immigrants crossed from Mexico into the United States. It is clearly a crisis. Can this be avoided in any way or is it the new normal?
SARUKHAN: We are seeing an unprecedented crisis, Jorge. As you know well, on the American continent there has never been this volume of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people. A kind of perfect storm has been created, the impact of climate change, the democratic degradation in several countries. The problem is structural. I do not believe that punitive or border control measures are going to move the needle and it seems to me that we are facing a new normal that is going to create constant red flags in the management of these migratory flows throughout the American continent.
RAMOS: And whoever wins, whether Claudia Sheinbaum or Xóchitl Gálvez: will Mexico continue to be the waiting room of the United States and the new border patrol of the United States?
SARUKHAN: Well, it seems that this possibility exists, especially given that I do not perceive in the Mexican presidential campaigns any awareness of the importance of developing a paradigm of Mexican immigration policy itself, beyond, to the extent possible, sometimes executing, sometimes not executing the containment policies that the United States has asked Mexico to implement.
RAMOS: Ambassador Sarukhan, thank you for returning to the program.
SARUKHAN: It's a pleasure, Jorge.