Tag Archives: Mexico

Obama: Ouster of Honduran president Zelaya was coup

1U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the joint statement at the Cabanas Cultural Center in Guadalajara, Mexico, while attending the North American Leader’s Summit, August 10, 2009.

Obama: Ouster of Honduran president Zelaya was coup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday it was hypocritical for critics of Washington’s response to a coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to demand a more forceful U.S. role in returning him to power.

Zelaya, an ally of anti-U.S. leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said last week the United States needs “only tighten its fist” to evict the de facto government installed after he was overthrown in June.

“The same critics who say that the United State has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say we are always intervening and the Yanquis need to get out of Latin America,” Obama said told a closing news conference at a U.S.-Mexico-Canada summit in Guadalajara.

“You can’t have it both ways,” he insisted, without naming names. “We have been very clear in our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally, that it was a coup and that he should return. We have cooperated with all the international bodies in sending that message.”

The Latin American left had bitterly criticized Washington over the decades for intervening in the region’s affairs through military force, covert action and economic pressure.

Obama, who took office in January, has promised to forge a relationship with Latin America based on mutual respect.

Obama told reporters in Washington last week he had no quick way to resolve the political crisis in Honduras and that the United States would not take unilateral action.

“If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think that what that indicates is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations,” Obama said on Monday.

Mediation efforts by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias have so far failed to achieve Zelaya’s return.

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U.S. president arrives in Mexico for summit

1aUS President Barack Obama (L) and new US Ambassador in Mexico Carlos Pascual disembark from the Air Force One at the airport of Guadalajara in Mexico on August 9, 2009. Leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada will discuss issues related to regional prosperity and security during the fifth summit of North American leaders held on Aug. 9-10 in Guadalajara.

U.S. president arrives in Mexico for summit

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday by Air Force One to attend the Fifth North American Leaders’ Summit, during which he will meet Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The summit will be held in Guadalajara, capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, west of Mexico, on Sunday and Monday.

1b

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon shake hands while they hold a bilateral meeting at the Cabanas Cultural Center in Guadalajara while attending the North American Leaders’ Summit, August 9, 2009.

Obama will have a bilateral meeting with Calderon later and then attend the official launch of the meeting in Guadalajara, at a dinner with Harper and Calderon. Obama, the third leader to arrive at the summit, was greeted on the tarmac of Guadalajara airport by Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez Marguez. He will travel to Guadalajara’s Hilton Hotel by helicopter.

Earlier on Sunday, members of the Alternative Social Organizations Movement rallied to demand a renegotiation of the three nations’ main treaty, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into force 15 years ago.

The demonstrators protested at the cross roads of main streets Chapultepec and Vallarte, close to the city’s U.S. consulate. There was no violence during the protest.

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Obama says this is not the time to reopen NAFTA

3U.S. President Barack Obama walks out of the West Wing to speak on the state of the U.S. economy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, August 7, 2009.

Obama says this is not the time to reopen NAFTA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that given the weakened state of the U.S., Mexican and Canadian economies, this is not the time to reopen the NAFTA treaty for negotiations.

Ahead of a summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Obama said it was important to stabilize each country’s economy.

Obama as a presidential candidate last year expressed a desire to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement to include enforceable labor and environmental standards in the pact.

Speaking to Hispanic reporters, Obama said he still believed side agreements on labor and environmental protections should be incorporated into the core of the agreement.

“But I will be honest with you: at a time when the economy has been shrinking drastically and trade has been shrinking around the world, at a time when Mexico has suffered a double-digit blow because not only of a declining economy but because of the effects of H1N1 on tourism, we probably want to make the economy more stabilized in the coming months before we have a long discussion around further trade negotiations.”

Obama, who departs on Sunday for Mexico for talks Sunday night and Monday, said his top priority at the moment is to make sure the economies of all three nations are strong.

“In terms of refining some of our agreements, that is not where everyone’s focus is right now because we are in the middle of a very difficult economic situation,” Obama said, while adding that he was still interested in learning where the treaty can be improved.

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