Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Mexico Calls on US to Lift Sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela

Sun 04 Feb 2024 | 05:29 PM
Israa Farhan

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has urged US President Joe Biden to lift trade sanctions imposed on Venezuela and Cuba in a phone call on Saturday.

López Obrador called on Biden to "suspend sanctions against Venezuela" and "lift the blockade imposed on Cuba" to help reduce the flow of migrants from both countries, according to a statement from the Mexican presidency.

The leftist Mexican president told Biden, according to the statement, that "any law adopted in this context that ignores the causes of migration and does not address them is doomed to remain ink on paper."

The White House, in response, stated that both sides agreed to "continue their productive partnership" in addressing migration challenges.

This call comes at a critical juncture where an agreement negotiated by a group of Republican and Democratic senators is expected to be announced.

The agreement is likely to strengthen the US immigration policy.

Pending Congress's approval, Biden has referred to this agreement as the most aggressive reform package in US history and one that would allow for closing the borders with Mexico when there is a surge of migrants.

While details of the agreement are yet to be disclosed, it is expected to toughen immigration and asylum policies.

Republicans have stipulated a stricter immigration policy in exchange for providing an additional budget of nearly $100 billion to meet urgent needs, including securing supplies for Ukraine, aiding Israel, and enhancing the Mexican border.

On Saturday, 11 people, including nine Cuban migrants, were killed in a collision between a small truck, a motorcycle, and a large truck on a road in western Guatemala.

The Guatemalan Government's Migration Institute said in a statement that the Cuban migrants were crossing Guatemalan territory on their way to the US.

Mexico shares over 3,000 kilometers of border with the US and serves as a transit and detention country for migrants, most of whom come from Central American countries and the Caribbean (Haiti and Cuba) or Venezuela, facing restrictions imposed by the US.