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Mexico Has a New US Ambassador after 10-Month Blockade

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - May 27, 2016, 5:00 pm
Roberta Jacobson
Roberta Jacobson will meet Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu Friday, May 27.  (Alto Nivel)

Español Senior US diplomat Roberta Jacobson arrived in Mexico Thursday, May 26 to begin her duties as ambassador — a position that had gone unfilled for 10 months due to Republicans blocking her appointment in Congress.

“I feel extremely honored to be a US ambassador in Mexico,” she said in perfect Spanish. “There is a lot we can do together.”

During a press conference, the ambassador said she would not go into “deep bilateral issues” at the moment, nor discuss her credentials, but did say she hoped to cross the country coast-to-coast as a way to “understand how the United States can continue being truly committed” neighbors to Mexico.

“I hope that together, we can maintain excellent communication between our two countries,” said Jacobson, adding that she feels a “special appreciation and deep admiration” for Mexico.

Unblocking her appointment

Since the previous ambassador Anthony Wayne left the position in July 2015, the United States hadn’t had an ambassador in Mexico — its third-largest trading partner and second-largest supplier of energy.

Jacobson, 56, had been appointed by President Barack Obama in June 2015, but it was blocked by Republican lawmakers until April 28, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most tenacious opponents of her nomination was Senator and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, of Cuban descent, who criticized the role Jacobson played in the restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

Jacobson is an experienced diplomat with a 30-year career and had served as Undersecretary of State for Latin America since 2012.

Between 2003 and 2007, she headed the Department of Mexican Affairs before serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for matters relating to Canada, Mexico and the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US Secretary of State John Kerry said “no one is more qualified than Roberta to represent the United States in Mexico.”

Source: Martí Noticias.

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.