The White House recently attempted to clarify a misstep that resulted in a minor diplomatic issue involving Mexico, resulting from a communication in which the Biden administration referred to “democratic decline” as a cause of elevated migration to the United States.
This situation unfolded after a delegation of top U.S. officials visited Mexico to discuss the ongoing border crisis. A joint statement released via email by the White House and the Mexican government cited “democratic decline” as a contributing factor to migration.
However, this phrase was absent in the version of the statement posted in the White House briefing room. The discrepancy led to confusion and accusations, particularly from Mexico.
A national security spokesperson from the White House addressed the inconsistency in a statement to the Daily Caller.
“Due to a version control issue, the initial version of the document that we posted online included an additional phrase that had not been discussed with the Mexicans,” the spokesperson explained. “Promoting democratic values in the region is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and we have worked with Mexico to promote these values, including most recently in Guatemala and Venezuela.”
The Spanish-language version of the joint statement released by Mexico’s government did not include the contentious phrase.
Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, a foreign policy adviser to an opposing Mexican presidential candidate, expressed his concerns via X.
“It is strange that the Government of Mexico shaves at its convenience words that were agreed upon in a joint statement with the US Government. The word ‘democratic decline’ is omitted. Without a doubt, in Latin America and Mexico there is concern about the weakening of democracy,” he stated.
Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan also commented on the issue.
“The government of #Mexico quietly & conveniently shaves the word ‘democracy’ from its Spanish version of joint communiqué negotiated & released by [Mexican and American] govs after their meeting in Mexico City yesterday,” Sarukhan wrote in another post on X.
The visit to Mexico by U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, aimed to address the migration crisis and seek additional assistance from Mexico. Despite the presence of a large migrant caravan moving towards the U.S.-Mexico border, the joint statement did not mention this situation.
In November, U.S. authorities encountered a record number of migrants at the southern border, with over 547,000 encounters reported by Border Patrol as of December 22.
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