Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ambassador Pascual

So my question is, should US Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual have resigned?

According to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton: "He has collaborated tirelessly with his Mexican counterparts to lay the foundation for a cross-border renewable energy market, to open negotiations on the management of oil and gas reserves that span U.S. and Mexican territory, and to build a new border strategy to advance trade while staunching illicit flows. Carlos has also engaged U.S. and Mexican business to build markets that have helped make Mexico the number two destination of U.S. exports.

Ambassador Pascual worked with the Mexican government to integrate human rights into our respective policies and engagement; he also partnered to enhance the human and cultural connections that underpin the friendship between the people of Mexico and the United States. Carlos partnered with his counterparts to reach beyond the Merida Initiative’s initial focus on disrupting cartels to building institutions for the rule of law in Mexico and engaging Mexican civil society in advancing their security. These ties, grown and strengthened throughout his tenure, will serve both our nations for decades."

But he was dating a PRIista's daughter, and well, chose to voice his concerns about the reality of the drug war through confidential cables that Wikileaks chose to publish. Incidentally, nothing Ambassador Pascual wrote in those cables was anything many people in the Calderon administration didn't know or wouldn't admit off the record – ie, confidentially. So really, it wasn't that big a deal, but Calderon played the nationalism card, dissed Pascual to the media and that's how we got here.

I met Pascual on one occasion in Mexico, and from that initial meeting, even though it was brief, I think it's a shame he's gone. He seemed like the kind of ambassador who actually cares about his work, rather than just the kind who enjoys the life of an ambassador.

I don't think he should have resigned, nor do I think President Obama and Sec. of State Clinton should have accepted his resignation. US-Mexico cooperation is at an all-time high right now. US drones are flying over Mexican territory, DEA agents are training Mexican cops, intelligence sharing is at an all-time high, major drug lords are being caught, and complaints from ordinary Mexicans about this US presence have been quite tempered, even from the Left. (Although one La Jornada reader did care to share his comments about Pascual and the US: "Get out of Mexico! Forever! The Mexican government needs to confiscate everything that's been robbed from us!")

Anyway, that's that.

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