Vice President Harris begins his first overseas business trip after taking office

Washington — US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Guatemala and Mexico this week is likely to emphasize cooperation with non-governmental organizations. The adviser and expert said.

The first overseas visit after the inauguration of the Vice President will begin on Sunday, focusing on economic development, climate and food insecurity, and women’s issues, according to Whitehouse officials.

Harris’s adviser said she was meeting with community leaders, workers and entrepreneurs, repeatedly trying to lower short-term expectations from a three-day trip, and immigrants such as corruption that have plagued the country for many years. Emphasized that it focuses on the root cause of ..

Harris will land in Guatemala on Sunday and fly to Mexico on June 8 to spend the day there.

Kamala Harris leaves Air Force One
US Vice President Kamal Harris leaves Daini Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 6, 2021, after a technical issue forced the plane to return to its base. (JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)

“This trip is not a complete plan for the region, but I hope it understands its direction,” said Harris, who attended a conference convened on issues in the region. The Institute’s president, Andrew Serry, said.

A key measure of Harris’s visit’s success is whether it can show that the United States cares about creating legitimate routes for immigrants from the region, Serie said.

Since the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January, the number of illegal immigrants detained by US agents on the Mexican border in a month has risen to its highest level in 20 years. In March, Biden ordered Harris to reduce immigrants from the “Northern Triangle” countries (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador).

Since then, Harris has met with civil society leaders, announced additional $ 310 million in aid to the region, and secured investment commitments from companies, including Microsoft. The Biden administration has also promised to share the vaccine with both countries.

Harris’ Northern Triangle Regional Special Adviser, Majin Alfaky, told reporters on June 1 that the government understands that foreign assistance alone cannot address problems in the region. ..

“We hope that the Vice President’s first visit will show that she and the United States are on the side of the people and communities that organize change, rather than corrupt and abusive government officials. “Lisa Howgard, co-director of Latin America, said the working group, another participant in the Harris Conference.

In May, some leaders in Central America opposed the Biden administration’s anti-corruption strategy, including releasing a list of 17 local politicians identified as corrupt.

Mexican election

Harris’ trip to Mexico takes place when Mexicans elect a new House of Representatives, Governor, and local council, and is considered a referendum to shake the state’s system of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. ..

Mexican officials said the timing of Mr Harris’s visit was not ideal.

The official said on condition of anonymity that the U.S. is promoting visits and that the Mexican government hopes to keep talks relatively modest as the largest election results ever processed. ..

In a conference call hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank, former Mexican ambassador to the United States, Martha Barsena, said expectations for a trip to Mexico were “very high.”

Harris’s adviser said before the trip that the Mexican government had agreed to deepen cooperation and jointly secure a border between the two countries.

Sergio Gonzalez, the secretary-general of the Washington-based immigration hub and senior policy adviser to Harris during his time as a U.S. Senator, said the Vice President’s goal during this visit was to “give people hope.” Said that.

Nandita Bose

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