Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Monday that about 10,000 migrants per day are heading to the US border, and he blamed US economic sanctions on countries like Cuba and Venezuela for the influx.
He said the number of migrants reaching Mexico’s northern border with the United States was partly due to about 6,000 migrants per day crossing into Mexico from Guatemala over the past week. He said many of those migrants are traveling on a route through Central America that includes the jungle-clad Darien Gap region between Panama and Colombia.
López Obrador seemed to join Colombian President Gustavo Petro in blaming the situation on US sanctions on countries like Venezuela and Cuba, whose citizens make up a large part of the migrant flow. Experts say economic mismanagement and political repression are largely to blame for the tide of migrants leaving those countries. The United States has sanctioned both governments over what it considers the suppression of democracy.
López Obrador suggested the sanctions are because of ideological differences and not to uphold human rights, and said the “sanctions and blockades cannot be maintained.” He called for the US “to remove blockades and stop harassing independent and free countries.” He said there should be “an integrated plan for cooperation so the Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Ecuadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans wouldn’t be forced to emigrate.”
There has been a surge in Venezuelan migrants moving through Mexico in recent weeks in a bid to reach the US border. Many of the migrants say deteriorating economic and political conditions in their home country led them to make the journey.
Mexico has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine but has adopted a policy of neutrality and has refused to participate in sanctions.