Foreign Policy Blogs

Bush Concludes Mexico Trip

The impact of President Bush's Mexico visit remains to be seen, but while some are hopeful for immigration reform and increased emphasis on the region during the remainder of his presidency, expectations are not very high.  Though some see Mexican President Calderon as a potential counter to leftist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, it is not clear that Bush and Calderon came away from their summit with any tangible result. Further, with Bush's lack of popularity in the region due both to the Iraq war and migration policies, it seems unlikely that Calderon would seek to align too closely.

At one point during the Latin America tour, perhaps sounding more like Chavez or Calderon's narrowly-defeated 2006 opponent, Manuel Lopez Obrador, Bush promised to deliver “social justice” to the poor of the region. New economic aid had already been announced, although Chavez made a point of contending that Venezuela actually has provided more aid to Latin America than has the U.S.

Of course, the Bush trip was about more than just politics and protests. The President and his wife, First Lady Laura Bush, made time for sightseeing and cultural exploration, including some traditional cuisine. With President Calderon, they toured the Mayan Ruins of Uxmal, which, if nothing else, provided a nice photo-op as Bush seeks to win over critics on both sides of the border.

bush calderon in uxmal

Photo:  Calderon and Bush in Uxmal

Video Analysis: U.S. and Mexico (Reuters video)