Monday, August 2

Lucho Arce’s visit: a historical vindication | Opinion

The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, in a ceremony last February.
The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, in a ceremony last February.Gaston Brito Miserocchi / GETTY IMAGES

Presidential visits are important moments and each one has its own unique background. However, the visit of the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, Fought, will have a singular significance due to the events that preceded it.

President Arce will return to Mexico in very different conditions than those of the end of 2019 when he had arrived in our country as a political asylee. He, his wife, and his family — along with other Bolivian nationals — received supplies in Mexico in what was certainly one of the most complex moments of their lives.

His visit will represent an extraordinary event that will reveal the special bond and affection that the President of Bolivia has for the Mexican people. But beyond this personal connection, there are basic elements that make Mexico and Bolivia important partners who share a vision about the future of our countries and the region as a whole.

It will be the first visit in his capacity as head of state after his resounding electoral victory in October 2020. His presence will mark a turning point in the relationship with Bolivia after the most complex chapter of the bilateral relationship. Without a doubt, it will be a fact loaded with symbolism, but also with substantive content and advances.

The Bolivian president accepted the invitation that the Government of Mexico extended to him to participate as a guest of honor and distinguished speaker in the commemoration of Chakán Putum’s Victory Day in Campeche, within the framework of the “Year of Independence” celebrations. Also, during this year, we will also pay tribute to 190 years of diplomatic relations, which is another important milestone.

At the regional level, we have a shared vision and a coincidence of interests. In the first place, both countries defend multilateralism, universally recognized values ​​and principles such as non-intervention in internal affairs and the free self-determination of peoples, among others. We both want an inter-American system with legal equality of the States and based on clear rules. Actions such as those of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Bolivia in 2019 should not be repeated and, therefore, we advocate technical and impartial missions. Regarding regional integration, we have broad coincidences and it is a reason for joy to have Bolivian support for the work of the presidency for the time of Mexico in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).

Against this background, a roadmap will be followed during the visit to reactivate and take full advantage of existing bilateral mechanisms. To this will be added objectives to be achieved in the medium and short term in migration matters, such as the establishment of a visa exemption regime; in promoting trade and investment in strategic areas such as lithium and biodiesel; to increase technical and scientific cooperation and cultural cooperation, including the opening of a headquarters for the Economic Culture Fund in La Paz.

History has assisted us to get to this point and we have a duty to honor the ties between our peoples and governments. We must take advantage of this mutual appreciation and unique understanding to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and thus consolidate a beneficial relationship for our peoples.

Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga He is undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

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