Outrage Grows in Mexico Over the Award of the Order of the Aztec Eagle to Cuban President Diaz-Canel

Delivery of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, in the degree of Collar, to Díaz-Canel. (Twitter/Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, 11 February 2023 — Mexicans did not welcome the reception of Miguel Díaz-Canel by his counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador this Saturday in Campeche, in the southeast of the country. The rejection increased when it became known that the Cuban president will be decorated with the degree of the prestigious Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, with the rank of Collar, which Fidel Castro also received in 1988.

“More and more Cubans are fleeing their homeland because the dictator starves them and imprisons them. López Obrador insults Cubans and Mexicans by giving the Aztec Eagle to Díaz-Canel, a human rights violator,” Mexican Senator Lilly Téllez, one of the most critical rulers in López Obrador’s administration, wrote on Twitter.

In addition, several media outlets published criticism of the visit, including journalist Manuel Lopez San Martín, of the ADN 40 chain, who pointed out: “The dictator of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, should not be welcome in Mexico. A repressor, who tramples freedoms and violates human rights, should not be decorated by our country. There is nothing to applaud or recognize in an authoritarian anti-Democratic leader.”

The Cuban president, a few minutes after deplaning in Campeche, said that he came to “ratify the will” of the Cuban people and government, “to continue strengthening and deepening relations with Mexico, not for reasons of protocol, but as an expression of the brotherhood” that unites both countries.

On his fourth trip to Mexico, since he occupied the Cuban presidency, Díaz-Canel, said that he is happy to return to meet again with his “friends” and share a few hours with López Obrador.

“We came to return in person the embrace we received in difficult times along with the material help and technical advice in vital areas and activities from the Mexican Government,” Díaz-Canel added, referring to Hurricane Ian, which left two dead in the country last September.

One of the objectives of Díaz-Canel’s visit is to supervise, together with López Obrador, the construction of the Maya Train, which passes through Campeche in the Yucatan peninsula. For the construction, rajón stone, a type of gravel extracted from a Cienfuegos quarry, will be used. The infrastructure, converted into a small lifeline for the Cuban economy, is a 900-mile railway that will connect the main tourist cities of the area. To accomplish this, it will be necessary to eventually send more than 200,000 tons of rajón per month from the Island.

In addition, the Cuban ruler said that the current relationship between Mexico and Cuba managed to concretize several programs and actions “for mutual benefit,” such as the sending of Cuban health specialists to Mexico.

“In less than a year we have complied with what was agreed, and there are results to show,” said the president, who will leave for Belize on Sunday. He was referring to the more than 500 health professionals who have arrived in Mexico to provide services as part of an  agreement signed between the two governments.

For his part, López Obrador said that Díaz-Canel is a “distinguished, admired, and fraternal guest.”

The presence of hundreds of Cuban doctors in hospitals in the Mexican capital hired to combat the COVID-19 pandemic aroused a controversy in the country in 2020 because of its cost and the activities carried out.

Currently, more than 600 Cuban health workers are working in several urban health centers in Mexico, and so far it has not been revealed whether they will be transferred to hospitals in remote areas, which was the initial purpose for which they were allegedly hired by the López Obrador Administration.

At the same time, the Mexican Government has used less than 3% of the nine million Abdala vaccines purchased from Cuba for boosters, since distrust of the drug prevails among the population. It does not have the approval of the World Health Organization, nor are there studies that certify its effectiveness.

Text of Tweet: Cuba’s dictator, Miguel Díaz-Canel, should NOT be welcome in Mexico. A repressor, who tramples freedoms and violates human rights, should not be decorated by our country. There is nothing to applaud or recognize in an authoritarian anti-democratic leader.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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