By KELIN DILLON
In a letter addressed to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), U.S. Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida expressed their disappointment in López Obrador for accepting contested Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro into Mexico, rather than extraditing him to the United States where he faces criminal charges.
Since March 2020, Maduro has had pending criminal charges in the Court of the Southern District of New York for narcoterrorism, accused of acting as the head of the Cartel of the Suns that has allegedly trafficked cocaine into the United States by way of Mexico.
“For decades, our countries have cooperated against the nefarious drug trade … As part of that cooperation, Mexico has been supremely receptive to the extradition of other criminals involved in these crimes,” read the senators’ letter. “The narco-dictator Nicolás Maduro should not be the exception.”
“We are disappointed that he has welcomed Maduro and has repealed Mexico’s international commitments to tackle transnational organized crime,” the letter went on to say.
Maduro arrived in Mexico on Sept. 17, apparently unannounced, to attend the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The senators likewise conveyed their distaste for López Obrador welcoming Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel into the country, bolstered by Rubio’s own Cuban origins.
“We are writing to express our disappointment at (AMLO’s) recent actions and statements, which are incompatible with the democratic values that we hold so dear,” wrote the Floridian senators.
“For more than six decades, the Castro brothers, and now Díaz-Canel, have oppressed the people of Cuba. As a president democratically elected by the people of Mexico, choosing to grant legitimacy to this undemocratic regime is a lack of respect for the fight of the Cuban people for their freedom.”