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Mexico Wants Biden to Eliminate Sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba in Exchange for Border Assistance

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By: Jennie Taer, Daily Caller News Foundation

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he’s willing to help the Biden administration address the crisis at the southern border if it is willing to open talks with the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes, according to the Associated Press.

The White House announced Thursday that a delegation including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will travel to Mexico in the upcoming days to discuss solutions to the record surge in illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Lopez Obrador said he’s willing to take actions to block the flow of migrants crossing Mexico’s border with Guatemala if the U.S. is willing to send more aid to migrants’ countries and eliminate or lower sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela, the AP reported.

“We are going to help, as we always do,” López Obrador said. “Mexico is helping reach agreements with other countries, in this case Venezuela.”

President Joe Biden spoke with Lopez Obrador on Thursday morning to discuss the record illegal immigration at the southern border, National Security Spokesperson John Kirby said. Between October and Dec. 21, Border Patrol agents along the southern border have recorded more than 547,000 encounters of migrants crossing illegally, according to internal agency data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

One of the biggest issues affecting both the U.S. and Mexico resulting from the latest surge has been the temporary shutdown of key ports and railways connecting the two countries. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took such action “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody,” the agency said Sunday.

The railways in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas, will resume operations starting Friday, CBP said in a statement.

“We also want something done about the (U.S.) differences with Cuba,” López Obrador said. “We have already proposed to President (Joe) Biden that a U.S.-Cuba bilateral dialogue be opened.”

“That is what we are going to discuss, it is not just contention,” he said.

Most of the migrants crossing the southern border are from Venezuela, according to internal data obtained by the DCNF. The Biden administration announced new deportation flights to Venezuela in October to address the surge.

Neither the White House nor State Department immediately responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

Related Story: Mexican President Blames American Sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela for Migrant Crossings

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