Monday, September 25, 2017
   
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Mexico offers to help Harvey soaked Texas

mexicorescuefrontThe Mexican government expressed its solidarity Sunday with the United States following the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and offered assistance to Texas.

Mexico offered to help Texas deal with the disaster, "as good neighbors should always do in trying times."

On Sunday evening, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke by telephone.

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the Mexican consul general in Austin, said he has been in constant communication with the governor's office to determine how Mexico can best help.

"As we have done in the past, Mexico stands with Texas in this difficult moment," Gonzalez said.

Mexico is prepared for a Katrina-like assistance package, officials said.

"The offer for help and collaboration acknowledges a reality," said Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Mexican consul general in Dallas. "We live in the same neighborhood called North America. We can't be distant neighbors, not any more, not ever."

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mexico, under President Vicente Fox, sent troops and a vessel filled with food, medicine and water to aid New Orleans. For weeks, soldiers prepared food for tens of thousands of victims and distributed medical supplies and portable water. President George W. Bush met with Mexican Marines to thank them.

The latest offer from Mexico to help Texas comes after President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday, insisting it will pay for a border wall.

"With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL," Trump tweeted. "Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other."

Trump also threatened to derail the North American Free Trade Agreement. The three countries in the trade pact the U.S., Mexico and Canada are in the midst of renegotiating it. Talks resume this Friday in Mexico City.

"We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada," Trump tweeted. "Both being very difficult, may have to terminate?"

In its statement Sunday, Mexico said "under no circumstance" will the government pay for a "wall, or physical barrier built on U.S. territory along the Mexican border." The government also said the drug war is a result of shared problems between both the U.S. and Mexico, including the smuggling of weapons from the United States into Mexico and U.S. demand for illicit drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin.

Mexico also said it will not negotiate NAFTA, "nor any other aspect of the bilateral relationship" through social media or "any other news platform."

Source: Dallas News

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