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US Ambassador To Mexico Highlights Economic Importance In First Public Speech

(Photo by Rodrigo Cervantes- KJZZ)
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico celebrated the 4th of July Tuesday at the residence of the new ambassador, Roberta Jacobson, in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY- On Tuesday, the American Embassy in Mexico celebrated the 4th of July and introduced Roberta Jacobson as the new head of the diplomatic office.

Jacobson, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, officially presented her credentials to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on June 20.

Her ratification by the U.S. Congress faced months of delay, after two Republican Senators questioned her leading role in the normalization of the relationships with Cuba.

As the official leader of the American Embassy in Mexico, Jacobson delivered her first public speech at her residence in the upscale neighborhood of Las Lomas, in Mexico City, highlighting the strong bonds between both countries.

“If someone in the United States thinks of Mexico as ‘them against us’, then that person does not know both countries really well,” said Jacobson.

According to the diplomat, 10 percent of the American population have family ties with Mexico, more than a million Americans live in Mexico and more than 40 million people from both countries travel between them annually.

The Ambassador considered this is a historical moment for both nations socially, politically and economically speaking, as bilateral trade between them represents about $1.6 billion on a daily basis.

“That is about $10 million that are being generated while I deliver this speech and, unfortunately, I don’t get a single penny from that,” said Jacobson, making the attendance laugh.

 Americans should not ignore the commercial importance of Mexico, Jacobson said,  since the U.S. sells more to its neighboring nation than to Russia, Brazil, India and China all together.

She also invited the guests of the reception, predominantly Mexican politicians and business leaders, to contribute on the growth of the economies, to collaborate on both nation’s fight against climate change, and to support the increase of student and academic exchange.

“¡Viva México y vivan los Estados Unidos de América!”, toasted the Ambassador, as she closed her remarks.

Singer Lila Downs inaugurated the reception with a medley of the Mexican and American anthems.

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.