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U.S. Secretary Of State Blinken Plans 'Virtual Trip' To Mexico And Canada

Marcelo Ebrard (left), Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, and Antony Blinken, U.S. secretary of State.
U.S. Embassy in Mexico
Marcelo Ebrard (left), Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, and Antony Blinken, U.S. secretary of State.

MEXICO CITY — The new U.S. secretary of State will have his first official visit with Mexico and Canada on Friday, but he will do so virtually. Antony Blinken will meet online with senior leaders from both countries — and trade, migration, energy and the pandemic will be part of the agenda. 

Julie Chung is acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs from the State Department. She said the pandemic is forcing Blinken to meet online, but the “virtual trip” will begin a new chapter with the United States’ closest neighbors and trade allies.

“Whether it’s combating the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking the global climate crisis, expanding trade and investment opportunities or strengthening cooperation on defense and security, Canada and Mexico are critical partners,” Chung said       

The conversations will take place amid some tensions between Mexico and the U.S. over energy, investment policies, vaccine distribution and weapon trafficking. 

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.