Saturday, June 22, 2024

First Lady Visits Mexico in First Solo International Trip

Drawing comparisons to her famed predecessor, Jaqueline Kennedy, first lady Michelle Obama will kick off what aids call her “international agenda” by traveling to Mexico City this week.  While there, Mrs. Obama is expected to meet children, tour an anthropology museum and dine at Los Pinos, the president’s residence.

According to the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan, “This will be on the front pages of every newspaper in Mexico.”

Almost 50 years prior, in 1962, Mrs. Kennedy joined her husband in a trip which was heralded as “a triumph” with throngs lining the motorcade route and roaring applause when she delivered remarks in Spanish.

Sarukhan said he expects a similar reaction to the current first lady saying, “This will be on the front pages of every newspaper in Mexico.”

“I think she will ‘wow’ Mexico and Mexicans.  I think people will be bowled over. …”

The ambassador explained that Mrs. Obama, “is a very powerful example of the empowerment of African-Americans in this country, and a very powerful symbol to Latinos in this country and Mexicans in Mexico of what you can achieve in a country that is built on immigrants and is built on diversity and is built on the ability to advance because of hard work and merit.”

Joining her for her visits will be Margarita Zavala, the first lady of Mexico.  Both first ladies have something in common: Zavala and Obama are both lawyers with young children who gave up their careers when their husbands became president.

The first ladies are expected to discuss the need for reducing the market for drugs, an issue very important for Zavala, as well as high obesity rates, something that both first ladies have in their portfolio.

Mrs. Obama will visit a public elementary school with low-income students and the Universidad Iberoamericana where she will deliver a speech to high school and university youth.

This is Obama’s first trip to Mexico.

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun-Times