What did you do the day before the Presidential election? At SEGL, we had a conversation with His Excellency Carlos Manuel Sada Solana, the Mexican Ambassador to the United States.
Ambassador Sada made brief opening remarks at the Mexican Cultural Institute (the former Mexican Embassy filled with wall-to-wall murals of Mexican history and several arts exhibits). He then took questions from our students: what would he like the next U.S. President’s first action to be? What preparations is Mexico making for each possible President? What can we do to prevent illegal Mexican drugs from entering the U.S.? What about U.S. arms entering Mexico, which does not have a Second Amendment?
For an hour, we engaged in a memorable back-and-forth. Though the Ambassador’s remarks were off the record, many students left impressed by his diplomatic acumen and appreciative of the Mexican perspective on critical U.S. issues. (Is the problem with drugs the Mexican supply or the U.S. demand?)
After the conversation, we spent time exploring several of the art exhibits at the Institute, with the Institute’s staff as our guides. The art helped the students see Mexican-U.S. relations from unique perspectives (for example, an exhibit exploring the “permanent” 1821 U.S.-Mexico border, featuring a quotation from Ulysses S. Grant lamenting that he did not have the “moral courage” to oppose the Mexican American War as a young man).
There is no doubt that tomorrow we will be thinking of our visit as the election results come in!