Kamala Harris on Her First Foreign Trip

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) . Kamala Harris boarded Air Force Two at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on June 6, heading for Guatemala City. The Vice President is focused on “in-person engagement when she visits Guatemala and Mexico.”

According to Biden’s administrative officials, experts, and people who are close to Biden’s administration, Harris’ goal for her two-day stay in Guatemala and Mexico “isn’t to roll out a massive plan to solve the problems driving thousands to flee the region but simply to show that the U.S. cares and isn’t just looking for quick fixes.”

However, this is an early test for Harris not only to see how her diplomatic skills are but also to watch if she is truly a world leader. 

In the past, both Democrats and Republicans have not been able to control the migration of thousands of refugees from Central America and Mexico. It is Harris’s chance to see if she is the right person to take on this task for the Biden administration. If Harris is to continue in politics, Americans have to see that she can handle “a complex foreign policy issue.”

Harris is a newly elected official from California with limited foreign policy exposure. This task that she is taking on is no small challenge.

Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, has been coaching Harris for some time now. Gonzalez stated, “Migration in the Western Hemisphere is a structural issue that is not going to be resolved in a matter of six months.”

Gonzalez added that the Vice President ”has to be down there in person; she has to engage on these issues; she has to talk to these leaders directly as part of her playing a leadership role.” This is necessary in order for Harris to tackle “the root causes of migration.”

On Sunday night, Harris landed in Guatemala City. Monday, she is meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss issues in Guatemala. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will meet with Harris on Tuesday in Mexico City. There, she will “participate in roundtables with women entrepreneurs and labor leaders.”

Biden’s administration officials believe that this trip is an opportunity for Harris to demonstrate that she is “genuinely committed to engaging community and business leaders in the two countries and not just their governments.”

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