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Presidents Calderon and Bush in Merida

Bush and Calderon to meet in MeridaWell, what do you know? George W. Bush, the leader of the Western World, is coming to little ol’ Merida to visit with Mexico’s new president, Felípe Calderon, thus putting Yucatan on the world map once again.

You might recall that back in 1999, just about this same time of year, Bill Clinton flew to this area to meet with then president, Ernesto Zedillo. This was before we moved here, so we really didn’t pay much attention to the event. They met at Hacienda Temozon, one of the haciendas we love to visit when we have guests, where we inevitably point out the path to the helicopter pad and tell the story of Clinton’s visit.

Curiously, most of the press reports and news articles just say that Bush is coming to Mexico, but they don’t mention Merida. Rumour has it that they are meeting here because Merida is less of a security risk than Mexico City, and we believe it because it’s true even for us ordinary folks! International Living writes:

Why will they meet in Mérida? Scheduling the meeting in a sparsely populated state instead of Mexico City may be significant. Bush´s popularity abroad is even lower than at home, and major demonstrations are less likely in remote Yucatán, governed by Calderón´s National Action Party, than in the huge, opposition-controlled capital.

See there? "remote Yucatán"! That’s us, alright. Remotely away from prying eyes but right next to our WalMart, Sears and Burger King. It’s a safe bet there won’t be major demonstrations, which are routine events in Mexico City but hard to organize here in Merida where tranquilidad and flojera are the order of the day.

But there’s more. Larry Rubin, the new CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce, says that they chose Merida for its strategic geographic location related to development and investment. From various articles like this one in the Banderas News, we have read that Mexico’s leaders are seeing this as just one of many encouraging developments in the relations between the two countries.

Bush will be visiting Merida from March 12th through the 14th, according to newspaper articles. Once again, the leaders and their cadre of security and courtiers will end up at the remote and luxurious Hacienda Temozon, far from prying eyes and the public.

We doubt, therefore, that we’ll see or hear anything of the visit other than perhaps the sound of a fleet of helicopters flying overhead. That’s okay. We didn’t come to the Yucatan to be in the center of world political action. Like most Yucatecos, we’re a little amazed that they chose Yucatan for their meeting, but we’ll be glad when it’s over and our world returns to normal.

  • The official White House announcement
  • Here’s what the US Embassy to Mexico has to say about the visit
  • Remember what President Bush was doing the last time he visited Yucatan?

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20 Responses to “Presidents Calderon and Bush in Merida”

  1. I’d be more comfortable if they stayed away… both of them!

  2. I agree with Jospeh although we are not in Merida yet. Had the task of managing all the telecommunications back when President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin came to Vancouver, Canada and it was no treat having all that activity in our city. Merida and its citizens with their lifestyle will see quite a disruption during the visit.

  3. Can’t believe our luck! Coming to Merida that week to escape Bush and he’s following!

  4. Bettye, sucks to be you :(

  5. They are going to be at Temozon? I heard they were both staying at the Hyatt, maybe that was their entourage.

  6. Actually, we’ve heard that Calderon will be staying at the Hyatt, Bush will be staying at the Fiesta Americana and they will be meeting at Hacienda Temozon.

  7. Been lurking on your site for a while, we’re Isla Mujeres regulars and will be coming to Merida at the end of March. Glad “Shrub” will be gone by then….

  8. How about that! Cousin G. W. Bush from Texas is visiting Merida. Of course, my wife, familia, and amigos in Merida know I’m the only Puro Tejano that had influence on Merida. LOL
    Don’t judge Texans by Bush though. Even though most gringos think all of Mexico is like Vinciente Fernandez movies. LOL

  9. Merida is well prepared for visiting presidents and this is actually a relatively common event, even for American presidents and Cabinet members. I think one of the houses on Paseo Montejo has a permanent “setup” for things like this – so the entire city is never really aware of what is happening. They’ll be in and out with little more than one or two well controlled press “appearances”… Now why HERE? Couldn’t be that our fair city is safer than either of theirs – could it? I am not leaving the US because of Bush – but because of the kind of environment that could allow such a creature to (a) be elected and (b) remain in office. So I also prefer they not meet in Yucatan.

  10. Everyone…thank your lucky stars…this is actually the week of our WEDDING in Merida…what we imagined was to be a week of peace and quiet in this beautiful city, for ourselves and our loved ones!

    Thank you Bush!

  11. Ojala you won’t notice them as much as you think. Vamos a ver! (we’ll see!)

  12. Today I went to a building that is on Avenida Colon between 62 and 60.

    In front of that building there’s a parking lot, surounded by some empty comercial buildings, there was some frenetic action in one of those buildings (where La Curacao once was) and as I parked my car, a gentleman approached my car and said “You can’t park here”.

    I asked why, and was told that that building is going to be the “Centro de Comando del Estado Mayor Presidencial” (something like Calderon’s secret service).

    Then, I took a deep breath and performed a recital of 27 bad words that even my mother would’ve been proud of, explaining in the most polite manner available at the moment, that I didn’t care.

    After that of course, I was happy to move my car :)

  13. In Mexico City an event like this would be noted with a t-shirt (s) that would be sold in the Zocalo. I wonder if an enterprising business person will be printing the likeness of George and Felipe on a shirt. Of course in el DF the likenesses might not be as kind as in Merida.

  14. We left Merida yesterday after lunch (Monday March 5) and saw two large US Air Force Cargo planes at the airport. On the tarmack right in front of the terminal. One landed while we waited for our flight, and from it they unloaded a number of boxes/crates. We figured it had something to do with the US President’s visit. Numerous folks at the airport were taking pictures of the planes (with cell phones). As good Canadians we didn’t do that, who knows what might of happended to us!
    Maggie (sadly returned to the extreme cold of Southern Ontario).

  15. http://www.bushsulfur.lunasexta.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/foto0014.jpeg

    FUERA BUSH!!!

  16. Bush go home

  17. And I can see those fighter planes
    And I can see those fighter planes
    Across the mud huts where the children sleep
    Through the alleys of a quiet city street
    You take the staircase to the first floor
    Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
    As a man breathes into a saxophone
    And through the walls you hear the city groan
    Outside is America
    Outside is America

  18. Universal newspaper reported that Bush is bringing 300 sharpshooters with him for protection. All this while the reservists are pulling double duty in Iraq. Better they should be in Iraq sniping terrorists

  19. MUCHA GENTE EN NUESTRA CIUDAD TALVES NO ENTIENDE EL SIGNIFICADO QUE TIENE ESTA CUMBRE, E INCLUSO MUCHA GENTE ES IGNORANTE COMO LOS GLOBALIFOBICOS QUE PROTESTAN Y ARMAN ALBOROTOS CON EL UNICO FIN DE NO IR A LA ESCUELA O AL TRABAJO. ESTE TIPO DE EVENTOS YO CREO QUE BENEFICIAN Y PUEDEN DAR UNA BUENA IMAGEN DE LA CIUDAD Y TRAER MAYOR TURISMO O EVENTOS INTERNACIONALES PORQUE VEMOS UNA MERIDA SEGURA, CON INFRAESTRUCTURA Y GENTE CALIDA, DEBEMOS DE SER MAS ANALITICOS Y DARNOS CUENTA QUE ESTE EVENTO PONDRA LOS OJOS DEL MUNDO SOBRE MERIDA Y ESO PUEDE BENEFICIARNOS COMO CIUDAD, AL TURISMO, A LA CULTURA, A LA HOTELERIA. DEJEMOS DE SER IGNORANTES Y PONGAMONOS A ANALIZAR COMO ESTA EL MUNDO DE HOY DE CORROMPIDO Y EN GUERRA Y QUE CIUDADES COMO LA NUESTRA SON LAS QUE SE BUSCAN PARA LOS EVENTOS INTERNACIONALES QUE SIEMPRE TRAERAN BENEFICIOS ECONOMICOS, POLITICOS Y SOCIALES.

  20. I’ve been reading an award winning lady journalist lately and she’s sharp as a tack. There are a whole lot of things (and costs) we didn’t know about this trip. Her article is long, and in Spanish, but well worth the read. Babelfish it, if you can’t read Spanish. I read a rumor of 300 sharpshooters in a post above. Not even close.
    http://www.bolpress.com/art.php?Cod=2007031317

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