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Analysis: Biden’s Mexico visit comes amid tension on immigration, fentanyl, energy

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In the first visit to Mexico by a U.S. leader in almost a decade, President Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday to discuss trade, the drug war and record levels of illicit immigration in a wide-ranging conversation that was mostly cordial but at one point turned testy as the Mexican leader demanded his U.S. counterpart do more to help the region.

“End with this forgetfulness, this abandonment, this disdain toward Latin America and the Caribbean,” López Obrador told Biden in a meeting at the National Palace in Mexico City. López Obrador said Biden was uniquely poised to improve life across a region beset by inequality, telling him that “you hold the key in your hand.”

Biden responded by saying that the United States had invested “tens of billions of dollars” in Latin America in the last 15 years, while also donating more than any other country globally to causes worldwide.

The U.S. “responsibility,” Biden said pointedly, extends well beyond the Western Hemisphere.

The sharp exchange, as TV cameras rolled, dramatized some of the daunting challenges facing the two nations at what Biden referred to as an…

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