President Obama Speaks to the People of Mexico, May 3, 2013

You see the difference between the world as it is and the world as it could be; between old attitudes that stifle progress and the new thinking that allows us to connect and collaborate across cultures. And by the way, that includes how we think about the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

Despite all the bonds and the values that we share, despite all the people who claim heritage on both sides, our attitudes sometimes are trapped in old stereotypes. Some Americans only see the Mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings. And let’s admit it, some Mexicans think that America disrespects Mexico, or thinks that America is trying to impose itself on Mexican sovereignty, or just wants to wall ourselves off. And in both countries such distortions create misunderstandings that make it harder for us to move forward together. So I’ve come to Mexico because I think it’s time for us to put the old mind-sets aside. It’s time to recognize new realities — including the impressive progress of today’s Mexico. (Applause.)

It is true that there are Mexicans all across this country who are making courageous sacrifices for the security of your country; that in the countryside and the neighborhoods not far from here, there are those who are still struggling to give their children a better life. But what’s also clear is that a new Mexico is emerging.

I see it in the deepening of Mexico’s democracy, citizens who are standing up and saying that violence and impunity is not acceptable; a courageous press that’s working to hold leaders accountable; a robust civil society, including brave defenders of human rights who demand dignity and rule of law. You have political parties that are competing vigorously, but also transferring power peacefully, and forging compromise. And that’s all a sign of the extraordinary progress that’s taken place here in Mexico.

And even though we know the work of perfecting democracy is never finished — that’s true in America, that’s true here in Mexico — you go forward knowing the truth that Benito Juarez once spoke — “democracy is the destiny of humanity.” And we are seeing that here in Mexico….

You are the dream. This is your moment. And as you reach for the future, always remember that you have the greatest of partners, the greatest of friends — the nation that is rooting for your success more than anybody else — your neighbor, the United States of America. (Applause.)

Viva México! Viva los Estados Unidos! Que Dios los bendiga! Thank you very much. (Applause.)”

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