photo by Dwayne Fatheree / NOLA.com
by David Hammer, The Times-Picayune, Monday April 21, 2008, 10:36 AM
President Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon reopened the first Mexican consulate in the United States in downtown New Orleans this afternoon, then held one-on-one talks about mutual security and economic issues.
The two leaders are in New Orleans today and tomorrow, along withCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for the fourth annual North American Leaders' Summit, to discuss common economic and security goals.
Bush spoke to dignitaries outside the consulate on Convention Center Boulevard, saying it was a celebration of the reopening of the first Mexican consulate in the U.S. and "the comeback of a great Americancity."
"You know, I chose New Orleans for our meetings with Mexico and Canada to send a clear signal to the people of my country that NewOrleans is open for business, it's a great place to visit and after the devastation of Katrina it's become a hopeful city," Bush said.
On the Other Side of the Issue: Some of the Opposition Mobilized in New Orleans:
Eddie Dickey from Houston said he made the trip to New Orleans because the ongoing trade and security talks between Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper represent a threat to America's sovereignty.
Michael Blache and Tom Kowitz, Mandeville (NorthShore-of Lake Ponchartrain), said they believe the talks are a pretext for the eventual formation of a governmental union between Canada, the United States and Mexico - much like the European Union.