President Joe Biden will nominate former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, according to a statement released by the White House on June 15. The statement noted that before serving in the cabinet of President Barack Obama, Salazar had represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate.

Before coming to the nation’s capital, Salazar had been the Colorado Attorney General, the White House recalled. The statement also pointed out that Spanish was Salazar's native language. The entire statement can be found at whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases.

Colorado Public Radio (CPR) noted that both Colorado's Democrat U.S. Senators, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, had welcomed news of Salazar's pending nomination. The White House statement noted that in 2004 Salazar had been the first Latino member of the Democratic Party elected to the Senate since 1972. The Senate would have to confirm Salazar's nomination before assuming his post in Mexico City, CPR observed.

The Denver Post noted that, unlike most of Biden’s nominees for ambassadorships, Salazar had no experience in diplomacy. Yet, the announcement of Salazar's pending nomination had been predicted by Mexican diplomats in May, The Hill reported.

Challenges ahead

The Denver Post observed that Salazar would be serving in Mexico City when the large gathering of migrants at America's southern border presented challenges for the governments of the U.S.

and Mexico. CPR also noted that relations between the two countries had been strained after the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) decision to fund a group dedicated to opposing corruption and supporting freedom of the press in Mexico. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had responded by accusing the U.S.

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of disregarding his nation's sovereignty, CPR recalled.

COVID-19 vaccines for Mexico

On the same day that Salazar's selection was announced, the White House tweeted that 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson had been shipped to Mexico. This assistance in fighting the Coronavirus was "on top of the 2.72 million doses of AstraZeneca we shared earlier this year," the White House said.

NBC News had given news of the shipment the previous day. The news broadcaster said the donation of the vaccines fulfilled a promise given by Vice President Kamala Harris during a visit to Mexico earlier this month. NBC News said that, according to its figures, there had been more than 230,000 deaths in Mexico due to COVID-19.

Trump to visit the border on June 30

Hours after Biden announced his intention to nominate Salazar, Donald Trump announced that he would visit the U.S. southern border on June 30. AFP quoted a statement from Trump claiming that the border had been "the strongest, safest, and most secure border in US history during his administration." According to the news agency, the statement also said Texas Governor Greg Abbott would join Trump.

Abbot had announced that Texas would build a wall of its own after Biden's suspension of work on Trump's wall, the news agency said. According to Forbes, the White House gave back to the military $2 billion, which Trump had diverted to pay for the wall.