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In defense of Mexico

The Ibero-American community must support a partner that is being harassed by Donald Trump

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.José Méndez / EFE

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Many thought that Trump’s election rhetoric would fade into the background once he conquered the White House, inaugurating, as is usual in politics, a process of adjustment between campaign promises and limitations imposed on government action by reality. Some of those who thought this, such as Peña Nieto himself, ignored the abundant signs that Trump was not a normal candidate, preferring to opt for a benign and pacifying vision of him. This is what the Mexican president did, despite having met with Trump in his official residence in Los Pinos last August – an incomprehensible and unfortunate visit in which Peña Nieto failed to meet his apparent objective of stopping or bringing nuance to Trump’s plans.

It hasn’t even taken a week since Trump took power for him to solidify his determination to implement, immediately and in an astonishingly literal fashion, the centerpiece of his promises related to what is euphemistically called immigration and border control, but is in fact a racist and xenophobic agenda, in which Mexico is his first victim.

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The construction of a wall that totally separates Mexico from the United States, which he says the Mexicans will pay for; the threat of establishing punitive tariffs on Mexican exports; the pressure on American businesses to stop investing in Mexico; or the threats of deporting Mexican citizens living in the United States are all measures that constitute all-out aggression towards Mexico.

Trump has begun his presidency, which he said he wants to dedicate to restoring America’s greatness, by humiliating his southern neighbor who is poorer and weaker than the United States, and repeatedly threatening the country with a series of actions that, without question, will cause Mexicans great difficulties.

Fortunately, the Mexican people are not alone in this difficult situation. The mayors of some of the United States’ most important cities, with the backing of millions of good Americans, have manifested their intention to not collaborate with Trump’s deportation policy, even if that means losing federal funding.

Fortunately, the Mexican people are not alone in this difficult situation

Even if it wants to, Mexico cannot defend itself alone from the aggressions of a man whose career is marked by the worst kind of bullying, both in politics and in business. This is why a clear and loud voice is necessary for Mexico’s defense, both from Europe and, above all, from the Ibero-American countries. If all these regional forums and summits that unite us with Mexico do not serve to inspire clear solidarity, it is fair to ask if they serve any purpose at all.

English version by Alyssa McMurtry.

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