Mexico’s government is planning a diplomatic push to counter aggressive rhetoric against its nationals in the U.S. election race, a senior official said on Tuesday, after calls by Donald Trump for a massive wall to divide the two nations.
Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have also proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but it is Trump who has taken the hardest line against the United States’ southern neighbor.
The Republican front-runner has labeled Mexican migrants as drug runners and rapists, proposed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and said Mexico is “killing” the United States with cheap labor.
Francisco Guzman, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s chief of staff, on Tuesday said it was time for the government to push back against these negative images.
Mexico plans to use its extensive network of U.S. consulates to highlight the benefits of U.S.-Mexican relations to the U.S. economy and the American people, Guzman said.
The initiative will include forums with U.S. business people, politicians and public figures to get Mexico’s opinions heard.
“Mexico’s positioning in the U.S. election debate is not generally adequate,” Guzman told a group of foreign correspondents. “It doesn’t reflect the constructive relationship between Mexico and the U.S.”
Trump rolled up a series of primary wins on Tuesday and looked set to take command of the Republican nomination battle.
The Mexican government has up till now avoided a direct confrontation with the billionaire real estate developer, though the country’s top diplomat has called his policies and comments “ignorant and racist.”
Former Mexican presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon have publicly condemned Trump, both comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
Mexico is a country with oil wealth that has all but abandoned its poor people. For decades, Mexico’s only plan for dealing with poverty has been to send people into the United States illegally. When Vicente Fox was president, his government looked the other way when maps were being provided to guide illegal entry into the U.S. For most of us living in the southwestern United States, Mexico deserves all of the “negative tone” it gets.
Of course Mexican officials would prefer American presidential candidates who prefer open borders, as it allows them to continue treating its poverty-stricken people like so much garbage while fattening up a thoroughly corrupt upper class.
There has been a consistent failure on the parts of American presidents from both parties to pressure Mexico to fix its own problems and stop dumping them on the U.S. Perhaps they didn’t want to upset the oil flow. Perhaps they’re all just clueless. Perhaps Mexican presidents have been lying to American presidents for decades. It may be difficult to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem, but I am willing to bet on the oil thing.
Corruption, crime and poverty are Mexico’s enduring problems, and the real reason they’re on the receiving end of a “negative tone.” If they can’t see that themselves, then it is incumbent upon someone here to help point it out.