The Republican candidate, business tycoon and a very vocal, Donald Trump, plans to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday, 31 August.
Trump is squeezing in his visit to Mexico between a fundraising event in California and a speech he is to deliver on illegal immigration in Arizona, Wednesday evening, 31 August. This trip has come as quite a surprise to many who remember Trump’s insulting remarks about Mexicans and the type of illicit activities he claims they conduct on US soil.
Notwithstanding the fact that Trump has openly shared his views of Mexicans as “rapists” and drug lords, he claimed to be looking forward to meeting with the leader of the nation he often associates with crime and clandestine labor.
“I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow,” he tweeted on Tuesday, 30 August.
Trump is not welcome
There are numerous Mexicans who are in complete opposition to Trump’s visit. Reports reveal that there are even two demonstrations that will be underway in Mexico City to make it known that the Xenophobic-advocate and Republican nominee is unwelcome in their country.
Mexico’s member of the opposition party, Democratic Revolution, and Senator, Miguel Barbosa, had tweeted that Trump must leave rather than coming to Mexico to take pictures with the people he offended. He also added that he was not worthy of invitation from the Mexican government, who reportedly invited the bold nominee to lunch.
Even former First Lady of the Latin-American country, Margarita Zavala, slammed Trump’s visit saying that Mexicans have dignity and denounced the hate speech he has so often employed to a sea of white applauding people.
President Peña Nieto does not share the same sentiment but rather views the meeting as constructive dialogue that would help to “protect Mexican interests in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are,” according to BBC.
Why would President Peña Nieto be eager to meet with Trump?
After the Mexican President compared the opinionated Republican to Hitler, why would he extend his invitation to Trump? Hillary Clinton, one can understand, but Donald Trump? The man who has on so many an occasion referred to the whole Mexican people as some of the worst in the US. Accusing them of stealing job opportunities from the American people and that they should be kept off of US soil by a wall that the Mexican government should construct and for which they themselves are expected to pay.
One proposed reason is that Trump’s visit to the Central American country would distract attention from the scandals with which President Peña Nieto is faced. The President is to deliver a “State of the Government” to Congress tomorrow, a day after Trump’s visit, which means that instead of focusing on what the President will present, most are currently concerned with Trump’s undesired presence in their country.
According to an article published by the Nation, the Mexican President had reportedly plagiarized 197 of 682 paragraphs of his law school thesis. Also, his four-year term has reportedly seen the lowest polls of any president of the country since 1995 at a 23% approval.
Furthermore, if Trump is to be sworn in as the President of the United States, something many are hoping never happens, then he may choose to implement harsher laws against immigration concerning Mexico, straining the two nations’ relations. However, as much as Republicans may not want Mexicans on their soil taking their jobs, they would probably not hesitate to continue taking their oil and resources. This seems to be the overarching outcome that came from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), that former President Bill Clinton established, along with Canada, which saw Mexico become the US’ third largest goods trading partner raking in a total of $531 billion goods trade during 2015.
This liberal trading between the two countries may have had a positive effect on goods exportation, it caused adversity for local Mexican farmers who were now competing against greatly subsidized US agriculture. The uneven playing field into which the US, Canada, and Mexico had entered took a toll on Mexico’s economy and thus has done little to better the inequality within Mexican society. Privatization of oil and electricity in 2014 meant that private firms had greater access to the Latin-American country’s natural resources, to the detriment of the Mexican people and economy. Thus, perhaps it would not be the worst if Mexico and US relations were tightened. It might prove to be more beneficial for Mexico if it were so.
Trump securing votes
Many speculations are revolving Trump’s visit to Mexico. Whatever they may all be, one thing for sure is that it makes for a good publicity stunt, which may boost his popularity that has been in a slump of late, compared to Clinton.
Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, stated that meeting with the Mexican president would be deemed “very presidential,”, BBC reports. However, many of Trump’s supporters may view this meeting as ‘consorting with the enemy’ of sorts. Either way, they say that bad publicity is better than no publicity.