In Mexico Donald Trump Is ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’
Mexico has adopted the silent treatment against Trump
Mexican authorities reported just yesterday their plan to a new diplomatic strategy to counter Trump’s and other Republican candidates’ attacks on Mexico and its people, and the proposal of building a wall at the border. The Mexican government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, through his spokesperson and chief of staff Francisco Guzman, told reporters on Tuesday that the Mexican government will not get involved in the US presidential elections, will not criticize candidate Donald Trump, or any other candidate by name. However, he said it is time for Mexico to push back.
Up until now, President Peña Nieto had avoided giving any comment regarding the US elections and the harsh rhetoric towards Mexico and immigrants. Yet, the Mexican government has decided to launch an outreach program through its network of Mexican consulates across the US. The goal of Mexico’s diplomatic campaign is to erase the negative images the GOP has created about the US southern neighbor by promoting the importance of their bilateral relations. Guzman told Foreign Policy that:
“We could win the front page of all the newspapers here or in other places with a swear word, and the next day that would not be good for anyone… What the government will do is deploy a greater effort to counteract the misinformation about the bilateral relationship, about the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the United States, but in a very neutral way.”
The last two former Mexican presidents, Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox have openly criticized Trump by linking him to Hitler, calling him “crazy” and a “false prophet.” And from the current administration, top diplomats have called his policies as ignorant, racist and dangerous. Nevertheless, the current president has opted for a diplomatic strategy that will highlight the benefits of relations between Mexico and the US, and according to The Guardian:
“The initiative would include forums with US business people, politicians and public figures to get Mexico’s opinions heard… The US-Mexico relationship requires more bridges and fewer walls. The isolationist solution is not a solution at all… Any candidate, above all if he wants to project himself forward, has to, in my opinion, see the relationship with Mexico not as a threat but as an opportunity.”
Francisco Guzman also told reporters that the Mexican government will establish contact with the candidates to discuss with them the benefits of bilateral relations and give them information on the wealth of Mexico. Guzman also said that Mexico believes Trump will soften his comments and position if he were to become president, hopefully realizing that the US cannot ignore the economic and political benefits of having good relations with Mexico. Guzman believes:
“As the election campaign advances, the language of the candidates will become more moderate. It’s not the same to talk for voters in an internal party campaign than to talk for the general public ahead of a general election.”
It was about time for the Mexican government to react to the Republican campaign and to pay extra attention to the dangers that this poses for Mexico, Mexicans and relations with the US. Also, doing it this way has been one of the best choices (if not the only good one) from President Peña Nieto. The strategy of using diplomacy has saved the Mexican government from stooping to Trump’s cheap level of attracting attention through scandal and show; plus, it aims at promoting the positive sides of Mexico and the relations with the US not only at the top level but also in the American society.
Whether Trump will understand the message and change his rhetoric as elections move closer, that remains to be seen.
Featured image via Flickr.