Friday, April 7, 2017

Mexico Vs. Trump, Wednesday

Diario de Juarez reported, soberly, on Thursday (click here) that Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, in Washington on Wednesday, revealed that he had asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to "repect the electoral process in Mexico." Mexico will hold presidential elections in 2018.  Videgaray made his remarks in response to a comment Senator John McCain made at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing to the effect that a leftist president in Mexico would not be good either for the US or for Mexico.

To understand the biting irony in Videgaray's remarks you need to understand two contextual issues.

(1) Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (known popularly as AMLO), a leftist who narrowly lost a presidential election to conservative Felipe Calderon in 2006, now leads in various recent national polls.  His popularity is widely believed to be enhanced by the feeling in Mexico that he would stand up to President Trump, in contrast to the fawning demeanor of current President Enrique Pena Nieto on two occasions, once in Washington and once in Mexico City, in Trump's presence.  The Mexican government, understandably, is concerned about its image as it deals with the President who once called Mexican immigrants "rapists."

At first glance, Videgaray's eagerness to reveal his complaint to Kelly about McCain's comment appears to be a slight over-reaction from a super-sensitive Mexican administration that lost its chance to prove, when the world was watching, that it had huevos.  But there is more

(2)  In the context of the scandal of the Trump campaign's coziness with the Russians as they were hacking into one of our presidential candidates' emails, and the widespread suspicion throughout the world, including Mexico, that there was collusion by the Trump campaign in this, there is an implicit suggestion here in Videgaray's remarks thatTrump's people might well be willing to intervene in a second presidential election:  beware, Mexico, of someone hacking into your elections next year!

Score one, on the rhetorical board, for Mexico.

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