While it appeared that Donald Trump was being presidential and politically correct (which is just another term for being polite), what actually happened between Trump and Mexico’s president, Peña Nieto was a passive aggressive, war of words. The anticipated apology by Trump for his inappropriate and racist remarks about Mexicans over the past year never happened.
Not even 2 weeks ago, Trump swore to America, “I will never lie to you” but in Mexico he lied to America in claiming he and Nieto had not discussed who will pay for Trump’s Wall Around America. In truth, Nieto told Trump to his face that Mexico would not pay for his wall.
Trump’s lie prompted Nieto to release a statement explaining why he invited Trump and what was actually discussed in their private meeting. Below is a translation of Nieto’s statement.
Why did I meet with Donald Trump?
The Mexican government has observed carefully, and with full respect for, the electoral process in the United States. Both candidates have the potential to become president of the United States and it is my responsibility as president, to work with whomever is elected.
Dialogue is a basic principle of democracy; which is why, last Friday I invited both candidates to discuss our bilateral relationship. The presence of Mr. Trump in Mexico is due to this invitation, who was the first to accept it.
It is important to meet with both candidates, but even more so with Mr. Trump, because there are things to be said by the President of Mexico that he should know , starting with how Mexicans feel. That’s why in our meeting I made known three things.
First, I was very clear-in public and in private-to emphasize that in Mexico we feel offended and hurt by his statements about Mexicans. I expressed that we deserve respect, we are honest, hardworking people, we value the family and the culture of effort. Mexico and the United States are more than neighbors, we are partners and we are allies. In his campaign speeches, Trump has not treated us not as partners, not as allies, from a distorted view of Mexico and its people. So it was important to talk to him and make it clear that any future cooperation to strengthen the relationship between the two countries must be based on mutual respect. Donald Trump’s reaction was positive. I am convinced that the greater the differences, the more dialogue is needed.
Second, it was essential to put in their proper perspective the importance of Mexico to the United States, Who knows firsthand that more than one million people and 400,000 vehicles circulate daily through the border. That trade between the two countries exceeds 500 billion dollars a year. The Mexican economy is closely linked to the US. If the United States does well, then Mexico does well. The United States exports more than 200 billion dollars a year to Mexico and more than six million US jobs depend on these exports.
And third, I mentioned the border is a challenge that requires a joint approach to stewardship. From the United States comes illegal weapons and millions of dollars that strengthen criminal organizations. These weapons and that money are a result of the earnings by drug cartels in the United States, they generate violence in our country and that must be stopped. I was also very clear in my conversation with Trump on the border: Mexico will not pay for any wall.
My priority as president is to protect Mexicans, advocate for their rights, defend their lives and their dignity wherever they are. That’s my ultimate responsibility. Where there is a Mexican who needs support from the government, we’ll be there.
President of Mexico