Two Tweets Show How Mexicans Feel About Donald Trump's Visit

August 31st 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday, ahead of much-anticipated speech on immigration that will take place in Arizona. And as pundits scratch their heads about the logic behind the meeting, Mexicans are venting their frustration over the fact that Peña Nieto extended the invitation in the first place.


Two tweets capture the sentiment surrounding Trump's visit to Mexico.

"Trump has offended me profoundly but the invitation EPN made offends me so much more," Soledad Loaeza, a professor at El Colegia México, wrote.

Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus shared a screenshot of an article where a former Mexican intelligence official was quoted describing the meeting as appeasement. "Peña Nieto is like [Neville] Chamberlain to his Hitler,” Alejandro Hope said, referencing the former British Prime Minister best known for his appeasement policy during World War II.

There's no shortage of tweets condemning Trump's visit.

The Republican presidential nominee stoked anger among Mexicans early on in his campaign, by calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. rapists and drug traffickers and insisting that Mexico would pay for a wall he plans to erect along the U.S.-Mexico border. But many Mexicans are directing their anger at Peña Nieto, who they feel is essentially enabling and validating Trump by inviting him to the country.

Peña Nieto responded to the controversy on Tuesday, tweeting that he believes "in dialogue to promote Mexico’s interests in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans, wherever they might be." It could be that the Mexican president is hoping to bolster his low approval ratings (63 percent of Mexicans disapprove of his performance, a recent poll found) by orchestrating the meeting, but a survey of the social media response in Mexico raises questions about that strategy.

It's a risky bet, but some analysts think that the visit could serve Peña Nieto's interests, allowing him to improve his standing among Mexicans.

"The political calculus for Trump in visiting Mexico is tough to figure out," The Atlantic reported. "For Peña Nieto there is perhaps a more obvious payoff, though also some substantial risks. By inviting Trump to Mexico, EPN could distract from his own troubles, and he might appear statesmanlike — having lured the great ogre Trump to visit Mexico and reckon with the country face-to-face, in a meeting where Peña Nieto will presumably once again solidly reject any prospect of Mexico paying for the wall."

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