NewsTaco

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (3.5 minute read)

The joke in Mexico City is that compared to Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, Trump’s threat to send U.S. troops into Mexico doesn’t sound too bad.

The New York Times says “The phone call last Saturday between Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull turned contentious after the Australian leader pressed the president to honor an agreement to accept 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center. Late Wednesday night, Mr. Trump reiterated his anger over the agreement on Twitter. He called the agreement a ‘dumb deal’ and blamed the Obama administration for accepting it but then said that he would ‘study’ it. The tweet was posted after The Washington Post reported details of the phone call.”

That call was slated to last one hour. . . 

. . . it was over in 18 minutes, now there are tensions between the U.S. and Austrailia that weren’t there yesterday. So yeah, compared to that, when Trump told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that Mexican troops were whimps and that he’d send the U.S. army into Mexico to take care of “bad hombres,” it doesn’t sound as bad.

That says a lot about diminished expectations and how Trump has lowered the standard of, well, just about everything he’s invioved in.

All of this must have been comforting news for the Mexican president

Let me set the back drop. Both the U.S. and Mexico say the phone conversation between Trump and Peña Nieto was friendly and productive. But the Associated Press (AP) has a different take:

. . .when Trump told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that Mexican troops were whimps and that he’d send the U.S. army into Mexico to take care of “bad hombres,” it doesn’t sound as bad.

“President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop ‘bad hombres down there’ unless the Mexican military does more to control them itself, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.”

“Anonymous sources” in both Mexico and the U.S. corroborate the AP version. This is the excerpt, obtained by the AP, of what Trump said during the call.

“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

That’s a threat that caps ridicule that follows an insult. I can see why  doesn’t want it publicized and I can also see why Trump’s handlers don’t want it published either. There’s also the matter of the $1.6 billion daily cross-border trade that could be affected.

How’s this for foreign relations speak, TIME reports that the Mexican government said the “The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States.”

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►How’s this for irony?

1848 map courtesy of The Library of Congress

All of this is happening on the 168th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the piece of paper that created Mexican-Americans. The treaty itself brought an end to military hostilities between the nations and for a mere $15 million ceded what is now California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and parts of Utah and Wyoming to the U.S.

That conflict began with a territorial dispute.

Texas had won its independence from Mexico and claimed the Rio Grande as its southern border. Mexico claimed it was the Nueces River, northeast of the Grande. The U.S. tried to annex Texas but the U.S. Senate said no, they didn’t want to disrupt the balance between slave states and non-slave states – Texas was a slave state. But after a year of political wrangling The Senate capitulated and Texas became part of the U.S. That’s when the border dispute began. The U.S. sent troops to the Rio Grande, Mexico sent their troops to the Nueces and each side accused the other of military incursion.

Read more stories about Trump’s relationship with Mexico in NewsTaco. >> 

Two years later the treaty was signed, a huge chunk of Mexico became part of the U.S. and in the process 100,000 Mexicans became U.S. citizens – 168 years later we’re 34.6 million.

So to all my Mexican-American brethren out there, happy birthday!

Let’s hope this Twitter spat, bravado nonsense between Trump and Peña Nieto doesn’t devolve into something lamentable.


[Photo courtesy of Gizmodo]

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