Two events that brought increased pressure to Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto were the release by The Washington Post of his January 27 full conversation with President Donald Trump, and the events in Venezuela which have unleashed the fury of the beast dictator Nicolás Maduro against him. They made him the ham in the sandwich because he got sliced to pieces.
Prior to the alleged rigged election in which Maduro came up with a new dictatorial National Constitutional Assembly, Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray had made it clear that Mexico opposed the election and the imposition the current Venezuelan president had brought upon his nation.
But Maduro, a nefarious big blabber mouth went on to offend President Peña Nieto forgetting that he is president of a friendly nation to Venezuela, and that personal offenses are not made to Peña Nieto, but to the President of Mexico.
“Peña Nieto, listen to me talking to you from Venezuela. It’s a shame that you let yourself be treated like a mistreated employee, abused by his boss, Donald Trump. You do mess with Venezuela … but you don’t even touch Trump even with the petal of a rose. You are not capable of going along with your people to tear down the watts that limit Mexico with the United States.”
Incidentally, this is not the first time Maduro lashed out against President Peña Nieto, but the hate tone from this here quoted tirade was bitter and aiming at hurting.
Many people were expecting that Peña Nieto would immediately order Secretary Luis Videgaray to break diplomatic relations with Venezuelan, but a few hours after it happened Videgaray announced that Mexico was keeping its ambassador in Caracas untouched.
That was on the southern side. On the northern side, the leak of the Trump-Peña Nieto phone conversation further teased the gossip in Mexico placing Peña Nieto as “a weak” president. But after perusing the conversation, it is clear that what some harsh Mexican critics of the presidents saw as weakness, was indeed being careful talking to a guy who wanted him to say he’d pay for the wall — even if he didn’t — just to make The Donald look good to his voters and confirm him as a powerful U.S. leader.
Many critics also blame Secretary Videgaray for all of Peña Nieto’s supposed diplomatic blunders, because he’s been the one that has made relations with Trump smoother, but at the same time has trampled on the former rules of Mexican diplomacy violating the Estrada Doctrine of not meddling in the internal affairs of other nations.
Organizing the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Cancun last June 21 was seen by Maduro as an offense to his government and announced at the time his intent to pull out as member of OAS. At the time, Videgaray sought to have the OAS make a call of attention to Maduro and his regime, but in the end it backfired.
Maduro still went on to integrate the National Constitutional Assembly made up of people and voters who are under the Venezuelan government payroll.
But what Videgaray did earn was to have the general criticism that his position had nothing to do with Mexican diplomacy but it seemed a servile act to back the U.S. Department of State motion to antagonize Maduro. By the way, the United States released a rejection of the election of the Venezuelan National Constitutional Assembly last Friday.
Fortunately for Mexican diplomacy, the Venezuelan election of the Assembly has been rejected by now by dozens of nations and even on Saturday the countries that make up the South American Market called Mercosur expelled Venezuela but did not suspend trade with it, as that would be tantamount to condemning the Venezuelan people to further food and medical shortages that have already wreaked havoc to the Venezuelan economy.
Surely the conclusion is that Secretary Videgaray is the man ushering President Peña Nieto into all these problems he’s confronting. Videgaray has been but seven months at the helm of the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE). It was his negotiating that led to the conversation between Peña Nieto and Trump after Peña Nieto had cancelled the January 30 appointment at the White House.
And in the Maduro case, surely it is the opinion of many that his being a greenhorn in diplomacy has led to many broken dishes under his short time as Mexico’s top diplomat, but it is in the end President Peña Nieto the one booting the cost of the broken dishes.