If I was President Enrique Peña Nieto, I’d be terrified of meeting Donald Trump on a face to face basis as surely the Mexican President will in Hamburg, Germany within the events of the G-20 Summit Friday and Saturday.
Really, President Peña Nieto has reason to be concerned about dealing with The Donald. First was the scathing visit then-presidential candidate Trump made on August 31, 2016 to Peña Nieto at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, which won Peña Nieto a landslide booing from the Mexican people as by that time Trump was persona non-grata in Mexico. The visitation sent Peña Nieto’s scant popularity reeling to the ground.
Then the second event was when Peña Nieto was going to visit now President Donald Trump at the White House on January 30, 2017, but cancelled on a last minute basis after tweeting Trump said that if President Peña wasn’t willing to pay for his border wall, he’d better not show up.
Now, if you thought that the January offense was the last of The Donald’s crudeness, wait until you hear the last one, just last week, in which insult comes accompanied by injury on the part of Peña Nieto’s Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell. And this one will be an issue to deal with during the upcoming 20 minute conversation between these unlikely neighbors.
On June 30, Trump announced at the U.S. Energy Agency that it had approved the construction of an oil pipeline to run across the Rio Grande out of Peñitas, Texas, into the state of Tamaulipas. Peñitas is just west of the McCallen-Reynosa border.
The announcement of the pipeline didn’t make a splash in Mexico until Trump went over to Iowa to tell some of his voting contingent that yet another of his many great successes was to increase U.S. energy exports, which would have been fine, if The Donald could have only been able to withhold his sarcasm.
“My administration has just approved construction of a new petroleum pipeline to Mexico, which will further boost American energy exports,” he added.
“And that’ll go right under the wall, right? It’s going under. Right? Have it go down a little deeper in that one section, you know, a little like this. Right under the wall,” he said as the audience laughed, as Trump repeatedly made a motion with his hand.
In fact, Trump was imitating none other than now retired and white bearded comedian Dave Letterman. Trump move his hand just like Letterman during the several times he said “right under the wall.” Few Mexicans are Letterman fans — I was one — but Trump’s crude imitation did not make laugh, I can assure you. Bad Hombre.
Perhaps his audience thought it was funny but in Mexico everyone was furious at Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell because had not The Donald made the announcement in the mocking Letterman style, Mexicans would not have learned about the fact that now, Mexico, an oil exporter, was importing crude, both in substance and language, from the President of the United States of America.
When Joaquín Coldwell didn’t know how to hide his surprise as the Trump announcement caught him and Pemex director José Antonio González Anaya at a press conference late last week he had to admit the construction of the pipeline was a done deal and that indeed would be built across the border.
Just make the hiding of fact from the Peña Nieto Administration to the people of Mexico the Energy Secretary was asked that if it would be “right under the wall”. He answered “where would you want it, over the wall?”
On Wednesday Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray officially announced President Peña Nieto’s trip to Germany where he will also meet with the prime ministers of Canada, India, Italy and Spain.
Secretary Videgaray was asked the obvious question by TV interviewer Carlos Loreto if the Trump Wall issue was part of the agenda but Videgaray was cutting by saying, “The President has no reason to negotiate that issue because it is not part of bilateral talks. Besides, the wall is an offense to Mexico.”
Indeed it is but in Mexico the issue is now how will Peña Nieto deal with the tufted Yeti?