Peña Nieto, second from right, in Chile yesterday. Peña Nieto, second from right, in Chile yesterday.

Trump’s border wall not ‘friendly gesture’

Mexico repeats once again it will not pay for the wall

United States President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a border wall “is not a friendly gesture,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said yesterday in an interview with a Chilean newspaper.


But the president also told El Mercurio that the construction of the wall “is an internal policy issue in which the people and the government of the United States will have to take a sovereign decision.”

In Chile to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Sebastián Piñera, Peña Nieto added, “Mexico is very grateful to the countries of Latin America for all the support that they have given us on countless occasions.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray, who accompanied the president to Chile, weighed in on the border wall issue Saturday via his Twitter account, referencing a recent testy telephone conversation between Trump and Peña Nieto.

“In the February 20 call, President Enrique Peña Nieto firmly reiterated what we Mexicans have always said: we will never pay, in any way, for a border wall. Under that premise, we will continue to work constructively on the bilateral relationship with the United States,” he wrote.

The source of the wall’s funding has been a major source of contention between the two nations and the issue flared up again in last month’s telephone conversation, leading to the cancelation of a meeting between the two presidents.

At a rally for a Republican congressional candidate in Pennsylvania Saturday, Trump revealed some further detail about the call after being spurred on by the crowd chanting “build that wall.”


When Peña Nieto — described by Trump as “a really nice guy” — said that he wanted him to make a statement that Mexico would not pay for the wall, the U.S. president told Republican Party supporters that he responded by saying:

“Are you crazy? I am not making that statement.”

Trump ended the phone call, saying, “Bye, bye. There is no way I’m making that deal.”

The tension evident in the call is reflective of a strained relationship between the neighboring countries that has been complicated not just by the border wall issue but also by contentious NAFTA renegotiation talks, Trump’s hardline rhetoric towards Mexico and other differences on bilateral issues such as drug trafficking and immigration.

Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with Peña Nieto and other senior government officials in Mexico City last week in what was widely seen as a move to smooth over strained bilateral relations. However, a meeting between the two presidents has not yet been rescheduled.

Trump will visit San Diego, California, tomorrow to inspect prototypes of his long-sought wall.

Mexico’s relations with Chile — where Piñera is beginning his second term as president after a four-year absence from the job — are on much better terms than those with its northern neighbor.

In the El Mercurio interview, Peña Nieto said “during recent years, Mexico and Chile have strengthened [their relationship] as friends, allies and strategic partners” and would “seek to make the most of that intimacy” during a Piñera administration.

Both countries were among the 11 nations that last week formally entered into a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Source: El Universal (sp), Reuters (en)

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  • cooncats

    It’s also not a friendly gesture to openly encourage illegal immigration to the U.S. by your own nationals or by helping Central Americans to get to the U.S. border. It’s not a friendly gesture to hand out literature to your border jumpers which includes helpful hints on how not to be captured by the police.

    It’s not a friendly gesture to let criminal gangs control your border states lock stock and barrel. It’s not a friendly gesture to play protectionist games and allow outright theft of imports at your border to the point most companies will not ship stuff to the U.S. from Mexico. It’s not a friendly gesture to openly attack and demonstrate against the U.S. government on U.S. soil including waving your flag in the streets like you own the place. It’s not a friendly gesture for your politicians to openly campaign in the U.S. like Mr. Anaya just did complete with still more insults against our government.

    Why are there over 12 million Mexicans in the U.S.? Because this country is an abject failure at providing for its own people, that’s why. Perhaps Mr. Anaya and the rest of the mouthy and corrupt Mexican politicians who are responsible for this situation need to start doing their job so these people can come home. Hint for Anaya, Fox, Calderon and any other mouthy political hack here: Your job is NOT to see how much you and your buddies can steal from the Mexican people while you are in office. Got it?

    • Mike S

      Ann Coulter’s bull shit taking points regurgitated exactly. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

      • Exactly. Mexican political issues are for Mexicans to deal with at the polls and in their own criminal justice system. Corruption exists in the United States also, and the current regime in the White House is riddled with officials with blatant conflicts of interest and financial interests that conflict with the welfare of the American people. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

        • DreadFool

          Whoreje Ramos would disagree with you.

      • cooncats

        Please let us know exactly what isn’t a matter of record here, genius. You’ve been caught making shit up here so often you are hardly one to talk about facts.

        Try living in this country and it will soon be very obvious just why those 12 million left and why this country continues to fail miserably at living up to its potential. And that sure isn’t America’s fault.

        • Mike S

          I have lived in Mexico several times and usually when I visit (which is quite often) I stay for months at a time. I have visited most Mexican states. I employed Mexicans back in the 70s & 80s. I have been traveling to Mexico regularly since I was 18 years old (50 years now). I have many Mexican friends and have had 2 long-term relationships with Mexican women over the decades. I speak passable Spanish and read it pretty well. I think I know a little about Mexican culture and history. The cartel wars today are just as much the responsibility of the US as Mexico. 40 million US citizen trace some heritage back to Mexico and Mexicans have been in the US for centuries. We have a 2000 mile border with Mexico that has been mostly peaceful except when Polk started his dirty little land-grabbing war. It is absolutely natural and right that we would have a large number of Mexicans living in the US…it part of both country’s heritage. California is the most prosperous and advanced state in the Union and has the largest Mexican-American population. California gets 88 cents back for every federal tax dollar collected. That surplus goes to “welfare” deep red states to prevent them from becoming 3rd world. Not sure exactly what you include in your “12 million” number but are a country of 320 million. .

    • Güerito

      12 million? More like 30+ million.

      Remittances sent from the US to Mexico, combined with the strength of the US dollar, is probably the only positive economic news for Mexico in the last couple years.

      • cooncats

        Don’t confuse the number of Mexican nationals in the U.S., widely estimated at around 12 million about half who are undocumented with the amount of remittances, very close to the 30 billion figure.

        It is quite amazing how an economy with so much potential barely manages to eke out 2 percent growth while the U.S. no longer under the yoke of Obama is pushing 3 percent despite the aging population there.

        Of course the difference is that money spent on infrastructure actually buys infrastructure instead of being stolen like it is here, people can actually do business there without having to bribe every PRi and PAN asshole in town, they can ship stuff over the roads without their trucks being hijacked and so on.

        It is fun to watch these Mexican political criminals whine endlessly about Trump while they rob the country blind and even more interesting to watch the stupids like Mike and Chip suck it up. Of course none of them apparently noticed that Mexico was the same corrupt failure under Obama, under Bush, under Clinton, under….

        The greatest economic migration in modern history, folks been fleeing Mexico and its government for decades and all the sudden it is Trump’s fault. LOL

        • Mike S

          Cooncat, please at least get your facts straight. Like Trump, you greatly exaggerate. There are currently 5.6 million undocumented Mexicans living in the US and that number has been steadily declining since 2009 when it was over 6 million.. Most live in 2 states- California and Texas. Asians are now the fastest growing group of undocumented residents in the US. And now more than half of that 5.6 million are “over stays” who came in legally and who will eventually return. Trump’s wall looks really stupid on closer examination. In California and Texas those declining illegal Mexicans are well tolerated and respected for their work ethic. This a non-problem “problem” that is solving itself except in the Trump-cult’s mind.

          • Güerito

            Is that you Glen Olives? LOL I thought so!!

            Mike S. is the vaunted Glen Olives.

          • Güerito

            Glen, is that you. : ) LOL

          • cooncats

            You really are reading challenged, aren’t you? Try reading what I wrote again: “Don’t confuse the number of Mexican nationals in the U.S., widely estimated at around 12 million about half who are undocumented. Genius, I cited the figure for both legal and illegal. Missing this completely you’ve gone on for an entire paragraph about only the illegals. Sheesh!

          • Mike S

            So the bottom line is you don’t like Mexicans of any legal standing and see them as a threat to your “white nationalism”? America is a country of immigrants founded and evolved on ideas like the Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights Act, and women’s suffrage- not the way people look. We evolved from 12 “tribes” and cultures. As we grew to 320 million what has made us sometimes a great country is our belief and practice of our ideals instead of putting our tribal identities first. The Old South tribe was founded by the purely evil Barbados slave traders; we fought a civil war to reform them but that culture lives on. Are you a member of that tribe? Our population growth needs to slow and I am for orderly immigration but I believe Mexicans in general are good people with good values and embrace our American ideals very readily. They contribute mightily to our economy and culture.

          • cooncats

            No the bottom line is I don’t like dolts who hate their own country or Mexican dolts who enable the crooked politicians down here to distract everyone’s attention from the fact they are stealing the people blind.

          • Mike S

            The vast majority of immigrants to the US for the last 300 years were not wealthy educated aristocrats. They were the great poor unwashed hungering for a chance to improve their lot and their children’s lot in life. I am for reducing immigration across the board, but selling green cards for $500k or setting immigration quotas based solely on wealth, connections, skin color, religion, or even education is a bad idea. I have been reading your posts for months now. You are a full blown Fox Nation Trumpeteer so of course a progressive like me is going to take issue.

          • Mike S

            Let me give you a little history lesson about slavery and the deep south. I know plenty about what went on with the English, Dutch, and Arab slave traders. Slavery was brought to Barbados by the English grand fathers of later Barbados plantation owners. Most slaves in the early years before 1600 worked in the Caribbean. Slavery and the slave trade flourished in Barbados; it was the epicenter. It was the most horrifying and evil chapter in slavery in the Americas. Soon these vile evil English grand kids took slavery to the US mainland in 1670 and began instituting a society that lasted until 1865. It was torture, murder, rape, bearings, and working people to death. Remnants of its thinking still exist today in the Trump cult. Mexico outlawed slavery in 1829; Trump’s allies in Saudi Arabia in 1962. The Mormon Church finally agreed black people had “souls” in the 1970s.

          • cooncats

            You couldn’t give my cat a history lesson.


            All you have are your stupid Trump rants. Have you hired a lawyer yet?

          • Myersey

            Trump isn’t stupid , only the people who back him are.

          • actually Mexico outlawed slavery in 1813 and the constitution of 1824 enshrined the article that says any slave who reaches Mexican soil is free.

    • Myersey

      and yet Trump is doing just that to you.

  • WestCoastHwy

    Not sure who is being more of an idiot…….Mexicans believing in Trump or just Trump?

  • DreadFool

    tunnels are like underground handshakes!

  • Wall’s not a friendly gesture? Well, duh. Of course not. Not intended to be.

    • David Nichols

      Exactly… !
      Nations don’t have friends…they have national interests.
      And it is in the interest of the USA to keep Mexicans on their own side of the border unless they follow our rules for visitation or immigration …

    • Bonnie G

      It is sad, what is going on in Mexico right now. The crime wave is making many expats choose some place else to settle besides this beautiful country.

  • Fester N Boyle

    The US should build the wall, but at the southern border of Mexico’s northern tier of states. Mexico has failed its own citizens and millions of them have fled into the US. The border areas are out of Mexican govt. control, and run by narco gangs. Mexico has aid and abetted the illegal entry of foreign crimmigrants worldwide into the US, an act of agression. Mexico has acted as a conduit for foreign countries to use NAFTA to bypass US import regulations. Mexico is no friendly nation to the US.

    The US should seize Mexico’s northern states and impose martial law on them as a buffer zone to resettle all the foreigners now illegally residing in the US due to Mexico’s actions. This would be doing the Mexican residents of these areas a big favor by eliminating the narco gangs and imposing American culture on them. The Mexican govt. would still have the remainder of their country to thieve from.

  • Louis Barbosa

    It is not logical to try and force a neighboring country to pay for infrastructure that is in another country and that those you want to pay for it do not benefit from this at all. U.S. should pay for bullet train in Mexico. Also the reason so many Mexicans are in U.S. is because you annexed so much Mexican territory to include all of the Southwestern states from Texas west to California. Hint to Trump: Your collusion and conflicts of interest plus obstruction of justice will be the end of your chaotic reign in U.S.!! Cannot be soon enough.