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Trump and López Obrador Meeting Confounds Their Enemies, and Opens Great Advance in U.S.-Mexico Relations

July 10, 2020
President Donald J. Trump, joined by the President of the United Mexican States Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, walks from the Oval Office to deliver remarks Wednesday, July 8, 2020, and sign a joint declaration in the Rose Garden of the White House.
President Donald J. Trump, joined by the President of the United Mexican States Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, walks from the Oval Office to deliver remarks Wednesday, July 8, 2020, and sign a joint declaration in the Rose Garden of the White House.

President Donald Trump and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador both agreed wholeheartedly in their afternoon of meetings July 8th that friendly relations between the United States and Mexico, as well as their personal friendship, had been greatly strengthened by their talks, laying the basis for a great future for their nations together. The occasion was to celebrate the initiation of the North American trade deal which replaced NAFTA, the USMCA, but the discussion extended to a much deeper level.

But the actual political significance of the meeting lay, not in the specific deals struck, but what some might dismiss as “symbolism”: the emphatic commitment of both heads of state to reestablishing relations along the lines of the Lincoln-Juárez alliance and FDR-Cárdenas friendship—historic references which were the hallmark of Lyndon LaRouche’s policy for U.S.-Mexico relations, and North-South ties in general.

We are “committing ourselves to a shared future of prosperity, security and harmony,” President Trump declared before they signed a “Joint Declaration between the United States and Mexico.” “With this signing, we pledge the close and continued friendship between the United States and Mexico, and we accelerate our progress toward an even greater tomorrow ... two sovereign nations thriving, growing, and excelling side by side, working together.... The potential for the future of the United States and Mexico is unlimited.”

Both clearly enjoyed proving the political Establishment’s game plan for both sides of the border, who had predicted confrontation between them, dead wrong. “The relationship between the United States and Mexico has never been closer than it is right now. And as the President (López Obrador) said a little while ago, people were betting against that,” Trump chuckled. López Obrador smiled as he told Trump: They forecast that our relationship would fail, and “we are not fighting, and we are friends.”

Both men understand where the other “is coming from,” and that that is what their enemies fear. As Trump put it this afternoon: “Each of us was elected on the pledge to fight corruption, return power to the people, and put the interests of our countries first. And I do that and you do that, Mr. President.” López Obrador had made precisely that point in his first letter to Trump after he won the election in July 2018.

The Presidents located their cooperation as a continuation of the best moments of U.S.-Mexican relations.

In the morning before they met, López Obrador laid a wreath in front of the statue of Mexican President Benito Juárez, and then another in front of Abraham Lincoln’s statue in the Lincoln Memorial. Trump expressed his appreciation later: “The tradition of great respect between Mexican and American Presidents goes back to the early days of both of our nations. And, in particular, it includes President Abraham Lincoln and President Benito Juárez, who each held one another in very, very high esteem. They were great friends and they did great things together. And we are grateful that, this morning, President López Obrador laid a wreath at the memorials that stand to each of these leaders, right here in our nation’s capital.”

López Obrador expanded this history in his remarks. “The best President Mexico has ever had, Benito Juárez García, as you have mentioned, had a good understanding with the great Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. Let us remember that this great, historic leader of the United States, who was the promoter of the abolition of slavery, never recognized Emperor Maximilian,ss [who was] imposed on Mexico through the intervention of the powerful French army,” he said. “The same thing happened with the splendid relationship that Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had with our patriot President, General Lázaro Cárdenas.” He cited General Cárdenas’s expression of deep appreciation of FDR’s acceptance of Mexico’s right to expropriate foreign investors looting Mexico’s oil, as a reassertion by Franklin Roosevelt “once more of the sovereignty of the peoples of this continent.”

Trump spoke warmly of the “36 million incredible Mexican-American citizens,” hardworking people who “uplift our communities,” and contribute to every aspect of American industry, commerce, science, medicine, police and military. Turning to López Obrador with a smile, he added: “They’re like you: They’re tough negotiators and great businesspeople, Mr. President.”

López Obrador thanked Trump for having personally intervened to help Mexico acquire medical equipment needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic —Trump noted that the U.S. had sent 600 ventilators and would be sending more—and thanked “the people of the United States, its government, and thank you, President Trump for being increasingly respectful with our Mexican fellow men.”

Looking at Trump, he added: “But what I mainly appreciate is that you have never sought to impose anything on us violating our sovereignty. Instead of the Monroe Doctrine, you have followed, in our case, the wise advice of the lustrous and prudent President George Washington who said, ‘Nations should not take advantage of the unfortunate condition of other peoples.’ You have not tried to treat us as a colony; on the contrary, you have honored our condition as an independent nation.”

He then addressed the American people: “That’s why I’m here to express to the people of the United States that their President has behaved with us with kindness and respect. You have treated us just as what we are: a country and a dignified people; a free, democratic, and sovereign people. Long live the friendship of our two nations.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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