Mexico City,(IANS) A day after US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Mexico, attacks continued on Thursday against the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) decision to invite the controversial business mogul.
Many, including Mexico’s Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu, maker of “Birdman” and “The Revenant”, were angered that the candidate most hostile to Mexico had been invited, Xinhua news agency reported.
Mexican President “Enrique Pena Nieto’s invitation to Donald Trump is a betrayal. It endorses and formalises the person who has insulted us, spit on us and threatened us for more than a year before the entire world,” Inarritu wrote in an editorial published by Spanish daily El Pais.
Mexico City Secretary of Economic Development Salomon Chertorivski echoed that sentiment.
“Donald Trump’s visit seems outrageous to me. The person, perhaps, who has most offended and inundated with insults our country, is welcomed. It is painful and incongruent,” Chertorivski said.
Mexico’s leading left-leaning opposition figure Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador considered the political implications and called the meeting a mistake, saying it appeared to give the impression Mexico was meddling in US elections.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has been forced to repeatedly defend his decision to host the controversial candidate.
“Why did I meet with Donald Trump?” Pena Nieto posted to Twitter, with a link to an editorial he published in the daily El Universal, explaining his reasons.
The president said he extended an invitation to last week to both Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Trump, and the Manhattan billionaire was the first to accept.
“It is important to meet with both candidates, but it was even more important to meet with Trump, because there are things he should hear from Mexico’s president, beginning with the sentiment of the Mexicans,” said Pena Nieto.
He went on to detail his private conversation with Trump, saying “I was very clear … in stressing that in Mexico we were offended and pained by his statements about Mexicans.”
On the campaign trail, Trump has frequently used derogatory language when referring to Mexicans and other Latin Americans who migrate to the United States, calling them “killers and rapists”.
During his visit, Trump did not apologise or make any concessions to Mexico, as many had hoped, and just hours later repeated his assertion that he would build a massive wall along the two countries’ 2,000-mile border to keep out migrants, and have Mexicans pay for it.
“Mexico will pay for the wall!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
“I repeat what I told him in person: Trump, Mexico would never pay for a wall,” Pena Nieto responded on Twitter.