The comments made some people cringe. Critics say López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has obediently accepted US requests to step up migration law enforcement, and has accepted Trump’s policy of sending asylum seekers to waiting for their hearings in Mexico.But Amlo also won praise for expressing support for Mexican migrants in the United States – and escaped relatively unscathed from his meeting with Trump.
Trump has shown “unusual courtesy to his counterpart” and “@Lopezobrador delivered a speech of historic, political and diplomatic depth as the representative of a free, dignified, democratic and sovereign country,” tweeted Álvaro Delgado Gómez, columnist for the newspaper El Heraldo de México.
Above all, however, Amlo was applauded for simply avoiding the humiliation.
“Trump surprised us the right way: he behaved,” said Carlos Bravo Regidor, political analyst. “He didn’t score any goals against Amlo. It was Amlo who scored his own goal when he spoke of “respect” and “understanding”. It was unnecessary and excessive, and provided that Trump’s campaign for fodder was sought by electoral means. ”
The visit highlighted the surprisingly warm personal relationships between the austere Mexican and his American counterpart. “The forecasts were wrong,” Amlo told reporters. “We did not fight. We are friends and will continue to be friends. ”
The reactions to this trip reflect the political polarization of Mexico. A pre-trip poll published by the El Financiero newspaper showed 59% support for traveling to Washington, although 85% of Mexicans disapprove of Trump.
Amlo remains relatively popular – despite surveys showing concerns about her handling of issues like crime, the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Observers say Amlo supporters simply supported the president on the Washington trip rather than expressing an opinion on whether to visit Trump.
“People don’t assess the impact of the trip itself, rather the president’s decision to go to Washington,” said Carlos Heredia, professor at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics. “If our president wanted to go to Mars, there would be majority support without discussing why he had to go.”
The trip to Washington was already something paradoxical: a celebration of North American free trade by two protectionists, and a Mexican leader who denounced “neoliberalism” praising the billionaires for their “social concern”.
“It is strange to hear the anti-imperial left of the 1970s defend Trump,” tweeted José Antonio Crespo, historian and political analyst, who noted that the Mexican left would regularly criticize previous presidents as “servile” for their eagerness to stay on good terms. with the United States.
Democrats north of the border have criticized the visit as unnecessarily helping Trump’s re-election. Joe Biden tweeted, “Trump launched his 2016 campaign by calling Mexican rapists … We have to work in partnership with Mexico. We must restore the dignity and humanity of our immigration system. ”
The Trump campaign quickly produced videos of Trump welcoming Amlo to the White House and posted them on social media – something that has not gone unnoticed in Mexico.
“Trump took advantage of it according to the script. And it will continue to do so until election day, “said Heredia. “If the voters say, ‘You are a racist’, he can now respond: ‘Look, I have the President of Mexico by my side … If I were a racist, he wouldn’t be there. »»