Latin America, The Most Unexpected Ally Of Donald Trump

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                    Trump's relationship with Latin America seems to have entered a new phase.

He is called "extraordinary partner" by the president of Mexico. With those of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, it has agreed to toughen migration rules. And from his pair in Brazil he receives pure praise.

From the north to the south of Latin America, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has found a striking receptivity to boost his political, immigration, commercial or security agenda.


That current level of cooperation contrasts with the challenges Trump faces in his own country and in other parts of the world, such as Europe, the Middle East or Asia, and with the fears of hemispheric tensions he woke up when he assumed.

The president who sought votes demonizing Latin American immigrants and promising to protect the US of trade with Mexico, he now speaks of Latin America as if he were his new great ally.

Honduras agrees to receive asylum seekers deported by the US

"We have a tremendous relationship now with many nations that are very happy with what is happening, and that includes South America, where they have helped us so much, where no one thought this would be possible," Trump said last Wednesday.

"The relationship with Mexico is an example, or El Salvador, or Honduras, or Guatemala," he added during a press conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

But why this?

"Friendly and great"

The relationship of the US government With Latin America it went through an initial period of disinterest and continued through a phase of threats and punishments before reaching the current state.

Just last week, Trump highlighted his relationship with the Mexican government at least seven times, from a meeting with sheriffs to the UN assembly itself.

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                    President López Obrador has received thanks from Trump for his controversial plan to contain migration.

In particular, he referred to the renegotiation he achieved from the NAFTA free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, and to the pact for this country to mobilize thousands of National Guard troops in an effort to curb the migratory flow to the north .

3 effects in Mexico of the T-MEC, the free trade agreement signed with the US and Canada to replace NAFTA

"I would like to thank President (Andrés Manuel) López Obrador, of Mexico, for the great cooperation we are receiving and for now placing 27,000 soldiers on our southern border. Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return," he said Trump in his speech on the top global diplomatic scenario.

The agreement, sealed in June in exchange for Trump disabling his threat to impose tariffs on Mexico, worries activists who believe he increases the risk of abuse against immigrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

But Trump was pleased last week to hear his interim secretary of National Security, Kevin McAleenan, say there was a reduction of about 60% of migrants arriving in the US. from Mexico compared to May, and about 80% from Central America.

How AMLO did to fulfill the agreement with Donald Trump that turned Mexico into an "immigration sandwich"
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                    Trump is satisfied with the deployment of thousands of Mexican National Guard troops on the border.

That happened in a meeting with Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, who, like his Honduran and Guatemalan counterparts, signed a bilateral agreement with Washington to prevent them from arriving in the United States. asylum seekers passing through the region.

"One of the reasons we signed the agreement is because we want to show that friendship to our most important ally, which is the US," Bukele said with Trump at a Manhattan hotel.

"We look forward to working with President Trump for the next five years," he added in what seemed to support his re-election. "President Trump is very kind and great, and I am also kind and great."

The United States and El Salvador sign pact to "minimize" irregular migration to the US

The three Central American agreements with Washington came after Trump announced in May the cut of economic aid to those countries, which they need as the water from those funds and the remittances that are sent home by millions of its citizens already living in the US.

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                    Salvadoran President Bukele personally praised Trump.

The pacts also occur in special circumstances for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, whose brother is tried for drug trafficking this week in a case in New York that splashes him, or the Guatemalan Jimmy Morales, whose political immunity has protected him from a corruption investigation .

Honduras agrees to receive asylum seekers deported by the US

"We have to consider why Jimmy Morales made that kind of agreement," says Ana Quintana, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy promotion center in Washington.

"I think that potentially (Morales) could be seen as a little more US ally to receive US protection," he adds in dialogue with BBC Mundo.

"I love you"

Trump's understandings with Latin America also occur at a special time for the president.

Trump faces an impeachment investigation since last week in Washington to determine whether he committed a crime by suing the president of Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals.

Something that the US House of Representatives will seek to establish. It is if that request to investigate Democratic politicians was linked to a decision by Trump to stop sending aid to Ukraine.

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                    Many of the asylum seekers arriving at the southern US border They face the possibility of being sent back to Central American countries.

In turn, Trump is preparing to seek his re-election next year embarked on a trade war with China, with great political discrepancies with Europe and without concrete results in his negotiations to denuclearize North Korea.

"When it comes to Latin America, the (Trump) government can point to tangible victories and successes, to areas where US interests have advanced," says Quintana.

Trump himself has compared Mexico's collaborative attitude with the refusal of the Democratic opposition to vote on its immigration demands.

"We use Mexico because the Democrats don't fix our broken immigration system," he said back to Washington last week.

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                    Before the representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, Trump said they belong to a "historic coalition" of 55 countries that recognizes Guaidó as president of Venezuela.

Even in his attempt so far unsuccessful to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, Trump exhibits a "coalition" with Latin American countries that followed his decision to recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of that country and coordinate various measures.

Some countries such as Mexico or Uruguay have avoided joining that policy, but have remained in the minority.

In parallel to the UN assembly, Trump met in New York with the presidents or representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru to discuss the Venezuelan crisis and give Guaidó a boost.

How Trump and his "coalition for Venezuela" seek to increase international pressure against Maduro

But the tuning has reached other areas.

Argentina became the first country in Latin America in July to designate Hezbollah as a "terrorist" group, something that Washington said was a historic achievement after years of diplomatic efforts.

Paraguay did the same the following month. And the next could be Brazil, the South American giant that in the last decade persuaded a region where there were a majority of leftist governments to take distance from Washington.

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been listed as "Trump of the Tropic" for his right-wing and nationalist similarities with his American counterpart, of whom he has declared himself "a great admirer."

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                    Bolsonaro has declared himself a Trump fan.

At the UN assembly last week Bolsonaro said that Brazil and the US they launched in March "a bold and comprehensive association" that includes political and military coordination.

"I love you," Bolsonaro told Trump when they both crossed into a UN room, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. "Good to see you again," the host replied.

For now there are no clear signs that with all this Trump can reduce China's influence in the hemisphere, as he had proposed.

It is also uncertain what Latin America will achieve in return or how long this special relationship will last with someone like Trump, whose critics in Europe accuse of weakening multilateralism and whose opponents in the US. Tildan as racist and xenophobic.

Roberta Jacobson, former US ambassador in Mexico, he said in an interview in June that López Obrador "is going to find that you can't always reconcile and accept the demands of a thug like Trump."

But for now, the Mexican and the majority of the governments of the region seem inclined to avoid confrontation with Trump and explore reserve points with Washington in reserve.

"We are looking for the most effective means," Ecuadorian Foreign Minister José Valencia, whose government has recomposed the relationship with the US, tells BBC Mundo. after the cooling that was with former president Rafael Correa.

"For now, the path we have sought from solutions through government-to-government contacts," he adds, "has worked."

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