Unity in Trump Times: Sanmiguelense Civic Front
By Jesús Aguado
The Sanmiguelense Civic Front (FACS) sent a message of unity to all, Mexicans and foreigners, and all interested in sending a message of unity to Mexico and the world about facing the “diplomatic war” between the Mexican United States and the United States of America.
In a document, written last week, the FACS stated that “in times when our nation is receiving attacks and threats from the president of the United States—not from the people, but from the president—we all have the duty of raising our voices to pacifically demonstrate to defend Mexico.” The document was handed to Mayor Ricardo Villarreal García as an invitation to head the public meeting that, according to a member of the FACS, Rubén Villasana, will take place on Friday, February 10, at 6:30pm at the Jardín Principal. Mexicans and people from other countries who love Mexico are invited. The idea is to send a message of support and union to the Mexican government.
According to Rubén Villasana, Mayor Ricardo Villarreal said that he will attend the event and will also address the group. The organization also sent an invitation to Governor Miguel Márquez. Villasana remarked that it is an event for all those who are proud of the country, its culture, and traditions. During the meeting a civil act featuring the Mexican National Anthem will be held. Later, there will be a program with pre-Columbian and folkloric dances and poetry that extols Mexican virtues.
During the campaign of the then candidate for the office of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, there were established the grounds for the migratory projects and politics that the American government will work with in the following four years. Between these projects is included the construction of a wall between the Mexican and American border, a wall that Trump affirms Mexico will pay for, stating that the construction is necessary because: the border is dangerous open door because “When Mexico send its people, they’re not sending their best. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” (Trump dixit.)
These words had caused anger among the Mexican people, provoking demonstrations against Trump. In San Miguel, the city council appointed him “persona non grata” on September 16.
Despite the disagreement of Mexico’s President Enrique Peña over paying for the wall Trump’s project to construct it seems like a reality. On January 25 he fulfilled one of his campaign promises and signed several orders, among them, for the construction of the wall.
While he was campaigning, Donald Trump said, “I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. And I don’t mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better. If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.” Lately, Trump said that the products imported from Mexico to the United States could pay a tax of 20 percent. Nothing has been done yet.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto addressed a message to the nation, stating that Mexicans have to be united because unity has always been the strength of Mexico during hard times. Unity has to be the base for having a successful country.” He later relaunched the Made in Mexico mark, stating that the Mexican products have good quality.
No to the wall
Marta Sahagún, wife of former Mexican president Vicente Fox, told Atención that beyond a diplomatic war, “We are living an unexpected reality, but we have to face it and respond intelligently. The responsibility is everybody’s.” Sahagún explained that first we have to be proud of being citizens of the world. “For San Miguel, that applies perfectly,” she noted. She continued, “We must defend above all things our dignity because nothing and no one has the right of trampling people’s dignity, no matter the color, religion, or race. We all have dignity just because of the simple fact that we were born—the dignity not to be touched, violated, or transgressed.”
On the possible construction of the wall, former first lady said that the physical barrier “ought not to exist” because we are citizens of the world. “Immigration is a blessing; we all need each other. If you think that you can succeed by yourself, you are wrong,” she remarked. During the interview, Sahagún mentioned the people who help her at home and at the Vamos Mexico and CRISMA foundations. “They have dignity as I do. I need them. They are indispensable, and I have to treat them as I too long to be treated. A good dose of humbleness and generosity is needed, and nowadays there are people in the world who do not have those virtues,” she concluded.
Let Donald Trump Come
Mayor Ricardo Villarreal García acknowledged that the country is involved in a deep crisis, and that is because in the last four years the Mexican pesos has had devaluation close to 70 percent. Mexico is a country that imports its products, and if the dollar currency rises, then the products in Mexico increase their price. He commented, “On the other hand, our neighbors in the north have a president who is constantly attacking our country and that puts us at risk as a nation.”
“We have to take advantage of it (the crisis) and get united to succeed, and we can also attract more expats. People from the US who do not agree with their president have said that they will leave the United States, and I want to tell them that San Miguel de Allende will always have the doors open for them,” remarked Villarreal.
The city council headed by Villarreal declared then candidate Trump as “persona non grata” in San Miguel. After he won the election, they retracted their pronouncement and said that an invitation would be sent to the newly elected president. That invitation was never formally sent.
“The invitation was made public by the media. They sent the information to everyone, so I did not have to send him anything. In addition, he has the wrong idea of Mexico, of what Mexicans are. I will never send him a formal invitation, but I wish he could come and realize by himself how the people of the United States and Mexico live in peace and harmony here. That is the bilateral relationship. And in the United States there are good examples of these relationships,” said Mayor Villarreal. He concluded by saying that “He thinks that Mexico is a bananero (This could be translated variously as “a country inhabited by apes; a republic producing bananas; a third world country, a country that does not have good and hardworking people), and that is false. Au contraire, Mexico is a beautiful country, look San Miguel, that is the reason why many people that visit San Miguel stay and call it home.”