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Mexico, Brazil leaders silent as world congratulates Biden

The leaders of Latin America’s two largest nations, Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, have but to congratulate Biden.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — There have been two notable holdouts among the many world leaders who rushed to congratulate Joe Biden on his victory within the U.S. elections: the leaders of Latin America’s two largest nations, each of whom have been seen as pleasant to President Donald Trump.

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, generally dubbed “the Trump of the Tropics” for his populist, off-the-cuff model, has stored silent on Trump’s loss. And Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador refused to congratulate Biden at this level, saying he would wait till the authorized challenges over the vote had been resolved.

Trump and the 2 Latin leaders are united by some floor similarities: They dislike carrying masks through the coronavirus pandemic, and all three can loosely be described as populist and nationalist. However the motives of the 2 Latin leaders might differ.

Bolsonaro and his sons — who like Trump’s kids play a job on the political scene — appear to be actively uncomfortable with the result of the U.S. race. Bolsonaro, who beforehand expressed hope for Trump’s reelection and whose son wore hats with the emblem “Trump 2020,” has stored largely silent this week, however his sons have not.

Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro posted photographs on social media questioning how Biden’s votes had been rising so shortly in later counts, whereas Trump’s weren’t. The youthful Bolsonaro additionally questioned networks’ determination to chop away from Trump’s speech on Wednesday alleging vote fraud, calling it an assault on freedom of speech.

A senior official of the Brazilian Embassy in america, who can’t establish himself for worry of reprisals, stated Brazilian officers worry that unfastened discuss by Bolsonaro or his sons might destabilize relations between nations.

Officers within the workplace of the presidency, who weren’t licensed to talk on the document, stated Bolsonaro has been adopting a extra pragmatic tone, not less than since Wednesday, following the steerage of his advisers.

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Originally of the week, a number of the extra ideological components in Bolsonaro’s workplace believed in a Trump victory, however since then, the diplomatic workers has made contact with Biden’s marketing campaign.

López Obrador’s cordial relationship with Trump, in the meantime, was usually seen as uncommon for a left-leaning politician, however it had a workmanlike foundation.

Partly, that’s political realism: In 2019, Trump threatened to use crippling tariffs on Mexican merchandise until López Obrador cracked down on Central American migrants crossing Mexico to achieve the U.S. border. Mexico complied, rounding up migrants and busing them again to their dwelling nations.

However there have been additionally moments of seeming actual friendship between the 2. On Saturday, López Obrador was one of many few world leaders nonetheless prepared to heap reward on Trump.

“President Trump has been very respectful of us, and we have now reached excellent agreements, and we thank him as a result of he has not interfered and has revered us,” López Obrador stated.

And López Obrador angered many at dwelling and within the U.S. Democratic Celebration when he made his first — and up to now solely — journey overseas as president over the summer season to satisfy with Trump to have fun the enactment of the brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada free commerce settlement, which each leaders considered as fixing issues with the outdated North American Free Commerce Settlement of the 1990s.

López Obrador did not meet with Biden or his marketing campaign workforce throughout that journey, and the injuries are nonetheless apparently there, though the Mexican president stated he is aware of Biden and had “excellent relations” with him.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, the Democratic congressman for Texas’ 20th District, wrote in Spanish in his Twitter account that the unwillingness to congratulate Biden “represents a real diplomatic failure on the a part of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at a second by which the incoming Biden administration is looking for to begin a brand new period of friendship and cooperation with Mexico.”

Rep. Jesús García, a Democrat from Illinois’ 4th District, wrote in an identical vein to López Obrador that “American voters have spoken and Joe Biden is our President Elect. He gained truthful and sq.. Do not miss the boat.”

Democrats are unlikely to be as vindictive towards Mexico because the Trump administration as soon as seemed to be, with its give attention to constructing a border wall and threats of punishing tariffs. However a Biden administration that solely quietly presses Mexico to restrict migrant crossings might go away López Obrador in a extra uncomfortable place.

Mexico was in a position to simply crack down on migrant caravans in 2019 and 2020 as a result of appeasing open U.S. stress is pretty comprehensible if distasteful at dwelling; however asking Mexico to take action with out open threats can be extra politically pricey for López Obrador.

The Mexican president may worry reprisals within the brief time Trump has left in workplace, however his failure to patch up any harm emotions with the Biden workforce is already exposing López Obrador to criticism at dwelling.

“To cite (Mexican singer) Juan Gabriel, ‘What do you achieve?’” the newspaper El Common stated in an editorial Sunday. “Donald Trump shall be president for 2 extra months, however Joe Biden shall be president for 4 extra years! And we have now already began off this relationship on the incorrect foot.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza disagreed.

“It appears a bit clumsy, and maybe an early alternative missed. However by inauguration day (it) will hardly matter,” he stated.

Garza, now a counsel to the White & Case regulation agency in Mexico Metropolis, wrote that he’s “satisfied that the Biden administration shall be dedicated to strong relationships with the U.S.’s neighbors, and that given each Canada and Mexico’s significance to commerce, immigration and safety that the main focus shall be on addressing these points cooperatively.”

“Look,” he added, “there are just too many different sizzling spots on the planet for our subsequent president to be sweating this misstep.”

Related Press author Mark Stevenson reported this story in Mexico Metropolis and AP author Debora Alvares reported from Brasilia, Brazil.

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