Backlash of candidates visit over border
Yemeni security and medical officials said last night that the death toll in Monday’s suicide bombing by ISIS in the southern city of Aden has risen to 72. The officials spoke two days after the suicide bomber detonated his pick-up truck among dozens of pro-government recruits. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press. The attack was the deadliest in the city of Aden this year. ISIS said the attack was carried out “by a fighter from the Islamic State who targeted a recruitment centre” . The recruits were signing up to join a new unit that Saudi Arabia hopes will ultimately be made up of 5,000 fighters. President Enrique Pena Nieto awoke to a storm of criticism from Mexicans yesterday over his decision to meet with US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is widely reviled in Mexico for referring to its migrants as rapists and criminals.
Former first lady Margarita Zavala, herself a potential presidential candidate, aimed a tweet at Trump, saying: “Even though you may have been invited, we want you to know you’re not welcome. We Mexicans have dignity, and we reject your hate speech.”
At least two protests were already being planned for downtown Mexico City and Pena Nieto’s office would not say exactly where or when the meeting would be held, possibly in a bid to avoid protests outside the meeting site.
Leading historian Enrique Krauze also addressed a tweet to Trump in English: “Listen ... We Mexicans expect nothing less than an apology for calling us ‘criminals and rapists’.”
He compared Pena Nieto’s meeting to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signing of a 1938 peace pact with Germany. “Tyrants are to be confronted, not pacified,” Krauze told the Televisa TV network.
Even Pena Nieto has made such comparisons. Asked about Trump in March, Pena Nieto complained to the Excelsior newspaper about “these strident expressions that seek to propose very simple solutions”. He said that sort of language has led to “very fateful scenes in the history of humanity”.
“That’s the way Mussolini arrived and the way Hitler arrived,” Pena Nieto said.
Yesterday’s trip was due to come hours before Trump delivered a highly-anticipated immigration speech. It is a defining issue for Trump, but one on which he has appeared to waver. After saying during his primary campaign he would use a “deportation force” to expel all of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally, Trump has suggested recently he might be open to “softening” his stance.
JIBE: A Mexican compares Trump to a mule