Mexican presidential contender visits Los Angeles

Mexican presidential contender Ricardo Anaya Cortes traveled to Los Angeles over the weekend to meet with Mexican migrants living there. After hearing their concerns, he concluded that under his leadership Mexico would not pay for President Trump’s desired border wall and that Mexico City would stand with its citizens living in America.

Cortes is running under the political coalition For Mexico in Front (FMF), which consists of the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Citizens’ Movement (MC). The coalition formed in an effort to defeat front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the left-leaning party (MORENA) and Jose Antonio Meade from the ruling party (PRI). The election is July 1.

In stating that he would be on the side of Mexicans in L.A., Cortes said he would not be on the side of “an American president who has dedicated himself to insulting our community.” He also criticized current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for inviting Trump to visit.

“After Donald Trump had been insulting, and revolting at the best that Mexico has in the United States, they dared to roll out a red carpet to receive him in Los Pinos, as if he were a head of state,” he said.

Still, he noted further that he believes the U.S.-Mexico relationship should be maintained.

“We want to collaborate, we want to build, but that will only be possible if we start to respect ourselves, because those who don’t respect themselves will not be respected by others; and the Mexican government has acted in an unworthy manner. It has disrespected itself and that is why today the U.S. government does not respect the Mexican government,” he said. [source]

Analysis: As I write this, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in Mexico City for ‘crunch talks’ with Peña Nieto after he canceled a visit to the White House this month over, reportedly, a rift with Trump on the phone regarding the border wall. Kushner and officials are expected to discuss security, immigration, trade and other issues.

That said, a President Cortes is more right-leaning, but the odds-on favorite, at least for the moment, is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a Socialist who is also a populist candidate and is being called Mexico’s ‘Trump.’ Already, U.S. lawmakers are concerned that if he wins it’ll be problematic for Trump and for the U.S. in general.

“I do not want to see President [López] Obrador take office next year,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who believes that the administration may help that happen if it mishandles NAFTA renegotiations, which are currently underway. “It worries me if NAFTA is not done correctly that we’ll be handing a candidate, a socialist candidate like that, the presidency of Mexico,” he said. “And I think that would be the biggest mistake we could possibly do.”

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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