Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, March 25th, 2019

‘Smile and Nod’: Latin American Leaders Brace for Tense Trump Visit

‘Smile and Nod’: Latin American  Leaders Brace for Tense Trump Visit

WASHINGTON/LIMA - U.S. President Donald Trump, who has disparaged Latin American countries over immigration, narcotics and trade, heads to the region this week for a summit that diplomats say is likely to be awkward and tense.
Trump will arrive in the Peruvian capital, Lima, on Friday for the Summit of the Americas with an agenda of encouraging commercial ties and urging allies to take a hard line on Venezuela, according to U.S. officials who briefed reporters on the trip.
But the U.S. president’s divisive rhetoric and fraught relationships with leaders such as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto make it unlikely he will make big strides toward his goals, experts said.
“He is going in profoundly unpopular in the region, and that obviously complicates the ability of leaders to work with him,” said Mark Feierstein, who managed hemispheric issues for President Barack Obama’s White House, and is now an adviser with the Albright Stonebridge Group.
The visit is stirring nostalgia for Obama, the Republican president’s Democratic predecessor, a Peruvian diplomat said.
The diplomat added, however: “Nobody has lost any sleep over Trump,” saying: “We all know how to smile and nod along, so we’re not too worried.” Trump has complained about U.S. job losses to Mexico, threatened to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada and began his presidential bid with a speech describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug dealers.
Trump has also taken aim at migration from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and other Latin American countries and threatened to cut off aid to Colombia and Peru over the drug trade. (Reuters)