López-Obrador was not nice to 'Kabala'

Down in Mexico, they are talking about the meeting between President Andrés López-Obrador and V.P. Kamala Harris.  Let's just say that some noticed a lack of courtesy.  This is from Therese Margolis, the chief editor of Mexico Pulse News, a leading digital news service:

The long list of AMLO's diplomatic faux pas with the U.S. official began from the very instant Harris arrived at the National Palace.

In the midst of a global covid-19 pandemic, Harris had the consideration and courtesy to wear a mask, even though she is fully vaccinated against the virus.

AMLO has had one shot of the vaccine (i.e., he is NOT fully vaccinated) and yet he did not wear a mask.

And as if that were not enough, AMLO then proceeded to address the U.S. VP as "presidente" (in the masculine form of the Spanish word for "president"), thus promoting her in rank and ignoring her gender.

And it only got worse as the encounter proceeded.

Not only did AMLO not extend Harris the diplomatic courtesy of welcoming her to Mexico — which is expected in the case of any official visit — but he next addressed her by her first name (without asking permission to do so), or at least what he interpreted to be her first name, tactlessly changing "Kamala" to "Kabala."

Crass as ever, the Mexican president also ignored Harris' attempts to have a brief chat as they walked through the National Palace's corridors, instead using his forefinger to point out the artwork on the walls, at times, even crossing in front of her with his arms to do so.

Is it any wonder that Harris intentionally chose to visit Guatemala before Mexico (a clear diplomatic message to AMLO as to U.S. priorities in the region) or that Biden sent his VP instead of coming to Mexico in person?

Unfortunately, since AMLO is a total neophyte to the world of diplomacy, that message most probably did not resound with him.

President López-Obrador is not the world's most diplomatic man, and he did get his wings clipped a bit on Sunday's election.  Nevertheless, his treatment of "Kabala" was a bit strange.

My guess is that the Mexican president is furious that the Biden administration changed the "Remain in Mexico" policy.  The reality is that they are staying in Mexico now, and the criminal elements are having a great year "reuniting families."  I heard from someone that transporting people is more profitable than drugs.  I don't know about that, but no one is complaining about the money.

Maybe V.P. Harris should have traveled to the border.  She would have been treated respectfully by Governor Greg Abbott.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Image: Milton Martínez, Secretaría de Cultura de la Ciudad de México.

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