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News > Latin America

Latin America Hits Back After Trump's Racist Jab

  • Trump has denied using the term

    Trump has denied using the term "shithole countries," tweeting: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."  | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 January 2018

Bolivian President Evo Morales said: "Trump insults the world and demonstrates his opinions and politics are contaminated by capitalist racism, fascism, arrogance and ignorance."

Latin American leaders are rising up to defend the world's most impoverished migrants after U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly referred to certain developing nations as "shithole countries."

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Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed his indignation on Twitter: "To insult African countries, El Salvador and Haiti, Trump insults the world and demonstrates his opinions and politics are contaminated by capitalist racism, fascism, arrogance, and ignorance. History has shown that those who offend like this end up eating their words."

In Venezuela, the seventh meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of America (ALBA) reviewed the incident, collectively stating that they considered Trump's racist slur – directed at Latin American and African nations – offensive.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said: "El Salvador and Haiti yesterday were once again victims of U.S. President Donald Trump's aggression.

"Even if he's trying to take back his words, what's important... is that we now know that what Donald Trump thinks is even worse that whatever he could have said about our brother nations and their dignity.

"And we know how his restrictive immigration policies are hurting our people in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, a lot of them reunited here in the Bolivarian Alliance."

El Salvador has been greatly affected by changes in U.S. immigration policies – most notably the eradication of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. President Salvador Sanchez posted a message on Twitter saying that the nation demanded "respect for the dignity of its noble and courageous people."

One of the nation's largest political parties, the Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN), also released a statement saying they were offended and aggravated by Trump's "racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Salvadoran and anti-American" language.
"The history of our people's struggle and our defensive position of our country, with dignity and pride, has been demonstrated to the world on numerous occasions," the statement reads. "This same attitude strengthens us to condemn the insults today."

The FMLN went on to warn that to be attacked by one of the world's most politically powerful diplomats in the world could result in serious consequences for Salvadorans.

"We are a working people, dignified, optimistic, and proud of our history; we fight daily to build our future and we do it cheerfully," the FMLN said. "We are never going to accept these types of attitude nor abandon our defense of and pride in our country and our foreign brothers."

Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz also took to Twitter, stating that his country welcomes immigrants who are attempting to improve their lives and who would be a contribution to any Latin American society.

"Regarding immigrants from 'shithole countries,' Chile is proud to continue receiving many thousands of Haitians and persons from poor countries or looking for a better future," Muñoz posted. "Migrants into Chile come from Haiti, Dominican Rep, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and others."

Haiti said it was shocked by Trump's reported remarks and summoned the top U.S. diplomat in the country, asking for an apology if the vulgar term had been used.

According to the Washington Post, Trump uttered his now infamous slur during a meeting with senators in the Oval Office on Thursday, when he asked why they wanted "all these people from shithole countries coming here."

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the gathering, told reporters on Friday that Trump used "vile, vulgar" language, including repeatedly using the word "shithole" when speaking about African countries.

Trump has categorically denied using the term, tweeting on Friday: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used." 

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