U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto did not manage to meet in person last week, but they stood side by side at the Mexico City Wax Museum on Tuesday January 31.
The wax figures represent both leaders during Trump’s controversial late-August visit to the country.
Relations between the two nations hit a low point last week when Trump said Peña Nieto should call off a planned meeting if he was not ready to pay for the American’s planned border wall.
Peña Nieto quickly cancelled the trip, but the two leaders later talked by telephone and agreed between themselves not to discuss the thorny issue of payment of the wall for the time being, according to the Mexican government.
Trump’s words have raised the ire of many Mexicans and museum employee Natalia Aguilera said they were prepared for protests after putting the Trump figure on display.
“We have seen videos and situations that have occurred in other museums like protests and something could happen here too, right? The people have protested and so far no one has damaged it [the wax figure], but they take photos – any number of people,” she said.
But most patrons on Tuesday observed the exhibit calmly, hopeful that relations between the two neighbours will improve.
“I feel it and I see over there they have to begin looking at this new relationship in the future. They have to meet to bring about new agreements because at the end of the day we are civilized countries. And as civilised countries, we have to find this peace to have negotiations, right?” added Wax Museum Manager, Cesar Urbano.
And patron Monica Mendoza said it was interesting given all the controversy.
“Well for us Mexicans, it is fun for us to come and see this image of Trump here with all the bad things he has expressed about Mexico. And I think there are two very emblematic characters and they have done much of what they have said – in our country, for example, Peña Nieto. And now Trump with everything he has done with the immigration policy and with the wall that we supposedly have to pay for,” she said.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Monday January 30 dialogue with officials from the Trump administration is continuing and further bilateral meetings could take place in the coming days.
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