Trump, center of scandal for criticism of “countries of shit”
The American president, Donald Trump, in Washington on January 11, 2018
Donald Trump was on Friday in the middle of a scandal of planetary scope to describe as “countries of shit” to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations, something that a high official of the UN denounced as “racist”.
Trump resorted in the morning to his favorite weapon, the Twitter network, to defend himself and deny having described the aforementioned countries in that way, but it was quickly denied by a senator from the Democratic Party who was in the meeting and confirmed what happened.
In a first message, Trump admitted that at a meeting on Thursday at the White House to discuss immigration, “hard” things were said, but he assured that “that was not the language used.”
An hour later, Trump returned to the subject on Twitter to ensure he never said “anything derogatory about Haitians, beyond saying that Haiti is obviously a very poor country with many problems.”
But shortly thereafter, Democratic Senator Rick Durbin, who participated in the meeting, said that Trump effectively referred to “shitty countries” and that he did so repeatedly.
Trump “tweeted this morning denying that he used those words, it is not true, he said those things full of hate, and he said them repeatedly (…) He made those vile and vulgar statements, calling those nations countries of shit,” he lamented Durbin.
Various sources point out that Trump was referring to African nations, Haiti and El Salvador. “Why do all these people from shitty countries come here?” Trump would have said, adding that he wanted immigrants from Nordic countries, such as Norway.
– Global outrage –
In a few hours, the matter became an international scandal and generated a strong wave of indignation.
“If they are confirmed, they are scandalous and shameful comments from the president of the United States, I’m sorry, but the only word that can be used is ‘racist,'” the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in Geneva. Rupert Colville.
The sayings of Trump trasuntan “the worst side of humanity, validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia,” he added.
The government of Haiti, which on Friday celebrated the anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake, issued a strong note in which it considered “unacceptable” the words “odious and abject” of Trump, which reflect “a simplistic and racist vision completely wrong.”
President Jovenel Moise did not mention the vulgar language used by Trump at the ceremony, and only said that “Haiti is a country like others on Earth.”
The African Union, meanwhile, condemned the “hurtful” and “disturbing” statements of the president in Addis Ababa.
“It is not only hurtful for people of African origin in the United States, but also for African citizens,” Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for the president of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, told AFP.
“This is even more offensive given the historical reality of the number of Africans who came to the United States as slaves,” he added.
The Botswana government summoned the US ambassador to explain if that African nation is “considered a shitty country.”
Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén demanded “respect for the dignity of his noble and courageous people”.
– “Not welcome” in London –
Meanwhile, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed the decision of Trump to cancel a visit to that city because there “is not welcome.”
“Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome … It seems he has finally understood,” said the mayor, although the suspension of the trip is related to a controversy over the headquarters of the new US embassy in the capital British
In Caracas, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, asked the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA) to show solidarity with the countries offended by Trump.
“First comes the word of contempt, then threats and then actions,” he said.
Even the Norwegians themselves reacted with stupor to the statements.
The Norwegian Jan Egeland, former deputy secretary general of the United Nations, said that “the only thing that would take me to emigrate to the US is its lively multicultural society. Do not eliminate it.”
On the internal level, reactions were not slow to appear either.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Twitter that Trump subjected the country to an “ignorant and racist view of anyone who does not resemble him.”
In turn, legislator Luis Gutiérrez, born in Chicago of Puerto Rican parents, said that “now you can say with 100% confidence that the president is a racist.” “I am ashamed of our president,” he added.
The wave of indignation also prevailed among the Republicans. Lawmaker Mia Love, of Haitian family, said Trump’s statement was “divisive” and opined that an apology was required.
For his part, a senior official of the State Department reported that diplomats in Haiti and African countries received a guide on how to respond in case they are summoned to give explanations.
According to that guide, “they should highlight that it is an honor to be in their respective positions and how much we value our relationship with the people of each country.”