- Thomson Reuters
LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s president-elect, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, said amid laughter on Tuesday that his government would sever ties with the US if Republican Donald Trump wins the US presidential election in November.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker who won the Andean country’s tight runoff race earlier this month, said he mentioned his worries about a Trump presidency to US President Barack Obama on a congratulatory phone call.
When a reporter asked what would happen to relations with the US if Trump wins, a laughing Kuczynski said, “we’re going to grab a saw and cut them off!”
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in the race to succeed Obama, has sparked criticism across Latin America for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, especially in Mexico, of whose migrants Trump has said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has compared his campaign to the rise of Adolf Hitler, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox has repeatedly and forcefully condemned Trump’s remarks and plan to build a border wall. Mexico’s top diplomat has called Trump’s proposals “ignorant and racist.”
- Ralph Freso/Getty Images
Trump is a threat to the region “because he wants to put up a wall between the United States and Latin America and make Mexicans pay for it!” Kuczynski said in reference to Trump’s proposal for stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants and drugs across the southern US border.
In contrast, Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador and prominent Latin American leftist, has suggested that Trump’s election may help reinvigorate the region’s political left after a string of electoral defeats.
Peru is a leading global supplier of copper and gold. It also shares the dubious distinction with neighboring Colombia of being one of the world’s leading producers of cocaine.
Peru and the US implemented a free-trade agreement in 2009 and are both signatories of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump has criticized.
(Reporting for Reuters by Mitra Taj; Editing by Tom Brown)