Mexico has reasserted that their nation “will not pay, under any circumstances and under any circumstances, a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border” in response to Donald Trump taking a vacation from his weekend vacation to tweet about what is apparently the most pressing item in his brain as Texas reels from a disastrous hurricane. “This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy,” the statement from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said, “but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.”
But Mexico has offered, “as good neighbors should always do in times of difficulty,” to provide disaster relief following Harvey’s trail of chaos:
“The government of Mexico takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States for the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and reports that we have offered the US government all the help and cooperation that can be provided by the different Mexican governmental agencies to deal with the impacts of this natural disaster, as good neighbors should always do in times of difficulty,” the statement reads.
This isn’t the first time Mexico has stepped in to provide the U.S. with relief, either. Following the deadly Hurricane Katrina in 2005, former President Vicente Fox—who eventually became one of Trump’s most vocally colorful critics—sent an army convoy and navy ship with food, clothing, supplies, and military and medical specialists to assist in recovery efforts.
The “highly symbolic journey,” CBS News noted then, “marked the first time Mexico’s military has aided its powerful northern neighbor.” And today, as Trump wages a years-long campaign to denigrate, insult, and strong-arm our Mexican neighbors, they are still willing to help our nation in a time of need.
The aid Mexico sent was no small thing — it was an extraordinary gesture, and it may have saved many lives. Marking the first time that Mexican troops had set foot on U.S. soil since the Mexican-American War in 1846, President Vicente Fox sent an army convoy and a naval vessel laden with food, water and medicine. By the end of their three-week operation in Louisiana and Mississippi, the Mexicans had served 170,000 meals, helped distribute more than 184,000 tons of supplies and conducted more than 500 medical consultations.
“Mexico and the United States are nations which are neighbors and friends which should always have solidarity in moments of difficulty,” Fox told NBC News at the time.