Things That Matter

As World Leaders Rush To Congratulate Joe Biden, One Latin American Leader Is Waiting ‘Out Of Respect’ For Trump

Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. As millions of Americans took to the streets to celebrate the long awaited results, leaders around the world rushed to congratulate the President-Elect.

However, two of the United States’ closest allies (even before the Trump presidency) were conspicuously missing from the list of well wishers: the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, the region’s most populous nations and home to its two largest economies.

Although few were surprised by Brazilian President Jaír Bolsonaro not jumping on the Biden bandwagon. As the so-called “Trump of the Tropics,” Bolsonaro is an unabashed Trumper and has publicly backed President Trump’s reelection and recently took spoke out against Biden’s suggestions about climate change and how to help the Amazon rainforest.

Other global holdouts who had not congratulated Biden included the leaders of Russia and China. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump confidant, sent formal congratulations to Biden on Twitter more than 12 hours after U.S. networks called the race.

Mexico’s president says he won’t congratulate Biden until Trump’s election lawsuits are resolved.

Even though every major network has projected Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) hasn’t congratulated the President-Elect on his victory.

Yes, it’s true that AMLO (a left-wing populist) has developed a close relationship with Donald Trump despite the ideological chasm between the two men. And despite Trump’s frequent Mexico-bashing, AMLO has basically followed Trump’s every whim and demand. But it seemed obvious that AMLO would quickly reach out to the next president of a country that is so economically and politically important to the interests of Mexico.

The U.S. is the lifeblood of the Mexican economy, accounting for 80% of foreign trade and tens of billions of dollars annually in remittances from Mexicans residing in the United States.

Instead, AMLO has decided to wait. “We don’t want to be imprudent,” the Mexican president told reporters Saturday, speaking more than seven hours after U.S. news outlets had called the election, a projection that immediately sparked a global tide of solidarity for Biden. “I want to wait until the electoral process is finished.”

AMLO insisted he was waiting out of an abundance of respect for Donald Trump.

Credit: Jabin Botsford / Getty Images

Although AMLO insisted that he has excellent relationships with both Joe Biden and Donald Trump, he added that his decision did not amount for an endorsement of either. However, he did take the time to fawn over his current U.S. counterpart.

“President Trump has been very respectful of us, and we have achieved some important accords,” López Obrador said. “And we are thankful to him because he has not interfered.”

AMLO’s failure to reach out to the new President-Elect is seen as a major diplomatic error.

In Mexico, the ambiguous message from AMLO immediately triggered a media firestorm from critics charging that the Mexican president had essentially sided with Trump.

“This was a very serious mistake by López Obrador,” said Jorge G. Castañeda, a former Mexican foreign minister, who noted that presidential aspirants worldwide welcome foreign affirmations as legitimacy-conferring markers. “The standard on these matters, and this is a long-standing issue in diplomacy, is pretty much this: You should do what everyone else does.”

Columnists and journalists were even harsher in their assessment, with many calling it a tacit endorsement of Trump’s questionable legal tactics and assertions of electoral fraud.

“The president of Mexico now owns Donald Trump’s hallucinatory observations about the presidential election,” tweeted columnist Pascal Beltrán del Río. “The relationship with Biden was already going to be difficult; now more so.”

And the fallout was not just on this side of the border. Even Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX), who leads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, went on Twitter to denounce AMLO’s mistake as a “stunning diplomatic failure at a time when the incoming Biden Administration is looking to usher in a new era of friendship and cooperation with Mexico.”

Although not everyone was surprised by AMLO’s decision – since he shares so many similarities to Donald Trump.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Although the president’s decision to hold off on congratulation Biden sparked fury from many, it came as little surprise to some. Much like Trump, AMLO cherishes loyalty above all else and often views politics in a similar me-vs-them prism.

The Mexican president has also long projected himself as a victim of electoral fraud that prevented him from being able to take the Mexican presidency earlier – dating to two failed runs at the presidency before he finally triumphed in 2018.

Like Trump, AMLO is not one to concede defeat. Nor does he forget perceived slights. Following his narrow loss in the 2006 presidential race, he mounted a protracted protest campaign alleging fraud that sent tens of thousands of supporters into the streets and shut down much of the capital for weeks.

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Elon Musk Wanted To Call His Tequila Brand ‘Teslaquila’ But Mexico Said No

Culture

Elon Musk Wanted To Call His Tequila Brand ‘Teslaquila’ But Mexico Said No

Tesla Tequila

Tesla Tequila is real? That’s the question many people are asking themselves after the recent announcement that the elixir was indeed available to buy on the company’s website.

Many assumed it was all a publicity stunt or a Twitter joke by the eccentric Tesla founder…looks like we are all wrong. Turns out we probably shouldn’t of doubted him. He’s already gotten people to buy flamethrowers, short shorts and surfboards. Guess it was only natural that the billionaire’s next move would be tequila.

Only one problem: tequila is a well protected and regulated beverage that’s overseen by Mexican officials. So although he’s released his so-called Tesla Tequila, he didn’t get to call it what he had wanted to, thanks to Mexican regulators.

Mexican officials told Elon Musk no to his ‘Teslaquila’ brand.

It was more than two years ago that Elon Musk referenced the “Teslaquilla” (yes, with two Las) idea. It came in the form of an April Fool’s Day joke, with Musk writing, “Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by ‘Teslaquilla’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.”

But thanks to Mexican regulators, Musk has had to change his approach. Although he launched his tequila brand over in November, he didn’t get to call it what he had hoped to call it.

Thanks to strict controls on naming and production of tequila, Musk’s tequila brand is now called Tesla Tequila. Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council rejected the name for being too confusing for a brand name, since it’s close to the word “tequila.” 

The word “tequila” is a designation of origin; it means the rights of using this word belong only to the tequila agribusiness. That also means no one can register the word as their property. Musk’s team challenged this, saying “Teslaquila” was a natural variant from Tesla and the suffix “-quila.” On January 16th, the final ruling came down: the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property declared it could not register the brand.

Although Musk couldn’t launch ‘teslaquila’, he’s moved fast on Tesla Tequila.

Despite the naming setback, Musk has been hard at work at getting his tequila brand off the ground. And just last month, products started to ship.

Tesla Tequila comes in a lightning bolt-shaped bottle and, according to the label, is an “exclusive, premium 100% de agave tequila añejo aged in French oak barrels” produced by Nosotros Tequila.

The liquor boasts “a dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish” and a Tesla-branded stand to hold the angular glass container upright. Despite limiting orders to two bottles per customer and only shipping to certain U.S. states, the car-brand tequila still sold out within a matter of hours. And it’s going for $250 a pop.

And in case you’re wondering, Mexico ain’t mad about it. “Today the tequila industry has someone as important as Elon Musk representing it,” the CRT said in a statement. “This is, without a doubt, a benefit to all the tequila producers because he is giving his image as an important businessman and he is showing he wants to comply with the rules of this industry. We welcome Elon Musk and the Tesla tequila brand.”

People are already receiving their shipments and posting to social media.

People who ordered the tequila are beginning to receive their shipments, and some are sharing photos on social media.

“It’s finally here and it’s so sexy!” wrote one Twitter user.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla’s owner has raised eyebrows for strange business ventures.

From flamethrowers to surf boards and now tequila, Musk has launched all types of products, apart from his iconic Tesla vehicles.

Earlier this year, the company took to selling mini red gym shorts on its website, in a playful hit back at investors who had “shorted” Tesla, or bet that its stock would drop. Each pair was priced at $69.420.

Musk also made headlines this week by revealing how close the automaker was from bankruptcy at one point. In response to a question on Twitter, he said that Tesla was only “about a month” away from collapse when it was working to ramp up production for its popular Model 3 sedan from mid-2017 to mid-2019.

However, what ever he’s doing seems to be working for the company since none of those struggles are reflected in its stock price. Tesla shares have been on a tear this year, shooting up more than 420%.

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Flor Silvestre, Beloved Mexican Singer and Film Icon, Dies at 90

Entertainment

Flor Silvestre, Beloved Mexican Singer and Film Icon, Dies at 90

Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Flor Silvestre, the beloved Mexican singer-actress of stage and screen died at her home in Zacatecas, Mexico on Wednesday. She was 90. According to her family, her death was of natural causes.

Flor Silvestre was born Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla in 1930 in Guanajuato.

Her mother longed for a more urban life, so the entire family moved to Mexico City when Chabolla was 13. It was in Mexico City that Chabolla began to stretch her musical skills in concert halls and radio programs. She quickly caught the attention of producers and promoters who recognized both her talent and her beauty.

It was from one of these promoters that Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla received her stage name, Flor Silvestre, “wild flower” in Spanish. She was christened such due to her delicate–and at the time, gangly–appearance.

Throughout her 70 year career, Silvestre recorded over 300 songs and appeared in over seventy movies. She was a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, appearing in famous films like “Ánimas Trujano” and “La cucaracha”. Her rich, melodious voice gave her the nicknames “La Sentimental” and “La Voz Que Acaricia”.

But Silvestre found both professional and personal fulfillment when she met her husband, singer-actor Antonio Aguilar, in 1950.

The two complemented each other and were able to use their relationship to rise to new professional heights.

Silvestre was the original triple threat–adding horse-riding into her song and dance act. Her famous traveling rodeo show that she performed in alongside her Aguilar and two sons attracted thousands of attendees across Mexico and the U.S., eventually selling out Madison Square Garden.

After the death of Aguilar in 2007, Silvestre largely retired from public life. Her children Pepe Aguilar and Antonio Jr. however, continued to make music and wow the public with their unending talent.

Pepe Aguilar took to Instagram to eulogize his late mother, a woman who, to so many Mexicans, was the sound of home. “She left the example of being a nuanced voice of the beauty of being a mother and wife,” he wrote. “She left the joy of bearing witness to beauty that thinks and speaks.”

Many fans of Silvestre’s took to Twitter to reminisce about the way La Sentimental touched their lives.

Flor Silvestre movies were a staple in many Mexican and Latin American households.

Some fans waxed nostalgic about the relationship their abuelos and abuelas had with the late star.

This man has memories of seeing the Aguilar family perform in one of their famous rodeo shows.

They brought joy to so many.

And finally, fans are celebrating the everlasting love that Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre had together.

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