Things That Matter

US Ambassador Insults Mexican Icon Frida Kahlo And Mexicans Clapped Back

Relations between the US and Mexico haven’t exactly been super warm over the last few years. Thanks, in part, to Trump’s often inhumane (and likely illegal) policies targeting migrants, many Mexicans don’t have the greatest impression of the US right now.

Although the working relationship between Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, hasn’t suffered too much – at least not publicly – that could all change after a recent gaffe by the recently appointed US Ambassador to Mexico.

The ambassador was touring the famous Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s longtime home, when he shared some choice words about the iconic Mexican artist.

The newly appointed United States ambassador to Mexico has caused a fierce social media debate after taking aim at iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo for her “passion for Marxism”.

Following a visit on Sunday to Kahlo’s house, which has been turned into a museum after her death in 1954, Cristopher Landau sent out a tweet asking if the acclaimed artist had not been aware of atrocities committed in the name of that ideology.

“I admire her free and bohemian spirit, and she rightly became an icon of Mexico around the whole world,” the US ambassador, who assumed office last month, wrote in Spanish. He then added “What I do not understand is her obvious passion for Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism. Didn’t she know about the horrors committed in the name of that ideology?”

The ambassador basically tried to mansplain the politics of Marxism and Leninism.

In a now viral tweet, the ambassador questioned her political views and whether she truly understood the meaning behind them. Many Mexicans, and people around the world, rightfully took offense to that.

Frida Kahlo was a very political person who was very engaged in the Mexican political scene. She was well tuned in to the inner workings of Communism and Marxism, so for this man to question this powerful woman’s understanding of politics rubbed many people the wrong way.

So what were Frida Kahlo’s political beliefs?

Frida was both a feminist and a socialist. She was a trailblazer not just for women, but for LGBTI people and people with disabilities. After a tram accident changed the course of her life, she struggled with and embraced her multiple identities, which can be seen in her self-portraits, making up the bulk of her work.

Frida joined the Mexican Communist Party when she was in her 20s but left when her husband Diego Rivera, also a famous artist, was expelled. After the expulsion, Frida and Diego went to the US, and it was here that they began associating with the Left Opposition headed by Leon Trotsky.

Mexicans flooded Twitter with some pretty savage responses to the ambassador’s insult.

His tweet prompted fury from Mexicans online.

Many criticised the US or its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.

“In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said one Twitter user.

Many Mexicans blasted the US for its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.

“How many deaths have caused by US interventions? Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Operation Condor … and we don’t talk about the extermination of Native Americans or the economy of slavery,” A Fuertes wrote on Twitter. 

Another user on Twitter wrote: “In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said user @Quetzalcoaltl1.

Even the Mexican Communist party got in on the debate.

The Mexican Communist Party weighed into the debate, saying: “Ambassador Landau, Comrade Frida was consistent with humanism, the search for democracy and freedom of Mexico’s workers and people, and therefore she was a Marxist-Leninist, and of course Stalin’s admirer. Don’t show your ignorance any more, imitating Trump.”

While some shared her works paired with her quotes showing what she really thought when it came to politics and life.

For many, simply holding Marxist and Leninist views doesn’t equal negative politics. For many, those political views offer hope and signify community, respect, and society.

16 Latin-Themed Christmas Ornaments That Will Spruce Up Your Tree ASAP

Culture

16 Latin-Themed Christmas Ornaments That Will Spruce Up Your Tree ASAP

allfreechristmascrafts / Pinterest

Christmastime is the one time a year that we can truly let our crafty side show. You can decorate your house however you please and no one can say a negative thing about it because it’s the holidays. The only issue is picking out a theme or opting to go with whatever you see at Target. Either way is fine, but why not show off the love you have for your Latin culture?

This year instead of just doing the basic green and red ornament styles that everyone seems to go for, choose some of these lovely Latin-themed ornaments that will definitely get the attention of your family and friends. We’ve searched the interwebs for the best Latin styled ornaments that you can either purchase or make yourself. Enjoy! 

A little Frida fun for the holidays.

Credit: Etsy

You cannot go wrong with these festive Frida Kahlo dolls for $13 on Etsy. They’re so cute, and perfect to have as decoration all year round. 

A disco Latin-themed Christmas tree.

Credit: DirectfromMexico

For those that have more eclectic taste and want to set a sophisticated tone, while also paying homage to your Latin heritage, we highly suggest these shiny retro ornaments from DirectfromMexico for $75.

A cactus kind of Christmas.

Credit: Mypoppet

If you have some time to spare, or would like to make a crafty side project with your friends and kids, these DIY cactuses are the cutest things to add to your tree. Need some help? Go to Mypoppet for instructions. 

Bella estrellas. 

Credit: Crafttel

Nothing says Christmas more than a star. It represents so much and they’re so beautiful as well. These estrellas that can also double as piñatas are perfect for your tree. Get them at Crafttel.

Tamales to eat and to decorate. 

Credit: Pinterest

While you and your family IS gathered around the table making tamales, be sure to save some of those smallish corn husks. As you can see from the picture above, they can make great ornaments as well, and you don’t need much material either.

Colorful yarn to spread around. 

Credit: MexicanBeautyShop

For a more intricate kind of DIY fun, these MexicanBeautyShop ornaments are simply delightful. And we should add again that they’re perfect wall decor even when it’s not the holidays. 

Merry Christmas maracas.

Credit: MexicanBeautyShop

The MexicanBeautyShop also sells these maracas that look great on Christmas trees. But if you want to access this look easier, just head out to any party store and purchase maracas and then tie them to a string to hang on your tree. Pretty easy. 

The Loteria cards can go a long way. 

Credit: Pinterest

We love Loteria more than anything else, so why not celebrate that during Christmas time? For this idea, just buy a Loteria game that you won’t mind cutting up. Laminate each card that you wish to have on your tree, and that’s it!

Dolls for days!

Credit: Buganvillaimports

These Latin dolls, sold at Buganvillaimports, are perfectly festive for Christmas. You can also give them away as Christmas favors. People will love them. 

A piñata for everyone!

Credit: Buganvillaimports

You can get these mini piñatas at any bodega, party store, or Latin store. Buganvillaimports sells them too. If you put candy in them, you can hand these out to family and friends as well.

Ornaments with a twist of fun.

Credit: allfreechristmascrafts

If you have Loteria cards to spare, gluing them to old ornaments works just as well. All you need is glue and glitter and you’re set. 

Day of the Dead, Christmas-Style

Credit: Etsy

Who says Day of the Dead can’t be celebrated at Christmas. Bring out your Dia de los Muertos decor and place it on your tree. So inventive and resourceful. 

A real fiesta Christmas.

Credit: Etsy

While these paper ornaments are a bit more detailed and complicated to make at home, you can purchase them on Etsy

Mexi-Galore glam for the holidays.

Credit: Pinterest

We can certainly bet you have a lot of Latin trinkets at home. If you have super tiny stuff, you can plop them in your tree, just stuff them in there, and your tree will be instantly Latin-themed.

Tender and sweet, Latin Christmas tree.

Credit: Pinterest

These amazing colorful ornaments made of plush and yarn would make any humdrum tree a beautiful one. 

Ranchera holiday-themed tree.

Credit: Etsy

For Tex-Mex folks or lovers of Texas-style, we highly recommend these plush ornaments on Etsy.

Happy holidays, everyone!

READ: Here’s Why Everyone Should Celebrate Nochebuena At Least Once With Their Latino Friends

ICE Tried To Celebrate Human Rights Day, Julian Castro Was Not Having It

Things That Matter

ICE Tried To Celebrate Human Rights Day, Julian Castro Was Not Having It

Al Dia News

Human Rights Day commemorates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s (ICE) official account tweeted the agency was recognizing Human Rights Day by using a photo of multicultural children locking hands.

ICE, who has repeatedly been criticized during the Trump administration for several human rights violations including denying children flu vaccinations, separating families, and detaining migrants in inhumane and overcrowded living conditions often compared to concentration camps, received a huge backlash on Twitter – including a clapback from former HUD secretary Julian Castro.

ICE tweeted about Human Rights Day, and Twitter implodes at the audacity. 

ICE’s tweet to honor Human Rights Day included a link to a press release congratulating themselves for being such great big champions of human rights. 

“The women and men of ICE dedicate themselves every day to protecting the dignity and human rights of people around the world. Through our work investigating perpetrators of genocide, torture, war crimes and other violations of human rights, they are committed to seeking the prosecution and removal of human rights violators seeking refuge here.” Assistant Director for National Security David Shaw said in a press release, unironically. “We will not allow the United States to be a safe haven for those who violate human rights.”

In October, Castro visited a migrant detention center in Mexico to see what the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy really looked like. 

 “A lot of families along the border who are part of this MPP program have been subjected to violence, some have been kidnapped, some have been extorted, some have been treated a lot worse than what they were fleeing from,” Castro told BuzzFeed News

Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, migrants must wait in Mexican detention centers while their cases are processed in the U.S. 

“I don’t see humanitarian shelter,” Castro said of the detention center. “I see a lot of desperate parents, a lot of desperate children, sick children. I see a polluted river… It’s a disaster. People should not live like this.”

Julian Castro had a few choice words for ICE’s tweet. 

“Delete your account,” was Castro’s simple suggestion to the agency, adding, “we need to break up ICE and build a more humane immigration system.” 

The former HUD secretary advocates for largely redistributing ICE’s duties into other departments. Senator Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that has called for abolishing ICE, according to the Washington Post

“ICE needs to be overhauled,” Castro told The Post. “My immigration policy would transfer the enforcement responsibilities of the agency to other departments such as the DOJ to guarantee higher standards of conduct and more focused prosecutorial discretion — ensuring resources are focused on targeting criminals and national security threats.”

Castro was the first candidate to unveil an immigration plan calling for a complete reformation of our immigration system. He would end migrant detention except in serious cases, create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented families who don’t currently have one, decriminalize illegal border crossings, and establish a Marshall Plan for Central America. 

“I’ve been clear that I’m not going to criminalize desperation. We need to understand that these are human beings. They’re not a criminal record or an invader or an other. They’re human beings that are simply coming — like generations have before — in search of a better life,” Castro told Vox of his plan

Unlike the other candidates, in Castro’s “People First” plan he calls for a complete investigation into the Trump administration’s immigration policies. It states, “there must be a thorough investigation of ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of  Justice’s role in family separation policies instituted by the Trump administration.”

Critics did not miss the irony of ICE’s tweet.

“Satire is dead when the authoritarian gov’t agency that violently rounds up immigrants and throws them into privatized for-profit concentration camps where parents are separated from their children also pretends to honor Human Rights Day with a stock photo,” reporter Ben Norton tweeted. 

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition released a statement criticizing the agency wherein it calls out several ICE controversies including deporting cancer patients, military veterans, and taking asylum seeker Nebane Abienwi off life support against their family’s wishes. They called ICE’s tweet gaslighting given the agency’s track record. 

“ICE is one of the principal abusers of human rights in the United States,” said Katie Adams, Domestic Policy Advocate with the United Church of Christ and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition“This is gaslighting in its purest form. December 10th is about holding ICE, and others like them across the globe, accountable for crimes against humanity. Pretending ICE is somehow part of the solution is outrageous.”