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.