Things That Matter

President Kabala: Mexico’s AMLO Gives VP Kamala Harris A Promotion And New Name

Mexicans are taking to social media to mock their president after he apparently completely effed up his first visit with Vice President Kamala Harris. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) welcomed the Vice President with a reception at the Palacio Nacional in the heart of Ciudad de México but introduced her as ‘President’ instead of Vice President.

Many on social media also pointed out that he used the masculine form of presidente and botched her name, calling her “Presidente Kabala.”

Of course, having just had a less than stellar performance over this past weekend’s elections, many of AMLO’s detractors and the media had a field day with his gaffes.

President AMLO apparently had all sorts of issues during his first meeting with the VP.

According to Reforma, President AMLO made no fewer than six protocol errors when welcoming Harris to the National Palace. He got Harris’ title wrong; he used the incorrect masculine term presidente; he didn’t formally welcome her to Mexico, saying only mucho gusto (nice to meet you); he got her name wrong; he failed to address her by her first name and surname and he wasn’t wearing a face mask although she was.

AMLO also received flak for mispronouncing the vice president’s first name, Kamala, as “Kabala.” Whether he actually replaced the “m” in Kamala with a “b” is unclear and questionable, but that didn’t stop Mexican media from having a field day with the apparent mispronunciation. “Welcome, ‘Presidente Kabala’” said a headline in the El Universal newspaper. “¿Presidente Kabala? AMLO changes the position and name of Kamala Harris,” said El Financiero.

AMLO acknowledged on Wednesday that he misspoke by calling Harris “president” but didn’t admit any other errors. “It was a very good meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris. It was so good that I called her ‘president,’ I got it wrong, … I’m not infallible,” he said.

AMLO also welcomed Harris without wearing a face mask.

The President’s alleged list of major faux pas didn’t end with misspeaking. He was also chastized on social media for not wearing a face mask. Though few were surprised given AMLO’s skepticism of the pandemic, face masks, and even the vaccines.

“KABALA, nice to meet you. AMLO without a face mask #languagewithoutwords,” one Twitter user wrote.

Like always, Mexicans memed the hell out of their president’s flop.

By now, Vice President Harris is used to people mispronouncing her first name – it happened throughout the 2020 campaign and her entire career. And few people assume that President AMLO was doing it on purpose. However, many Mexicans were once again frustrated with their leader for failing to properly prepare for such a high stakes visit.

Many called it offensive and say it demonstrated a lack of respect for the vice president of the United States. We can only hope that their next visit goes much smoother than this one.

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