Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has likened the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rhetoric to the words of Adolf Hitler. Nieto also vowed that his nation will never pay for the business mogul’s proposed border wall.
On March 7, the president sat down with the Mexican newspaper Excelsior to discuss the Trump campaign.
Nieto, who had previously been reluctant to comment on the GOP candidate, expressed alarm at Trump’s campaign promises, BBC reports.
Insisting that his country would not pay for a U.S.-Mexico border wall under any scenario, the president criticized Trump’s populist campaign rhetoric, calling his proposals “very easy, simple solutions to problems that are obviously not that easy to solve.
“And there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity,” Nieto added.
The Mexican president compared the current U.S. presidential election to the climate that swept Europe during the rise of fascism.
“That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis,” Nieto said.
The Mexican president added that he would “absolutely respect” whichever candidate the American voters choose.
On Feb. 27, former Mexican president Vicente Fox told CNN that Trump’s rise echoed that of Nazi Germany.
“Today, he’s going to take [the U.S.] back to the days of conflict, war and everything,” Fox said. “I mean, he reminds me of Hitler. That’s the way he started speaking.”
Mexican leaders are not alone in accusing Trump of echoing the rhetoric and symbolism of the fascist ruler.
During a March 5 rally in Orlando, Florida, Trump asked his supporters to raise their right hand to symbolically pledge their vote to him in the upcoming primary. The image reminded critics of the Nazi salute.
On March 8, the business mogul denied the allegations that he was mirroring fascist iconography.
“Honestly, until this phone call, I didn’t realize it was a problem,” Trump told TODAY News. “If it’s offensive, if there’s anything wrong with it, I wouldn’t do it."