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Screen capture of the web portal of the White House at the beginning of the year 2017, when the Trump Administration deactivated its version in Spanish. Source: http://newssummedup.com/
Screen capture of the web portal of the White House at the beginning of the year 2017, when the Trump Administration deactivated its version in Spanish. Source: http://newssummedup.com/

Will The White House speak Spanish again?

A year after taking control of the country, the Trump Administration has not re-activated its Spanish-version website.

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When Donald Trump arrived at the White House, we all knew that his last concern was to embrace the Spanish-speaking community in the country, those he had called "bad hombres" during his campaign in a generalization that would only be perpetuated through his administrative policies.

Just days after being in power, his Administration closed the Spanish version of the White House website, ensuring that those in charge of the technology "were working overtime to develop a new site," as The Associated Press recalls.

During the month of July the director of Media Affairs, Hellen Aguirre Ferre promised that the website would be launched again at the end of the year. But we are already in February and the White House still does not speak Spanish, despite the fact that "around 1 in 5 Americans” speak the language, according to the media.

Faced with questions from AP regarding the matter, now Aguirre has responded with evasive assurance that "we continue to work on improving the White House website providing important content in English pertaining to the initiatives and policies the Trump Administration is undertaking,” as she replied in an email.

For Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the elimination of the Spanish version of the page "sends a very troubling message".

"There are around 4 million Hispanic American entrepreneurs and businesspeople in this country, many of whom are receptive to the administration's pro-business agenda," he said. "If they made even a little effort to communicate and engage with the Latino community, perhaps they would win a few of them over."

This initiative took off during the Bush administration, when Latin Americans became the largest minority in the country, and continued its efforts during the government of Barack Obama. Luis Miranda, director of the Hispanic media during the Obama administration, said the site in Spanish was intended to inform Latinos "on topics such as immigration, health, banking and veteran affairs", very sensitive issues at this moment.

While the Spanish account of @LaCasaBlanca is active, as well as the Voice of America platforms and several local services of gobierno.usa.gov, the effort of this administration to include all its citizens falls short.

AP compares the performance of the Trump government with that of countries like Iran and North Korea, with whom the president has engaged in polemics and criticisms but who do have their Spanish-speaking platforms.

It is unlikely that this will change over time, especially after seeing the efforts of the Trump government to go in the opposite direction when conciliation with Hispanics is the goal.

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