We have just survived Friday the 13th. Halloween approaches. TV shows subject us to horror. We have had our share.

The U.S. President, Donald Trump, has threatened to abandon Americans in Puerto Rico. “That would be an impeachable offense” (Eugene Robinson, “Washington Post,” October 13, 2017). Trump’s adviser, Roger Stone, compounds the horror: “Any official who votes impeachment would be endangering his own life.”

Other nightmares haunt us. Trump’s cuts to health care (cost-sharing payments to health insurers) impact 31,000 Hidalgo and Starr County citizens” (McAllen “Monitor,” October 14, 2017). Normally peaceful people are distraught. One prominent Republican admits “praying for Mr. Trump to have a brain aneurysm so the nightmare could end” (Yoram Hazony, the conservative “Wall Street Journal,” October 13th, 2017).

In Mexico, too, nightmarish tremors continue to ripple. The peso dropped just last week, (from 17.60 to 19.50 per U.S. dollar), after more of Trump’s threats to destroy NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Who can deny the Mexican markets (dutifully capitalistic) are very disturbed? Whatever Trump’s final decisions, his words have effects. And elections have consequences. Careless votes have produced callous results that affect both countries.

A few in Mexico may see Trump as a “paper tiger,” blustering and not completing anything. They note the peso also fell before Trump took office. But, since then, some bravely continued on, feeling that the construction boom, predicted by billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, would bring Mexico out of a slump. Now, pessimism has returned. Optimism, if it be that, exists about small markets: “pay more attention to the Hass avocado than to Trump” (Alejandro Ruelas-Gossi, “Mexico’s Economy,” November 9, 2016).

Pay attention to their people, too. Mexican workers are the “hardest working in the world” according to the World Trade Organization. It is also true that Mexico is “one of the most open countries for business” (L. Casanova, “Cornell Enterprise,” July 11, 2016). Mexico began an “ambitious 25-year Special Program for Science, Technology and Innovation” in 2012. STEM education is, indeed, the future. But, currently, private investment is lagging. Good ideas go begging in many cases for lack of government monies.

Our neighbor boasts a mixed economy but Mexico is still, essentially, a capitalist system. It is considered an “upper middle-income country,” with ten percent of the world’s oil reserves. Its economy is the second largest in Latin America and 13th largest in the world. We need them and we need to help them, so they can help us.

Ninety percent of Mexico’s formal economy is small business. But half the economy is in the informal sector, not paying taxes nor workers’ benefits (Jude Weber, “Financial Times,” June 20, 2017). Start-ups flourish—for a time—but face almost insurmountable competition from monopolies. Some reform has come with reduction of the monopoly and power of the national oil company (PEMEX). But the government spends only 0.6 percent of GDP on Research and Development. (Compare that with, say, Israel, which spends nearly five percent) Although some say, “Trump fears are fading” (Reuters), inequality still haunts Mexico, harming the entire economic infrastructure.

The point is, certain aspects of the Mexican “Main Street” are shaky. Most experts agree “the Mexican economy has benefited from relatively open borders and relatively free trade” (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, June 2017). We conclude therefore, Mexico can only grow in tandem with favorable relations with its mighty neighbor to the north (long a disadvantage but now an advantage).

We in South Texas realize the advantages of this relationship better than most. The University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley is actively recruiting in Mexico (President UTRGV, Dr. Guy Bailey, quoted in the “Rio Grande Guardian”). Also in the “Guardian,” truck traffic has increased at the important Pharr Bridge 65 percent over the last five years (Luis Bazán, Director). That means more products for consumers with longer shelf life. You prefer sweet dreams to nightmares? Me, too. You have grown to like exotic fruits? You now love guavas? Give thanks to Mexico and to relative trust and free trade.

You will not like what the Masters of Horror in Washington are planning for your Halloween. Our nightmares may just be beginning. Let us hope we can wake up in time from those fears. It might be you are not so lucky. It maybe you reside in Puerto Rico (or Houston, or Florida or other places devastated by hurricanes) and aid did not arrive soon enough or Trump pulls it out as he threatens.

Or you may be one of the thousands injured here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas due to cuts in health benefits. Let’s say you or some of your family DON’T make it out of this nightmare, this pesadilla alive. Please let me know. I will include your memory on my altar for the Day of the Dead.