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Presidential debate draws international media to Belmont

Reporters came from all over — Japan, England, United Arab Emirates, Latin America — for one event of global importance on Belmont’s campus.

They filled the media filing stations on the lawn, they did standups near the atrium, they brought different languages and different perspectives on the United State’s presidential race to the university.

Hundreds of journalists from across the country to across the world came to hear and see the final U.S. presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Belgium videographer Koen Soete reported on the debate for NOS, a national broadcasting network from the Netherlands, saying people are always interested in American news.

“America is still one of the biggest countries in the world,” said Soete. “Whatever happens here is also a big influence on the rest of the world, so people always look at America.”

The Dutch have a wide spectrum of political beliefs, Soete said. And many are watching the debate to see what the next four years of American politics will look like.

“I think people still don’t understand why Donald Trump is the president of this country,” said Soete. “But, on the other hand, he also has a big fan base in Europe and the Netherlands.”

Voice of America reporter for Latin America Celia Mendoza said that many American policies will have a direct effect on their southern neighbors in Latin America.

“Whatever happens in the United States, being one of the biggest and most important allies, is very important,” said Mendoza.

Among the most important topics to Latin American citizens is immigration, economics and commercial treaties, said Mendoza.

“It’s a lot of treaties and support the United States provides to Latin American countries, and whoever goes into the White House will determine the future of the relationships between the countries and the United States.”

The last four years under President Donald Trump has proven the significant impact of American policies on Latin America, said Mendoza.

“One of the biggest ones we have seen throughout the Trump administration is the support that it has given to Venezuelan citizens. They denounced the government of Venezuela as a dictatorship,” Mendoza said.

The results of the United States’ election can also play a very personal role in the lives of Latin Americans.

“A lot of the people that live in Latin America have family members here in the United States and they’re able to vote. Some of them have really close relationships with their countries. They send money, they want to come to the US,” said Mendoza.

“All of that comes down to be a very important decision when the president is elected.”

This article written by Kendall Crawford.

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