Jesus Martinez Soriano
Toronto Canada. During his recent visit to Ottawa, the capital of this country, at the end of March, US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Canada, making it clear that today it is the partner and neighbor who receives the highest compliments from the whites. a house. During a nearly 40-minute speech in the House of Commons in the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden didn’t just talk and joke about trivia, such as expressing sympathy for “every Canadian hockey team except the Toronto Maple Leafs” for defeating the Philadelphia Flyers (a team of fans of his wife Jill). ) last January. He also reaffirmed the strong historical, economic, political and cultural ties that unite the two peoples and issued several messages, such as calling Canada the “most reliable ally” and “most stable friend” of the United States, which was widely celebrated here, but they may also have been looking Its echo goes beyond the Rio Grande. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/03/24/remarks-by-president-biden-in-address-to-the-canadian-parictures/).
A lost tradition that he seems to want to revive
Given the historical, political and cultural similarity, as well as the geographical proximity and close economic relationship that Canada and the United States maintain, where Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to travel abroad in 1906, until 2020, it is the tradition that the country visited most American presidents on their first trip To the outside is Canada. Over the course of more than a century, eight leaders of the American Federation made their first official visit to this region, four to Mexico, two to the United Kingdom and six to the same number of other countries (one each). So, when a US president doesn’t make his first visit to Canada, in Ottawa it’s both a slight and a worry. It was in 2001 when George W. Bush made his first foreign trip to Mexico to meet with President Vicente Fox at the San Cristobal Ranch in Guanajuato. (https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/19/world/donald-trump-first-foreign-presidential-trips/index.html).
A similar situation was demonstrated again with Donald Trump, who was called upon by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to continue the tradition, when in November 2016 he became the 45th President of the United States. This is despite the fact that, as Srjan Vucic, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa, pointed out at the time, Trudeau did not want Trump to show up in Canada and spark massive protests. Vucic noted, “We have a radical president that no one wants to meet, but (Trudeau) wants to keep relations with Washington as smooth as possible.” Finally, Trump made his first official trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, and subsequent personal disagreements with Trudeau meant he made no state visits to Ottawa during his tenure. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/05/10/trumps-first-foreign-trip-snubbed-canada-canadians-couldnt-care-less/). Joe Biden also did not make his first foreign trip to Canada, where he was partly prevented by the pandemic, instead arriving in the UK in June 2021 to meet with the Group of Seven.
Canada, the “most reliable” ally and “most stable friend” of the United States
The trip to Canada by Biden in 2023, although not the first abroad as head of state, was marked by many symbols and acquired special significance due to several factors: It was the first official visit since the era of Barack Obama. It was a trip of more than a day, Biden spent the night in Ottawa, which is seen here as a gesture of extreme courtesy, and in his speech there were frequent and eloquent praises of Canadians, which seemed to transcend mere protocol. And Joe Biden emphasized that the American Federation chose to link its future to Canada “because we know that we will not find a better partner, and I say it from the bottom of my heart, a more reliable ally, a more stable friend,” than our neighbor to the north. He reaffirmed that “Americans and Canadians” are a society, two countries (…) that share the same heart “and have a” personal connection “, while he emphasized:” There are no two countries on this planet that are united by ties. So close: friendship, family, commerce and culture.
The 80-year-old Democratic leader highlighted the intense exchange of all kinds that takes place on the border between the United States and Canada, the longest in the world between two countries, which is 8,891 kilometers (almost three times the length of the border between the United States and Mexico, which is 3,169 km), through which more than 20 million Americans cross into Canada each year and are generally “treated well,” according to Biden. According to local official figures, in 2019, prior to the pandemic, a total of 23.6 million American Federation residents traveled to Canada, either for one day or a longer stay; Most of them, 16.7 million (70.8%), did so by road, 5.6 million (23.7%), by air, and the remaining 5.5% by other means. (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily0-quotidien/200221/dq200221b-eng.htm). As University of Ottawa academic Andrew Cohen said, as clichéd as it may sound, Canadians have prided themselves on having the longest non-military border in the world, which they share with the United States, and that they have the longest lasting friendship. With that nation, like any other country on the planet. (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/bidens-visit-symbolizes-indispensable-relationship-beween-us-and-canada).
Americans love Canadians.
The president of the most powerful country in the world stressed, smiling and with good humor, that “Americans love Canadians,” emphasizing that his statement was not an “exaggeration” (that is, just an exaggeration), but “a fact based on concrete data ”, an affirmation that for those Those present in the House of Commons seemed to be an apotheosis of Biden’s speech, and it generated one of the most thunderous and prolonged applause.Biden was referring to Gallup’s latest survey among residents of the American Federation at the beginning of 2023 to collect their opinions about 21 different countries in the world, which Canada ranks first, by far, of which 88 countries are.% of those interviewed expressed their overt sympathy.It is worth noting that in the same survey Mexico ranked twelfth, with a favorable opinion of 59% of Americans.(https https://news.gallup.com/poll/472421/canada-britain-favored-russia-korea-least.aspx).
Canadians know that the economic, political, demographic, and cultural weight of the United States, its neighbor to the south, which also remains the world’s greatest power, is immeasurable and immeasurable, and that, for the same reason, they enjoy you. Sympathy, preference and consideration make tremendous sense. Accordingly, Biden’s visit and his words renewed optimism among Canadians that the tradition lost since February 2009, that is, nearly a decade and a half ago, can be recovered, when Barack Obama made his first official foreign trip to Canada, which for them was special. symbolism.
At the international level, President Joe Biden’s visit to his counterpart Justin Trudeau was of particular importance because it was a meeting of representatives of two of the most cohesive democracies on the planet and leaders who are conservative, balanced and moderate in their ways of governing, which contrasts with the environment of growing authoritarianism that we are witnessing in the world today, as well as With hostile, aggressive and incendiary methods of government, from which, unfortunately, Mexico was not exempt. And for our country, it appears that Biden, from Canada, has sent some messages that imply, on the one hand, the suspicion and mistrust that is seen on the Mexican government in the White House, and on the other, that between its two neighbors. Prefers the United States in the north.
Parliament House in Ottawa, Canada, where last March the President of the United States, Joe Biden, delivered a moving speech.