Mexico is ‘really mad’ at us, and it is so a big whoop

Diplomacy should be more like ‘Mean Girls,’ writes Scott Feschuk

by Scott Feschuk

Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

Bad news, guys: Mexico is totally cheesed at us. There was a big story this week that quoted their ambassador and appeared under the headline: “Mexico ‘really mad’ at Canada.”

Stop chuckling, everyone else in the world. THIS IS SERIOUS.

Turns out Mexico doesn’t like that we require its residents to apply for a visa before visiting. “We’re now really mad,” ambassador Francisco Suárez told Canadian Press, the presence of an adverb suggesting that Mexico is, thank goodness, not yet Hulk-mad.

I’m not sure Suárez has got a handle on the whole “diplomacy” thing. Upon their appointment, ambassadors are expected to dip their vocabulary in a rich coating of multisyllabic vague—a pudding of nicety and nuance. It should never take less than a week, a thesaurus and two of the characters from National Treasure to solve the mystery of what an ambassador is really trying to say.

But maybe Suárez is on to something. Maybe the world would work better if international relations sounded more like Mean Girls. At least we’d know where everyone stands from the headlines. “U.S. ‘royally pissed’ at Syria.”

This episode puts Canada in an awkward position. As a country that boasts the capability to get as many as one (1) navy vessel somewhere important eventually (with enough warning) in most circumstances (barring a problem of some sort), we don’t make a lot of enemies. So we lack experience in handling conflict.

If Mexico is super-mad at us, does that mean we have to start being friends with, like, Iceland or something? Or do we just pretend not to see each other in the UN cafeteria?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “The trailer for Gravity is sooooo amazing.” That’s true, but not relevant. That’s why you’re also thinking: “So the Mexicans are irritated with us—no big whoop, right?”

Except yes big whoop! Or at least two half-whoops that add up to one regular-sized whoop:

1. According to news stories, any lingering dispute over the visa issue “would cast a shadow over the festivities that Mexico and Canada are planning for 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

Oh, no! Not the NAFTA celebrations! But we’ve already put down our deposit on the dunk tank!

2. Mexico is apparently so upset, President Enrique Peña Nieto may postpone a planned 2014 visit to Canada.

Let me go on record as saying: I honestly did not know that’s the name of Mexico’s president. This probably makes me a bad person and a terrible teammate on trivia night. But years ago, I put so much effort into remembering there’s only one “n” in Vicente Fox that I’ve never been able to move on. It was a good feeling to know that no matter what happened in life, I’d always be able to correctly spell the name of the president of Mexico. So thanks for ruining that, Erniqwe Pinata Whomever.

I joke—hilariously—but there is a serious issue here. At least, I assume there is. Frankly, I can’t remember, because I made the mistake of scrolling down to the reader comments about the visa story. Reading online comments is like letting someone punch your brain in the face with a fistful of stupid. If you doubt this, consider that I’ve been hit with the “fist of stupid” so many times, I now think brains have faces. Kudos, Internet.

Anyway, here’s a quick look at some of the more insightful comments.

— Mexico is an embarrassment to the world. So sad we have to deal with them in North America.

I’m going to deduct part marks for failing to conclude this comment with a ;-(

— To accuse Harper on this issue, as a Canadian, is absolutely brain-dead, pretty close to treason.

It’s always a thrill to see how long it takes for a commenter to accuse another of treason. Generally, it takes somewhere between zero and one second. To take any longer would be treasonous!

— Mexicans are the largest illegals in America.

That’s a little harsh. It’s not their fault that chalupas are so delicious.

— That’s all we need is more Mexican gang members infesting our country!!

Do I even need to tell you that the username for this commenter is Grandpa1939?

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk




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Mexico is ‘really mad’ at us, and it is so a big whoop

  1. Don’t you mean to say they are really queso’d off at us?

    • LOL!

      • I do not agree with you on this point. When you hear illegal immigrants from Mexico in the US they say that it is their right to live in the US as it is their traditional residence from before the US was created and that NA should all be free for everyone to live.
        I do not think we are there yet.

  2. I don’t doubt the drug cartels have sponsored these Mexican officials to promote visa-less travel to Canada so they can get more drugs across the border into Canadian territory!

    • canada is the biggest producer of synthetic drugs on the planet, and a regular supplier of the united states. the view that even a large portion of mexicans are criminals, and would come to canada to be criminals, is just dumb. besides, it’s not even the reason for the visas in the first place.

      it’s easy to me cynical. but it’s pretty difficult to offer a smart, analytic response.

      as for the article, the author never said anything. what a waste of time.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • The situation in Mexico is much more nuanced and complicated as you paint it to be. Would you characterize all Canadians based on the PQ’s recent charter? There definately is corruption and rampant violence in Mexico, but the current administration is attempting to do something about it. However, as with all endemic problems, it takes time and community effort to change things. To characterize any group of people based on the actions of the few is plain racism/sexism/any-other-ism.

        • Dear profesor keanbean. Plenty of your statements are just not true when speaking about the average mexican. It clearly shows that you do not actually know mexicans. Sorry to say that ignorance is behind your comments. I can state that as a person that has lived several years in mexico. You did not mention any of the great things about mexicans/mexico. Probably because you just do not want to see them. On the other hand, it is clear from your comment that you have a serious problem related to angry management. Do not take my word for it. Listen to the people that love you (hopefully you have at least one). He/she will tell you about it…

        • Your views may possibly be outdated or tainted.
          My firsthand experience with Mexican students here in Canada shows smart intelligent hard working ( except one of them) and would make a good contribution to our country

      • Psst! Feschuk is a humor columnist. Though personally I find Amiel funnier (in large part because she thinks she’s a serious journalist).

      • Yeahhh! We’re #1!

  3. Did you somehow miss the Putin and McCain editorials.

  4. I am a mexican-canadian that used to be a visiting university professor in Canada
    before going back to Mexico. I have to say that the visa requirements is not an actual issue in Mexico. It was an issue when Canadians suddenly decided to enforce it. Not anymore. Nobody talks about it. Mexicans have now more important issues to solve as the education reform, taxes related reform and the energy reform. The name of the mexican president is Enrique Peña-Nieto. Calling him a Pinata is just mean and offensive. It is not funny. It is clear that the author and illustrator used an nonexistent topic as a tool for offending millions of hard-working Mexicans. That is sad.

    • exactly, just as richard hammond from “top gear” called mexicans Fat & lazy. -Shortly After the Mexicans were on the offensive, taking to social media to call on BBC to apologize, (they did, as they should have)
      I’m a American living in LA, and all the mexicans i’ve met & worked with are extremely hard working. This article is a shame on Canada, its starting to feel like Canada is trying to imitate the Warlike character of the U.S.

    • what a sensitive “canuk” IF you are for real. As a real mexican, I can tell you, the half president you are standing for, doesn’t really worth it. But I can see the mexican on you… very easy to get offended.

      • As you are mexican too, I guess we can communicate in spanish. Asi es amigo soy 100% real. Naci, creci, fui educado y vivo en mexico. Soy producto 100% mexicano. Por otro lado, estoy seguro que no entendiste lo fundamentral de mi comentario. El problema no es lo que se dice de Pena Nieto, el problema es lo que se dice de TODOS los mexicanos y tambien lo que se dice (en el texto y en la figura) del maximo representante de TODOS los mexicanos. Es tu representante aun si no te gusta. Reitero, Pena Nieto es tu presidente aun si no te gusta. Esa seria topico para otra historia…

  5. This comment was deleted.

    • Hey…don’t hold back…tell the world how your TRULY feel.

    • You can only be racist if you are white – all others – including most Mexicans simply declare victim status LOL

  6. This is incredibly ignorant & racist….Mexico are our free trade partners and we mock them (like in this article) not very Canadian of us is it? As a Canadian who lives in Mexico I am embarrassed by the quality of this article – MacLean’s, what is happening!?

    • Ignorant perhaps – but your choice of calling it racist simply shows why the world no longer means anything – no racism here – a figment of your imagination

  7. I agree that this is a racist, unfunny, insulting article. If someone wrote something this demanding about Canadians and their Prime Minister, Canadians would be offended and outraged.
    The visa requirement does almost nothing to stop the drug dealers ( they illegally come in across the border at night) but it probably reduces the number of illegal workers from Mexico at a time of high unemployment in Canada.
    But it severely hurts tourism from Mexico which has a growing middle and wealthy class that like(d) to travel to Canada to ski, sightsee etc.

    • Ignorant perhaps – but your choice of calling it racist simply shows why
      the world no longer means anything – there is no racism here – it is a figment of your
      imagination

  8. Mexico’s white minority government’s goal is to dump as many non-whites into the US and Canada. Requiring Visas gets in the way of that.

  9. I’m a Canadian, lived for years in Mexico, married to a Mexican – this article is empty, cynical, devoid of humour, full of ignorance – and yes, mean-spirited. Under the current Cdn gov’t, money launderers and cartel employees can get into Canada in their private jets easily because they have money and connections – and to “invest”. Canada seems to prefer crooks, whether from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia or Mexico. The hard-working people who just want to better themselves and their children are kept out. The reason the visa is a big deal for Mexicans is that Mexico has been very generous to Canadian tourists and expats who choose to live in Mexico. Harper wants cheap temporary labourers from Mexico. So at least get your facts straight before you stick your face in mud and call it chocolate. I’m surprised Macleans would publish such rubbish, it has gone down a large notch in my estimation.

  10. I wish mexico would implement a reciprocal agreement and charge canadians a similar amount and then adjust it to the wages in each country, then hear the canadians scream. What a racist canadian policy, argentina installed a similar policy several years ago for canucks and aussies when those countries started a visa pay policy. When i was in argentina a year I paid i think $100. for a one time entry as a canadian, there were large signs in buenos aires airport explaining the reason for the charge was that is was a reciprocal charge because of can and oz govt visa costs for argentinians. There sure a lot of very small minded replies here, sad, sad. Signed a canadian who lives in south america

  11. I’m not sure Scott Feschuk has a handle on the whole “journalism” thing. I find it hard to tell if this is a serious article or not. But hey, don’t sweat it, Feschuk. At least you have a job. I have one too – as a math TA at a university. I also get punched in the brain with a fist full of stupid on a daily basis by, surprisingly enough, journalism majors. They seem scared and unsure about their ability to comprehend numbers and logic. But thanks to this article, I know that as soon as some journalists get a job, they all of a sudden become smart and have the ability to point out the stupidity of other people.

    Maybe one day, everyone will be as clever as you are and the world will be a better place.

  12. Dear Canadian Hypocrites,

    Do you know how much gold and silver close to 700 Canadian mining companies are taking from our Mexico? Such as GoldCorp, Majestic Corp which are some of the big ones? I want to go face to face with a Canadian over that! Mexican land owners and indigenous mexicans in some cases get relocated off their properties in Mexico so that Gold Corp can graze thousands of hectares of land. Those mining companies buy permits which conflicts with mexican land owners and indigenous mexicans. Google, “Canadian Mining in Mexico” Or look up: “Cultural Survival launches campaing to protect Huichol Indians from massive mining project” The Indigenous Mexicans face extinction from Majestic Silver of Canada that wants to graze 24,000 hectares of land directly in the heart of indigenous mexican terroritory. So Mr. Canadian? Your destroying or violating the rights of mexican land owners and indigenous mexicans. All that gold and silver your taking from our Mexico? What do you do with it? Build prestigous schools and hospitals in Canada?

  13. Aa Mexican I don’t see a problem with a Canadian visa. Mainly because I’ve never been to Canada nor would I ever want to go.

    There is simply nothing unique about Canada. I can see frozen tundra in Alaska, see the Niagara Falls from the US side. What else is there in Canada? Hockey?

  14. I’m a Canadian myself, for the last 3 year I have been living in Chihuahua Mexico. I can only say one thing. I will never be returning to Canada( in my point of view one of the most fucked up places on earth).

    • Why?

    • so true Cornelius I live in Canada and hate more every day

  15. Is this a joke? And when I say joke I mean this article.

    • Yes, it’s a joke.

  16. I am not a fan of our current government.

    That being said I am happy about this policy. Look at the problem in the United States with illegal immigrants. In addition Mexico is a violent place which can easily slip into Canada if the border was wide open. It is prudent for our country to take steps to dissuade people from Mexico from coming here through the back door.

    We have a immigration policy and I encourage people that want to live in Canada to apply through the proper channels.

    In addition I believe that as North Americans it is in our interest to work together economically, socially and politically. This can be done through drug policy, trade agreements and through aid, not through illegal immigration.

    We have already seen people from Mexico coming to Canada and applying for refugee status. That is all we need.

  17. As a Mexican that studied in Canada, I am not “really mad” bit I am “genuinely dissappointed”. This article exemplifies the dark side of Canada and confirms that I will continue to take my vacations to the EU or Japan, that don’t discriminate passports from the 13th largest economy in the world. Peace out, Canada!

  18. Excuse me, EVERY time Ihave gone to Mexico in the last 25 years, I have been required to fill out a visa application on the plane – it’s euphemistically called a Toursit Card, but it’s a visa just the same.

    • Do not be silly amigo. Filling a form on the fly is not the same as applying for visitor visa in the Canadian embassy in Mexico city. Canada has enforced a procedure that is by far more demanding than filling a form on the plane.
      As an example, a part of the canadian visa application/package requests mexicans to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) and pay a biometric fee of $85CAD. This is just a part of the fee associated to the visa.
      On the other hand, the current processing time for a visitor visa in the Canadian embassy is about 16 days. I mean, you have not waited 16 days on the plane in order for your “mexican visa” to be processed, right?. Even worse, those 16 days do not consider the work stoppages due to the strike of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO).
      Yes, as far as I know the people in charge of processing the canadian visa applications are currently on strike. As I said a canadian visa application is not the same a filling a form on the plane. Do not be silly amigo.

  19. Queso’d as in Manchego or Oaxaquena?

  20. el tipo que escribio esto, es un racista. lastima que en canada exista gente asi.

  21. Mexican government demands to Canadians and Americans what hasn’t’ been able to provide for their one people. Why Mexican government has been insistent in this particular issue for years? I really hope, Harper’s government, won’t give up to their silly demands. The PRI party, recently returned to power it has been a symbol of corruption for many years now and has been breeding ground for the very powerful drug cartels, It really makes me wonder if there is a hidden agenda, behind their demands. Mexican government has forgotten (very conveniently) the concept of sovereignty. I have nothing but hate, for the PRI.

  22. Mexican government demands to Canadians and Americans what hasn’t’ been able to provide for their own people. Why Mexican government has been insistent in this particular issue for years? I really hope, Harper’s government, won’t give up to their silly demands. The PRI party, recently returned to power it has been a symbol of corruption for many years now and has been breeding ground for the very powerful drug cartels, It really makes me wonder if there is a hidden agenda, behind their demands. Mexican government has forgotten (very conveniently) the concept of sovereignty. I have nothing but hate, for the PRI.

  23. Some of you make me very ashamed to be Canadian. We are supposed to be kind, welcoming, and good people. I agree that if someone wants to live in Canada and make money they need a visa, I have lived in Mexico for 3 years and I have pay $350/year to hold a working visa here. I get it. What is hard though is that I have been waiting for 3 years to simply bring my Mexican spouse on a week long vacation to see my beautiful country and meet my family. To see his face when he sees snow, or to see the colors of Fall. I don´t want to live in Canada, we live in Mexico. But a vacation once in a while would be nice, without having to go through a 3 month, $600 non refundable application process for a tourist visa, of course with the possibility of being denied. Maybe we can just cut off Canadian tourism to Cancun´s beaches until this is figured out?

  24. This writer is an idiot – and not even funny. How do I get the 3 minutes back that I wasted reading this drivel? He needs to educate himself, and experience Mexico and Mexicans first hand. All Mexicans shouldn’t be judged based on a small percentage of the population. God forbid anyone should judge me or other Canadians based on this idiot writer!

  25. This article is offensive while trying to be funny. That the publishers of this magazine went along with this piece is the last straw in my recent disappointment with the quality of MacLeans. I will be cancelling my subscription this month. As a Mexian-Canadian, I cannot continue supporting this publishing house.

  26. This article is the perfect example of what happens when a “writer”/”journalist” has nothing to say, but a deadline to abide by… better write nothing than fill the space with this non-sense.

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