Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
In 1989, four foreign leaders, representing the countries of Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, and South Korea, addressed joint meetings of the U.S. Congress.
On this date, President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress
in the House Chamber. During the visit to Washington, D.C., Salinas de Gortari (the fifth Mexican President to address a Joint Meeting of Congress), with the assistance of a translator, also discussed environmental and employment issues between the United States and Mexico with President George H.W. Bush
. But foreign affairs complicated the Capitol Hill visit. On October 3, 1989, there was a failed coup to overthrow Panama dictator Manuel Noriega with the United States prepared to add support if needed. With diplomatic tensions running high, Salinas de Gortari addressed the Joint Meeting in Spanish; Members were given English translations of the approximately 30-minute speech. President Salinas de Gortari stressed his new vision for Mexico and the strides the country had taken over the previous 5 years to improve the economy and fight the drug cartels. “Mexico, together with the rest of the world, promotes cooperation and friendship. We seek new and strong relations for trade, investment, and technology transfer with an integrated Europe and with the Pacific basin,” Salinas de Gortari said. “We are a sovereign society that is open and participating in world changes.” Afterward, a Presidential State Dinner was held and many prominent Members from the U.S. states bordering Mexico attended.