Thursday, March 3, 2011

Double face in Canada’s policy towards Cuba

Canada double take in Cuba

Canada is imposing a wide range of sanctions on Libya and its leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Our Primer Minister Harper accused Gaddafi of betraying his own people, saying the Libyan leader “bluntly violated basic trust.” The Prime Minister also called on Gaddafi to step down as Libyan leader.

So, well done by Stephen Harper… now! But one question is rising my eyebrow: why now and not much much before when Gaddafi’s craze was well known for westerner’s democracies and Canada in first place.

For too long our democracies have been making business with dictators’ government. Canada has big ties with China and Cuba, and still we are waiting Harper’s words about those countries where basic human rights are violated over daily basis.

Could it be because Canada has too many economic ties with those countries and doesn’t want to loose a good deal of money?

Cuba is one of the biggest tourist market to Canadians. Almost 1 million of our fellows travel to Castro’s paradisiacal resorts when winter is hitting us every year. Canadian companies had took advantage of the idyllically place where American businessmen are banned and they cannot make business with Castro because the embargo.

The problem here is the easy going finger of the tropical dictator who doesn’t care about capitalist trust, historical relationships between both countries and “engaging policies” which is the strategic term used by Harper’s government in Cuba’s case.

Canadian’s policy toward Cuba is the perfect example how western governments are caught between their perfectly written statements about democracies in dictator’s land and their achievement toward the people of those countries.

Canada never ever broke diplomatic relations with communist Cuba, but said that Castro never had recognized this kindly gesture of good will. For years Cubans authorities had only prize Mexico as the one and the only who kept diplomatic ties with Havana’s regime. Do you get the point, Mr Harper?

But still Canadian governments and Canadians in general had been fool with the idea of changing Cuba’s behaviour in the human rights arena with “engaging policies”. 53 years of “engaging” and still Castro is in power, his outstanding violations against basic civil rights and their own people are well know elsewhere, even in Canada, and our Primer Ministers still are deaf-mute about Castro.

Now here is Libya. 42 years of a crazy dictator who has been repressing and massacring his own people for a good long time and our Prime Minister came out with, I quote:

"We find the actions of the government firing upon its own citizens to be outrageous and unacceptable”

Well, Mr Harper, and how about the last 42 years, it doesn’t count? What were you expecting from a dictator like Gaddafi?

The key point here is the closer ties Canada and especially Europeans democracies had had all those long years with Gaddafi and his dear oil. In Cuba’s case is the sunny beaches and the perfect lack of American in Cuban soil to make a good deal of harvest in its economy. And we will see the same double standard if Cubans decide to upraise against Castro in the future.

Wouldn’t be better to have an actual cohesive and consistent policy toward Cuba from the very beginning, Mr Harper?

I know the Canadian guidelines toward Cuba were written by Liberals, especially by Trudeau’s government. But, isn’t a good time to overthrow them and write a proper and decent policy against all dictators worldwide and especially to Cuba?

It will save lives and a big deal of sorrow to the Cuban people who are fighting to get rid of a dictator for so long. And it will be more decent in the face of cruelty today we all are facing in the case of Libya.

Cuba is another place where Canada has to amend its foreign policy toward tyrannies and dictators. Then, you don’t have to come out with such a sorrow statements about Libya, Cuba or somewhere else, Mr Harper.

It could be unnecessary.


Lazaro Gonzalez said...

that's a good point