Kirk, John M.; McKenna, Peter
March 2009
Canadian Foreign Policy (CFP);2009, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p21
Academic Journal
The Harper government claims that it is keen to develop a strong policy towards Latin America. Yet it is a flawed approach, supporting US policy at a time when it is at its lowest point in decades, while ignoring both a clear leftward swing of elected Latin American governments in the last five years and the significant importance of Cuba in the region. This paper examines the Harper government's approach to Cuba. Following some general comments on the evolution of Canadian policy towards revolutionary Cuba, it examines some of the errors in the Harper approach, suggests an explanation for the approach employed, and makes suggestions about policies that Ottawa should consider to improve relations. In sports terms, Cuba "punches above its weight"—a fact which is known widely in Latin America and the Caribbean, but which the Harper government has yet to understand. It is in Canadian interests for the new minority government to learn from the errors of the past, and chart a different course.


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