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The Special Case of Cuba

Wylie, Lana

International Journal, September 2012, Vol.67(3), pp.661-684 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    The Special Case of Cuba
  • Autor: Wylie, Lana
  • Assuntos: History & Archaeology ; International Relations
  • É parte de: International Journal, September 2012, Vol.67(3), pp.661-684
  • Descrição: Beyond the criticism leveled at the policy as a whole, the lack of attention given to Cuba has been met with scrutiny. While other states received rhetorical attention or high level visits during the policy's inaugural period, Cuba was largely ignored during the first four years of [Stephen Harper]'s administration. Although the prime minister visited many countries in the region, he did not pay a visit to Cuba, despite the obvious connections between the two countries in terms of trade and tourism. Furthermore, when attention was paid to Cuba, it took on a critical tone, often chastising Cuba over human rights and democracy issues. In 2008 Maxime Bemier, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, referred to the "plight of political prisoners" and encouraged Cubans "to pursue a process of political and economic reform."3' The following year Minister of State for the Americas Peter Kent called Cuba a "dictatorship, any way you package it."32 In 2009 Prime Minister Harper himself stated, "Communism has fallen and Cuba hasn't changed. And that's in nobody's interests."33 The Canadian government has not shown any aspiration to assume a mediating role between Cuba and the US or between Cuba and the OAS. In fact, recent comments demonstrate a lack of impartiality on the part of the Canadian government. Harper's press secretary, Dimitri Soudas, told reporters that "Cuba's return, or eventual return [to the OAS], if they're willing ...will obviously depend on Cuba's will to address hemispheric norms of participation, including representative democracy and respect for human rights." In his statement Soudas placed the responsibility for rapprochement between the United States and Cuba squarely on Cuba's shoulders: "It's important for Cuba to take stock ofthat openness that was demonstrated by the American administration, and obviously look at doing its fair share on making progress on their side as well."38 Canada's decision to side with the United States at the 2012 summit of the Americas meeting, and against all the other countries in the hemisphere, over Cuba's participation in future meetings is further evidence of bias in favour of Washington's position. Many countries have indicated that they will boycott the next meeting in Panama in 2015 if Cuba is not invited. Furthermore, given the lack of priority accorded to Cuba in Ottawa, senior Canadian officials are unlikely to raise the issue of Cuba with their American counterparts. 13 To access the response in English see: Declaration ofthe Revolutionary Government, Cranma Internacional, 8 June 2009, www.granma.cu. See also, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, "Cuba's Foreign Minister called the OAS 'totally anachronistic,' 'Putrid,'" OAS attacked for Cuba invite Maclean's," Maclean's, 18 June 2009, www2.macleans. ca. [Fidel Castro] also referred to the OAS as a "vile institution" that "has a history that collects all the trash of 60 years of betrayal ofthe people of Latin America." See "Castro says Cuba doesn't want to rejoin 'vile' OAS," Reuters, 15 April 2009, www. uk.reuters.com.
  • Idioma: Inglês

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