[Marxism] Cuba Tells Ottawa It Can Help In Americas

Richard Fidler rfidler_8 at sympatico.ca
Wed Nov 21 14:18:41 MST 2007

I was at the Carleton U. meeting addressed by Josefina Vidal. It was pointed
out from the audience that in fact the Canadian government's record on
Canada-Cuba relations is not as unsullied as this report from a diplomatic
journal, forwarded by Walter, would suggest. Specifically, 

(1) Canada does not enforce its legislated ban on extraterritorial
application of foreign laws in Canada when Cuba is the target, for example
when Washington prosecutes or otherwise harasses Canadian subsidiaries of
U.S. companies attempting to do business in Cuba.

(2) Ottawa collaborates closely in the U.S. "war on terror", including the
most hypocritical parts of that "war". The Canadian government has never
raised a peep about Washington's jailing of the five Cubans who were
surveilling anti-Cuban terrorists operating out of U.S. territory. Instead,
its police and diplomatic services did everything they could to frustrate
attempts to free an innocent Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, who had been
illegally arrested by the FBI and "rendered" to Syria where he was horribly
tortured for a year as an alleged "terrorist" on the basis of Canadian
police reports.

(3) Canada has compiled its own list of alleged "terrorist" organizations
(it includes Hamas, the elected governing party in the Palestine
territories), but that list does not include any of the anti-Cuba groups in
the U.S. that openly boast of their terrorist activities in and against

Josefina Vidal, who made an excellent presentation on Canada-Cuban
relations, in flawless English, was of course unable, in her diplomatic
capacity, to comment directly on these points. But she did say in response
that when the Cubans drew the case of the Cuban Five to Ottawa's attention,
the stock response was that Canada is quite content to let U.S. "justice" go
its way.

For an example of how that works, consider the following item in today's
Ottawa Citizen:

Europe slams Canada’s new stance on death penalty

Harper government ‘washed its hands, just like Pontius Pilate’


The Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights watchdog, harshly
denounced the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday for its
decision to stop seeking clemency for Canadians on death row in American

The council’s secretary general, Terry Davies, likened the Harper government
to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who “washed his hands” of the decision
to crucify Jesus Christ because a mob demanded Christ’s execution.

In a provocative interview, Mr. Davies also said Canada is effectively
“subcontracting” the death penalty, just as the U.S. government has
dispatched suspected terrorists to Third World countries, where they can be
interrogated under torture.

He urged the federal government to reverse its decision and to press U.S.
authorities to return Albertan Ronald Smith, the murderer at the centre of
the controversy, from his Montana prison cell to serve the rest of his life
behind bars in Canada.

Full: http://tinyurl.com/26hwzq

-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of Walter Lippmann
Sent: November 21, 2007 10:08 AM
To: 'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'
Subject: [Marxism] Cuba Tells Ottawa It Can Help In Americas

Canada´s Foreign Policy Weekly

November 21st, 2007
Cuba Tells Ottawa It Can Help In Americas

By Jeff Davis

As the Harper government develops its Americas Strategy, a
high-ranking Cuban official visited Ottawa, promoting Cuba as an
essential partner in Canada's push to engage Latin America and the
Caribbean. Meanwhile, Latin American specialists observe that
Harper's Cuba policy is-despite early fears-not all that different
from that of his Liberal predecessors.

"Cuba's presence and Cuba's good relations with the rest of our
region cannot be avoided and have to be present as part of anybody
else's priority towards Latin American and the Caribbean," said
Josefina Vidal.

Ms. Vidal, the director of North America division of the Cuban
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was in Ottawa for a series of meetings
last week.


-- Richard

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