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Posted April 15, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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Cuba would have to meet minimum standards on human rights and democracy before Canada supported any reintegration of Havana into the Organization of American States, a Canadian spokesman said on Wednesday.

Several Latin American countries, including Brazil, have said Cuba should be allowed to rejoin the 35-member OAS. It was suspended in 1962 because the OAS judged Cuba’s communist system to be incompatible with the group’s principles.

“Cuba’s return, or eventual return, 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,” Canadian spokesman Dimitri Soudas said.

Soudas is press secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and was addressing reporters before Harper’s participation this weekend in the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

The reference to whether Cuba was willing to rejoin the OAS alluded to a remark by former President Fidel Castro on Tuesday that his country had no desire to join the OAS and did not want to “hear the vile name of that institution”.

Despite its position on Cuba rejoining the OAS, Canada has active diplomatic, travel and business ties with the Caribbean country.

Canadian mining and energy company Sherritt International, which is active in Cuba, has seen its shares rise by 28 percent since Monday on moves by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to ease restrictions on family ties with Cuba and to allow U.S. telecommunications firms to provide service for Cubans.

Soudas welcomed the U.S. moves and encouraged Cuba to respond.

“It’s important for Cuba to take stock of that openness that was demonstrated by the American administration, and obviously look at doing its fair share on making progress on their side as well,” he told a news conference.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 15, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Interesting too that I remember reading that Canada won’t be at the Summit this weekend.

    Is Canada doing some dirty work for Obama?

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on April 15, 2009 by paul

    Thank goodness for Christian Democrats. Social Democrats wouldn’t have cared one bit.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on April 16, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Harper was one of Bushes biggest brown nosers, he had his head so far up Bush’s wazoo you couldn’t see his ears.
    It looks to me that we are not going to see any movement on the blockade issue for some time.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on April 16, 2009 by paul

    So? as if Brown nosing Castro is any better? that’s what European and Canadian social democrats do. They turn a blind eye to the plight of the people, and walk eggshells around civil right issues with the Cuban govt so that they don’t offend Cuba’s sovereignty to treat their population like caged animals.

    Let’s see some movement on the authoritarian government’s side…apart from OMG, letting the caged population have CELL PHONES in the 21st century. Big “changes” there Cuba, slow down don’t get whiplash.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on April 16, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Speaking about peoples rights, The Guardian U.K. April 16 2009, Obama releases Bush Torture Memos have a look.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on April 17, 2009 by bernie

    Canada’s record of human rights goes back to the treatment that their native Indian population was subjected to and still exists to this very day.
    Canada & USA should not be pointing the finger at Cuba when their is three fingers pointing back at them???????
    My own opinion of the human rights issue when any of the elites bring it up as an issue, is a smoke screen ???  Just an issue to divert the real problems???

  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 19, 2009 by Marek with 49 total posts

    This is the problem with our current government. Although a minority (meaning in our parliamentary system that the Conservatives need the support of the Liberals, New Democrats, and even the separatist Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation), simply holding the seat of government enables Harper and his band of merry wingnuts (we have a Minister of Science & Technology who isn’t all that sure about evolution) to direct Canadian foreign policy… that sort of stuff has no oversight from the other parties. 

    It’s ironic that the Gringos are moving to the centre, and the Canadians are moving to the right (and just for anyone who’s not up on Canadian political developments, the “Conservative Party” of today is a redressed version of the “Reform Party” of yesterday… evangelical, small-government, social conservatives. The “Conservatives” have very little in common with the former “Progressive Conservative” party which had been one of the two major Canadian parties in our history. Anytime you hear a reporter talking about the “Tories” in contemporary Canadian politics, it’s a miseducated journalist who doesn’t understand that today’s Conservatives have virtually nothing to do with the PC party (whose economic policies were whacked, but at least they had a heart).

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