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realclearworld

Canada loves Castro’s Cuba… never mind the human rights atrocities

In an Op-Ed in Canada's Observer, Geoff Dale discusses the decades-old love affair Canadians have with Cuba's vile and repressive Castro dictatorship. Of course, Dale chooses to describe this romance differently, as if it were between the Canadian people and the Cuban people. But everyone knows -- Dale included -- that this affair is strictly between Canadians and the apartheid regime of the Castro family. That is why he does not make one single mention, even in passing, of the Castro dictatorship's atrocious human rights record in Cuba that has resulted in thousands executed and hundreds of thousands imprisoned.

They say love is blind; I guess this is an extreme version of that concept.

Canada’s romance with Cuba has endured a Cold War, economic meltdown and tricky trade currents that still swirl

(Paul Lachine)

Stroll the white sands of the Blau Varadero beach, catch a glimpse of the rich coral reef off Maria la Gorda or sip mojitos at the Floridita, one of Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite Havana watering holes.

While these are slices of a forbidden fruit for Americans, Canadian tourists show no stopping their love affair with Cuba, flocking each year to the Communist island, where sugar once paid the bills, in numbers hovering around one million.

Maybe, it’s because we’ve been there so long.

After all, it’s been almost 40 years since then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau stepped out of the Cold War strait-jacket by bear-hugging Fidel Castro, a bold statement by the first NATO leader to embrace Cuba on a visit.

Castro repaid the gesture by attending Trudeau’s funeral in Montreal in 2000.

Maybe, it’s because we’re not shy about doing business with Cuba — even when it’s meant risking U.S. anger.

Plenty of companies have found they can work with the new old-line Communist regime, especially in the past generation since the Russians cut their old Soviet purse strings to Havana and left it to discover joint ventures with capitalists.

That’s despite the fact the U.S. passed a punitive trade law in 1996, the Helms-Burton Act, aimed at companies with so-called “pink” operations dealing with Cuba.

You can’t tell, but chances are good you’ve got some loonies in your change made with nickel mined in Cuba by one such Canadian company.

Whatever the explanation, and despite a rocky global economy since the 2008 meltdown, Canada tops Cuban tourism, accounting for 40% of the total.

Continue reading HERE.

3 comments to Canada loves Castro’s Cuba… never mind the human rights atrocities

  • asombra

    This op-ed is a vile obscenity--all the more so because it's worded as if enabling a horrendous totalitarian tyranny were the most normal, reasonable and even decent thing in the world. "Oh, no, we're not like those mean, uptight Americans. No, siree. We're above that sort of Cold War nonsense. Party on, hosers!" The complete omission of anything resembling an acknowledgement of Cuba's sordid, hellish reality implies the writer has no significant problem with that reality. That would be too inconvenient, now wouldn't it?

    Instead, Cuba is described as "a country with a problematic history for some nations, especially the U.S. with its Cold War hangover." The US is such a fuddy-duddy, unlike cool, "progressive" Canada, you see. There isn't enough contempt to heap upon these people, and trust me, I have vast supplies of contempt. They are faithful reflections of that miserable, cretinous asshole, Pierre Trudeau. Lord, the nausea.

  • asombra

    Disgusting though it is, this op-ed is still useful. It strongly suggests a major reason why Canadians love Cuba vacations. It's NOT the tropical resort angle, which they could get in many other places in the Caribbean, Mexico or even Miami without supporting totalitarian oppression. It's the downtrodden (by the US embargo, naturally) poor-little-island-people angle, needy and destitute but SO accommodating, and SO appreciative of the condescension and assorted scraps from luminous beings from the Great White North. It's all so quaintly gratifying, allowing for the surreptitious enjoyment of a very old interpersonal dynamic which ceased being PC long ago, but can still be savored if one can spin it as somehow "progressive" and even "humanitarian," though it's merely exploitative and very, VERY patronizing.

    As I've said previously, the most charitable take on all this is that Canadians are effectively retarded and simply incapable of knowing any better, but while that's plausible enough, there's a more likely and convincing explanation: they don't give a shit, because they're full of it.

  • asombra

    Batista is called "dictator-president," but neither Castro is called anything, certainly not dictator. It's as if Canadians are so comfortable with a Castro in charge of Cuba that it doesn't matter whether he's a dictator, dictator-president or whatever--it's just fine and dandy. The unwritten but distinctly implied message is that those who have serious problems with Castro, Inc. are just bitter clingers to obsolete Cold War issues, which of course magically vanished form the face of the earth forever when the USSR officially ended. Again, such a view is either a sign of mental retardation or cynical perversity. Ugh.