From our Bureau of Unexpected Editorials
For many decades, Canada has consistently ignored the human rights abuses of Castro, Inc.. Even worse, it is one of its staunchest supporters on planet earth, and a steady reliable customer of its apartheid tourist industry.
Never mind the affection that its current Prime Minister has for the Castro dynasty.
Not all Canadians are pleased by this situation. An essay just published in The Globe and Mail exposes Canada’s hypocritical and unethical support of Castro, Inc., and calls for an end to “business as usual” with Cuba’s totalitarian military junta. It also calls upon the entire “free world” to do its utmost to free Cuba from its 64.5-year-old dictatorship.
Here is an abridgment of this essay. For the whole piece click on the link above.
An island prison: Cubans still suffer as the free world looks away
by Michael Lima and Sarah Teich
It was two years ago this week that hundreds of thousands of Cubans took to the streets in an unprecedented spectacle of civil activism, pleading for their country to transition to democracy.
Tragically, the main legacy of that heartfelt passion has been an unprecedented surge of repression . . . But despite its shameful repression and human rights abuses, Cuba generally faces limited international condemnation for its alliances with states like Russia and China. The European Union, which has initiated motions condemning Cuba’s repression, still continues to fund the regime . . .
. . . Canada’s foreign policy, meanwhile, is inconsistent where Cuba is concerned. While it imposes targeted sanctions on officials from more than 20 dictatorships worldwide, Ottawa has failed to hold Cuban officials accountable for crimes committed during the July 11, 2021, repression. In response to formal requests from Democratic Spaces and Cuba Decide, Global Affairs should be imposing strong, effective sanctions on the most egregious human rights violators within Cuba’s repressive apparatus.
Instead, Ottawa‘s approach seems to prioritize trade over democracy and human rights. The Canadian news media’s limited coverage of the island’s repression leaves travellers and investors ill-informed about the moral implications of spending money in Cuba, which ultimately helps secure the dictatorship. The Canadian government and private sector help directly sustain the regime through tourism, channelling large revenues into GAESA, the Cuban military conglomerate that controls the vacation industry and other lucrative sectors of the economy.
Ottawa could have a greater impact if it addressed Cuba’s human rights violations publicly rather than in closed-door meetings with regime officials, or by opening its Havana embassy to provide support and access to human rights activists and relatives of political prisoners.
It is time Canada listened to the voices of the Cuban people. Cuba requires more than just humanitarian aid in the form of medicine and food. The greatest humanitarian tragedy faced by Cubans is the unjust imprisonment of thousands for exercising their fundamental human rights. Canada should be leading international efforts to secure the immediate release of political prisoners, proclaiming its own moral ground through motions in Parliament that demand the liberation of political prisoners . . .
. . . Action is needed now. Change requires sustained pressure. The Cuban people’s unwavering commitment to freedom and their sacrifices are undeniable. Holding the regime accountable through targeted sanctions, exerting pressure to release all political prisoners and advocating for the rights of the Cuban people are of utmost importance. The world is watching; we cannot allow silence and inaction to prevail.