Trudeau: Trump Won’t Affect Canada-Cuba Relationship

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the University of Havana on Wednesday. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the University of Havana on Wednesday. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

HAVANA TIMES – Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election in the United States will not change Canada’s relations with Cuba, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday in Havana.

“The United States elections will not change the strong relationship, which is a relationship between partners and friends, between Canada and Cuba,” Trudeau said during a ceremony at the University of Havana in the presence of Cuban President Raul Castro.

On his second day in Cuba, Trudeau gave a lecture at the Aula Magna of the University of Havana, and then accepted questions from the students, who mostly focused on international politics.

Trudeau stressed that political and economic relations between Canada and the United States will remain highly interconnected, “regardless of whom the US citizens choose as their president.”

“The relationship between Canada and the United States is deeper than the relationship between a president and a prime minister,” Trudeau told the students.

The Canadian PM said that good relations with the United States were compatible with Canada maintaining strong political and trade ties with Cuba.

“Canada has always been a true and sincere friend of Cuba and we have never seen a contradiction between being great friends of Cuba and being good friends and partners with the United States,” he said.

Canada and Mexico were the only countries in the region that did not support the United States in breaking diplomatic relations after the revolutionary triumph of 1959.

Trudeau rejected the US embargo on Cuba and preferred relations framed in “policies of collaboration”.

Still, he acknowledged that “it is not our job to tell our friends and our partners what to do and what not to do,” he said.

Trudeau’s trip to the island has among its objectives to promote economic relations with Havana.

In 2015, the two countries had an economic exchange of 800 million dollars, making Canada the island’s fourth leading trading partner.

Canadians are number one in sending tourists to the island, with 1.3 million visitors in 2015, representing about 40 percent of the total.

Trudeau’s visit in Havana is the first stop on a tour that also includes Argentina and Peru, where he will attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Association.

Cuban media have highlighted in recent days the close personal ties between his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and former Cuban President Fidel Castro during the 1970s.

Under the mandate of the conservative Stephen Harper, several secret meetings were held in Canada that led to the beginning of the “thaw” in late 2014 between Cuba and the United States after over a half century of conflict.

11 thoughts on “Trudeau: Trump Won’t Affect Canada-Cuba Relationship

  • If Dani you take a trip to Baracoa you may notice some people with a peculiar curve of their nose – its Taino blood! But pure Taino do not I believe exist, the Spanish who held Cuba in thraldom for over 400 years and against whom Cespedes, Agramonte, Maceo and Marti all led revolutions practiced genocide. As the supposed hero Christopher Columbus put it having noted their gold jewelry : “They only have spears as weapons and with fifty men we could make them do anything we wanted.”

  • Other Canadians detest the communist dictatorship of the Castro family regime and would like to see the Cuban people free, with freedom of expression, freedom to vote for political parties of choice and able to progress.

  • “…as far as trading with Cuba, other than cigars and rum plus good weather is all the trading Canada does with Cuba.”

    Roger, you’re not even close. There are over 60 Canadian companies doing business with Cuba… most notably, Sherritt International, involved with mining nickel and cobalt, oil and gas production, and electricity generation on the island.

  • Total rubbish. Care to provide evidence.

  • Yes, it is slightly different but similar enough to merit comparison. And yes, descendents of the Taino indians, and there still are a few, do accuse the Castros of oppression.

  • Canadian tourism brings in some much needed income. If each Canadian tourist brought in $1,000.00, that would be 1.3 billion.
    There is a range of attitudes among Canadians. Those who expressly support the Cuban Revolution are a small minority. There are a much larger number who have a favourable impression of Cuba and who believe there is something positive about the Revolution.
    Others simply enjoy meeting the average Cuban.
    And there are some who have a typically limited tourist experience, going to tourist resorts and meeting Cubans as waiters and cleaners.
    Over the years I met a few men who were quite vocal about going to Cuba as sex tourists. There may still be a few of these.

  • Been to Cuba multiple times,safest place I’ve ever been to,polite and sincere with respect is how I describe these gentle people however on my last trip I noticed attitude changes within,as far as trading with Cuba, other than cigars and rum plus good weather is all the trading Canada does with Cuba.As for JT, well all he’s ever done since his rise to power is travel, heck he’d put Pamela Wallin to shame.
    IMO,majority Govs.’s are Dictatorial .Minorities are the safest way to control and we would get fewer BROTHERS IN LAW in on the payroll.

  • A slightly different situation. Nobody accuses the Cuban government of oppressing Tainos. They don’t exist as a separate ethnic group today though contributing to the ethnic and cultural mix that is Cuba. On the other hand Amnesty International has condemned Canada for its treatment of its indigenous peoples.

  • Full stop. Mike drop!

  • Really? So during your last trip to Cuba, how many Taino Indians did you meet?

  • I was disappointed that President Raul Castro did not pressure Canada on our continued persecution of our Indigenous Peoples. Just this week in Val-d’Or is a point in case, the world needs to stand with our First Nations. The world needs more Cuba and less colonialist Canada.

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