Canada and Cuba are on a good footing to enhance an already-good relationship with a visit to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week, say experts, despite uncertainty around the policy of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
Trudeau’s sunny liberalism stands in stark contrast to Trump’s protectionist populism. But trying to sell “good governance” to the communist regime is naïve, say some — especially since at least a few Cubans are pointing to Trump’s election as a failure of democracy.
Canada and Cuba have had unbroken diplomatic relations for 71 years. In a background briefing ahead of the trip, Canadian officials called it a “long and storied friendship.”
Trudeau couldn’t arrange a visit with the 90-year-old Fidel Castro, who led the Cuban communist revolution and with whom his father Pierre Trudeau shared mutual admiration. Castro’s health is precarious, though he held a successful visit with the president of Vietnam on Tuesday.
Pierre Trudeau visited Castro in 1976 as prime minister — the first member of NATO to do so — and again several times after leaving politics. Castro attended Trudeau’s funeral in 2000, two years after he and Jean Chrétien inaugurated the Havana airport’s international terminal together.
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