International

WHO LOST THE CARIBBEAN? By Paul Durand (Report)

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Paul Durand

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when relations between Canada and the countries then known as the Commonwealth Caribbean (now the Caribbean Community or CARICOM), were close and mutually beneficial.  Canadian capabilities complemented Caribbean economic development requirements, and their support as a group in international institutions was highly valued. Meetings at the level of prime minister were organized on a regular basis; personal relations among them were informal and friendly. However, since the late nineties to the present day, those positive relations have drifted to the margins of Canadian foreign policy. Why did this happen?

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SAUDI ARABIA: REFLECTIONS ON THE MAGIC KINGDOM By Tom Macdonald (Article)

 

Tom MacDonald

Tom Macdonald


“I know the monster. I have lived in its entrails”. So said Cuban revolutionary and Guantanamero poet, Jose Marti, about the United States in the late nineteenth century. Marti was an outspoken critic of America’s imperialism, racism and rapacious capitalism. But his long-time residency there also leavened his views and afforded him greater perspective on both America’s virtues and its vices. Saudi Arabia is often depicted in monstrous terms by Western media, including Canada’s own Globe and Mail. And while there is undoubtedly a great deal to criticize about the country, much of the Western media coverage is woefully lacking in balance or nuance and is often penned by journalists who have never even visited the Kingdom. Some perspective from one who has “lived in the entrails of the monster” may therefore be of interest.

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OUR DIPLOMATIC IDENTITY: A CANADIAN BALANCE OF REASON AND PASSION By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

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Over the past century, Canada has evolved and matured as a nation out of the yoke of colonialism and beyond the geographic dominance of its relationship to the United States. Through its valour in wartime and value as an honest broker, Canada has weathered shifts in geopolitics and its own domestic politics to emerge with its long-standing imperatives of multilateralism and pluralism intact. Veteran diplomat Jeremy Kinsman recounts the journey that brought Canada to its current place as a reliably rational port in our current global storm.   

 

Duke Ellington once said that in his music, melody was his passion. But rhythm was his business.

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CHRIS WESTDAL ON RUSSIA & UKRAINE - Testimony to House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development 2/16/17 (excerpts)

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Mr. Chris Westdal (As an Individual):

    Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's an honour for me to address you.

        Your subject is vast and, as you've found, it necessarily includes Russia, because to talk about the security, political, and economic circumstances of eastern Europe and central Asia without talking about Russia is to talk about everything in the room except the elephant. I'll use my few minutes to talk first about the popular narrative of Russia as an aggressive marauder, second about Ukraine on the brink, and third about the plans for a détente of President Trump, and, along the way, about Canada's roles in all this drama.

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WHY HAVE CANADIAN-CARIBBEAN TIES WEAKENED? By Paul Durand (Article)

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Canada once had a serious presence in the Caribbean, but our profile has diminished in recent years. When the British colonies in the Caribbean basin acquired independence in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Canada was quick to establish close relations with them, including meaningful development assistance programs and close political ties. Canada-Caribbean summits at the level of prime minister were organized on a regular basis, and personal relations among leaders were informal and friendly.

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