President Obama is receiving sustained criticism from Republican senators, conservative media, and many Cuban Americans for his efforts to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and bring about the eventual end of the U.S. economic embargo. But he has strong allies in Canada's Conservative government, which has otherwise taken a more aggressive approach to such issues as Vladimir Putin's Ukraine adventures, and to supporting the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, than a) one might expect Canada to take; and b) the Obama administration.

I met with the Canadian foreign minister, John Baird, in New York a couple of days ago. I will post my full interview with him next week (he made very interesting comments on Syria, Middle East peace, and Hillary Clinton, to name just a few subjects), but I thought I would share his views on Cuba now, since they are particularly relevant to the current debate. Canada, of course, hosted secret talks between the Cuban government and U.S. negotiators, and it has always maintained normal diplomatic and economic relations with Havana, despite previous U.S. hopes that it would participate in the 50-year boycott of the Castro regime. (Canada's tourists have traditionally flooded Cuba, and believe themselves to be noble and demure while doing so—which is not always the case, as I've seen on my visits there, but more about this another time.)..



Recent Articles

Date Title
12/31/14 President Right to Normalize Relations With Cuba: Best Hope for Ending Repressive Regime
Doug Bandow, The Huffington Post
12/31/14 U.S. condemns Cuba's 'practice of repressing' after activists detained
Daniel Trotta, Reuters
12/31/14 Cuba’s Frustrated Engineers Hold Key to Fast-Track GDP Growth
Anatoly Kurmanaev, Eric Martin and Sabrina Valle, Bloomberg News
12/30/14 Dec. 17 a day of triumph for Cuban Americans
Ricardo Herrero, The Miami Herald
12/30/14 Cuba’s Young Cheer Investors as the Rest Greet ‘Hero’ Spies
Anatoly Kurmanaev and Eric Martin, Washington Post-Bloomberg
12/30/14 After the thaw: Re-imagining Cuba in 2015
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
12/30/14 Low-Profile US Diplomat Helped Negotiate With Cuba
Nedra Pickler, AP
12/30/14 Cuba-US detente upends life for Cuban dissidents
Michael Weissenstein, AP
12/29/14 In U.S.-Cuba Prisoner Swap, Mystery Surrounds The Unnamed 53
Reuters
12/29/14 Shifting Dynamics for Cuba’s Dissidents
Editorial Board, The New York Times
12/26/14 Move Forward With Cuba
Vicki Huddleston, The New York Times
12/24/14 CNN/ORC Poll: Americans side with Obama on Cuba
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
12/24/14 Cuba inches toward transparency, seeking investment and credit
Marc Frank, Reuters
12/24/14 As Cuban American demographics change, so do views of Cuba
Mark Hugo Lopez and Jens Manuel Krogstad, Pew
12/24/14 Cuba’s Promising New Online Voices
Editorial Board, The New York Times
12/23/14 Cuba signals that extradition of US fugitives off the table
Michael Weissenstein and Andrea Rodriguez, AP
12/23/14 Poll: Support increases for lifting Cuba embargo, travel restrictions
Scott Clement, The Washington Post
12/22/14 Analysis of the Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment in Cuba
From the Island #25
12/22/14 Opponents formulate a strategy to derail Obama’s new Cuba policy
Paul Kane, The Washington Post
12/22/14 The Conservative Case For A New Cuba Policy
Sen. Jeff Flake, The Daily Caller
12/22/14 Why Cuba move will help America
Fareed Zakaria, CNN
12/22/14 Current Record
12/19/14 Lifting the Embargo Means Cuba Can No Longer Play Victim
Jose Miguel Vivanco, Time
12/17/14 Cuba Study Group Applauds Historic Steps Taken by the U.S. and Cuba
Cuba Study Group
12/16/14 Building the new Cuban economy
Mimi Whitfield, Miami Herald
12/15/14 Much unfinished work remains as Cuba reforms its economy
Mimi Whitfield, Miami Herald
12/15/14 Cuba’s Economy at a Crossroads
Editorial Board, The New York Times
12/15/14 Cuban Scholars in U.S. Can’t Get Bank Accounts
Ernesto Lodoño, The New York Times
12/12/14 Cuban rapper denies receiving money from USAID
Nora Gamez Torres, El Nuevo Herald
12/12/14 Why USAID Got Into Bed With Cuban Rappers
Elias Groll, Foreign Policy
12/12/14 Why I changed my mind about Cuba
Carmen Cusido, CNN
12/11/14 On Human Rights Day in Cuba: Instead of Bread and Circuses, We Get Beer and Repression
Yoani Sanchez, The Huffington Post
12/11/14 Timeline of US involvement in Cuban hip-hop
AP
12/11/14 U.S. Secretly Infiltrated Cuba's Hip-Hop Scene To Spark Anti-Government Movement: Report
Desmond Butler, Michael Weissenstein, Laura Wides-Munoz and Andrea Rodriguez, AP
12/9/14 New comedy wave tests limits on criticism in Cuba
Anne Marie Garcia, AP
12/5/14 Internet in Cuba only for the rich -- or resourceful
Alexandre Grosbois, AFP