Canada has communicated to Cuba its “great concern” about the “violent repression” of the protests in the Caribbean country and condemned the sentences against the protesters on July 11, 2021, but did not indicate whether it will sanction the Cuban regime as human rights organizations have requested.
The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the agency EFE that has transmitted “at the highest levels” of the Cuban regime its concern about the repression against demonstrators, journalists and activists and that it condemns the “harsh sentences” of the 9/11 protesters, to up to 13 years in jail, according to the ruling leaked this month.
“Canada will continue to raise concerns about human rights violations with Cuban officials,” said the Canadian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Sabrina Williams.
Williams also confirmed that senior Canadian officials have met with the NGO Democratic Spaces, which on November 14 requested Ottawa, along with the Cuba Decide organization, sanctions for Miguel Diaz-Canel, as well as for high officials and entities of the regime for violations of human rights.
The spokeswoman did not indicate whether Canada would sanction the Cuban regime, but added that the Canadian government considers it important “to provide a voice to human rights defenders and better understand their concerns, also to express them to Cuban officials.”
michael limaa human rights activist and director of Democratic Spaces, confirmed that he met on November 16 with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and said that, although Ottawa has not announced sanctions against the regime, he has detected a change in mentality in the Canadian authorities.
“We are pleased that Canada understands that Cuba is a dictatorship, one of the oldest in the world, and that justice is needed. I liked seeing the change of mentality in Canadian government officials who understand that human rights are systematically violated in Cuba,” he stated.
Lima blamed the different attitude of Canada towards countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua or Iran, to which Ottawa has applied sanctions similar to those requested against Cuba, due to the lack of information on what is happening in that last country.
“We are asking for uniformity in (Canadian) foreign policy,” he explained.
The director of Democratic Spaces considered that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “admires” the Cuban regime for the friendship that his father, Pierre Trudeau, who ruled Canada twice, first from 1968 to 1979 and later from 1980 to 1984, had with Fidel Castro.
“And if the prime minister has that position, it influences the formulation of foreign policy,” he said.
(With information from EFE)
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