Last month military forces trained by the Canadian Special Operational Regiment subdued a hijacker who took command of a Halifax-based CanJet plane at an airport partly run by Vancouver Airport Services. While Canadian companies and institutions played a major role in these events this drama did not, in fact, take place in Canada. It happened in Montego Bay.
Canada has long been influential in Jamaica and across the English-speaking Caribbean. Some prominent Canadians once wanted to add Britain¹s Caribbean colonies to Canada’s expanding territory.
In mid December, Robert Fowler, a career Canadian diplomat who is currently the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, and his aide Louis Guay, an official at Foreign Affairs, were abducted in Niger. They were kidnapped not long after visiting a mine operated by Montréal-based SEMAFO (Société d’exploitation minière-Afrique de l’Ouest). The president and CEO of SEMAFO, Benoit La Salle, told the National Post: “Louis [Guay] called me and said he was going down there on a UN mission and that he heard the mine was a Canadian success and he wanted to report this back to Canada.”
Since the U.S.-backed overthrow of progressive Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the severe level of political repression launched by the new government has left tens of thousands of Lavalas (Aristide’s political party) supporters the victims of rapes, incarcerations, firings and murders. One tragic aspect of this story is the extent to which Canadian federal government money has been able to buy the support of supposedly progressive organizations and individuals. Today they continue to align themselves with Canada’s brutal pro-coup policy.
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