While thousands of Venezuelans died, Chrystia Freeland called for sanctions with ‘more bite’
As the political crisis in Venezuela intensified in early 2019, Freeland claimed that “Canada and its allies are well down the road to crafting a long-term, post-Maduro recovery plan for Venezuela’s disastrous economic decline,” ignoring the role played by US intervention. “We are discussing with our partners now ways that sanctions list can be expanded in order to have even more bite.”
Canadian aid for Cuba? 35 national and regional organizations support it
Cuba desperately needs food and medical aid now. It also deserves an end to the longest-standing embargo in modern times. Canada can play a major role in promoting both outcomes. By doing so it will provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance, but will also enhance its own role in the region where Cuba plays an outsized role. The ball is now in the court of Ministers Joly and Sajjan.
‘Decoupling’ from China means more Canadian exploitation of Latin America, Africa
When it comes to critical minerals, Canada and the US are dead set on replacing China’s supply with reserves elsewhere, namely Latin America and Africa. And given the exploitative way that mining firms function, “decoupling” means more exploitation, more undermining of state sovereignty, and more conflict with those who oppose selling out their mining industries to foreign capital.
Latin America’s neutrality on Russia, China vexes Washington
In Latin America, the desire to expand relationships with Russia and China, and to remain neutral on the war in Ukraine, is partly rooted in the violent history of imperialism in the region. If Ottawa and Washington fail to realize this, they will continue to isolate themselves in the hemisphere while enabling the growing influence of the geopolitical rivals they are supposedly trying to obstruct.
AMLO’s mining reforms could lead to more conflict with Canada
AMLO’s mining reforms are an expansion of his efforts to reduce foreign domination of Mexico’s mineral reserves, and part of his wider “Fourth Transformation” program of securing national sovereignty over the country’s lucrative resources. Up until now, his actions toward the sector have taken the form of freezing new mining and water permits for foreign companies.
On the Amazon, Lula tries to undo Bolsonaro’s destructive legacy
Lula’s efforts to repair the environmental damages done by the Bolsonaro administration have gotten off to a slow start, but progress has undoubtedly been made in the repairing of the governmental agencies that will play a role in reining in deforestation. Will Lula succeed at mending the immense harms that his predecessor inflicted?
Is AMLO’s resource nationalism raising the odds of a coup?
AMLO’s commitment to securing Mexico’s energy sovereignty has been a source of tension between his administration and the US and Canadian governments. Ottawa and Washington want to maintain favourable access to Mexican energy resources for their own companies, an agenda that is diametrically opposed to AMLO’s “fourth transformation” policies.
As Lasso flails, Ottawa pushes for more Canadian mining in Ecuador
It is clear that most Ecuadorians do not view their future as one of neoliberalism, blind openness to foreign capital, and subservience to Canadian mining companies. But the opinions of the majority have never altered the character of Canada’s foreign policy, and they aren’t doing so in the case of Ecuador, where Guillermo Lasso has retained Ottawa’s support.
What does it take to ‘stabilize’ Haiti?
On President Joe Biden’s visit to Ottawa he will push Canada to do the US’s bidding to help “stabilize” Haiti. Justin Trudeau has an opportunity to make good on his commitments to human rights, feminist foreign policy, and refugee protection—if he can muster the diplomatic wherewithal to stand up to his southern neighbour.
State-sanctioned violence in Peru and the role of Canadian mining
Canada’s embassy in Peru will no doubt continue to promote more Canadian mining investment in the country. But it should be made clear: when Canada chooses to promote mining in Peru, it is doing so knowing the reality of what these activities mean for people who are facing ongoing threats, intimidation, and state-sponsored violence.
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