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Perceptions of Cuba

Perceptions of Cuba: Canadian and American Policies in Comparative Perspective

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 176
  • Book Info
    Perceptions of Cuba
    Book Description:

    By acknowledging that competing national identities, perceptions, and ideas play a major role in foreign policies,Perceptions of Cubamakes a significant contribution to our understanding of international relations.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8582-6
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-18)

    In 1996 a private member’s bill was introduced into the Canadian Parliament to allow descendants of the United Empire Loyalists to claim compensation for the land confiscated by the United States government after the American Revolution in 1776. The Godfrey-Milliken Bill, though never passed, was written in retaliation for an American measure designed to hamper other countries from investing in Cuba. This measure, the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act, commonly known as the Helms-Burton Act, outraged Canadians because they interpreted it as Washington trying to dictate Canadian policy. Outrage was directed north as well. U.S. Senator Jesse Helms...

  5. 2 The Exceptionalist and the Cuban Other
    (pp. 19-45)

    The Cold War is but a distant memory yet the American relationship with Cuba appears to be one of the last vestiges of this bygone era. Despite the much diminished security threat posed by Cuba, this island country continues to be thought of as an enemy of the United States and relations between the two countries remain tense. Although it has gone through various modifications since the early 1990s, including some relaxation of trade in food and medicines, American policy towards Cuba remains, in its essence, the same as that adopted by President Kennedy at the height of the Cold...

  6. 3 The Independent International Citizen and the Other Cuba
    (pp. 46-70)

    ‘Viva le Primer Ministro Fidel Castro!’ shouted Pierre Trudeau during his 1976 state visit to Cuba.¹ This cheer to the crowd in Havana has taken on an almost mythical status in Canadian understandings of Cuba. Although that moment or even one like it has not been repeated, it is frequently accepted as representative of the closeness of the bilateral relationship. To many Canadians, Cuba represents more than a possible vacation spot. It has a special place in the Canadian psyche that frequently plays out in the world of high politics and international relations.

    In the decades since 1959, when Fidel...

  7. 4 Exploring Cuba Policy in Tandem
    (pp. 71-96)

    Canadian and American perceptions of Cuba have differed for many decades. At a 1960 meeting between representatives of the Canadian and American governments, the differences in perceptions of Cuba were clearly evident. A senior Canadian diplomat, Basil Robinson, reported: ‘The Canadians spoke with such force and candor that the Americans present were shocked at the extent of the division between the Canadian analysis and their own.’¹ The differences caused some tension between the normally friendly neighbours. Americans protested in front of the Canadian embassy in Washington and were discouraged from vacationing north of the border; Canadian tourists in Florida noticed...

  8. 5 Conclusion
    (pp. 97-122)

    The previous chapters have told a story of two complex, and very dissimilar, foreign policies that are based on perceptions rooted in different identities. Does this mean that these policies are destined to remain as they are today? Will the United States continue its policy of isolation until Cuba becomes a model of Western-style liberal democracy? Will Canada continue to engage with the island state under any and all circumstances?

    The two policies are dynamic, like the underlying identities and perceptions; they are constantly ebbing and flowing. They are socially constructed and thus open to change. Indeed, in the last...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 123-152)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 153-172)
  11. Index
    (pp. 173-178)