Perceptions of Cuba: Canadian and American Policies in Comparative Perspective
By Lana Wylie
Reviewed by Mary Stanik, a communications consultant and opinion writer who has been published in a number of major Canadian and American newspapers. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
These are interesting times for anyone in Canada or the United States who takes a serious interest in Cuba. Since Raúl Castro became Cuba’s acting president in 2006 (and president in his own right in 2008), Cuba watchers in both countries have looked at the changes Castro, brother of former President Fidel Castro, has and has not made to the country’s governing structure or political culture. Within the past six years, leadership changes in Canada (with Stephen Harper becoming prime minister in 2006) and the United States (with Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009), also have brought about new thoughts and policies regarding Cuba. In Canada, there has been a cooling of relations, while there has been somewhat of a thaw in the United States. These changes might have been nearly unimaginable in either country just a few years earlier.
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