- Isaac Saney, Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba, -
The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) vigorously denounces the slanders and calumnies launched by certain forces in Canada following the death of Fidel Castro, the leader of the people of Cuba.
Furthermore, the CNC notes that Question Period in the House of Commons on November 28, 29 and 30 has been used to promote calls to interfere in Cuba's internal affairs to which the Government of Canada has responded by making statements which equivocate on Canada's relations with Cuba.
Referring to the death of Fidel Castro, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion on November 28 declared that "it is very important for Canada to use our relationship with Cuba over the last 50 years to help the people of Cuba now to have a better future for their children, with more freedom, and to set the bar toward democracy."
This statement indicates a departure from the current content of relations between Canada and Cuba based on respect for each other’s sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Therefore, the CNC calls on the Government of Canada and all Canadians to oppose any change in Canada's policy towards Cuba.
The CNC resolutely reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Cuba - and all other peoples including Canada - to determine their own future and their own political, economic and social system without external interference: a right enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
On January 1, 1959, after a century long struggle for national affirmation, liberation and independence, Cuba embarked on a path that established authentic self-determination, placing the Cuban nation firmly in the hands of the people of Cuba. In the fifty-seven years that have passed, the Cuban people have resisted all attempts to take away their independence and freedom, and re-impose foreign domination. They have repelled the unceasing all-sided assault, military, economic, financial and propagandistic by Washington, which has never accepted the verdict and decision of the people of Cuba.
Canadians irrespective of their political or ideological positions, stand in favour of building relations with Cuba based on mutual respect and equality, relations which uphold Cuba's right to self-determination and sovereignty. Having traveled to Cuba in the hundreds of thousands - 1.3 million in 2015 - and having witnessed Cuban reality for themselves, Canadians have come away with a profound respect and admiration for Cuba and its people and their efforts to build and defend a society centred on independence, justice and human dignity. Canadians also have great respect for Cuba’s international actions promoting world peace, human development and social progress.
Canadians stand for the building of genuine friendship with the island nation: relations based on mutual respect, equality and recognition of Cuba's right to self-determination and sovereignty.
Let us together make sure Canada's relations with Cuba continue to be based on mutual respect and equality, not on outmoded colonialist ideas and practices.