In an unusual move for Canada, the Canadian Foreign Minister announced this weekend that Canada would target with economic sanctions several Venezuela government officials. The Minister for Global Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, issued the following statement:
“Canada will not stand by silently as the Government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic rights. Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world. Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to restore democracy in their country.”
Canada sanctions on Venezuela bolster U.S. efforts to better isolate senior of officials of the socialist oil-producing nation from the global financial system. I wonder, will this stop with Venezuela? Why not extend targeted sanctions to Cuba and other countries that are helping the Maduro regime? Russia comes to mind, as does Nicaragua and a few others.
To start resolving the Venezuela matter, Cuban military and other advisors need to leave Venezuela. If you replace Venezuela with Cuba, and Maduro with Castro, in Minister Freeland’s statement, it would be correct. This is an unusual move for Canada and, I suspect, the Trump administration persuaded them it was the best approach. Keep an eye on this. I don’t think you’ve seen the end of new sanctions in the region from the U.S. or U.S. allies.
While not in the news as much as other regions, the Trump administration’s early efforts in the Western Hemisphere seem a lot more focused than prior administrations, Democrat and Republican. I’m working on a piece about it. Building upon his promises in his inaugural speech, crystallized at the United Nations last week, but supported by actions that have gone underreported in the media, President Trump has updated and revitalized how Uncle Sam engages in the Americas.
In November 2013 then Secretary of State John Kerry erroneously, decreed, that the “era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” It was pabulum, a sentiment anchored in historical revisionism that was applauded by Latin American Leftists throughout the Americas. By design, or by chance, President Donald Trump may be reforming and revitalizing a much-misunderstood doctrine with a “liberty agenda” for the Americas.