Canada-Cuba Relations:
The Other Good Neighbor Policy

John M. Kirk and Peter McKenna

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"An invaluable contribution toward one of the most pertinent and controversial policy issues on Canada’s current hemispheric agenda. . . . Timely, innovative, educational, sprightly written; fills an important gap in the Canadian-Latin American literature."--David H. Pollock, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa

"A superbly written and researched book, it provides a much-needed and fascinating account of Canada’s relations with Cuba since Castro took power. Americans reading of Canada’s effective and principled policy toward Cuba can only shake their heads and wish their own government would be so sensible."--Wayne S. Smith, Johns Hopkins University and the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C.

In the "neighborhood" of the Americas, Canada alone has maintained consistently cordial relations with Cuba, in spite of considerable pressure from the United States. In the first book-length study of the subject, John M. Kirk and Peter McKenna explore this unusual dynamic, focusing mainly on the period since 1959.
They begin with the evolution of the Canadian-Cuban relationship, which was initially founded on pragmatic economic and commercial considerations. Cuba has always been one of Canada’s major trading partners in Latin America, and it is the second most popular vacation resort for Canadians. Subsequent chapters, ordered historically, explore each Canadian prime minister’s response to the revolutionary government in Havana. Changing personalities and ideologies in that office have had a significant impact on Canada’s Cuba policy. The authors also look at the relationship from the Cuban point of view: they draw on privileged interview and archival material from Cuba, including never-before-seen diplomatic records from Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, to create a thoroughly rounded portrait.
In what is perhaps a controversial stance, the authors seek to use Canada’s Cuba policy as a lesson in good neighborliness for the United States, and they dedicate their book to "all those who struggle for the introduction of common sense, dignity, and justice into U.S.-Cuban relations."

John M. Kirk is professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of José Marti, Mentor of the Cuban Nation (UPF, 1983), Between God and the Party: Religion and Politics in Revolutionary Cuba (UPF, 1988), and Politics and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua (UPF, 1992) and has coedited five other books.

Peter McKenna is assistant professor of political science at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of Canada and the OAS: From Dilettante to Full Partner (1995) and numerous articles on Canadian foreign policy.

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"An insightful, lucid exploration from post-World War II to the present by two specialists on Cuban and Canadian foreign relations" Library Journal

"this study has much to recommend it. . . . because several Canadian governments over the last four decades viewed US policy as irratinal, Canadians seized opportunities that arose in a 'friendly but not fraternal' relationship with Havana. The authors clearly do not admire Washington's policies, from the Bay of Pigs to Helms-Burton." Choice

"This is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on the history of Canadian foreign policy, not only because it is the first major study of Canadian relations with Cuba, but also because it offers a case study of a relationship in which Canada has adopted a somewhat independent stance in relation to U. S. policy with respect to a government that arouses strong feelings among American policy-makers. . . . An important book that students of Canadian foreign policy will find helpful, not only in uderstanding Canadian relations with Cuba in recent years but also as a case study in how Canadian foreign policy is inevitably influenced by Canada's special relationship with the United States." -- H-Net Book Review H-Florida

"This is the first book-length study of Cuban-Canadian relations, and for that reason alone is an important contribution to the literature on interamerican relations. . . . Essential reading for students of interamerican relations interested in Canadian foreign policy. It broadens the scope for specialized research in a field of growning importance." -- Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

"A valuable addition to the rather scant literature on the relations of the outside world with revolutionary Cuba." -- International Affairs International Affairs

"[A]bsolutely essential reading for those interested in either the international relations of Cuba or Canada, or both, and will reward those with an interest in US-Cuban relations as well." -- Latin American Studies Latin American Studies

"An important and timely contribution to the literature on Canadian foreign policy. While spotlighting Canadian efforts and their consequences - both positive and negative - since 1959, the book plainly illustrates the shortsightedness of U.S. policy." - American Review of Canadian Studies American Review of Canadian Studies

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