Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland believes that Cuba should play a role in ending the current crisis in Venezuela, despite the fact Cuba actively supports the dictator, Nicolás Maduro.
Her comments came on Friday after a meeting with her Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez. Freeland stressed Canada’s supposed closeness with the communist island and how that will help them find a solution to the ongoing collapse of Venezuela.
“Canada has a deep and historic connection with Cuba, and we believe, and I hope our Cuban counterparts would agree, that this strong relationship we have with Cuba can be a way for us to talk about the crisis in Venezuela, coming as we do from very different perspectives,” she said.
Freeland also took the opportunity to redeclare Canadian economic support for Cuba, a nation known for human rights abuses.
“The Government of Canada always has, does and will continue to support Canadians and Canadian companies legitimately doing business in Cuba,” she said.
Cuba is a fervent supporter of the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, under which the economy collapsed.
Canada, on the other hand, has joined the United States and most of its allies in supporting Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who declared himself president in January after an election seen as fraudulent by the international community reelected Maduro.
The United States, the Organization of American States (OAS) and many others have alleged that the Cuban military and intelligence forces are in Venezuela right now aiding the Maduro government.
“This year  in Venezuela, the presence of Cubans was recorded in the torture of its people. It is estimated that there are some 46,000 Cubans in Venezuela, an occupation force that teaches how to torture and repress, that performs intelligence, civil identification, and migration services,” said OAS President Luis Almagro.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed his admiration for the Cuban dictatorship on multiple occasions.
In 2018, the Trudeau government voted against condemning Cuba’s human rights record in the UN.
In 2016, Trudeau was criticized and ridiculed for his statement following the death of the tyrannical Fidel Castro, calling him a “remarkable leader.”