Canada and the Venezuela Crisis
OASIS N° 30, Julio-Diciembre 2019
21 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 2, 2019
Over the past few years, Canada has stepped out of its comfort zone in hemispheric affairs, to speak and act forcefully, as Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland put it, in solidarity with “the people of Venezuela and their desire to restore democracy and human rights in Venezuela.” With its partners of the Lima Group, Canada imposed sanctions on the Maduro regime, recognized Juan Guaidó as interim president, and called for free and fair elections as soon as possible. The article identifies possible factors explaining Canada’s policy. The main proposition is that the Venezuela crisis features an extraordinary combination of domestic and international factors that make participation to a multilateral and diplomatic push for restoration of democracy an ambitious but judicious option for Canada. The article also presents the criticism to this policy, and discusses the issue of human rights and democracy promotion in the broader context of Canadian foreign policy.
Keywords: Canada; Venezuela; foreign policy; democracy; human rights
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