Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy towards Latin America

Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy towards Latin America

Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy towards Latin America

Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy towards Latin America

Synopsis

Discovering the Americas describes and analyzes the evolution of Canadian foreign policy towards Latin America. The book is divided into three parts, each reflecting a distinct phase of Canada's relations with the Americas. Part 1 traces Canada's minimal relations from the beginning of the century until the Trudeau years. Part 2 examines the Trudeau era when, partly propelled by nationalism, Canada sought a more independent role in its relations with Latin America. Part 3 discusses the post- 1984 era, which has been marked by the prospect of an emerging hegemony in the Americas.

Excerpt

Canada is on the threshold of a new partnership with Latin America. the evolution of its new role has been fascinating, and perhaps even more interesting are the implications for future directions. Certainly the policy environment is extraordinary. Beginning in 1988-9, when research for this book commenced, it was clear that the Western Hemisphere, and the international scene generally, were witnessing something new. Drastic and incredibly rapid changes in the global arena promoted the entrenchment of Canadian interests in Latin America.

While there have been times when Canada seemed finally to discover Latin America, these episodes have usually been followed by this country's abrupt and unanticipated withdrawal. If one were to graph Canada's position in Latin America, one would behold a scribble of peaks and valleys. It now appears, however, that we have reached a high plateau, as Canada's increasingly profound role in the region seems permanent. the following pages document the evolution of this new orientation of Canada's foreign policy and examine the often controversial implications for its future development.

When presented with an overview of Canada's involvement in Latin America, one is struck by its peculiarity. in the first few decades of this century, while Canada had significant economic relations with Latin America, attempts to foster a greater political presence in the Western Hemisphere were thwarted by complications surrounding Canadian ties to both the United Kingdom and the United States. More recently, in the 1980s, Latin America received less priority in Canadian foreign policy than did Africa. and the policy which did exist during that decade was almost exclusively focused upon Central America, largely ignoring Mexico and South America.

Dramatic changes have occurred since 1988, however, and have . . .

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