Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia:
“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our sincere condolences to the family of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and the people of Saudi Arabia.
“King Abdullah was recognized as a strong proponent of peace in the Middle East. He also undertook a range of important economic, social, education, health, and infrastructure initiatives in his country.
“I had the pleasure of meeting King Abdullah in Toronto when Canada hosted the G-20 and found him to be passionate about his country, development and the global economy.
“We join the people of Saudi Arabia in mourning his passing.”
Anyone familiar with all of King Abdullah's greatest hits?
Castro just died. It's just a diplomatic thing to remember the positive accomplishments about a leader of a country when they die. It's called diplomacy, something Canada has had with Cuba for a long time, and has improved with diplomacy, not isolation or saying negative things about someone on their death.
12 presidents if you count Trump. Only the Queen of England has a longer record.
14" G4 iBook
15" MacBook Pro (July, 2009)
13" MacBooK Pro with Retina Display
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read these books." Mark Twain
CubaMark, I'm curious whether you've been keeping tabs on Cuba's subsidized oil arrangement with Venezuela in exchange for health care--is that still viable given Venezuela's near-collapse?
No - I'll admit to being a little bit behind on that arrangement. Lately I'm working on the development of Co-operatives in the new Cuban economy (last spring we had a workshop in Halifax on the topic: CubaCooperatives.com).
I'll have to take some time to look into the oil deal. If the US-backed opposition in Venezuela manages to succeed in orchestrating (yet another) coup, it would likely lead, unfortunately, to an end to the Barrio Adentro (Doctors in the Neighbourhood) programme that brought medical care to the poorest of Venezuelans for the first time in their lives....
Hey, it became legal to own computers and DVD players in 2008, heavyall. No lack of progress there!
Do you know why the ownership of computers and DVD players, among other things, took so long to become legal/available? It's not the "keeping Cubans ignorant" claim of critics. It had everything to do with the electrical grid.
So many Cubans were receiving gifts from friends and family abroad of new electrical equipment that the grid just couldn't take it, exacerbating blackouts and stresses on an aged infrastructure.
When people claim the US embargo had no real effects on Cuba ("they just couldn't trade with us - they could still trade with everyone else!"), they are showing their ignorance of how far-reaching that embargo stretched. Companies that dared to trade with Cuba were punished under U.S. law and were blocked from trading with the USA. Ships that landed in Cuba to offload cargo were banned for 6 months of landing at a US port, making shipping to Cuba an exorbitantly expensive proposition. It wasn't just a "can't trade with us" situation, it was ridiculously punitive beyond all reason. Cuba had to jump through a stupid amount of hoops to purchase simple raw materials and products... often via dedicated shipping that ran directly from Cuba to China, Vietnam, etc.
So the electrical grid (like the telephony network) was similarly affected. Power production has moved from high-sulfur diesel to other sources (more LNG and an impressive amount of solar and even hydro). But it's all slow going...