Toronto Star

U.S.-Cuba rapprochem­ent a win-win


Re U.S.-Cuba deal made in Canada, Dec. 18 Finally the Harper government plays a positive role on the world stage, by helping the U.S. and Cuba end more than 50 years of hostility. This is the role Canada should be playing, and the role we used to play in the good old days — not the hectoring, finger-wagging, holier-than-thou lecturing of foreign leaders that is Stephen Harper’s preferred modus operandi.

Our prime minister should follow up this diplomatic triumph by reopening Canada’s embassy in Tehran, pursuing serious dialogue with Vladimir Putin and putting some energy into resolving the crisis in Syria — which of course would involve actually engaging with Bashar Assad.

And while Harper’s at it, what about having a word or two with his buddy Benjamin Netanyahu about treating Palestinia­ns like human beings?

None of this is any more likely to happen than a fat old white guy dressed in red coming down your chimney, but hey — this is a Christmas wish list. Canada’s instrument­al and uncharacte­ristically statesmanl­ike role in the U.S.-Cuba deal was most likely a singularit­y, perhaps committed in a fit of absent-mindedness. Too bad we can’t have more such lapses. Andrew van Velzen, Toronto

Bravo to U.S. President Barack Obama, along with the aid of Canada and the Vatican for insisting that this wrong be righted. Fifty years is a long time to hold a grudge.

Life is all about give and take. You have to give a little, to get a little. And I’m glad the United States and Cuba were able to compromise with a prisoner swap to help pave the way for better relations. It just makes good sense to be able to negotiate with our enemies. That’s what negotiatio­n is all about.

Let’s hope that this will be the beginning of a brand new relationsh­ip between the U.S. and Cuba. Perhaps one day in the not-so-distant future any American will be able to book a direct flight to Cuba at a reasonable rate. JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Fla.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada