Oral Questions – Foreign Affairs

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently said in Colombia that it was a matter of principle that Cuba should be excluded from the Summit of the Americas. As Communist China keeps buying up Canada, I am wondering where the principle is. While Cuba has a long way to go, it recently held an open mass where the Pope invited Cuban Catholics to worship. There is no such freedom of religion in China’s persecution of Tibetan monks, Falun Gong and Christians, which goes unimpeded.


I am asking the Prime Minister, as he hands the keys of Canada to China, what principle excludes Cuba?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper: Mr. Speaker, the issue is that the Summit of the Americas, by agreement in the Declaration of Quebec City some years ago under the preceding government, agreed that the Summit of the Americas was open to democratically elected leaders from the hemisphere. Cuba does not qualify because the leader is not democratically elected, and China does not qualify because it is not in the Americas.