September 22, 2018 - No. 32
It is with great
regret that TML Weekly informs
you that President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam passed away at 10:05 am on
September 21, in Hanoi, at the age of 62, due to serious illness.
Despite the enormous efforts made by domestic and foreign doctors and
professors, a member of the President's medical committee said he could
not be saved. His death is a great loss to the people of Vietnam, whose
champion he was.
Anna Di Carlo,
National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist),
sent a letter of condolence to the Vietnamese people through the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam and its General
Secretary. In it she expressed the deepest sympathies of all Party
members for their great loss.
Tran Dai Quang was
born in 1956 in the northern province of Ninh Binh. He began working at
the Ministry of Public Security in 1975 where he held many posts. A
staunch Party member, he was elected to the Politburo of the Communist
Party of Vietnam in 2011 and became Minister of Public Security in
August 2011, a post he held until he was elected President of Vietnam
on April 2, 2016 at the 11th session of the 13th National Assembly. He
was also promoted to a full general in 2012.
President Tran Dai
Quang is especially known and admired for his contributions to the
development, renovation and opening-up of Vietnam.
• Prosperity and the Concentration of Wealth
- K.C. Adams -
• What Should
Be Our Point of Reference in BC Referendum?
- Peter Ewart -
• More Bogus Neo-Liberal Accounting
for Ontario's Finances
- Steve Rutchinski -
• Disinformation About the Economy in the
- Pauline Easton -
• The Economy Which is Not Discussed
in Quebec Election
• "Responsibility to Protect" Must Not Be Used
Justify Aggression Against Venezuela!
- Margaret Villamizar -
Cuba Upholds Friendly
International Relations and
Defends Its Right to Be
• Ottawa Reception for President of
Parliamentary Friendship Group
• Trump Administration Strengthens
Blockade of Cuba
• Cuba's Report on UN Resolution
Need to End U.S. Blockade
• Cuban Medical Specialists Reject Theory
of "Health Attacks" on U.S.
73rd Anniversary of
Vietnam's Independence Day
and 45th Anniversary of Canada-Vietnam
• Events in Ottawa, Montreal and
Longstanding Bonds of Friendship and Trade
Matters of Concern to the Polity
Prosperity and the Concentration of Wealth
Ten years ago, a broad economic crisis gripped the
world. It began with a financial meltdown in the U.S. when the
oligarchs in control of Lehman Brothers could no longer prop up
their ponzi-like schemes of phony bonds, mortgages, auto loans
and other derivatives, and declared bankruptcy. All the biggest
oligopolies recoiled in panic as commerce -- especially borrowing --
froze and sales of big items such as houses and vehicles
plummeted with millions of people losing their homes and
Instead of examining the
situation as it presented itself
and searching for a new direction, both U.S. Presidents Bush and
Obama gave trillions of dollars to the financial oligarchy to
bail them out. Saved from the loss of their privilege, social wealth
and power were the very oligarchs and institutions responsible
for the crisis. Meanwhile the people were left to suffer, their
dreams shattered and rights violated.
In Canada also, the government justified looting of the
state treasury using the high ideal that this was to protect the people
from the collapse of the banking system, and housing and auto sectors.
economic collapse hurts the people but it is not them the
government aims to help with its bailouts and other pay-the-rich
schemes. Aided greatly by the media and economic pundits, the
rich try to hide the fact that the imperialist
system of parasitism and decay under the control of the financial
oligarchy is designed to rob the people and make them pay
for the inevitable crises that occur. The working people are deprived
of their right to solve problems in a manner that favours them and
brings into being a new pro-social direction.
The bailouts for the financial oligarchy ten years ago
the continuing pay-the-rich schemes have resulted in an even
greater concentration of wealth and power. One U.S. oligarch,
Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon, has net personal wealth exceeding
$170 billion. According to widely circulated reports, 117
oligopolies with intertwining private ownership of thousands of
businesses and debt control more than 40 trillion dollars of
social wealth in money, property and productive forces worldwide.
Put another way, those few oligarchs in control have the fate of
billions of people and the direction of the world in their
The concentration of social
wealth in private hands
accelerates because the overriding aim is to serve the private
interests in control. This means they are driven not to achieve
prosperity for all but prosperity for a few at the expense of the
many. All this underscores the need for democratic renewal and a
modern nation-building project that humanizes the social and
natural environment and brings the modern socialized productive
forces of industrial mass production and distribution under the
control of the working people.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the bourgeoisie from
centres of mass production, trade and money-lending, organized
themselves and their enterprises in opposition to the old feudal
rule and economy of petty production. The rising bourgeoisie
constituted itself the nation and subordinated all life to the
right and rule of private property. That bourgeoisie has become a
global financial oligarchy and has brought the world and humanity
to the brink of disaster. The working class must now take control
of its own destiny and save humanity by constituting itself as
the nation, bring the socialized productive forces under the
common control of the actual producers, and remake all
arrangements in a manner that vests decision-making power in the
people, not a propertied ruling class and its retinues.
What Should Be Our Point of Reference
In analyzing phenomena, human beings necessarily
from a point of reference and outlook. The current discussion in
British Columbia on the upcoming referendum on Proportional
Representation (PR) is no different.
For example, the No side is
proceeding from a point of
reference based on fearmongering and disinformation, including
ludicrous claims that, as a result of switching to PR, voters
will have no local representation, that neo-Nazis and racists
will be emboldened and even come to power, and that the economy
For their part, the political parties in the
proceeding from a reference point based on the narrow view as to
whether PR will either hinder or benefit their election
But what should be the reference point for voters in
upcoming referendum? It cannot be fearmongering or cartel
party factions. It must be to proceed from the interests of all
People in British Columbia are fed up with a
electoral system that disempowers and marginalizes them. They are
striving to have more say and more control over the economy,
politics and their lives.
It is this striving that motivates the people to vote
just as it was in the 1989 referendum on the right to recall MLAs
and launch citizen initiatives (both of which passed by over 80
per cent) or the Single Transferable Vote referendums of 2005 and 2009
which had 57.7
per cent and 39.09 per cent support respectively.
And it is this striving that will empower British
to push for more control over the electoral system and
their lives if PR is adopted.
More Bogus Neo-Liberal Accounting in
Offing for Ontario's
The Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of
Canada (BCC) John Manley wrote to Ontario Premier-designate Ford
on June 12, just five days after the Progressive Conservative (PC)
elected to power. Manley, who is a former federal Liberal cabinet
minister, congratulated Ford and gave him the BCC's position on
how to deal with the Ontario economy to ensure its members'
private interests, privilege, power and wealth are preserved and
Manley wrote, "As an association of business leaders
every major sector -- fully half of whom represent
Ontario-headquartered companies, employing more than a million
Canadians -- we share your belief that private initiative
and investment, not increased public spending and deficits, are
the source of long-term growth and prosperity."
Citing Moody's Investor
Service and the Dominion Bond Rating
Service's "warnings about the fragile state of the province's
creditworthiness," Manley directed the Ford government to deal
with "the heavy burden of public debt, which has doubled in the
past 10 years and now stands at $350 billion."
Manley's warning is déjà
vu all over again and
so is his refusal to acknowledge that the oligarchs he represents,
who control large swaths of the economy and also own much of the
public debt, are largely responsible for the economic crisis of 10
years ago and the political and social problems facing the
province. This refusal to accept social responsibility extends to
depriving the people from discussing a new direction.
Whenever the servants of the ruling oligarchs want more
pay-the-rich schemes, they talk about the need to bring down the
deficit and pay down the debt. The result is not any real
solutions to economic problems or a new pro-social direction but
the status quo of more payments to the rich, public borrowing
from private moneylenders and the anti-social offensive.
Pretending to be astute and on top of the issues,
repeats what he always says and in doing so gives Ford his
marching orders: "First you and your officials must adopt a
credible plan to clean up Ontario's fiscal mess, constrain public
spending and reduce the province's debt-to-GDP ratio from 37 per
cent today to below the pre-recession level of 27 per cent."
It therefore came as no
surprise when the Ford government
announced on July 17 that it would "restore trust and accountability
back to Ontario's public finances by launching an Independent
Financial Commission of Inquiry and an external line-by-line
audit of government spending."
The three-person Commission appointed by Premier Ford
by a proven anti-social neo-liberal, former Liberal BC
Premier Gordon Campbell. The Ontario government website notes:
"As Premier of British Columbia, Campbell focused on creating
jobs and cutting taxes, reducing regulation, increasing
competitiveness, and investing in post-secondary education.
Campbell was also instrumental in opening Canada's Northern
Let's Set the Record Straight
During his decade in office from
2001 to 2011, BC Premier Campbell deregulated forestry and
mining, leading to such
tragedies as the Mount Polley mine disaster and increased raw log
exports. He implemented massive cuts to government services
including legal aid, welfare, and services for children and seniors,
thereby undermining the living conditions and security of thousands.
Campbell orchestrated legislative attacks on workers' rights,
wages and working conditions. He introduced the contracting-out
to supranational oligopolies of hospital services and government
agencies, including child welfare and community home support
services, depriving thousands of workers of their union-protected
collective agreements that guaranteed a certain standard of living
and working conditions. Campbell facilitated the establishment of
private medical clinics and closed beds in seniors' residences.
His government destroyed important regulations governing the
economy, such as the law that logs had to be milled in the region
where they were cut. This greatly increased the number of mill closures
and the export of raw logs, destroying the livelihoods of
thousands of BC workers and those communities dependent on
processing timber. As Premier, Campbell privatized two-thirds of BC
Hydro and passed legislation requiring BC Hydro to purchase
expensive power from private operators, resulting in skyrocketing
electricity bills. After he left office in 2011, the Harper
Party in power appointed Campbell as Canadian High
Commissioner to the United Kingdom, where he remained until
The two other commissioners of Ontario's Independent
Commission of Inquiry are Al Rosen and Michael Horgan.
Rosen's company website says: "In addition to having his MBA and
PhD, [Rosen] is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario
and Alberta (FCA), a Fellow of the Society of Management
Accountants (FCMA), a Fellow of the Hong Kong Society of
Accountants (FHKSA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a
Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), a Certified Public
Accountant (CPA), and a specialist, Investigative and Forensic
Al Rosen is known for already having weighed in on
finances. The Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk challenged
the 2017 budget figures regarding the Liberal government's Fair
Hydro Plan: "Charging Ontarians less for
electricity than it cost to produce meant the province would have
to borrow billions of dollars to cover the shortfall. In order
for that to not show up on the bottom line, they created creative
accounting to take it off the government's statements." The
Globe and Mail reported that Ms. Lysyk "questioned the common
practice of hiring particular consultants to provide favourable
Forensic accountant Rosen said at the
time, "Generally speaking, it's not difficult to hire consultants
to provide favourable accounting opinions in Canada, in part
because standards are so elastic. You can go to any of the public
accounting firms and get them to render an opinion on whatever
you want. The ethics have gone all to hell." Mr. Rosen did not
say if his own company's ethics have gone all to hell. It begs the
this means today his hiring as a consultant/commissioner is "to provide
favourable accounting opinion" for the new Ontario government so
that it can pursue its pay-the-rich schemes and anti-social
The third commissioner, Michael Horgan, is a former
Deputy Minister of Finance in the Harper government. Since resigning as
Horgan has been with the well-known neo-liberal CD Howe
Institute. Already as a member of the Ontario Commission, Horgan
wrote an August 23 Globe and Mail op-ed lauding the
decision of the Ford PCs to privatize the sale of
marijuana in the province. Horgan wrote, "Ontario Premier Doug
Ford should be congratulated for improving Ontario's marijuana
market structure last week. He decided to privatize the retailing
of marijuana in the province. That decision represents a reversal
of the previous government's choice to place retailing in the
hands of a high-cost government monopoly."
The ties of the Commission
are clearly to the financial
establishment and its dominant privileged private interests. The
Commissioners have a track record of faithful service to the
pursuit of the neo-liberal agenda. Nonetheless, Premier Ford
persists in the charade of describing the Commission as
"independent." Independent of what, one may ask? Certainly not of the
anti-social agenda of the Ontario government although
the implication is that the Commission is "arms-length from
government" and can be trusted to be objective and therefore
presumably defend the public interest. But that is the cry of all
charlatans when they hire consultants to reinforce an already
agreed upon agenda.
Regarding the line-by-line audit of the previous
finances, the PC government announced on August 14 the
hiring of the firm Ernst and Young Canada, remarkably and without
shame. Ernst and Young was part of a group of global accounting
companies that the previous Wynne government consulted and used
to win approval for its "creative accounting," which was so
dramatically challenged at the time as unethical by the Auditor General
Ontario and the now Commissioner Rosen. Whoever pays the piper
calls the tune comes to mind.
Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced on August
that the Commission has concluded its work and presented its
report. "We will take time to review their report to ensure the
implications of its recommendations are considered in full, and
release the report in its entirety to the public as promised in
the coming weeks. We are committed to restoring accountability
and trust in Ontario's finances," Fedeli said.
Ernst and Young is to complete its line-by-line audit
by September 30.
The unfolding events require vigilance by the workers and people of
Ontario and more importantly, working out how to set their own agenda.
The pressure is for everyone to react to the agenda being set by the
ruling circles, including attempts to sow divisions in the polity based
on self-serving formulations of "right-wing" versus "left-wing."
people must firmly plant their feet in any situation based on their
ongoing fight for rights and empowerment. In doing so, they can provide
themselves a perspective from which to analyze what is taking place and
work out their own agenda based on the considerations that favour their
Disinformation About the Economy
in the Quebec Election
Disinformation about the
economy on the part of the
class and their media is commonplace. It is designed to deprive
the working people of an outlook to deal with the world as it
presents itself so that a way forward that favours
the people can be found. The world as it presents itself, and not some
concoction and distortion of the rich oligarchs, reveals the
necessity for the working people to take charge of the economy.
Disinformation on the economy seeks to ensure that the privilege,
wealth and power of the ruling oligarchs prevails and a
pro-social outlook and new direction for the economy do not come
This has become very
evident in the Quebec election campaign.
On every important matter of concern to the working people, the
parties vying to form the next government, their leaders and the
media have overwhelmed the campaign and fill the airwaves with
disinformation on the reality confronting Quebec. The way the
leaders speak in the contrived "debates" and elsewhere shows that
the lives of the people and the problems they face are submerged in the
contention of the ruling parties and their leaders'
desperation to come to power.
No serious information is provided on the economy
except by Chantier politique,
the online paper of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (pmlq.qc.ca).
The tightly controlled leaders' debates, which exclude all others
except four of the 18 parties registered in this election, are
filled with venom to stir up personal animosities. Anti-immigrant
prejudices are used to hide how internal migration
and foreign immigration serve the big companies and the role they
play in Quebec's economy and that of Ontario and other regions.
The biggest human traffickers are the rich and their
supranational oligopolies that scream "labour shortage" if the
competition amongst workers is not intense enough to drive down
wages or workers are not readily available for the financial
oligarchy's big projects and other uses.
The leaders of the rich also confuse immigration and
humanitarian responsibility towards refugees. In both cases, as
well as when it comes to all working people, they are not treated
as human beings with rights to lay claims on society, which a
modern society is duty-bound to fulfill. Instead, the people are
reduced to categories of deviants of one sort or another to be
denigrated and criminalized. This splits the ranks of citizens
and residents under both criminal labels, such as terrorists, or
high-sounding ones such as identity and values.
Meanwhile not a single economic, political, cultural or social
problem stemming from how the life of the people and the economy
presents itself is addressed.
Regardless of which
government this election brings to
it will administer the Quebec economy, which is the country's
second largest regional economy after that of Ontario. In Quebec,
as is the case across the country, the ruling class believes that
prosperity is achieved by opening the country to the plunder of
our resources and work, and that personal, business and state
indebtedness at all levels to private moneylenders is necessary
to make the rich richer.
The conception that prosperity is achieved through
paying the rich
is a self-serving false ideological belief. The polity is subjected to
mind-numbing repetition of nonsense about how measures to pay the rich
will preserve jobs and improve the standard of living of a fictitious
middle class and that somehow people will eventually reap the benefits.
The people know this is not true but the repetition of the false
ideological belief serves the purpose of portraying all those who fight
for the rights of the people as extremists who are ideologically driven
and do not have the people's well-being at heart. It serves to tear the
social fabric and the peace of mind of working people and their
families asunder. The more insecurity the people feel because the
economy is directed at paying the rich, the more the people must
persist in laying the claims on society which they must. This is what
humanizes the natural and social environment and opens the path to
The Economy Which is Not Discussed
in Quebec Election
The election on October 1 will usher in a new Quebec
government. It will administer the second largest sub-country
economy in Canada and one of the most important in North America.
The combined Quebec and Ontario Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is larger
than all but four
U.S. states: California, Texas, New York, and Florida.
The Quebec GDP in market
2016 was $394.819 billion (in chained 2007 dollars). The Quebec
GDP was 19.4 per cent of Canada's total GDP of $2,035.506
Goods production in Quebec accounted for $87.558
or 27.5 per cent of Quebec's GDP at basic prices of $318.87
Service-producing industries totalled $231.072 billion
or 72.5 per cent of Quebec's total GDP.
Quebec's Largest Economic Sectors by GDP
Manufacturing = $44.401
Real estate and rental and
leasing = $37.579 billion
Health care and social assistance =
Public administration = $22.252 billion
and insurance = $20.138 billion
Construction = $19.831 billion
Retail trade = $19.122 billion
Wholesale trade = $19.029 billion
Educational services = $18.773 billion
Note that two productive
sectors in the regions are well down the list in terms of GDP:
- Agriculture, forestry,
fishing and hunting (not including forestry manufacturing)
= $5.450 billion
- Mining, quarrying, and oil
and gas extraction = $4.596 billion
(For complete list, see Institut
Statistiques du Quebec: Quebec Handy Numbers.)
Gross Government Debt
According to the Quebec government's budget:
- Quebec government gross debt to private moneylenders
- Quebec government gross
debt as a percentage of GDP (2016) = 55
- Interest paid on gross debt to private
moneylenders (2016) = $10.4 billion
- Debt interest paid was the fourth largest gross
in the 2016 budget after;
- Health and Social Services
= $38.4 billion
- Education and
Culture = $21.6 billion
- Economy and Environment =
The Quebec population in 2016 was 8,321,888. Also in
- The active workforce in the socialized economy 15
years of age and older, both employed and unemployed = 4,448,300.
- The participation rate of all people 15 years and
the workforce, both employed and actively searching for work =
64.9 per cent.
- Employed workers in the workforce, both full and
- Unemployed workers in the workforce = 315,200 (7.09
of the total active workforce).
- Number of workers employed in the goods-producing
844,400 (20.43 per cent of the employed workforce). Note
that while the goods producing sector GDP was 27.5 per cent of
Quebec's GDP, the number of workers was 20.43 per cent of the
total employed workforce.
- Number of workers employed in the services-producing
3,288,700 (79.57 per cent of the employed workforce).
Employment in Quebec (15 years and older)
The following information is from 2016:
- Manufacturing GDP = $44.401 billion.
- Share of manufacturing GDP in Quebec's total GDP
$394.82 billion = 11.25 per cent.
- Share of Quebec manufacturing in Canada
total revenue from
manufacturing = 23.9 per cent (Ontario's share
is 47.9 per cent).
- Total Quebec manufacturing employment = 457,767
- Actual production workers of the total = 310,826.
- Total salaries
(all workers) = $22.243 billion.
- Average salary (all workers) =
(thousands of dollars)
Manufacturing Jobs Compared to Total Jobs
Employment Canada-wide in manufacturing was 1.7 million
workers in 2016, comprising nearly one in 10 of all workers in
Canada. The level of one in 10 remained relatively unchanged from
2009. Quebec manufacturing employment of 457,767 workers was 26.9
per cent of the total number Canada-wide.
Quebec's Imports and Exports
Total exports (2017) = $85.110 billion.
Destination of exports (2017 -- approximate):
- United States = $60.276
billion (70.8 per cent of total)
- China = $2.86 billion (3.36 per cent of total)
- Mexico = $1.755
- France = $1.693 billion
- Japan = $1.363 billion
Major export products (2017):
1) Aerospace product and
parts manufacturing = $10 billion
Unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys = $7.5 billion
ores and concentrates = $2.4 billion
Electricity exports both to U.S. and the rest of Canada
$1.527 billion (2014)
Of this export, 65 per cent went to the U.S. ($993
and 35 per cent ($534 million) to the rest of Canada.
Total imports into Quebec (2017) = $77.401 billion.
Imports into Quebec from country of origin (2017):
States = $24.641 billion (31.8 per cent of total)
- China = $10.95
billion (14.18 per cent)
- Germany = $3.597 billion
- United Kingdom
= $3.278 billion
- Mexico = $1.902 billion
Major import products (2017 -- all dollar figures
approximate in chained 2007 dollars):
- Aircraft parts and other
aerospace equipment = $6.5 billion
- Pharmaceutical and medicinal
products = $3.4 billion
Of particular note is the balance of trade in energy
(figures from 2013):
- Electricity = +$1.527
- Petroleum = -$12.197 billion (deficit)
- Natural gas = -$1.244
- Coal = -$90 million (deficit)
Total deficit in
energy sector = -$12.178 billion
Origin of crude petroleum supply from 2006, 2013 and
2014 (Note the dramatic
increase from the Americas, mainly the
|Africa, Middle East
Comparing Quebec 2014 Trade with
Rest of Canada and Internationally
Total exports from Quebec to both Canada and other
(2014) = $172.777 billion.
International exports (2014) = $105.365
Exports of total goods and services from Quebec to the
of Canada (2014) = $67.412 billion.
Exports to the rest of Canada represent 39 per cent of
exports and 18 per cent of Quebec's GDP.
Detailed information on all commodities available here.
intra-Canada and internationally in a long list. To view, choose a
commodity and click "Apply." For example scroll down to Aircraft
and click "Apply." This shows:
- Intra-Canadian Quebec
exports of aircraft = $0.659
- International exports of
aircraft = $6.347 billion.
Readers should note that the Quebec people or
not in control of imports and exports. The control is exercised
through ownership of the companies involved in trade. The
ownership of most companies is supranational in scope with the
control mostly exercised from outside Quebec. The motivation
behind trade, both imports and exports, is found in the private
interests of the oligarchs who own and control the companies
involved. The Quebec people and governments do not have sovereign
control over trade, which forms a major sector of the economy.
The supranational oligopolies have become so large and powerful
they want to eliminate all public authority over trade and
exercise their private authority over trade to serve their
private interests not the interests of the Quebec people and
The problem with
reports from authorities such as governments, Statistics Canada
and the big companies stems from the underlying feature of an
anti-worker bias and outlook. They refuse to recognize that the
workers through their work-time transform the natural bounty of
nature into economic value. Using market prices or the accounts
of companies as the basis of economic reports and figures diverts
people from examining and grasping the actual source of economic
value and from developing solutions for economic problems that
favour the people and their economy.
The anti-worker and anti-social bias and outlook of the
ruling elite turn the working class into a cost of production
rather than the source of value. Instead of nurturing the working
class as the most precious factor of a modern economy and
guaranteeing workers their well-being, rights and security as the
key to guaranteeing the well-being and security of all and the
economy and society, those who own and control the economy attack
the very human factor that produces all economic value. A
fundamental transformation in outlook and practice must occur if
the people are to humanize workplaces and the social and natural
environment, guarantee their own well-being and security and the
general interests of society. The battle for democratic
renewal and a modern Quebec that defends the rights of all must
be engaged in earnest if problems in the economy are to be solved
and the dream realized of building a new society fit for human
1. Ontario's GDP has grown to be
more than twice as large
as Quebec's at $794.835 billion, mostly from the increased
economic activity of a growing population. The Greater Toronto
Area population alone is approaching seven million, only one and half
million shy of the total Quebec population of 8.4 million.
2. The figures are in chained
2007 dollars. The total appears far less than in current dollars
because of inflation. However, the figures appear higher than the
Quebec GDP. In fact, many different methods are used to report
economic activity, which result in widely differing figures. The
export totals used here are the market prices at the time of sale
in equivalent 2007 dollars. The selling price includes both old
and new value within the commodity unlike GDP, which is designed
to measure only new value added during a specific reporting
period, usually one year. If GDP were reported at market prices of
goods and services, it would include value already reported from
a previous period and not just the value produced during the year
3. 2014 figures from Statscan are
in basic or current
prices and not chained to the 2007 dollar to adjust for
inflation, so they appear far higher than figures above from the
Quebec Handy Book, which are chained.)
4. Total revenue means the gross
from sales. This includes both the old value from previously
produced value within the goods sold and the new value that
active production workers produce and add to the goods in the
reporting year. Total revenue (gross income) differs from GDP in
that GDP generally only contains newly produced value from the
reporting year; otherwise, GDP would be reporting again as new
value already produced value from previous reporting years.
Hands Off Venezuela!
"Responsibility to Protect" Must Not Be Used to Justify
Aggression Against Venezuela!
The latest attempt by U.S. imperialism to float a trial
balloon for a "humanitarian" military intervention in Venezuela fell to
the nefarious Secretary General of the Organization of American States
(OAS), Luis Almagro. After broaching the matter directly blew up in his
face recently, he came back for another try, dressing up his pro-war
message in phrases about protecting the Venezuelan people from their
On September 14, Almagro made a high profile visit to
the Colombian city Cúcuta, near the border with Venezuela. He
accused Venezuela of causing the "humanitarian crisis," and
the "migration crisis" while covering up the hardships the people
are suffering as a result of the criminal economic, commercial and
financial blockade the U.S. has imposed against the country.
When asked by a reporter at a press conference he held
in Cúcuta with
Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the OAS if he considered a military
intervention "the solution
for Venezuela," Almagro responded, "Regarding a military
intervention to overthrow the regime of Nicolás Maduro, I
we should not rule out any option."
OAS Secretary General's Support for Military Option
Almagro's defence of a possible military intervention
Venezuela immediately drew rebukes from several quarters.
Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said her government
would denounce Almagro before the United Nations and other
international bodies for promoting a military intervention and
attacking peace in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bolivia's president Evo
Morales said attacking Venezuela is
attacking Latin America, and that with his words Almagro
confirmed that he had stopped being Secretary General of the OAS
to become a civil agent of Trump's coup plots.
The government of
Ecuador issued a statement saying the crisis in Venezuela should
be solved by peaceful and democratic means and that Venezuelans
alone should be the ones to decide their future. It rejected any
declaration supporting the use or threatened use of force in
international relations, saying this was contrary to the
principles of international law, the Charter of the United
Nations and the principles guiding Ecuador's international
relations as established in its constitution.
Even 11 of the 14 countries belonging to the Lima
formed to isolate Venezuela and push for regime change in the
country, dissociated themselves publicly from what Almagro said.
In a statement September 15, the eleven expressed their "concern
of any course of action or declaration that implied a military
intervention or the use of violence, or threats of the use of
force in Venezuela." Notably, Canada was one of the three Lima
Group countries that refused to sign the statement. The other
two were Colombia and Guyana.
The governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Uruguay, as well
as political parties, organizations and personalities around the
region, and the editorial board of the Cúcuta newspaper whose
reporter posed the question to Almagro, have spoken out to condemn the
idea of the U.S. or anyone else intervening militarily against
Venezuela. The Nicaraguan government noted that one week earlier, at a
Latin American Summit held in Miami, Almagro told those
present that the international community also needed to "asphyxiate"
the government of Nicaragua. It pointed out that Almagro's
declarations, in his capacity as Secretary General of the OAS,
constituted "a serious threat to international peace and security and a
very serious violation of the most fundamental principles of
Prevarications of Warmongering Secretary
Given the instant rejection of his call to keep "all
options open" for acting against Venezuela, Almagro tried to
back-track, claiming disingenuously that his words had been
misinterpreted. In a video posted to the OAS website on September 16 he
attempted to explain, unconvincingly, what he allegedly did not mean by
what he said: "It was assumed," he said, that "we were speaking of
violence, of a military attack and that we favoured armed aggression.
This is not true." What exactly he did mean to say, if not what
everyone understood him to say, was not explained.
In his video, Almagro said the international community
moral imperative to "act" against "the Venezuelan dictatorship"
and dragged out the imperialist "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine as
the basis for his call to action.
Desperate to make his case, he huffed and puffed about the Venezuelan
government allegedly violating international humanitarian law and
committing crimes against humanity, about which, he said the OAS had
delivered testimonies to the International Criminal Court. He went so
far as to liken the failure to "act" against Venezuela to not acting to
stop "the genocide in Rwanda" and "when Pol Pot massacred his own
people" in Cambodia. This is why the Responsibility to Protect must
remain an option, he declared. His protestations aside, can there be
any doubt what the Secretary General is calling for?
What Is Canada Up To?
The Trudeau government's failure to sign the Lima
statement repudiating Almagro's vile attempt to promote war and
aggression, just like its uncouth refusal to condemn the August 4
assassination attempt against President Maduro and other
Venezuelan officials, suggests something rotten is afoot.
All this means Canadians need to be vigilant about what
may be said or done in their name in the coming days and weeks at the
United Nations or elsewhere, possibly under the banner of
"Responsibility to Protect," to try and justify further aggression
against Venezuela of one type or another. Where there is smoke there is
usually fire. It also means stepping up the work for an anti-war
government and making Canada a zone for peace so it stops serving as a
base for U.S.-led interference, aggression and regime change around the
Hands Off Venezuela!
the Venezuelan People's Right to Self-Determination!
1. Signatories to the Lima Group
statement included the
governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala,
Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.
2. The "Responsibility to
Protect" doctrine is held up by its proponents -- Canada figuring
prominently among them -- as a "new" guiding principle of international
law. It seeks to circumvent the prohibition against the threat or
use of force against sovereign states contained in the Charter and
founding principles of the United Nations in the name of stopping or
preventing atrocities. It condones international intervention against
sovereign states, up to and including armed intervention, if they fail
to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic
cleansing and crimes against humanity. NATO's 1999 war on Yugoslavia
was considered an example of the "Responsibility to Protect"
doctrine. Then-Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, a
well-known proponent of the doctrine at the time, cited events in
various African countries. In 2009, then-UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan issued his report entitled "Implementing the Responsibility to
Protect" to codify and integrate this imperialist doctrine into UN
The UN's first and so far only official application of this doctrine
was against Libya in 2011 when the Security Council authorized the use
of force against the government of Muammar Gadhafi, providing a green
light for the U.S. and NATO to launch their destructive war for regime
change in the name of "protecting civilians under threat." Canada was
one of the countries that actively lobbied the UN Security Council to
intervene against Libya under the Responsibility to Protect at
that time. Canada also initiated a (non-binding) resolution at the UN
General Assembly in December 2016 aimed at justifying
aggression in Syria by the U.S-led NATO military alliance should that
country's government be found failing in its "responsibility to
Cuba Upholds Friendly International
and Defends Its Right to Be
Ottawa Reception for President of Cuba-Canada
On September 18, Ottawa Cuba Connections hosted a
reception to welcome Gladys Mercedes Lopez, new President of the
Cuba-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, who was visiting
Ottawa. Gladys is also a member of the Cuban National Assembly of
People's Power. More than 40 friends of Cuba attended the
reception and were eager to hear about the work of the
Inter-Parliamentary Group. Gladys also spoke about
the ongoing discussion taking place throughout Cuban society on
the draft proposal for the new constitution of the Republic of
In her remarks, Gladys
pointed out the great significance of
the discussion on the draft Constitution, as
the last time changes were made to the Constitution was in 1976.
Now the people throughout the country are discussing the changes
being proposed to 224 articles of the present Constitution. She
pointed out that 11 articles guaranteeing the socialist nature of
Cuban society are irrevocable and will not be part of a
referendum vote on the new constitution.
Some of the changes being proposed are in the area of
economy, defining the right to private property while the main
form is state ownership of the means of production.
The draft proposals also include definitions of
in which the rights and duties of citizens have been
A new chapter is being proposed on international
which enshrines the need for solidarity work and cooperation with
countries that are most in need.
There are significant changes being proposed on the
Municipal Assemblies which would enable this level of government
to put forward strategic developments for their areas. The
Provincial Assemblies would be replaced by a Governor who would
lead the Provincial Government whose main role would be to
coordinate the work of the Municipal Assemblies.
Many changes are also being discussed about the
and role of the National Assembly of People's Power which is
responsible for electing the President and also electing the
Council of Ministers upon the request of the President. One of
the new proposals being considered is the creation of the
position of Prime Minister who would head the Council of
Discussions are also taking
place on the issue of age limits,
especially for the position of President, and this position would
also be limited to two five-year terms.
A new Article is being proposed to guarantee the right
Gladys also pointed out that the youth are fully
the discussions on the draft constitution. As the voting age in
Cuba is 16 years, extensive discussions are taking place in all
the schools in Cuba to involve all the youth in these important
The consultations began on August 13 and are to end on
November 15. Taking into consideration all the views and
proposals gathered during the consultations, a new draft proposal
will be finalized and put to a referendum vote throughout the
This is expected to be completed by early 2019 and
explained that, once a new constitution is adopted, this will
require a great deal of work for the National Assembly of
People's Power, which will have to modify many laws and add new
ones to ensure conformity.
In her remarks at the reception, Gladys also spoke
important work of the Parliamentary Friendship Group and its role
in providing the Members of Parliament in Canada with information
about issues like the U.S. blockade of Cuba and its consequences
for the economy and the lives of the Cuban people. She spoke also
of the important role of solidarity groups to keep all
Canadians informed and she thanked all the friends of Cuba in
Canada who have defended the right of Cubans to decide the kind
of system that meets their needs.
After her remarks, many from
the audience thanked Gladys Mercedes Lopez for a very informative
and posed many questions. The meeting ended with a very lively
discussion which continued throughout the reception portion of
Trump Administration Strengthens
Blockade of Cuba
Ottawa picket, May 17, 2018, against U.S. blockade of Cuba.
On the 17th of each month, informational pickets are
in front of the U.S. embassy in Ottawa and U.S. consulates in Montreal
and Vancouver against the U.S. blockade of Cuba. A blockade is an
act of war and the U.S. blockade of Cuba has been going on for more
than 50 years in an attempt to defeat the Cuban revolution and force
the people to submit to U.S. dictate and annexation.
On September 14, 2018, the
Permanent Mission of Cuba to the
United Nations issued a communiqué to the press which detailed
how the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the U.S.
government has imposed on Cuba since 1962 has been strengthened
by the current administration of Donald Trump. On June 16, 2017
in Miami, Donald Trump signed the National Security Presidential
Memorandum on "Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward
Cuba." This document repealed the directive issued by
President Barack Obama on October 14, 2016, entitled
"Normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba." This has caused a
setback to the position of the previous administration, which had
chosen to take steps in favour of dismantling the blockade, the
Cuban Mission to the UN pointed out. The communiqué
As a result, on November 8, 2017, the U.S. Departments
Commerce, Treasury and State issued new regulations and
provisions. Restrictions were imposed for trips under the
category "people to people" and limitations on educational trips,
which has had the effect of decreasing the number of
of thousands of Cuban self-employed workers.
On the same date, the Department of State issued a
Restricted Cuban Entities and Subentities," which included 179
companies. The objective of this measure is to continue to impede
the economic and commercial relations of Cuban companies with
potential U.S. and third-country partners. The extraterritorial
impact has been considerable during 2018, as confusion has been
generated in relation to the Specially Designated Nationals List
of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Banks and institutions in Europe,
Latin America, Africa and
Asia have imposed conditions and created obstacles to continuing to
with Cuban companies and embassies that have been their clients
for years. Among the main effects recorded, as a result of this
intimidating effect, are: the prohibition of transfers of funds
in U.S. dollars or other freely convertible currencies; the
cancellation of accounts of embassies and companies with Cuban
interests abroad, as well as of financial services for businesses
related to Cuba; and the refusal to grant credit facilities or the
processing of letters of credit.
In relation to the alleged symptoms or health problems
reported by a group of diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, the
U.S. government adopted the unjustified measure of declaring a
travel warning that recommends potential visitors reconsider
their intention to travel to Cuba. The effect of this
measure has led to a significant decrease in visitors from the
U.S., who refrain from travelling because, among other reasons,
insurance agencies take travel alerts seriously. This measure by
the U.S. government was implemented without any proven evidence of
actual damage to the people residing in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba;
and without any of the five million visitors to Cuba that year
reporting such symptoms.
Using the same pretext, the U.S. government
unilaterally and unjustifiably demanded the withdrawal of a
significant number of Cuban diplomatic officials from the Embassy
in Washington. Among them was the staff of the
economic-commercial office, in charge of exploring the
opportunities and channels of commercial exchange within the
extremely narrow framework of licences and exceptions to the
blockade provided by the U.S. government. This has an additional
impact on limited bilateral trade exchange.
Cuba's Report on UN Resolution 72/4 on
Need to End U.S. Blockade
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed
the government of the United States of America against Cuba for
almost six decades is the most unfair, severe and extended system
of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country. From
April 2017 until March 2018, the period with which this
report deals, the blockade policy has intensified and continues to be
applied will all rigour.
The government of the
United States has imposed a serious
setback to the bilateral relations with Cuba based on President
Donald Trump's signing of the Presidential Memorandum for
National Security about the strengthening of U.S. Policy against Cuba
on June 16, 2017, thereby renewing, among its aims, the tightening
of the blockade against the Island. In November of that same year
the Departments of Commerce, the Treasury and State of the U.S.
issued new regulations and provisions to put into effect the
The measures applied restricted even further the right
Americans to travel to Cuba and imposed additional obstacles to the
limited opportunities of the American business community
in Cuba by setting up a list of 179 Cuban entities with which
American natural and juridical persons are prohibited from
carrying out transactions.
The new sanctions against Cuba have caused a notable
in visits from the U.S. and they have generated greater obstacles to
Cuban companies' economic and commercial relations with
potential American and third country partners. These measures not
only affect the Cuban State economy but they also affect the
country's private sector.
The strengthening of the extra-territorial application
blockade has been another of the distinctive manifestations of
the tightening of this policy, with marked effects on Cuba's
international financial and loan relations.
In recent months, the permanent persecution of Cuban
financial transactions and bank and loan operations with Cuba has
intensified on a world scale. This has caused severe harm to the
country's economy especially on the commercial activities of
companies and national banks in their links with international
The tightening of the blockade on Cuba has been
by aggressive, menacing, disrespectful rhetoric and conditions
coming from the most senior levels of the U.S. government; this
generates greater mistrust and uncertainty among American
financial institutions, companies and suppliers due to the very
real fear of being penalized for their relations with Cuba.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed
the United States against Cuba constitutes the principal obstacle
for the development of all the potentials for the Cuban economy.
It represents a brake for the implementation of the country's
National Plan for Economic and Social Development as well as for
Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals. It is the
principal hurdle for the development of Cuba's economic,
commercial and financial relations with the U.S. and, because of
its extra-territorial nature, with the rest of the world.
The accumulated losses from the blockade being
for almost six decades reach a figure of $933,678,000,000
dollars taking into account the depreciation of the dollar as
compared to the price of gold on the international market. At
today's prices, the blockade has caused damage that can be
calculated at over $134,499,800,000.
In the period considered by this report, the blockade
caused losses to Cuba of around $4,321,200,000.
This policy of economic aggression, along with the
of internal subversion, corroborates the aim of the U.S. government
to destroy the economic, political and social system that has
been freely chosen by the Cuban people.
The blockade constitutes a massive, blatant and
violation of the human rights of all the Cuban people and
qualifies as an act of genocide, according to the Convention on
the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.
It violates the United Nations Charter and international law and
constitutes an obstacle for international cooperation. It is
imperative that the United States comply with the 26 resolutions
adopted by the international community within the framework of
the United Nations General Assembly and put an end, unconditionally, to
its policy of blockade.
To read the full
text of Cuba's Report
Ending the Economic, Commercial and
Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States against Cuba" click
Cuban Medical Specialists Reject
"Health Attacks" on U.S. Diplomats
On September 13, a meeting was held in Washington, DC
between scientific experts from the United States and Cuba to
discuss the health symptoms reported by U.S. diplomats accredited
in Havana. The Cuban multidisciplinary group, composed of nine
scientists and physicians who are members of a panel of the Cuban
Academy of Sciences, was headed by Johana Tablada, Deputy
Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' U.S.
Department, and Cuba's Ambassador to Washington, José R.
The U.S. team was chaired by Kenneth Merten, assistant
principal secretary for the Western Hemisphere, and was made up
of medical personnel from the United States Department of
Prior to this meeting, the Cuban team had examined the
information provided by the U.S. Embassy about the alleged
incidents, publications by a medical team from the University of
Pennsylvania, especially an article published by the Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and the
conclusions of police investigations, carried out separately, by
authorities of Cuba's Ministry of the Interior and the U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
At the meeting, the Cuban team received a summary
the results of medical examinations previously reported in JAMA,
of the reported symptoms.
At the conclusion of the exchange, the Cuban experts
that the information provided does not support the hypotheses of
health attacks and brain damage suggested thus far by the State
Department as an explanation for the symptoms its diplomats
In particular, they reaffirmed that with the
exchanged it is neither possible to prove the existence of a new
neurological medical brain injury syndrome, nor to affirm that
brain damage of the type caused by blows to the head has been
produced without any cranial trauma having occurred. That is
They observed that the medical evidence presented has
serious limitations. Most of the cases described present
symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and subjective
balance and sleep disturbances, that are produced by functional
disorders and illnesses such as hypertension, stress, and many
others very prevalent in the United States and the world.
The accuracy of the reports may also have suffered from
average time interval of 203 days between the alleged incidents
and the reported medical investigations.
The neuropsychological tests, considered more
interpreted with unusual criteria which, if applied to a group of
healthy subjects, would assess almost all of them as being ill.
Had internationally established standard criteria been used, only
two individuals could be considered affected, which could be
attributed to various pre-existing illnesses.
According to the report, only three individuals with
or moderate hearing loss were found, but each one with audiograms
that would be seen in different, and probably pre-existing,
No findings indicative of brain damage were reported in
neuroimaging. In two individuals, mild signs were reported and in
another, moderate signs that, according to the evaluators, are
non-specific, appear in many illnesses and could be attributed to
processes that occurred before those people travelled to Cuba. It
has not been possible for Cuban experts to access those
The scientific studies, the Cuban and FBI police
investigations, as well as the information shared by the State
Department, indicate an absence of evidence of any type of attack
or deliberate act.
The Cuban delegation categorically rejected use of the
"attack" without there being any substantiating evidence. U.S.
officials, for their part, stressed that they had no explanation
for the incidents.
The Cuban delegation expressed its willingness to
and reiterated that it is in its best interest to find an
explanation for the reports that have been described.
In this regard, it recalled that since the Embassy of
United States in Havana informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
about alleged "acoustic attacks" against some of its officials
in February 2017, Cuba has requested and offered the maximum
cooperation to clarify what happened, and very early on suggested
holding a meeting involving medical experts from both
It regretted the lack of access to clinical information
to the doctors who assessed the diplomatic personnel that
reported health symptoms.
Nevertheless, the Cuban medical team considers the
the meeting as a positive, if insufficient, step. Up to this
point, the scientific and medical exchange had taken place only
indirectly, through the publication of scientific articles,
political statements and regrettable leaks to the press. The
Cuban medical team extended an invitation to the team of U.S.
researchers to engage in another scientific exchange in Havana in
the near future, with the professionals who directly attended the
U.S. diplomats also participating.
73rd Anniversary of Vietnam's
45th Anniversary of Canada-Vietnam Relations
Events in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto Celebrate
Bonds of Friendship and Trade
Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien
speaks at celebration in Ottawa, September 11, 2018.
On September 2, Vietnam celebrated its National Day,
the day in 1945 when the great leader of the Vietnamese people
Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at the Ba
Dinh Square in Hanoi. There he proclaimed the establishment of the
Republic of Vietnam, officially declaring the independence and
sovereignty of Vietnam from France and Japan.
To celebrate this event, as well as the 45th
the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and
Vietnam, Vietnam Culture Week was inaugurated in Ottawa and
On September 11, in Ottawa and September 14,
in Montreal, receptions and cultural performances were held. In
both places several hundred guests from the diplomatic corps as
well as many Canadian friends of Vietnam and local members of the
Vietnamese community were in
Notable events also took place in Toronto in August and
Left to right: Vietnam's Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa; Vietnam's
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, and Canadian
Deputy Minister of Foreign
At the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, the
Ceremony of Vietnam Culture Week began with a welcoming speech by
Vietnam's Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa.
Next to speak was Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports
Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien who spoke about the important role that
culture plays in building links internationally. He pointed out
that during Vietnam Culture Week, various activities such as art
performances, photo, film and tourism exhibitions would form a
bridge of friendship between the two peoples and help Canadian
people understand more about the land, people and culture of
Then Canadian Deputy Minister of Foreign
Ian Shugart spoke, stressing that the two countries have a long-term
friendship which has brought great results in bilateral trade
exchange and education cooperation.
The speeches were followed with performances by some
Vietnam's most renowned musicians, singers and dancers. Their
performances were of great artistic quality and filled with
pride for the achievements of the Vietnamese people. They received
enthusiastic applause from the audience.
The main hall of the Canadian Museum of
History was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Among the
totem poles and Indigenous sculptures, was a lovely photo
exhibit depicting picturesque scenes from Vietnam, as well as
tables displaying literature and other cultural items.
On September 15, the Opening Ceremony of Vietnamese
Days was held in the auditorium of the Bibliothèque et Archives
nationales du Quebec. In the lobby, people were warmly
staff members of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
in Canada. The ceremony opened with welcoming remarks of
the Vietnamese Ambassador in Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa to the more
than 100 members of the audience. He was followed by Vietnam's
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, who
spoke about the important role this presentation of Vietnamese
culture plays in deepening the bonds of friendship between the
Vietnamese and the Canadian peoples. The final speaker was
the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Quebec Ministry of
International Relations and Francophonie Éric Marquis who spoke
about the growing links developing between Quebec and
Vietnam in different spheres such as economic exchanges and
In the evening, a program of songs
dances was performed with great artistry by the performers. The songs
dances highlighted the treasury of Vietnam's multisecular
traditional music, of music from the national liberation war and
music depicting the living conditions of people from various
parts of Vietnam, such as mountainous and coastal regions. They
were performed with grace, elegance and great virtuosity,
especially in the use of traditional string, wood and percussion
instruments. The audience was delighted and could appreciate the
various aspects of Vietnamese culture as well as the high calibre
of the performers. The artists were greeted with a standing ovation
at the program's close. The evening of September 16 was devoted to the
presentation of Vietnamese films.
Canadians and visiting Vietnamese officials
four events in Toronto to commemorate the 45th anniversary of
diplomatic relations between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
and Canada. These events all contributed to the strengthening of
friendly relations between the Canadian and Vietnamese
On August 23, Professor Dai
Trang Nguyen launched her book Ho Chi Minh: Selected Works on
Peace, Democracy and
Equality at the University of Toronto. This was Professor
Nguyen's third book on the life and work of Ho Chi Minh, who led
the Vietnamese people to defeat the French colonizers, the
Japanese militarists and the U.S. imperialists in Vietnam's
struggle to affirm its independence and sovereignty, giving rise
to a dignified, modern and peace-loving nation.
Book launch in Toronto, August 23, 2018.
Professor Nguyen has conducted considerable research to
popularize the life and work of Ho Chi Minh so that the legacy
and contributions of this immortal Vietnamese patriot and fighter
for Vietnam's independence, sovereignty and world peace are
known to Canadians and to a wider audience. Her book, printed in
English, French and Vietnamese, includes letters from Ho Chi Minh
to various political personalities of his time, including to
former Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson. At the book
launch, Professor Nguyen highlighted the role that Ho Chi Minh
played in ensuring that Vietnamese women played a leading role
both in the wars of national liberation and in the building of
the new society.
On August 31, a delegation of Vietnamese business
political leaders from Danang City, a coastal city in central
Vietnam, made a presentation to a group of business people in
downtown Toronto. They came to promote investment opportunities
for Canadian entrepreneurs in their city, particularly in the
high tech and tourism sectors. At this event, Canadian companies that
have been operating in Vietnam also made presentations
about the favourable conditions that prevail there that
facilitate business activity for the mutual benefit of the
Vietnamese and the foreign companies concerned.
Delegation of Vietnamese business people and political leaders from
visits Toronto, August 31, 2018.
On September 14, a delegation of the Vietnam-Canada
Friendship Association (VCFA) held a meeting with a delegation
from the Canada Vietnam Society in downtown Toronto to share
experiences and ideas of how to enhance relations between the two
peoples and countries. After drinking a toast to the friendship
between the peoples of Canada and Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen Viet Thien,
Deputy Minister of Health of the government of Vietnam and
President of the VCFA, expressed appreciation for the 45-year
diplomatic relationship between Canada and Vietnam and stated
that there is much potential to enhance relations further through
economic, social and cultural exchanges.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tru Gian, General Secretary of the VCFA,
outlined the three main pillars of Vietnam's external relations
-- state-to-state, party-to-party and people-to-people. She said
that Vietnam has good relations with the Trudeau government in
building trade and they hope to see this partnership
strengthened in the future. She expressed the hope that the visit
of the delegation will foster greater friendship, understanding
and co-operation between Canadians and Vietnamese. Ms. Nguyen
offered suggestions of the types of people-to-people activities
that could be promoted, including opportunities for exchanges
arranged through NGOs, cultural exchanges and between
business people. She also mentioned that the number of Vietnamese
students in Canada, both state-sponsored and private, almost
doubled in the last two years and that Canada will continue to be
a place where Vietnamese youth come to study in the future. She
also welcomed more visitors to Vietnam to see for themselves the
reality of life in her country.
Meeting of Canada-Vietnam friendship organizations, Toronto, September
The Canada Vietnam Society (CVS) members responded that
were glad to meet their sister organization from Vietnam and
noted that the Canadian people have always been friendly to the
Vietnamese people, notably during the U.S. war of aggression
against Vietnam, when tens of thousands of Canadians marched in
Toronto and other cities to condemn the war and support the
liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people. The members of the
CVS pledged to do their part to promote and enhance
people-to-people friendship between Canada and Vietnam in the
interest of mutual benefit and peace.
The final event took place September 17 at the
Hotel in downtown Toronto. This was a Vietnam Tourism Road Show
organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of
Vietnam, with the support of the Ontario government.
Vietnam Tourism Road Show, September 17, 2018, in Toronto.
The trade show brought together those involved in the
industry in Canada and Vietnam as well as those interested in
travel to Vietnam. Some 150 people took part in the event. Mr.
Nguyen Anh Tuan of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
made the opening remarks, saying that this was the first time
that such an event was taking place in Canada. He noted that
Vietnam is a fast-developing country, that tourism represent
eight per cent of the GDP of Vietnam and that the country is
well-placed to grow this sector of the Vietnamese economy
rapidly. Mr. Nguyen stated that visiting Vietnam affords
Canadians the opportunity to experience first-hand the history,
culture, ethnic diversity and natural beauty of the country and
would help give Canadians a more complete picture of modern
Vietnam. He pointed out that in 2017, some 128,000 Canadians
visited Vietnam, which represents less than one per
cent of the total number of travellers to Vietnam. He expressed
the hope that more Canadians will travel to
Vietnam in the near future.
The event included several videos depicting the scenic
of Vietnam as well as live performances by skilled musicians in
national costume playing melodies from Vietnamese culture on
traditional instruments. Travel industry representatives from
both countries took the opportunity of the event to exchange
contact information with a view to creating mutually beneficial
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