During his current goodwill mission through Latin America, Mr Harper has been talking up what he describes as “Canadian values”: free trade, security, political and economic freedom, and respect for human rights.
And he says these values should apply equally whether you are dealing with Chile, Colombia or Cuba.
“The values that we are promoting through the region … we’re going to promote these values similarly everywhere in the region,” he said, in a clear reference to his relations with the Castro regime.
Mr Harper’s comments place him at odds with most Latin America and the Caribbean leaders, whose well-rehearsed (and short-sighted) view is that the “dignity” of the Cuban people should be “respected”.
Which means that when it comes to the Castro regime, they are not willing to rock the boat.