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Baird to Travel to Latin America: Promoting and Protecting Canadian Interests and Values

February 14, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will travel to six Latin American countries from February 14 to 22, 2013.

In Mexico, Peru, Panama and the Dominican Republic, the focus will be on expanding cooperation in a variety of areas. In Cuba and Venezuela, Baird will focus especially on democracy, human rights and economic liberalization.

“Our government is focused on creating jobs, growth and economic prosperity,” said Baird. “As part of our principled foreign policy, we will also deliver strong messages on economic reforms and greater respect for human rights and democracy as appropriate.”

Baird added: “Our government is committed to ensuring we exercise Canadian leadership in key areas affecting our hemisphere from the Arctic to the Antarctic.”

Baird will begin his trip in Mexico City, where he will meet José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico's new Secretary of Foreign Relations. This will be the first meeting between the two men and a chance to expand relations with this key partner.

In Mexico and later in Peru, Baird will be engaging like-minded partners, and pursuing the steps needed for membership in the very promising Pacific Alliance. (Canada became an official observer at the Pacific Alliance in November 2012. Alliance members are working to facilitate the free movement of goods, services, capital and people among themselves, while also strengthening trade and investment ties with Asia. The Alliance's founding members—Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—are four of Latin America's fastest-growing economies.)

In meetings in Panama and the Dominican Republic, Baird will seek new ways to create opportunities for long-term economic prosperity, while also promoting our shared values regionally and globally.

To that end, Baird will conduct visits to Cuba and Venezuela to engage with government representatives. While in these countries, he will also meet with civil society organizations and local members of the Canadian business community. Canada is keenly interested in seeing further progress on human rights, democratic governance and economic liberalization.

For more information, please visit Embassy of Canada to Mexico, Embassy of Canada to Cuba, Embassy of Canada to Peru and Bolivia, Embassy of Canada to Panama, Embassy of Canada to Venezuela and Embassy of Canada to the Dominican Republic.

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