Revealing that Canada is getting increasingly concerned by the cosy relations between Iran and Venezuela, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has said that he will raise the issue with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
"I'm concerned about their nuclear program. I'm concerned about their support of terrorism," said the foreign minister, according to the Canadian Press.
"I'm concerned about Iran in general," Baird said in an interview in Lima, Peru.
"And I'm concerned about their deteriorating human rights record at home. So I don't think we'll see eye to eye with Venezuela on that," he told the Canadian Press.
The Canadian foreign minister is away on a six-nation tour to Latin America that took him to Mexico and Cuba.
Baird will be in Venezuela Wednesday where he is scheduled to meet leaders of the leading government as well as the opposition party leaders.
He will push the Venezuela government for more deeper economic and commercial ties with the Canadian government.
The minister told the media that he saw the potential for the Canadian companies to invest in the financial services, energy and mining sectors of Venezuela.
In Cuba, the Canadian foreign minister had open discussions with his counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez.
"They're beginning to make some significant economic reform, so I think there's some reason for optimism there," said Baird after visiting Cuba, according to the CBC News.
He said that Cuba should walk many miles to make further reforms and that Canada still opposed Cuba's return to the 35-country Western hemisphere club.
However, Baird told reporters that Canada supported Cuba's calls for the United States to end its five-decade long economic embargo.
The United States imposed the economic embargo on Cuba in 1960 when the country nationalized the properties of the U.S. citizens and corporations following the collapse of the Batista regime.
Cuba is entitled to the embargo until the Cuban government moves toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights."
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