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A Lecture by Yvon Grenier: “A Canadian Affair: Pierre Trudeau, Fidel Castro, and the Cold War”

May 21 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
UCLA Lydeen Library (Rolfe Hall 4302),

In conjunction with the the UCLA Canadian Studies Program and the Program on Caribbean Studies, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese welcomes you to a talk by Dr. Yvon Grenier, Professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada. This lecture is titled “A Canadian Affair: Pierre Trudeau, Fidel Castro, and the Cold War” and will take place on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024, at 4:00 PM in Lydeen Library (Rolfe Hall 4302).

Yvon Grenier is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Jules Léger Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences, at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He is the author of numerous books on a wide range of subjects, including art and politics in Latin America.  His current project examines Canadian foreign policy toward Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela, with a focus on human rights and the promotion of democratic values.

Professor Grenier seeks to explain the seemingly incongruous bromance between Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (1968-1979, 1980-84) and Fidel Castro, in the context of Canadian-Cuban relations during the Cold War. We know that Trudeau was exceptionally praiseful of Castro and his policies, even though he was obviously not a communist. Perhaps more importantly, this friendship constitutes a heritage moment in Canadian history, and one of the defining features of Trudeau’s time as Prime Minister. The case will be made that Trudeau’s “suspension of judgement,” when talking about or visiting his friend, was typical of him, that is, simultaneously idiosyncratic and to a critical extent, in sync with his country. The lecture will also look at the key issue of friendship in international relations.


May 21
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


UCLA Lydeen Library (Rolfe Hall 4302)