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Canada has launched a drive to strengthen trade and investment ties with Latin America, presenting itself as an alternative to both the US and the economic nationalism exemplified by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.
Proposing a "new model of partnership", Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, said in Santiago, Chile, on Tuesday that "too often some in the hemisphere are led to believe that their only choices are to return to the syn-drome of economic na-tionalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, or to become 'just like the US' ". "This is, of course, ut-ter nonsense. Canada's very existence demonstrates that the choice is a false one."
The Canadian initiative co-incides with uncertainty in Washington about whether the Democrat-controlled US Con-gress will ratify trade ag-reements negotiated by the Bush administration with Colombia, Peru and Panama.
The Democrats demanded that Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe makes more progress in human ...