Canada’s Long Fight Against Democracy

Published Date: February 1, 2024

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Canada’s Long Fight against Democracy is a sweeping overview of Canadian-backed coups since 1950. It documents Canada’s contribution to the ouster of over 20 elected governments from Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran to Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Salvador Allende in Chile and Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti.

As part of subverting democracy, Ottawa has cut off aid and imposed illegal sanctions in the hopes of turning the population against the targeted government. Canada has also financed opposition civil society groups and allowed protesters to use its embassy as a staging point to topple a president. They’ve even organized a secret international gathering to discuss overthrowing a popular leader, decided a marginal opposition politician was the legitimate president, and dispatched the Canadian military to subvert democracy.

While government officials and the media regularly frame conflicts with geopolitical competitors as motivated by a belief in democracy, the authors debunk the notion that decision-makers in Ottawa are driven by promoting democracy abroad.

Washington’s role in subverting elected governments has been detailed in countless studies by scholars and observers from around the world. The literature on Canada’s role in anti-democratic meddling is comparatively limited. In fact, this is the first book to focus on Canada’s role in subverting democracy around the globe.

With poems by Rob Rolfe


Yves Engler is a political activist and author of twelve books. He has been dubbed as “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left.” The Globe and Mail has situated him in the mould of I.F. Stone, while Quill & Quire says Engler is “part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada’s self-satisfied myths.” Yves Engler lives in Montreal.

Owen Schalk is a writer from Manitoba.  He is the author of Canada in Afghanistan: A Story of Military, Diplomatic, Political, and Media Failure, 2003-2023 (Lorimer Books, 2023).  His articles have been published by Alborada, Monthly Review, and Protean Magazine, and he contributes a weekly column to Canadian Dimension magazine.  He also writes fiction, and you can read his short stories in Quagmire Literary Magazine, Sobotka Literary Magazine, Vast Chasm Magazine, and more.

Rob Rolfe is the author of seven books of poetry and three poetry chapbooks. His poetry has appeared in many Canadian journals, and in poetry anthologies in Canada and the United States. Rob was a librarian and union leader in Toronto and has served as Owen Sound Poets Laureate with singer-songwriter Larry Jensen.


“Canadian authors Yves Engler and Owen Schalk have chronicled Canada’s role in undermining 22 democratically-elected governments
overseas, starting with the government of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iranin 1953. (. . .) Engler and Schalk jostle the reader to confront their mental image of Canada as a force for peace in the world—and the jarring reality of our foreign policy belligerence. It’s getting worse. Four of the cases cited in the book took place under the current prime minister.” Bhagwant Sandhu, THE HILL TIMES

Listen to the interview with Yves Engler on The Taylor Report, CIUT 98.5, Toronto.

“While Parliament argues hysterically over “foreign interference” in Canada, the reality is that Canada has a long and bloody record of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries around the world. These countries include Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, etc. Engler’s new book gives an account of 20 coups in which (‘democratic-values’) Canada played a criminal role.” THE TAYLOR REPORT

 

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