Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America


142 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-919769-24-1




Edited by Brian MacDonald
Reviewed by Lovell Clark

Lovell Clark was Professor of History at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.


This volume contains the papers and discussions of a two-day conference on Central America and the Commonwealth Caribbean. An impressive roster of academics, diplomats, business people, and the military attended. Professor J.C.M. Ogelsby (University of Western Ontario), Professor Maurice Tugwell (University of New Brunswick), and Professor Juan del Aguilar (Emory University) presented interesting papers on the turbulence in Central America, the first two deciding pessimistically that the “past is the best prophet of the future,” the other concluding hopefully that radical forces are on the wane with the reassertion of American power and the processes of democratization. Equally knowledgeable spokesmen dealt with the Caribbean: W.T. Pendley, a U.S. naval commodore; Geoffrey Pearson and Alan B. Roger of External Affairs; and Professor George Eaton (York University). John W. Graham of External Affairs discussed Canada and the Contadora group, while General George Bell, of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, Charles Donley, of the Royal Bank, and John Harbron, of the Southam chain canvassed the options for Canada in both regions. Only Harbron advocated that Canada join the OAS.

In this reviewer’s opinion the seminar should have focused on only one region, instead of attempting to deal with two which are not all that related. The Central American issue needed much more discussion, especially on what Canada’s role (if any) should be. Nor did the participants seem clear on whether the troubles in the region are primarily an East—West problem or originate in the inequitable socio-economic conditions.



“Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,