Let our people go, Mexico!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Ottawa, ON â€" The decision by the Canadian government to formally recognize the independence of Kosovo has resulted in Serbia recalling its ambassador to Canada.

Last month, Kosovo declared its independence, adding its name to the list of countries that have split from Yugoslavia â€" a region where conflict over sovereignty has raged for decades.

Though Kosovo has been independent for all intents and purposes since the NATO pushed Serbian troops out of the area in 1999, last month’s move angered ethnic Serbians living in the predominately ethnic Albanian region.

In the Globe & Mail, Serbian ambassador to Canada Dusan Batakovic declared Ottawa’s recognition of Kosovo’s government as a “dangerous precedent” for other unilateral secession movements, such as the Quebec separatist movement.

But both Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier and Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae rejected the notion recognizing Kosovo’s independence would be precedent-setting.

Though many of Canada’s allies have announced their recognition of Kosovo’s government, countries currently facing separatist movements have spoken out against the secession announcement, including China, which faces a resurgence in the Tibetan independence movement.

The withdrawal of Serbia’s ambassador to Canada follows the withdrawal of ambassadors from other countries that recognized the independence of Kosovo, such as the United States, Austria and Australia.

Mexico â€" Canadian Brenda Martin may finally be able to return home.

Martin has been held in a Guadalajara prison without a trial for the last two years for her alleged involvement in a $60-million pyramid investment scheme.

The 51-year-old Ontario native was arrested five years after her former employer was convicted in charges stemming from the same investment scam. Ever since, she has proclaimed her innocence â€" a move backed by an affidavit signed by her former employer.

Now, Martin has threatened to take her own life if Canadian authorities do not do something to help her, an act that has spurred Prime Minister Steven Harper to send Jason Kenney, minister for multiculturalism, and Rick Norlock, MP for Northumberland Quinte West, to Mexico to meet with Martin.

Mexico is blaming Martin’s lawyers for not doing more to speed the case along, even though they had the power to separate her case from others accused in the same case.

The Mexican embassy has said the case will be concluded shortly.

United States â€" Though he may not be wearing a flight suit and standing on an aircraft carrier, President George W. Bush announced the Iraq War is an “undeniable success,” as America marks the fifth year of its campaign.

With his approval numbers hovering at all-time lows, pundits see Bush’s announcement as an attempt to increase support for an action that will define his presidency.
â€"With files from Canadian Press

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