Mr. Speaker, nine days ago Canada condemned Cuba for shooting down two civilian aircraft. It was an unwarranted act resulting in the tragic death of two U.S. citizens.
Without question the United States has the right to respond to this incident, but the passage of the Jesse Helms-Burton bill, which poses a direct threat to Canadian companies doing business with Cuba, is itself an excessive use of force.
The United States has every right to determine its own trade policy with Cuba, but the Helms-Burton bill oversteps legal boundaries and violates the purposes and principles of the UN charter. It furthermore infringes on the sovereignty of Canada and that of other friendly trading nations in the Caribbean basin.
The Prime Minister of Canada speaks for all Canadians when he says: "Friends are friends and business is business". However, the Helms-Burton bill is no way to do business nor is it a way to treat your friends.
Therefore I urge the U.S. Congress to kill such an irresponsible piece of legislation.