But I'd never heard this one, from John English's bio of Trudeau.
“Trudeau’s concerns about making haste too quickly, with potentially disastrous results for the health of any society, were apparent in the mid-Nineties, when Castro’s Cuba, reeling from the impact of the abrupt end of financial support from the Soviet Union, considered opening up its rigid state socialist system. Because of its historic economic ties with Cuba, Canada became involved in discussions with the Cuban government. James Bartleman, then the chief foreign policy advisor to prime minister Jean Chrétien, later indicated that Castro abandoned his plan to loosen socialist restraints after a conversation with Trudeau, who cautioned him about its impact on the social health of his country. No record of Trudeau’s conversation is available, but Bartleman’s account rings true because of Trudeau’s friendship with Castro and his respect for the gains achieved by Cuba in the areas of health and education.”Egads! No fan of the National Energy Program, but this is worse if true.
Fidel must have been deeply grateful for Trudeau’s advice; the Cuban people, not so much.