Harper was curious to meet Chavez in person, and he fully expected him to use the growing global financial security to trumpet the success of his socialist policies.
As Harper met with a reporter with the Postmedia News Service at 24 Sussex in April 2009 on the eve of the Summit of the Americas, the prime minister made it clear in no uncertain terms that Chavez was his political polar opposite.
"What we're seeing in the hemisphere is the time when the world has been moving towards a broad consensus on economic policy, you've had in the Americas our own hemisphere moving to cold war positioning hard line capitalism and hard line socialism," Harper said.
OTTAWA As he prepared to meet Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for the first time nearly four years ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper drew an ideological line in the sand.
with (Chavez's) successor and other leaders in the region to build a hemisphere that is more prosperous, secure and democratic."
develop the country's economy.
"(But) that's not why the Chinas, and Indias and South Koreas have been growing," the prime minister added.
The Venezuelans found the atmosphere surrounding Chavez's return to be too politically charged to host Baird.
Poverty declined during Chavez's presidency amid a historic boom in oil earnings, but critics said he failed to use the windfall of hundreds of billions of dollars to Air Max 180 Olympic
Since them, Venezuela's economy has sputtered as the output of its state controlled oil company declined.
But he wasn't interested in any lessons in economics from Chavez.
As Chavez, 58, finally succumbed Tuesday to the cancer that he had been fighting for nearly two years, Harper had kind words only for the Venezuelan people that the charismatic leftist had left behind.
Harper himself has in the past pointedly challenged the world view of the influential Venezuelan leader.
But the prime minister was having none of it.
He blew a kiss to his country, and was never seen again in public.
The Harper government, meanwhile, was keen to engage with Venezuela, and forge economic links, at what it viewed as a critical turning point in history.
"It actually shows, contrary to what the worst demagogues say that good relations with the United States are beneficial to you and beneficial across the spectrum."
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was to have travelled to Venezuela two weeks ago but the trip was abruptly cancelled because Chavez made an unexpected homecoming from Cuba.
Harper clearly had no time for the Western Hemisphere's most persistent opponent of the free market economics of Canada and the United States. influence Air Max Light Up
Chavez's death brings hope for Venezuela
"There are those that will use the global financial crisis to try and say capitalism is discredited.
Harper said he hopes the death of Chavez brings a more promising future for the Venezuelan people.
"At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights," Harper said in a statement Tuesday evening.
In December, two months after he won re election, Chavez boarded a plane for Cuba for treatment of his cancer.
In his 14 years in power, Chavez used his country's lucrative oil wealth on social programs such as state run food markets, new public housing, free health clinics and education programs.
Baird had been scheduled Nike Air Max 95 Tan to hold meetings with government counterparts and other opposition representatives as part of a six country tour of Latin America.
in the region.
Harper was willing to concede that the "turbo capitalism" that led to the recession needed to be reigned in.
"We think it says the opposite."
The prime minister said he was offering his "condolences to the people of Venezuela," and that he looked forward "to working Air Max 95 Ue
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