Soft diplomacyOn Wednesday, state diplomacy turns to soft diplomacy when Trudeau meets with students at the University of Havana. "It's in the people-to-people world ... where Canadian-Cuban relationships are the most significant," said Karen Dubinsky, who teaches in a joint Queen's University-University of Havana course that brings Cuban students to Canada and sends Canadian students to Cuba. "Cuba is good at that, at using soft diplomacy, and I think what I've learned from our experiences working with Cuba is they only want to do more of that." Cuban graduate student Freddy Monasterio, who studies Canadian-Cuban relations, said the excitement of the December 2014 announcement of renewed ties with the United States has started to fade. The prime minister's visit could make Canada an alternative for Cubans leery about the style of capitalism the United States wants to export, he says. "Usually when people talk about different ways for Cuba to get out of a crisis and open up a little bit, people immediately associate the U.S. as the logical, and only alternative," Monasterio says. "We want to show that there are other alternatives and Canada for me is one of them." Statistics Canada says about 1.3 million Canadian tourists visited Cuba in 2015. Cuba's national statistics office reported last month that of the 2.1 million tourists during the first half of the year, more than 777,000 — just over a third — were from Canada. That put Canada at the top of the visitors' list, with the United States sitting in third with 187,073 travellers. The Terry Fox Run in Cuba is the largest held outside of Canada.
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