In the “Canada may not be all it’s cracked up to be” Department. From CNN via Reuters a moment ago:

Canada has denied a visa to South African anti-apartheid leader Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was to be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising gala in Toronto on Tuesday, featuring an opera about her life.

Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, had packed her bags and was about to set out for the airport when the Canadian embassy notified her that she would not be allowed to enter the country, organizers of the Toronto event said.

“No reason was given,” said Carole Adrianns, event director for MusicaNoir, an organization that raises awareness about Africa through cultural projects. “The Mandela family was very, very confident that they were getting the visa,” she said.

Immigration officials in Ottawa were not immediately available to comment.

This is just strange. Usually we see Canada as the un-America, but this seems all to reminiscent of our own government’s increasingly closed-door policies. If anybody out there has a line on what’s really going on, give us a shout.

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