World Press Archive
2010-10-30 / Latin American Herald Tribune
Cuba Cool Toward EU Diplomatic Initiative
UNITED NATIONS – The European Union is “dreaming” if it thinks it can normalize relations with Cuba without discarding EU demands for political liberalization on the communist-ruled island, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said.
Foreign ministers from the 27 EU member-states agreed this week to authorize the bloc’s top foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton, to make an approach to Havana, but only within the limits set by the “common position,” which makes better bilateral ties conditional on steps to open up the Cuban political system.
“It is said that the so-called common position has been surmounted. Well, we’ll see, the deeds will tell,” Rodriguez said in the U.N. General Assembly.
“But the EU is dreaming if it thinks it will be able to normalize relations with Cuba, the so-called common position existing,” he said prior to Tuesday’s vote on a resolution urging the United States to end its 48-year-old economic embargo against Cuba.
Replying to a European diplomat’s criticism of Cuba’s human rights record, Rodriguez said EU governments should focus on their own treatment of emigrants and minorities – alluding to France’s recent deportations of Gypsies – and on how their police deal with people protesting economic austerity policies.
He also blasted the European Parliament for awarding its Sakharov Prize for human rights to Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas.
“With complete shamelessness and in a despicable way, (the European Parliament) dedicates itself to honoring paid agents of the government of the United States,” the Cuban foreign minister said.
The EU decision to have Ashton reach out to Havana represents a compromise between countries determined to maintain the common position and other members, notably Spain, that say the bloc must acknowledge Cuba’s release of 42 political prisoners and measures to liberalize the island’s economy.
2013-04-22 / The Miami Herald
U.S.: Short-term detentions in Cuba reach record levels
Cuba saw a record number of “politically motivated and at times violent short-term detentions” during 2012, according to the U.S. State Department’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” which was released Friday...more
2013-04-18 / The Washington Post
Cuba’s Ladies in White due in Brussels to receive 2005 Sakharov human rights award
Members of Cuba’s Ladies in White opposition group will finally pick up Europe’s top human rights prize from 2005 in person next week in Belgium, the European Union and the daughter of the group’s former leader said Wednesday...more
2013-04-16 / The Washington Post
Cuba avoids oil cutoff for now as Chavez ally narrowly wins Venezuela presidential election
Cubans were relieved Monday by the announcement that the late leader Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor had been elected Venezuela’s new president, apparently allowing their country to dodge a threatened cutoff of billions of dollars in subsidized oil...more