Monday

3rd Oct 2022

MEPs call for tougher line on Cuba

The European Parliament believes that the EU-Cuba diplomacy project has failed, and urges for a tougher Brussels stance on the commmunist regime in Havana.

MEPs on Thursday (2 February) adopted a resolution denouncing the lack of respect for human rights on Cuba.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The resolution, adopted with 560 votes in favour and 30 against, states that so far the political dialogue with Cuba has not led to greater freedom on the island or improved bilateral relations, and says EU member states should "act accordingly".

MEPs condemn the increase in the number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and the ban on the "Women in White"- mothers, wives and sisters to imprisoned - from travelling to the European Parliament to receive the human rights Sakharov prize in December.

"Scores of independent journalists, peaceful dissidents and upholders of human rights are still being held in jail in subhuman conditions," the parliament resolution says.

MEPs during the debate ahead of the vote stated that it was particularly unacceptable and shocking that some of the political prisoners are not receiving the help they need and are in very poor medical condition.

"These facts deceive the aspirations to improve relations between Cuba and the EU," MEPs stated, adding that repression in Cuba is worsening, despite a recent attempt by the EU to boost diplomatic ties with Cuban president Fidel Castro.

In January 2005, the EU tried to normalize relations with Havana, without abandoning the objectives previously set in the so-called Common Position on Cuba: peaceful democratisation, promotion of basic rights and freedoms and improvement in living conditions of all Cubans.

But the hope of a more open attitude from the Castro regime side has apparently not been fulfilled, MEPs argued, saying that on the contrary, the human rights situation has deteriorated.

During 2005, Cuba did not release a single political prisoner and the number of prisoners grew, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, a dissident group.

German communist MEP Willy Meyer, one of the minority voices that spoke against the condemnatory resolution on Thursday, defended Cuba on grounds of the regime’s solidarity with poor countries and its social achievements, arguing that the EU should not run errands for the US.

Also the Spanish socialist MEP Miguel Angel Martinez, member of the group Friends of Cuba, defended Cuba.

Mr Martinez said the resolution was flawed and lacking in reference to Guantanamo (US prison camp in a US military base on Cuba), "the worst violation of human rights on the island," he said.

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  2. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  3. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  4. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  5. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'
  6. Gazprom threatens to cut gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine
  7. New compromise over EU energy emergency measures
  8. 15 states push for EU-wide gas price cap

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks
  2. Putin declares holy war on Western 'satanism'
  3. Two elections and 'Macron's club' in focus Next WEEK
  4. EU agrees windfall energy firm tax — but split on gas-price cap
  5. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'We are not going to resign ... anywhere'
  6. Going Down Under — EU needs to finish trade deal with Australia
  7. MEPs worry Russian disinfo weakens support for Ukraine
  8. Everything you need to know about the EU gas price cap plan

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us