Tag Archives: Cuba

US Monroe doctrine threatens Cuba and Nicaragua

Washington’s political take on a number of Latin American countries is unacceptable, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the 27th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SWAP) on April 13. (Image: archive).

The Americans openly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Everyone knows about Venezuela, the blitzkrieg change failed, but the Americans do not refuse the goal of overthrowing the legitimate president. This is directly evidenced by Michael Pompeo’s recent interview, in which he said that military intervention has not been excluded,Lavrov underlined.

The Americans even dragged out the notorious Monroe doctrine out of the woodwork, threatening that the next in line are Cuba and Nicaragua. They do not seem to understand that they are opposing themselves to the entire Latin American world and not only to the Latin American world. I think that such behavior is simply unacceptable,” Russia‘s top diplomat concluded.

Mogherini: EU-Cuba “closer than ever”

European Union head of External Action Service (EEAS), or de facto minister of Foreign Affairs of the EU, an Italian Socialist Federica Mogherini, visited Cuba, led by Communists.

According to the EEAS, Mogherini headed Cuba to reconfirm the “strong” EU-Cuban relationship, and to press for an “ambitious and swift” joint implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

As the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement started in 2015-2016, the EU lifted all sanctions and negotiated the agreement, the first accord.

“The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and punish public criticism”, – the 2017 report of Human Rights Watch says. – However Cuban authorities relay less than in past years on long-term prison sentences to punish its critics, but short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and voices of disscent have increased dramatically in recent years, including repressive tactics of beatings, public shaming, and termination of employment, – the report reveals.

EU-Cuba fostered dialogue

A new chapter in EU-Cuba relations will be marked tomorrow, on 1 November 2017, with the start of provisional application of the first ever agreement between the European Union and Cuba – the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

 

“The EU and Cuba are truly turning a page, and the new chapter of our partnership begins now – with the provisional application of our new agreement. Today the European Union gets closer to Cuba and all Cuban citizens as the country goes through economic, political and social modernisation”, said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.  “We Europeans are tied to Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean by a shared history, culture, values, and aspirations for the present and the future” – she added.

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation and sector policy dialogue as well as trade cooperation.

It promotes and encourages sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as to find shared solutions to global challenges through joint action in multilateral fora. Areas of common interest include for example renewable energies, rural development, the environment, human rights, good governance, security, and job creation. Activities will be conducted with all actors in Cuba, including the public sector, local authorities, the whole range of civil society, the private sector, as well as international organisations and their agencies.

EU-Cuba relations Renaissance

MEPs gave their consent to the first ever EU-Cuba cooperation agreement, thereby marking a turning point in bilateral relations.

“With this vote the European Parliament is giving its support to use dialogue and cooperation with Cuba as the best instruments to build a constructive and future-oriented relationship, beneficial for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic” – EP the rapporteur Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) said.

Without clearly mentioning the US embargo, MEPs are opposed to “laws and measures with extraterritorial effect”, given that they are “harmful to the Cuban population”. The EU-Cuba deal should contribute to improving the living conditions and social rights of Cuban citizens, MEPs add.

The Cuban government should align its human rights policy with international standards and ratify the United Nations human rights conventions still pending, urge MEPs. They recall that the PDCA includes a provision to suspend the agreement, if the provisions on human rights are violated.

MEPs support dialogue with Cuba

20.06.2017. Brussels. Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs gave their consent to the first ever EU-Cuba cooperation agreement, expanding bilateral trade, promoting dialogue and economic cooperation and, developing a joint action in multilateral fora.

Having been negotiated since April 2014, this first agreement between the EU and Cuba will mark a turning point in bilateral relations between the two parties, say MEPs.

“With this vote the European Parliament is giving its support to use dialogue and co-operation with Cuba as the best instrument to advance in a constructive and future-oriented relationship, beneficial for the citizens on both sides of the Atlantic” – said EP Rapporteur Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES).

They call for the “lifting of the United States’ economic blockade” in Cuba, as it continues to have a widespread impact on the Cuban population. The EU-Cuba deal should contribute to improving living conditions and social rights of Cuban citizens, MEPs add.

The Cuban government should align its human right policy with international standards and ratify the United Nations human rights conventions still pending, urge MEPs. They recall that the PDCA includes a provision to suspend the agreement if the provisions on human rights are violated.

Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) report  was approved in the Committee by 57 votes to 9, with 2 abstentions. The committee text will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole at the July plenary session in Strasbourg. Having been signed by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in December 2016, it needs to get European Parliament’s consent before it enters into force.

 

 

 

 

Trump’s U-turn on Cuba

President Donald Trump slammed former President Barack Obama’s dealings with the communist regime in Cuba in Miami on charting his own course of more confrontational relations with the Castro-led government.

 

The speech, which came as the President signed a directive outlining his posture toward Cuba, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to chip away at Obama’s legacy. Obama spent the last two years of his presidency looking to warm relations with Cuba, including a trip to the island in 2016.
“I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump said. Casting the Obama administration as people who looked the other way on the Castro regime’s human rights violations, Trump said that he, as President, will “expose the crimes of the Castro regime.”

Foreign ministers focus on Latin America and Africa

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the ECJohn Paul II School in Wau, South Sudan

Today the EU foreign ministers gather at the Council in Brussels to discuss relations with Latin  America and African countries, namely with Cuba, and Colombia, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The state of affairs in Syria, and migrant cirisis. Ahead of the meeting, the EU and Cuba representatives will sign the Political dialogue and cooperation agreement.

The EU relations with Cuba were governed by the  Common Position, but have deepened significantly since the re-launch of political dialogue and cooperation in 2008. The repeal of the Common Position and the upcoming signature of the Political Deialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba will mark an significant new phase of bilateral relations. All 28 EU Member States maintain bilateral diplomatic relations with Cuba.  An EU representation office was opened in Havana in 2003, and upgraded into a fully-fledged Delegation in 2008.

The deabate on the relations with African countries will follow, focusing on the next EU-Africa Summit which will be held in autumn 2017. The speical debate of Democratic Republic of Congo will take place, in view of imposing sanctions similar to the US, already targeting three general for crack down on demonstrations and democratic developments. The EU foreign ministers are awaited to impose assets freezes and travel bans on a number of Congolese officials directly responsible for violent supression of anti-government demonstrations in September, causing physical damages and loss of human lives.

The Council is also expected to disscuss the dramatic developments in South Soudan. The recent report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights delegation concluded that the South Soudan actual state of affairs is containting the dangerous similarities to the develompents in Rwanda, preceeding the genocide. The delegation informed that the violence was at the point of ‘no return’. The foreign reporters were deported after critical reviews on government officials, supposedly involved in ethinic cleansing.

Over lunch, ministers will follow up on developments in Syria.

Ahead of the European Council on 15 December, the Council will discuss migration, focusing on the implementation of the Valletta commitments. After the Council meeting, ministers will have an informal discussion with President Santos of Colombia. This will be followed by the signature of the constitutive agreement of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC: http://europa.eu/!Cc99Wq