EU to ship human rights envoy to Cuba, however won’t ‘impose’ calls for By Reuters

© Reuters. EU Excessive Consultant for Overseas Affairs and Safety Coverage Josep Borrell delivers an announcement in Havana, Cuba, Could 26, 2023. Yamil Lage/Pool through REUTERS

By Dave Sherwood

HAVANA (Reuters) – The European Union will ship a particular human rights envoy to Cuba this 12 months to debate the aftermath of anti-government protests in July 2021, however the EU’s high diplomat stated it won’t “impose” calls for on the Communist-run Caribbean nation.

EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell, on a go to to Cuba this week, stated EU Particular Consultant for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore would go to the island in late November “to research the scenario created earlier than, throughout and after the demonstrations and arrests.”

Lots of of Cubans stay in jail after the protests, the biggest since former chief Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

Rights teams, the European Union and the USA have all critiqued Cuba’s response to such protests as heavy-handed and repressive. Cuba’s authorities stated these jailed have been responsible of assault, vandalism and sedition.

Borrell stated the European Union, Cuba´s high commerce companion, would cease in need of making calls for on the federal government regardless of disagreements over human rights.

The 27-member EU has repeatedly rejected the USA´ Chilly Warfare-era commerce embargo, and Washington placing Cuba on an inventory of state sponsors of terrorism.

“The European Union has neither the capability nor the desire to impose modifications in Cuba, however we do wish to preserve a framework that enables us to speak about every little thing that unites and divides us with out taboos or prohibitions,” Borrell stated.

Cuba´s assist for Russia within the Ukraine warfare has grow to be one other flashpoint in its relationship with the EU.

Cuba, a long-time political ally of Russia, has referred to as for a peaceable answer however has stated the USA, not Russia, is answerable for the warfare. Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022 in what Moscow described as a vital choice to guard its safety.

Borrell stated Cuba, which this 12 months holds the presidency of the G77 group of creating nations, had a particular position in defending worldwide regulation in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is the sufferer and Russia is the aggressor,” Borrell stated. “We hope to rely on Cuba in its capability as defender … of the fundamental rules of worldwide regulation.”

European companies, from Spain, Germany and France, amongst others, are high buyers in Cuba, and a serious supply of vacationers and humanitarian help.

Russia nevertheless, has beefed up business ties with Cuba because the begin of the Ukraine battle, signing a number of enterprise offers whereas transport cargoes of wheat and petroleum merchandise to the cash-strapped island in latest months.

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