Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Schwarzenberg: EU not to change stance on Cuba

Schwarzenberg: EU not to change stance on Cuba
26 October 2010

Luxembourg, Oct 25 (CTK) - The European Union will not change its
current stance on the Cuban regime though Cuba released some political
prisoners in the past weeks, the EU countries' foreign ministers agreed
Monday, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said.

The EU will be willing to negotiate with Cuba only if human rights
protection improves in this country, he added.

The EU has practically not changed its stance since 1996 when it adopted
a common position on Cuba.

Spain, which wants the EU to normalise relations with Cuba, has
criticised this position in the long run.

However, a number of the member states stand up against the Spanish
view. The Czech Republic has been among the strongest opponents of
softening the EU policy towards the Cuban totalitarian regime.

The Czech Republic and Sweden, with support of Germany, Monday succeeded
in persuading most of the EU member states that not even the release of
some prisoners of conscience was a sufficient reason to mitigate the
stance, Schwarzenberg said.

Last week, the Cuban government approved the release of five political
prisoners who, however, do not belong to the group of 52 dissidents
arrested, along with another 23 regime opponents, in 2003.

These people are being gradually released prom prison on the basis of
the July agreement between the Cuban government and Spain which was
mediated by the Catholic Church.


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