Havana Cuba. – The European Union deployed the diplomatic wisdom of Josep Borrell, its high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to convey its response to Miguel Díaz-Canel’s statements about Havana’s unconditional support for Russia and its invasion of Ukraine. Borrell used the Third EU-Cuba Cooperation Council as a pretext for his trip to Havana, which took place from May 25 to 27.
Now him Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba reached in 2017 after the lifting of the Common Position of 1996, economic-commercial relations, tourism, development projects and progress in respect for human rights, are endangered by Havana’s commitments with Vladimir Putin, consolidated in agreements signed days before.
While more than 700 European businessmen in Cuba, mainly Spanish, have had to deal with bureaucratic obstacles, non-payments, the withholding of their bank transfers, the hiring of personnel through state companies and the difficulties in importing inputs and equipment, Russian investors will become concessions that will imply changes in laws, which will also eventually be extended to all foreigners.
During his conversation with Díaz-Canel, Borrell highlighted the difficulties that he is facing with some EU member countries to support the rejection of the embargo, the sanctions and the maintenance of the Island on the list of States that sponsor terrorism, as heard in national television (apparently because of Cuba’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine).
Although it was intended to televise a cordial atmosphere in that meeting, the absence of Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla due to flu evidenced an alleged pretext for the discord that would prevent the signing of a final declaration of the EU-Cuba Council. The Island’s Minister of Foreign Relations had spoken in extenso about the “blockade” the day before at the session of the National Assembly.
In the meeting with Borrell, Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz replaced him. In Borrell’s meeting with the press, held before he left, MINREX vice minister Anayansi Rodríguez said that her opinions were personal, which is impossible for a Cuban official.
At that conference, the high representative of the EU said that the Cuban government and the bloc of 27 have advanced, disagreed, discussed, but have maintained dialogue and cooperation. “I think that justifies my trip to Havana, which is not only an institutional obligation that derives from the agreements we have signed, but also expresses a political will to help and to share,” said.
Borrell offered to accompany Cuba in its process of economic and social reforms, and assured that the European Union did not have the capacity or the will to impose changes on the Island. But it does want to have a framework for dialogue that allows people to talk about everything without taboos or prohibitions. He also stressed that the two parties discussed human rights, political freedoms – which include the rights to peaceful demonstrations and the free and democratic election of the government – and the situation created before, during and after the demonstrations and arrests. July 2021.
The Cuban authorities are playing the Russian card, neglecting national sovereignty, and damaging their international commitments, such as the presidency of the Group of 77 plus China, and the EU-CELAC Summit in July in Brussels. Although the economic, commercial and collaboration ties and the European businessmen influence so that the relations do not deteriorate, the confrontation could be inevitable.
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