The European Parliament votes in favor of sanctioning Díaz-Canel and other Cuban leaders for the repression

The European Parliament votes in favor of sanctioning Díaz-Canel and other Cuban leaders for the repression

The plenary session of the European Parliament approved this Wednesday a resolution in which it asks the Cuban government “to put an end to the policy of repression, intensified in recent times.”

With 359 votes in favor, 226 against and 50 abstentions, reports a releasethe MEPs approved the text, debated in the plenary session of the past June 13. In it they call for the “immediate and unconditional release of all those detained solely because of the exercise of their human rights, the withdrawal of abusive criminal charges and that exiles be allowed to return.”

They also demand from the Council of the European Union (the main decision-making body of the EU) “a firm and public condemnation of the repression and intensify support for representatives of civil society”, in addition to imposing sanctions “against those responsible for the persistent violations of human rights in Cuba, starting with President Miguel Díaz-Canel, as a pre-eminent figure in the chain of command of the Cuban security forces, along with other senior officials of the Cuban Government”.

They also demand from the Council of the European Union “a firm and public condemnation of the repression”

The document highlights that the 2016 EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement includes a human rights clause and that, in case of violation, it can be suspended. “The island’s human rights crisis,” the statement continued, must find “a proportional response from the Union and the Member States.”

The MEPs described as a “missed opportunity” that the high representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, did not meet with members of independent civil society, political prisoners or relatives of prisoners during his visit to the Island last maywhich they consider contributed to the “laundering” of the Cuban regime.

According to the summit between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which will be held in Brussels on July 17 and 18, the resolution states that it is “an opportunity to defend the principles of the rule of law, democracy and rights humans”. Thus, they urge that during the meeting they issue a statement to demand “respect for human rights in both regions, paying special attention to the situation in Cuba.”

Finally, the text calls for the EU to ask the Cuban authorities to allow a delegation of officials and independent organizations access to the island, to observe the trials and visit political prisoners in jail.

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