EU-Cuba agreement under pressure as it approaches ratification

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30 March, 2020
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30 March, 2020

The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Cuba is approaching its final ratification, and Cuban activists call for its suspension due to repeated “human rights violations”.

Since the provisional implementation of the agreement on November 1, 2017, “the political and human rights situation has worsened dramatically,” us diplomacy chief Mike Pompeo said in a letter to the Lithuanian Prime Minister, Pompeo called on Vilnius to “continue without ratifying” the pact to support “the hope of freedom, democracy and (…) human rights” on the island. Also, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and Democrat Robert Menendez wrote a letter to Lithuanian Ambassador to Washington saying: “The Cuban regime is an unfortunate remnant of the same communism that severely oppressed Lithuanians”.

For the right-wing opposition in Lithuania, which repeatedly invited Cuban dissidents, the rejection of the pact would show its “solidarity” with its “strategic partners the United States Congress,” its head of ranks Gabrielius Landsbergis told the AFP.

“The agreement does not condition cooperation or trade with the regime to respect human rights or democracy,” said Cuba Decide promoter Rosa María Payá, after a recent visit to the capitals of Lithuania and Belgium and Spanish MEPs José Ramón Bauzá, considers “The agreement was supposed to mean improving the lives of Cubans (…) and the opposite is happening,”.

The EU represents Cuba’s first investor and largest trading partner, with an exchange of $3.47 billion in 2018.