Cuba-EU Began the Long and Winding Road on Discussing Human Rights

By Progreso Weekly

Pedro Nuñez Mosquera represented Cuba at the talks on human rights.
Pedro Nuñez Mosquera represented Cuba at the talks on human rights.

HAVANA TIMES — Delegates from Cuba and the European Union met in Brussels on Thursday (June 25) to discuss the EU’s concerns about the observance of human rights in Cuba in the context of the EU’s “common position” toward the island.

The meeting was described by the EU as its first High-Level Human Rights Dialogue meeting with Cuba. The EU was represented by its Special Representative on Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, and Cuba by the Director-General of the Cuban Ministry for Multilateral Issues and International Law of Foreign Affairs, Pedro Núñez Mosquera.

A statement released by the EU after the meeting described it as “a frank and respectful preliminary exchange on issues of substance, with a view to build trust, enhance mutual understanding and develop cooperation.”

In diplomatic parlance, a “frank” encounter is a blunt exchange of views, so “frank and respectful” could be interpreted as blunt but polite.

The EU’s “common position” on Cuba, as stated in 1996, aims “to encourage a process of [Cuban] transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as a sustainable recovery and improvement in the living standards of the Cuban people. […]

“The [EU] considers that full cooperation with Cuba will depend upon improvements in human rights and political freedom,” the position statement adds.

Stavros Lambrinidis represented the European Union.
Stavros Lambrinidis represented the European Union.

The press release (see below) issued Thursday states that “among the issues discussed [by Lambrinidis and Núñez] were gender and violence against women, children’s rights, sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 agenda, health, education, freedom of expression and association, migration and rule of law.”

In a press release prior to the meeting, the EU’s External Action Service recalled that, during a formal dialogue on April 22, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez “agreed on starting to work towards establishing a structured EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue.” (Both appear in photo at top.)

Lambrinidis and Núñez agreed on Thursday that the dialogue should take place on an annual basis and “should cover all human rights issues brought to the table by any of the parties.”

On June 10, Mogherini met in Brussels with Cuban Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel in the course of the summit between the EU and CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

That meeting was held in private.



First EU-Cuba high level human rights dialogue meeting on 25th June

Cuba and the EU.  Graphic:
Cuba and the EU. Graphic:

On 25th June, the EU and Cuba held their first human rights dialogue meeting in Brussels.

The EU delegation was headed by EU Special Representative on Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis. Director General for Multilateral Issues and International Law of the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr Pedro Nuñez Mosquera, represented the Cuban side.

The discussions focused on the modalities for the pursuit of this dialogue, to be based on universal human rights standards, including its objectives, principles, format and procedures. Both sides agreed on the objectives for the dialogue of improving mutual understanding on human rights issues, exchanging experiences and best practices as well as seeking to identify potential areas of cooperation between the EU and Cuba. They agreed that dialogue should, in principle, take place on an annual basis. It should cover all human rights issues brought to the table by any of the parties.

Both sides also exchanged views on the basic human rights principles, such as universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, as well as the role of UN bodies on human rights and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council.

The EU and Cuba also addressed subjects of mutual interest in order to identify potential areas for future discussion and cooperation, both bilateral and in the context of multilateral fora. Among the issues discussed were gender and violence against women, children’s rights, sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 agenda, health, education, freedom of expression and association, migration and rule of law.

The talks demonstrated the commitment of the EU and Cuba to deepen their relations in order to support respect for human rights. They allowed for a frank and respectful preliminary exchange on issues of substance with a view to build trust, enhance mutual understanding and develop cooperation.

17 thoughts on “Cuba-EU Began the Long and Winding Road on Discussing Human Rights

  • July 2, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    If you were in Cuba, your “retirement cheque’ would be $8 – 200 pesos per month! – Could you meet all your personal expenses on that?
    The money you boast about has been earned in Canada and yet you dare to suggest that it would make you a rich man in Cuba and that because of it you can live in Cuba with a cook/cleaner, air conditioner, taxis, food delivered to your door.
    The level of conceit and arrogance is there for all to behold! You enjoy having cheap service and living based upon Castro induced poverty of the Cuban people, you enjoy being able to travel in cheap Taxi-particulars. You enjoy feeling superior because with your Canadian earned dollars earned under the capitalist system you can flaunt your comparative worth and feel that you are in your proper strata of society. Whereas in Canada you are just ordinary!
    Your boasting Monseigneur Gomezz, does not bring envy or admiration, but justified contempt!

  • July 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’m trying, Moses, but its comparing papayas to guanábanas. These “ex-radicals” (some are not at all) came to Canada due to various circumstances created by Washington’s foreign policies, including poverty, thus they are simply economic migrants; only 3 claimed refugee status, the Californian being one of them. The 2 that were born in Canada know well about discrimination and White Supremacy at home but were never “left-wingers”, just oppressed minorities. None of the imports have become politically involved in anything since coming to Canada or ever except me, of course, however my political involvement has been to support Cuba and to contribute what I can to one of Canada’s 3 main, official, political parties: the NDP. Most of my workers did not know they were “left-wingers” or experienced fair treatment on the job until I showed them my version of “left-winger” by example. I did not “assemble a gaggle of anything, I hired workers to do a job as I could have done in Cuba*, with no other qualifications than Kitchen and/or Retail experience and aptitude.

    * Provided I lived in Cuba and the enterprise met with all due, legal regulations and standards, just like in Canada.

  • July 1, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    It seems like a pleasant work environment. You have managed to assemble an oddlot of ex-radicals. Now, try to follow me: You would not be allowed to do the same thing in our beloved Cuba. Castro’s thugs would have long been at your door to shut you down if you had assembled a gaggle of ex-rightwingers. That’s what I call freedom.

  • July 1, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Moses, there is a gigantic network of enticement to bring human talent to the USA and there is a lot of money in the USA. There is little enticement for me to return to Cuba in my old age, with money to make money or to retire and lord it over my own people who have worked so hard for what little they have. I do not want to be a rich man anywhere, but specially not in Cuba. Here in Canada I can be comfortable without being or feeling guilty for having so much more than everybody else; in fact, by Canadian Standards I fall close to the “poverty line” of $28,000.00 a year once all the dust has settled. Cubans are poor, many rush into the USA as all economic migrants do, to make $ to send home and to build a better life to what they had before, no argument there; but most have family already in the USA and they are going mostly into Miami, a “Cuban-American City”, which is a mirage of a “Brave New Cuba”, though Union City, N.J./NYC and Houston, Texas have large Cuban communities also. Like all Economic Migrants, they plan one day to return home wealthy, buy a big house, a car, a farm, and live happily ever after. Few ever do return, and fewer yet make any real money, but they have more crap and possibilities and less time and social life. What is a “better” life after all is said and done?
    As you can read in my response to Informed Consent, I count with an exciting and eclectic flock who have come together here by chance from places torn by war and ruled by dictatorships and poverty thanks to the foreign policies of the USA government since the end of WW II. Together we have a much “better” social life than most Canadians, and it is pretty bad out there.

  • July 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Give me your address and I’ll send you a dozen; I make a tomatillo salsa we call “Dead Gringo Salsa” and a tomato salsa called “Pancho’s Revenge”, with an actual photo of an armed Pancho Villa on the label. These are my hottest versions; I also make a Cuban BBQ sauce with guava, A Jerk Sauce with pineapples and cloves plus a Mango Chutney, each in 3 levels of piquancy from Not to Hot.

    However, “Communist Salsas” refers more to how I treat my workers: I pay them above the dismal industry standard, I raise their salary by $1.00 every year and I pay them weekly and in cash, I pay for their food and drink at work, I take them home at the end of a shift if I am there and/or give them a transportation allowance ($5.00 daily). I treat them as friends, invite them over for drinks on occasion, hold 2 parties every year (26 of July and Dec 31, the Anniversary of the Revolution) and when I am at work, I work alongside them.
    My eldest daughter married one of them, a skinny, Cuban guy from Arroyo Naranjo and they have given me 2 grandsons so far. Another worker, a Mexican, married my best friend, a FARC veteran, and now she’s gotten her degree, her English, her hero husband and even though she’s now working at her career, we are all still BFF. I employ a 55 year-old South African with mental issues. (Cuito Canaval…) In fact, just to show you how liberal I am, I even let White people work for me! (tongue in cheek) Mr. B. B. came from Ireland during the “Troubles” and we sing Irish rebel songs together; D. is a retired machine-gunner from Serbia and she can beat any of us at arm wrestling and Cy is a Persian who fought Saddam at Koramshar, then fought the Mullahs after. W was born in California and N in the Ukraine. Add M, a Native American (Kispiox) and H, a Chinese-Canadian to complete the crew. So there, you put a crew of Commies together, you treat them with kindness and respect and then you make… ¡Communist Salsa!

  • July 1, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Going back in history I noticed it is not the ideology that commits genocides and crimes against humanity , it’s more at the collective mentality of the few who managed to control the majority
    At the time in which the Europeans where living in the dark ages , Arabs in Spain maintained a bastion of enlightenment that benefits all of humanity .
    What you see in the Middle East today is the creation of the West , it is all about divide and conquer .
    Human rights is another tool convenient enough to hang around the neck of those that they disagree with .
    The first challenge that any and all establishment , government or religion have to deal with is how to make there population do the things that they wanted them to do .
    An external enemy is one way of doing it , an enemy can be an anyone or any country . In today’s USA Fidel Castro fit the bill he is convenient and nearby .
    American never hesitate to using the worlds ” backyard ” .
    They look at all the Americas as their backyard , not as an equal partners and neighbors , they look at them as a lower form off humanity , what they did in South and Central America is an act of genocide.
    To me the form of government that rules a country is less important then the quality of life they provide to there people.
    If you to believe the American machine and what they say ,for example on President Putin (Putin is guarding his country toward a disaster )
    If you believe that , you are in trouble , The fact that Russians have a better life than most Americans doesn’t get mentioned .
    Keep in mind that Hitler was democratically elected , keep in mind the George Bush Jr was democratically elected ( maybe )
    After all the first thing he had to do is steal the election .
    Both did the same thing , create a problem so they could have their way , and do whatever there evil masters went them to do .
    Yes both of them are nothing more than puppets in the hands of a dark , mysterious , Luciferian ideology , both of them sold their souls .
    Just about every race that achieved power committed atrocities , despite religion or ethnicity .
    The problem with the American establishment , that they are capable of distinguishing between right and wrong and have the power to do good or wrong , yet they choose war and disasters instead of peace and tranquility .
    To stay in power they have to maintain an external enemy and keep there population busy , manufacturing crisis,with total disregard for human life.
    Cuba comes handy after all the first time Americans committed aggression against Cuba was in the Spanish American war , they manufactured the crisis by blowing up their own ship the USS mean . The Americans used Pancho via as an excuse to go to Mexico , the fact that they wanted the Baja Peninsula for the whaling industry does not get mention.It is noteworthy that the same thing happens in the 1967 war between the Arabs and Jews , they allow the Israelis to attack and kill Americans on the USS Liberty , they wanted to blame the attack on Egypt , and go to war so they can occupy the Middle East .
    The same thing happened in The Gulf of Tonkin Incident  , and 911.
    In today’s world one person with one bomb could do as much damage as Alexander the Great did all his life , it is extremely irresponsible to go on doing the same old thing.
    My way or the highway is no longer acceptable, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step ,
    That step should be taken by all of us going toward the halfway point , where we will meet each other , and understand each other .
    No you don’t have to follow my religion, neither I have to follow yours , or believe in my god , neither I have to believe in yours , for both of us too live the way that someone else lives is on the necessary .
    You and I are accepted in the human family as is .
    Peace my brothers and sisters , thank you and have a nice day

  • June 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    You continue to make my point. Of course you have a life well-rooted in Canada. For all of the advantages you would enjoy by living in Cuba, these advantages do not overcome your commitment to your family and your life in Canada. Imagine those Cubans who have equally rooted lives in Cuba and yet leave it all behind, sometimes by a rickety boat, to enjoy the advantages that you can’t seem to live without. Of course you would live like a king in Cuba. Why is that? Because you have $$ that Cubans don’t have. Because you have children and grandchildren to send you all the little crap to make your life a little more pleasant that you can’t buy in Cuba. I will repeat it again : If it was as bad as you claim it is you would find a way to leave. We both know it’s not that bad and it’s still better than Cuba.

  • June 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    What pray tell is a communist salsa, one which is only available to the ruling elite?

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