Cuba, USA to Discuss Human Rights

A dialogue that thus far goes nowhere

Pedro Luis Pedroso. Photo: vanguardia.cu
Pedro Luis Pedroso of the Cuban Foreign Ministry.  Photo: vanguardia.cu

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government announced today that it will maintain this Friday the second round of talks with the US on human rights, one of the most controversial points on the diplomatic agenda, reported dpa.

Deputy Director for Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Pedro Luis Pedroso, made the announcement in his account on the social network Twitter.

“Friday October 14 the second round of talks on Human Rights between Cuba and the United States will be held in Havana,” Pedroso wrote.

The first round of talks on this subject took place on March 31,2015, in Washington, although at that meeting neither side moved from their positions.

On that occasion, the Cuban delegation was headed by Pedroso, while the US side was led by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the State Department, Tom Malinowski.

At the end of that meeting the Cuban negotiator said that “there are profound differences between the two governments regarding the concepts and the exercise of human rights”.

Meanwhile, the State Department said that both governments “expressed their concerns about human rights issues” in the other country, and “expressed their willingness to discuss a wide range of topics in a future substantive dialogue”.

Human rights organizations are illegal in Cuba and considered by the Castro government as counterrevolutionary.

The human rights dialogue is one of the most sensitive points within the process of rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, after half a century of confrontation.

Havana considers human rights collective achievements such as universal access to education and health, which are part of the Cuban social policy.

Meanwhile, Washington has shown on numerous occasions its concern about the situation of human rights such as freedom of expression and assembly on the island and frequently makes calls for the release of political prisoners in Cuba.

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3 thoughts on “Cuba, USA to Discuss Human Rights

  • None of this jiberish below will make any difference until the US heeds the call of the international community and it’s own people and end the embargo and travel ban. The human rights issue is not the stumbling block to that.

  • It’s good that the two governments are going to discuss human rights issues. But the danger is that neither side seems able to listen let alone act on what the other says. The US government will go in with the belief that they are near perfect and if any issues are raised well that just isn’t their responsibility and how dare this piss ant country telling us what to do. On the Cuban side they will just assume that the US is acting imperialistically and using the human rights issue to beat them. But am happy to be proved wrong.

  • Cuba and the USA are stuck and have been all these years for many reasons. The political landscape is a major obstacle primarily due to two US states, New Jersey and Florida, both of which have a huge political ex-patriates Cuban population. Those Cuban’s living in said states VOTE and by way of the electoral college, have an enormous impact on presidential elections. Cuba has an old line hierarchy that refuses to budge and in fact seems even more entrenched. Those in the military and top end political spectrum continue to benefit royally vs. the average Cuban citizen. The discrepancy is showing its face i.e. the recent Rolling Stones concert where it’s abundantly clear by the clothes and hair styles shown on video those kids who are on the top vs. the average Cuban throughout the outer cities looking like third world citizens. I am a firm believer that as the internet continues to rear its head, there will be change that is far broader than just the human rights issue. It’s the system that is as flawed and corrupt today as it was when Batista was in control pre-1959.

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