A dialogue that thus far goes nowhere
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.