Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spain advances its diplomacy with Cuba, and wants to bring Europe along

Spanish foreign minister Miguel Moratinos concluded a visit to Cuba and took heat from Spain’s opposition party and dissidents in Cuba for meeting with government officials only. He had not come “to meet with any particular segment of Cuban society,” he told AP.

Apparently he did have human rights on the agenda, though. El Pais reports that coincident with Moratinos’ departure, Nelson Alberto Aguiar Ramirez, one of the 75 dissidents jailed in 2003, was released from jail; a second dissident, Onelio Lazaro Angulo, who had been out of jail since 2005, was given permission to leave Cuba; and Elsa Morejon, wife of jailed dissident Oscar Elias Biscet, was also given permission to leave Cuba. In addition, Spanish businessman Pedro Hermosilla was released from jail pending trial on charges of bribery.

Moratinos had a three-hour meeting with Raul Castro, and “found in President Castro a commitment to reform, to advance the process of reform in the whole country, to improve the economic situation of Cuba,” he told Reuters. “Today he reiterated his will to continue the process.”

Moratinos indicated that when Spain takes the EU presidency next January, a “priority goal" will be to replace the EU Common Position regarding Cuba with a new bilateral agreement. To prepare the groundwork for that, Moratinos envisions a series of minister-level meetings between Cuba and EU representatives, beginning next February.

Spain is also increasing its aid to Cuba to 35 million Euros per year.


theCardinal said...

I have long said that the 75 that were jailed were nothing more than hostages. By releasing them in dribs and drabs they get whatever they want from the outside world without having to make any actual compromises. Mark my words - not one of the 75 will serve his full term. They will all be released due to deals that would benefit the regime.

Anonymous said...

Moratinos: bootlicker par excellence. It's a wonder he has any tongue left...


Anonymous said...

How many of the 75 are still in jail?

Joel said...

I don't know how many are still in jail. But they were all jailed for no reason and the Castros get away with it.

brianmack said...

This is disheartening at best! I might also add, that in the USA,
we have the largest per capita prison population and personally, that's
quite disturbing. Cuban Political
Prisoners, is the topic and I'm
amazed that Yoani has yet to be incarcerated. That poses many questions.... Isn't this really
so sad? One of the finest group of people in the world and we're discussing this. PAX and Cuba Libre!

Anonymous said...

So Spain is "advancing" its policy toward Cuba by ignoring the cruel punishment of the 75, in addition to ignoring 11 million other Cubans?

Uh huh. In exactly the same way that the Obama administration is "advancing" freedom of expression by supporting an Egyptian resolution at the U.N. to make "defamation of religion" a crime.

These are sad days for human rights on the part of people who should know better, much better.

Anonymous said...

According to this article in El Pais there are still 54 of the original 75 prisoners of conscience still in Cuban prisons.


Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

thanks Vecino. A voice of reason in a forest of locura