Friday, June 13, 2008

EU sanctions decision next week

Next week, the European Union will decide whether to drop a set of sanctions that it imposed on Cuba in 2003 and suspended in 2005. Spain wants them dropped, others aren’t so sure, and Mexico’s President Calderon just supported the Spanish position in a visit to Madrid.

Press reports lean toward predicting that the sanctions will be dropped. The British government, until now not a supporter of the Spanish position, may have moved to Madrid’s side, if British press reports are accurate, through parliamentary horse trading in a matter that had nothing to do with Cuba.

“Normalization” of relations by the EU would have a symbolic meaning; in this case the EU would be rejecting appeals from dissidents in Cuba and from the U.S. government to maintain its current posture. But in concrete terms I don’t see lots of impact from dropping measures that were shelved three years ago, and it’s not necessarily the case that European human rights advocacy would decline. It might even become more effective.


Mambi_Watch said...


Radio Marti is reporting that the Cuban dissident group Proyecto Demócrata Cubano ( has sent their own letter to the EU in support of dropping the sanctions.

Rafael Leon Rodriguez, coordinator of the group, tells Radio Marti that by dropping the sanctions the EU can join in solidarity with the Cuban people, the political prisoners and the emerging civil society in Cuba.

Leon Rodriguez believes the EU has the potential to create "a standard of unconditional and respectable negotiations" with the Cuban government once it permanently drops its sanctions.

The Proyecto Demócrata Cubano has before aligned themselves with many other dissident groups in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

Dissents also called for ending of family restrictions on travel and remittances in US. Do you see US politicos listening? Miami exilios put their thumb at dissidents (like yoani) when it is convenient (e./g/ ladies in blanco and yoani are AGainst family travel restrictions and embargo - yoani).

theCardinal said...

The sanctions are strictly symbolic and will serve nothing except remind the dissidents that no one gives a crap about them. Exactly how is it going to make the EUnuchs more vigilant of HR in Cuba by dropping sanctions? At least now they have to pretend to review the situation in Cuba after dropping sanctions they can go on avoiding the issue.

The EU is worthless - Cuba went ahead arrested dissidents and just waited for everyone to forget. They didn't pay a price at all for violating HR. That's just wrong.

Anonymous said...

think what you want cardinal but saying that the EU is worthless is just stupid. Of course they aren't "worthless"... I suspect you think any instition against your views is "worthless".

but cuidado cardinal - this is same logic of current regime in Habana.