Cuba and the European Union: Oil and Water / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on February 27, 2014
If the European Union only recommends that its chief of diplomacy,
Catherine Ashton, “talk” with Havana’s dictatorship, it won’t serve any
purpose other than to understand one more time that totalitarian
governments cannot transform themselves nor do they want to.
Nevertheless the Foreign Ministers have approved “opening up
negotiations for a bilateral agreement.”
Negotiating with the Castro brothers would be a betrayal of the European
block itself. The Cuban regime holds an extremist position and won’t
cede one iota of its unanimous power. The Universal Rights that the 28
members of the EU proclaim would never be found in the current Cuban system.
What more does the opposition want than to meet the formula that ends
the anguish on the archipelago? Although it tries to be optimistic, that
possibility seems far away to me, especially when the Cuban regime
hasn’t even signed the United Nations Human Rights pacts. Cuba has
refused for more than five years to ratify the pacts, justifying itself
by saying that first some points in the Constitution must be changed.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t prejudice the members from electing Cuba to
the Commission of Human Rights. Thus can cynicism and irony be found at
times in politics. Let’s hope that the European Union doesn’t repeat
this terrible error, in spite of the lobbying of Cuba’s ambassadors in
The European Union, in order to be coherent in foreign politics, first
must think about the Cuban people, and then of the millions who can stop
profiting from negotiating with a tyranny. The opposite would be to
disrespect themselves, and to regress in their foreign policies and
position on Universal Human Rights.
Luckily, the wisest words I’ve read on the change of the “Common
Position” of the European Union have been those of the President of the
European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, who warned the Havana
regime that, “It’s very important that Cuba respect human rights, that
it release its political prisoners. It’s very important that there be
freedom of expression and freedom of association,” Barroso declared
before a press conference in Madrid, together with the president of the
Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy. The community commissioner emphasized
the necessity that “Cuba open itself to values that are completely
Personally, disgracefully, I’m not optimistic. I agree with the
reservations of Germany and the Czech Republic that Raúl Castro will not
respect the idea of democratizing the country, and that he has devised
some interplay of political manipulation for the negotiation.
As long as the European Union maintains the principles set forth in the
Common Position, it doesn’t have to fear a weakness in its reception
abroad, since it understands that for the Cuban government to be
flexible on the issue of human rights would weaken its iron grip on the
Cuban people, its slaves.
What is clear is that without changes Cuba can only go backwards,
because what is certain — we reaffirm — is that the Castro family isn’t
thinking of abandoning power, because they behave like a dynasty and
believe that power belongs to them by right. The opposition, with
international help, must show them they are wrong.
Once again the Cuban people see themselves exposed to different economic
interests, without the possibility of having any say in the matter.
Let’s pray and fight so that this time is the exception.
Lawton Prison Settlement, February 2014
Please follow the link and sign the petition to have Angel Santiesteban
declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
Translated by Regina Anavy
26 February 2014
Source: Cuba and the European Union: Oil and Water / Angel Santiesteban
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