Friday, July 1

The US Senate urges Borrell to do more for democracy in Cuba

Correspondent in Washington



Two of the most influential senators on foreign policy in USA they have sent a paper a Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, to clearly condemn the repression in Cuba.

It is an unusual request in which the chairman of the Senate Foreign Committee, the Democrat Bob Menéndez, and the republican Marco Rubio, who is vice president of the Intelligence Commission, express disagreement with how the European Union conducts itself with regard to Cuba.

Consulte aquí la carta de los senadores Menéndez y Rubio, en inglés]

Menéndez and Rubio are, together with Ted Cruz, the only three senators with Cuban roots.

Both have pressured the Administration of Joe Biden to support the protesters and take more forceful measures to force the release of the hundreds of political prisoners of Castroism. A new wave of protests this past summer preceded another campaign of repression by the dictatorship, with numerous arbitrary arrests.

In the letter from the US Senate, dated December 7, the senators support various measures taken by the European Parliament, specifically his request to Borrell to include opponents of Castroism in the formal dialogue that the EU have with Cuba.

The two senators reproach Borrell for the fact that the framework for dialogue that exists between the EU and Cuba has not favored human rights on the island. “Despite the existence of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement [ADPC], democracy and respect for human rights have only worsened as the Cuban regime systematically violates the agreement and prevents dialogue, “they say in their letter.

“International pressure has worked before”

The senators tell Borrell that “the European Union has not taken full advantage of its economic relationship with Cuba to achieve the democratic progress that has been fought for so long. International pressure on the Cuban regime has worked before, as evidenced in 2020 when the regime commuted the four-and-a-half-year sentence [del preso político José Daniel] Ferrer for house arrest ».

Say the US senators: “Today, Mr. Ferrer and hundreds of freedom fighters in Cuba are once again in a critical state that poses a threat to their lives. We urge you to maintain the EU’s historic commitment to the Cuban people, human rights and democracy, and to renew your calls on the Cuban regime to immediately release José Daniel Ferrer, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Maykel Osorbo and all political prisoners.

In addition, they add: “We respectfully ask you to expand the assistance of the European Union to democracy activists and human rights defenders in Cuba and re-evaluate the ADPC to ensure that it does allow the European Union to facilitate the progress of the Cuban people ».

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