The European Parliament just approved a deal with Cuba that includes a “non-legislative resolution,” urging governments to help Cuba toward “democratic standards.” The measure betrays Cubans, putting profits over Europe’s historic commitment to freedom.
Europe is returning to a failed policy of making non-binding resolutions without conditioning trade or tourism to Havana’s willingness to respect human rights. While discussions took place in Strasbourg, France:
▪ The Cuban Commission for Human Rights reported that political detentions and beatings are on the rise.
▪ Sunday, Cuban police abused and detained more than 50 peaceful women who gathered to pray for the release of political prisoners.
▪ Cuban police helped repress peaceful dissidents in Venezuela.
▪ Cuba resumed allowing Russian spy ships to return to Havana to monitor America’s military communications — despite President Obama’s reestablishing diplomatic relations.
▪ Raul Castro provided safe haven to American terrorists and assassins wanted by the FBI.
▪ Cuba maintained its alliance with North Korea. During Raul Castro’s talks with Washington, he was caught smuggling war planes and missiles to Kim Jong-un.
The EU’s embrace of Havana will be used to intimidate Cuba’s human-rights activists to give up their struggle.
Whatever the Europeans’ differences with President Trump may be, human rights for Cubans should not be thrown overboard as a way of showing their displeasure with Washington. The agreement “can be suspended by the EU if Cuba violates human rights provisions.”
A fair appraisal of the EU Cuba agreement must conclude that Havana continues to violate human rights. The agreement should be voided.
Frank Calzon, executive director, Center for a Free Cuba, Washington, D.C.