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The European Union Includes The Detention Of Cuban Dissidents In Its Annual Report

The European Union Includes The Detention Of Cuban Dissidents In Its
Annual Report / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 22 September 2016 — A report from the European Union
details that in 2015 Cuba continued “arbitrary and short-term arrests of
opposition members, activists and human rights defenders.” This
situation that has led the bloc to communicate “on several occasions”
its concern to the authorities of the island.

The document, released Tuesday, collects details of the situation faced
by human rights and democracy activists around the world. In the chapter
dedicated to Cuba, the EU reports that last year it urged the Cuban
government to ratify “the United Nations Covenants on Civil and
Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”

In particular, it underscores the EU’s concern about “discrimination and
violence against women, freedom of expression and association” and calls
on the Cuban government to give “more space to the activities of civil
society” and to respect “freedom of movement” inside and outside the
country.

EU member states have participated in “monitoring and have reported on
the use of short-term detentions and violations of freedoms of
association and assembly,” says the text.

The document refers to the first EU-Cuba talks on human rights that took
place in Brussels on 25 June 2015, in which representatives of the
island pledged “to conduct future talks with the EU based on universally
recognized human rights.”

The EU and Cuba held negotiations for a Political Dialogue and
Cooperation Agreement. On Thursday the European Commission has proposed
to the countries of the European Union to support the Agreement and has
requested that the EU’s Common Position on Cuba – which “encourages a
process of transition to a pluralist democracy and respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms” – in force since 1996, be repealed.

The report explains that the EU representatives in Havana have continued
to interact with “various representatives of Cuban civil society” and
those contacts have contributed to the analysis and monitoring of the
situation of “freedom of expression and association, freedom of belief
and labor rights.”

However, the text acknowledges that “holding open meetings with leading
government critics remained impossible, particularly for ministers and
senior officials from the EU and the Member States on an official visit.”

The EU has maintained close contact with former prisoners of the 2003
Black Spring still residing on the island and has spoken with the Cuban
authorities on the right of the activists to leave the
country. Currently these former political prisoners are allowed to make
only one trip out of the country.

The work of the European Union in Cuba also focuses on “strengthening
the capacity of women entrepreneurs, preventing violence against women,
[and] strengthening the capacity of organizations representing people
with disabilities.”

Topics such as “sex education, support for private initiative and the
entrepreneurial spirit in urban development, agriculture and energy” are
also on bloc’s agenda with Cuba.

“The EU is undertaking an ongoing effort to expand the participation of
independent civil society organizations in its political and cooperative
work,” the report concludes.

Source: The European Union Includes The Detention Of Cuban Dissidents In
Its Annual Report / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/the-european-union-includes-the-detention-of-cuban-dissidents-in-its-annual-report-14ymedio/

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