Cuba: EU has 'no moral authority' on human rights

17th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Cuba lashed out at the European Union's policy of linking dialogue with the communist government to human rights on the island, saying the EU does not have "any moral authority" over Havana.

"As long the common (EU) position continues, full normalisation of relations between Cuba and the EU will not be possible," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told Spain's Telecinco television channel.

Since 1996, EU nations have maintained a common position on Cuba, which links dialogue to freedoms and human rights on the island.

But Spain, a former colonial power in Cuba and which holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU, has pressed the EU to drop the position, arguing it has yielded few results.

"Cuba recognises the Spanish presidency of the European Union as a valid mediator," said Rodriguez.

"But Cuba is a sovereign country, like Spain, which does not recognize any moral authority in the European Union to address issues of human rights in Cuba."

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos again criticised the EU's position on Friday.

"If the common position had been effective I would be the first to back it, but to maintain a position which yields no results is a bit sadomasochistic," he said.

The EU suspended ties with Cuba after a major roundup of 75 dissidents in March 2003, but resumed aid cooperation in 2008. Spain and Cuba renewed ties in 2007.

© 2010 AFP

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