Human rights breakthrough on Havana agenda

15th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2005, MADRID-Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said has expressed hope a meeting with his Cuban counterpart could lead to the release of dissidents held by Havana.

15 March 2005

MADRID-Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said has expressed hope a meeting with his Cuban counterpart could lead to the release of dissidents held by Havana.

Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque, who met prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos, said he hoped the European Union would abandon its "common stance" on relations with the Communist-ruled island.

The Spanish foreign minister said Cuban leader Fidel Castro wanted to attend the Ibero-American Summit in the Spanish city of Salamanca in November.

Perez Roque conditioned a new dialogue on respect for rights on the softening of the EU's stance on civil liberties in Cuba and an end to all support for pronouncements against Havana in the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Before meeting with Moratinos, Perez Roque was received by Zapatero at the Moncloa Palace, the prime minister's residence, for a 45-minute talk, officials said.

The Spanish premier and the two foreign ministers discussed Spanish business interests in Cuba and trade.

Pro-democracy organizations of Cuban exiles protested Perez Roque's visit to Madrid.

The foreign-policy chief of the opposition Popular Party (PP), Jorge Moragas, who participated in one of the protests, said Zapatero's government had committed an error that "all Spaniards will pay for," which was to "lower the level of democracy demanded" by Spain from Cuba.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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