US denies Madrid diplomacy helped free Cubans
1 December 2004, WASHINGTON- Cuba's release of five jailed dissidents came after international pressure, and was not the result of Spanish diplomacy, a US official has claimed.
1 December 2004
WASHINGTON- Cuba's release of five jailed dissidents came after international pressure, and was not the result of Spanish diplomacy, a US official has claimed.
The move came after one of the released dissidents thanked Madrid for his freedom.
"I can't describe this Cuban decision as being the result of any specific nation or upcoming meeting or anything like that," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
"Second of all, I think if you look at the overall international situation, you see the Europeans have been, in recent years -- partly because of our work with them -- a bit more insistent on human rights aspects in Cuba, in raising these issues," he said.
"You've seen a lot of Latin American nations be quite a bit more clear about this. You've seen a number of specific European nations being quite a bit more clear about the human rights situation in Cuba," he said.
"We think that all that is an important part of the pressure on the Cuban government to release these people and to change its system."
Cuba's communist regime has released five dissidents during the last two days, part of a group of 75 jailed in March and April for between seven and 28 years in a crackdown.
After his release, poet Raul Rivero, 59, expressed his "eternal gratitude" to the Spanish government for its lobbying on his behalf.
He also urged diplomatic engagement of Castro's isolated regime.
The dissidents were freed following a meeting Thursday between Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Spain's ambassador to Cuba, Carlos Alonso Zaldivar.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news