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EU-Cuba relations: Human rights are not negotiable – Havana must implement the cooperation agreement

The Liberal and Democrat Group in the European Parliament has today strongly condemned the behaviour of Cuban authorities, who put in place a travel ban for Sayli Navarro Álvarez, human rights defender and member of the Ladies in White. Ms. Navarro has been invited to speak today in a conference organized by the ALDE Group on the role of human rights and democracy in the implementation of the EU-Cuba agreement.

ALDE MEP, Pavel Telička (ANO, Czech Republic), Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for the relations with Latin America, said the way the Cuban government has acted in this case is unacceptable and the EU must respond accordingly:

“We all regret Ms. Navarro could not be present today to participate in our debate. But regrets are not enough, as this won’t change the behaviour of the Cuban authorities. The EU must use the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement with Cuba to address human rights issues by setting clear red lines and making sure this deal is fully respected and implemented by both sides. Havana must deliver when it comes to fundamental rights and this should not be negotiable.”

ALDE MEP, Maria Teresa Giménez Barbat (Spain), added:

„The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba – which is now subject to a consent procedure by the Parliament – cannot be modified, we can simply say yes or no. However, we must not forget that the protection and promotion of human rights is one of the main priorities of the European Union and its foreign policy. As parliamentarians, we have the duty to express our opinion on the ongoing repression of dissidents, the democratic opposition, independent journalists, artists and intellectuals, such as the guests invited here today to speak freely at our conference.”

The European Parliament is supposed to vote on the consent and the accompanying resolution on EU-Cuba political and cooperation agreement , during the July plenary session in Strasbourg.

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