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Why Cuba Hates the EU

What is Cuba’s response to the EU’s condemnation of its policies?

June 24, 2003

What is Cuba's response to the EU's condemnation of its policies?

Cuba — one of the world's only remaining Socialist countries — has maintained rocky relations with the United States since the onset of President Fidel Castro's communist regime in 1959. Recently, the European Union decided to side with U.S. policy towards Cuba, by condemning the regime’s harsh crackdown on its critics. In this Globalist Document, we present Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque's response to the EU letter.

Once again, the European Union has decided to kowtow to the U.S. government over the subject of its policy towards Cuba.

The European Union, ignoring usual diplomatic practices, published a communiqué on the morning of June 5, 2003, in which they announced punitive measures against Cuba.

They are very conscious in Europe that their decision to join in the U.S. government’s attacks against Cuba will be seen as more proof of their contrition and repentance over the differences that arose over the war in Iraq between “Old Europe” — as Mr. Rumsfeld called it — and the imperial Nazi-fascist government which is trying to impose a dictatorship on the rest of the world.

The new statement signed by the EU is the culmination of a stage of continual pronouncements and aggressions against Cuba.

The statement was made at the very time when Cuba has had to deal with the cunning plans which people in Miami and Washington are hatching to try to come up with pretexts for a military attack on our country.

It’s too much. After exhausting her patience and capacity for dialogue and tolerance, Cuba feels obliged to reply to what it considers to be the European Union’s hypocritical and opportunist behaviour.

In its most recent declaration it says that, “the European Union laments that Cuban authorities have ended their de facto moratorium on the death penalty.”

Cuba will not go into great detail about the extraordinary reasons, explained more than once, that forced it to take energetic measures against three armed hijackers who had criminal records and who threatened to kill dozens of hostages, including several European tourists.

Cuba has never heard the European Union criticize the 71 executions that took place in the United States in 2002 alone, including the executions of two women. Why does the European Union condemn the death penalty in Cuba — and not in the United States?

Therefore, Cuba does not take the EU’s lament seriously. It knows it is replete with hypocrisy and moral double standards.

We must remember that in the last five years not one European Union head of state or government has visited Cuba.

Not even the king of Spain, Don Juan Carlos I, whose natural charm and modesty have earned him the respect of the Cuban government and people, could carry out his official visit. The head of the Spanish government, José María Aznar, who, according to the constitution must give his approval, was categorical. “The King will go to Cuba when it’s his turn."

What is more, only two of the fifteen’s foreign ministers have visited Cuba since 1998.

Meanwhile, in 2002 alone, 663 high-level delegations from the rest of the world visited Cuba — including 24 heads of state or government and 17 foreign ministers.

Nevertheless, Cuba places no blame on the noble Spanish people — nor on any of the other European peoples. Quite the contrary. Cuba is aware of how much warmth and admiration it arouses in many of the citizens of those countries — in spite of the loathsome media campaigns — which send us almost a million visitors every year.

Cuba knows how much solidarity it arouses in Europe and, throughout these years, has received a helping hand from thousands of European non-governmental organizations, civic associations and town councils.

Cuba is aware that the European peoples — giving an exemplary ethical and humane lesson — opposed the war in Iraq.

Cuba has only feelings of friendship and respect for the European peoples, but we cannot allow their governments to be a part of setting up mercenary groups in Cuba.

The European governments trail along behind the Spanish government’s commitment to the groups of Cuban born terrorists who operate in Miami and to Bush’s government whose purpose is to help Yankee attempts to destroy the Cuban Revolution and annex our country to the Unites States.

Cuba, for its part, will defend its right to be a free and independent nation — with or without European support.

We will even stand up to the connivance between certain governments and the fascist clique that today rules the United States.

And we must state very clearly:

Cuba does not recognize the European Union’s moral authority to condemn it — and much less to issue it with a threatening ultimatum about relations and cooperation.

Cuba has taken decisions that only the Cuban people and the Cuban government are competent to judge. These decisions are absolutely legitimate and rest solidly on our country’s laws and Constitution.

The European Union, which unlike Cuba is not blockaded nor militarily threatened by the United States, should look with respect on the Cuban people’s struggle for its right to independence.

It should keep discreetly silent when it knows that it has often kept its mouth shut when it is looking after its own interests; when it knows that it has never adopted a common position on the repressive Israeli regime; when it knows that it opposed the Commission on Human Rights even looking at the threat that war posed to Iraqi children’s right to life.

Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Relations reminds the European Union that Cuba is a sovereign country that won its full independence as the result of a long and painful process which included more than half a century’s struggle against a corrupt neo-colonial society which established itself in our country after the shameful Paris Agreements in which Spain ceded Cuba to the United States behind the backs of Cuban patriots.

Cuba has won the legal right, recognized by international law, to decide for itself — exercising its full sovereignty and with no foreign interference — the economic, political and social system which best suits its people.

Cuba does not accept the interfering and disrespectful language of the latest European Union statement and asks it to refrain from offering solutions that the Cuban people did not ask it for.

Cuba, however, reiterates its respect and admiration for European peoples with whom it hopes to strengthen honourably and in a dignified manner the most fraternal and sincere relations as soon as history sweeps away all this hypocrisy, rottenness and cowardice.