Demand for changes in the EU policy on Cuba

Campaign News | Friday, 26 March 2004

Socialist victory in Spain puts pressure on 'Common Position'

BRUSSELS March 26: On the initiative of Deputy Pedro Marset of the United Left, the European Parliament Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba Group is to call on the new Spanish government to change the so-called European Common Position toward Cuba.

The measure was adopted in 1996 as a result of José María Aznar’s anti-Cuban policies in return for favours by Jorge Mas Canosa and the Cuban-American National Foundation.

According to Marset, the extreme right-wing of Cuban origin entrenched in southern Florida has generously financed political campaigns by the Popular Party (PP) in recent years, and that in return, Aznar promoted the Common Position, which aims to single out and criminalize Cuba, an unprecedented situation in European Union international relations.

"Considering that the PSOE has won, and that it has a different position," Zapatero’s government will be asked to withdraw the Common Position.

"It is something that Spain must do, because it was Spain that introduced it, and because in the European Parliament it is Spain that leads relations with Latin America," Marset said during comments to Cuban journalists whom, at the solidarity group’s request, presented the books Los disidentes (The Dissidents) and El Camaján (The Chameleon") in the European Parliament.

The documented accusations contained in both of these books on the nexus between Aznar and other European politicians with US plans to fabricate an internal dissidence in Cuba brings to mind "typical organized crime behavior," according to Patsy Sorensen, Belgian European Parliament deputy.

That behavior should be fully investigated by European journalists and made public here, she said. Provisionally, the Parliament proposed disseminating the Cuban books and invited European colleagues to give continuity to the investigation.

Miguel Ángel Martínez, another deputy who is president of the solidarity group that invited the four Cuban journalists to the Parliamentary forum, listened to the books’ revelations and then admitted, "it is enough to be a friend of Cuba to feel the harassment that the Caribbean nation is suffering because of its sovereign position."

The Socialist deputy explained that the solidarity group’s reason for existence is precisely to contribute to the rebuilding and stabilization of European Union relations with Cuba, without pretending that the latter is the perfect society, but also without accepting discrimination and double standards in analyzing it as a country.

Martínez commented that the previous week, a "strange meeting" was organized in the European Parliament, camouflaged as a press conference by Reporters sans Frontières - an organization likewise denounced in the Cuban books as a strong contributor to internal subversion in Cuba. People from Miami and Paris and media representatives were paid to come and stage an anti-Cuba activity, but they were only able to bring together three deputies.

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