Granma newspaper: Two Hundred British MPs Sign Motion for Cuba
Campaign News | Monday, 24 July 2006
Published in the Cuban daily Granma on July 20
LONDON, July 20.- During the same week that the White House revealed its latest plans against Cuba, 200 British members of parliament from different political parties signed a motion asking the Blair government and the European Union to promote improved relations with the island.
"Motion 1959, about the joint EU position on Cuba, proposed by Ian Gibson, Labor Party legislator and president of a multi-party group on the island, shows that many British MPs are firmly in disagreement with the Bush administration," said Rob Miller, director the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
Gibson maintains that the Bush Plan for "Transition in Cuba" is a procedure that contravenes the UN statutes and he said: "Cuba does not represent a threat to other countries and therefore its self determination should be defended and protected."
The document signed by the legislators contains an explicit rejection of the Bush Plan and condemns all attempts of aggression and hardening of the blockade contained in the measures approved by the White House. (SE)
CSC News Release : 200 UK MPs call on government to distance UK from US aggression towards Cuba
Blair under pressure over new Bush plan
URGENT: News Release
13 July, 2006
In the same week that the Bush administration has adopted a much trumpeted plan to force regime change in Cuba, 200 MPs from all parties have now signed a Commons motion calling on the UK and Europe to improve their relations with the island.
Early Day Motion 1959 entitled ‘EU Common Position on Cuba,’ tabled by Ian Gibson MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Cuba, places a third of MPs firmly at odds with the Bush administration. This comes just days after US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, announced a series of new measures aimed “to respond” rapidly to force regime change in the event of the death of Cuba’s President Fidel Castro, who turns 80 in August.
The EDM contains an explicit rejection of the Bush administration’s “Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba”, which is recommending that the White House steps up its pressure on both Cuba and the international community to support its plans for the eventual overthrow of the Cuban system. These plans, documented in the Commission’s report released on Monday 10 July include the creation of an $80m (£43m) fund to “promote democracy” in Cuba and promote unrest by destabilising the islands economy.
Ian Gibson MP says: “Apart from being a clear breach of the UN Charter, it is a course of action that will be rejected by the vast majority of Cubans. The outcome will almost certainly be conflict in the island. Such an event would destroy peace and stability in the Caribbean and will severely affect the interests of European powers with interests there. Cuba poses no threat to any other nation and its right to self determination should be protected.”
The Commission Report falls short of recommending US military action in Cuba but contains recommendations which “for reasons of national security and effective implementation” are contained in a seperate “classified annex”. Observers believe that this suggests the US has concrete plans for a military option if the ‘peaceful transition’ does not take place.
Analysts say the problem is that the Commission disregards the fact that the present Cuban government is extremely popular and that the majority of Cubans will reject any US prescribed plan for their future. Conflict is seen as highly likely as a result.
CSC Director Rob Miller commented:
“The whole Commission Report reeks of hypocrisy. The US talks of allowing the Cubans to make up their own minds about what government they want, but then it proposes all kinds of internal meddling and outside coercion to ensure that the only option available is a government that suits Washington."
"The fact that the Bush Plan is going to use economic bullying to punish other countries that do not support the plan is completely unacceptable and should be opposed by everyone in the UK.
We are still extremely concerned that the FCO will not disclose the content of meetings they had in November with Caleb McCarry, the US “Cuba Transition Co-ordinator” when he was in the UK to lobby the British government to support US plans for regime change in Cuba. Our Government should cease to meet with people who are intent on breaking international law and using coercion and military intervention to overthrow other governments" ENDS
Notes to editors:
1 Cuba Transition Coordinator Caleb McCarry and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice released the second report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba and the Compact with the Cuban People in Washington on Monday July 10th. The full report is available at http://www.cafc.gov/rpt/
2. 200 MPs from across the parties have signed Early Day Motion 1959 in the British Parliament on the "EU Common Position on Cuba." The motion "calls on the United Kingdom Government to maintain and develop its independent approach of positive engagement towards Cuba." The full text of the motion, proposed by Ian Gibson MP, and a full list of signatures can be found at http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=30440&SESSION=875
3 The Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) is a non-party-political campaign that works in the UK to raise awareness of the illegal US blockade of Cuba, and defend the Cuban people’s right to self-determination. Its patrons include Harold Pinter, Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn. Its website can be found at www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk
Natasha Hickman 0207 263 6452, Rob Miller 07930 693900 or firstname.lastname@example.org