Cuba has called for an end to sanctions imposed on it by the European Union (EU) to pave the way for improving bilateral relations, Spanish news agency EFE said Thursday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Eumelio Caballero told a gathering here Wednesday that Havana appreciated the willingness expressed by the EU Council of Ministers to hold a comprehensive and open dialogue with Cuba, but denounced the political sanctions imposed by the bloc and called the so-called ‘common position’ adopted in 1996 ‘interference’.
The 27-member EU has put Cuba under political sanctions in 2003 to protest Havana’s repression of dissidents and the execution of three men who attempted to hijack a passenger ferry for a voyage to the US.
‘In light of such conditions, it is not possible to sustain a respectful dialogue among equals, and so it is essential that (there be) the definitive and unconditional elimination of the sanctions,’ Caballero said at the conference.
Many observers expect acting president Raul Castro, who stepped in nearly 16 months ago when elder brother Fidel was stricken with a serious illness, to try to reform and invigorate Cuba’s economy without relinquishing the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.