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Posted June 16, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Written by Marit Ruuda | [url=http://www.EUobserver.com]http://www.EUobserver.com[/url]

The European Union has decided to impose several diplomatic sanctions against Cuba, because of its violation of fundamental freedoms and breaking the moratorium on the death penalty.

The measures however, are not likely to have a major impact on the government of Cuba and are a last-minute initiative from Greece in the twilight period of its six month period as the EU’s Presidency holder.

The Greek Preseidency made a short but sharp statement yesterday, saying that the EU will re-examine its relations with Cuba and several sanctions, like limiting high-level visits to Cuba.

“The EU, deeply concerned about the continuing flagrant violation of human rights and of fundamental freedoms of members of the Cuban opposition and of independent journalists, being deprived of their freedom for having expressed freely their opinion, calls once again the Cuban authorities to release immediately all political prisoners”, said the statement.

The EU has decided to:

- limit bilateral high-level governmental visits
- reduce the profile of member states’ participation in cultural events
- invite Cuban dissidents to national-day celebrations
- proceed to a re-evaluation of the EU common position.

In March the EU opened a new office in Cuba, hoping to improve relations between Cuba and the EU.

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