Cuba Politics

Cuban ambassador to Slovakia in row over political dissidents

Posted December 06, 2004 by Dana Garrett in Cuba Politics.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | AFP

A blunt letter from the Cuban ambassador to the president of the Slovak Parliament has touched off a diplomatic rift with Europe-wide ramifications, officials said Friday.

The spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said ambassador Caridad Milian was hauled over the coals last month for a letter she sent to Parliament chief Pavol Hrusovsky, in which she accused him of below-the-belt maneuvers to denigrate Cuba’s Communist revolution.

The envoy’s letter was in response to questions posed by Hrusovsky about the fate of political prisoners in Cuban jails. Hrusovsky is a leading member of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba founded by former president Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic. Milian said in her letter that “the dignity and the morale of the Cuban people are certainly superior to the turpitude of people like you, who use defamation in an attempt to destroy the indestructible work of the Cuban revolution.”

We told her that such wording was unacceptable to us, and we asked her not to do it again,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Juraj Tomaga.

The revelation of the incident comes at a time when the European Union is divided over the policy it should adopt toward Cuba following the recent release of several accused dissidents, including poet Raul Rivero.

The Spanish government is calling for a resumption of dialogue with Cuba, but other countries including the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic want a continuation of diplomatic sanctions, imposed last year following the execution of three Cubans for trying to flee to the United States.


Member Comments

On December 06, 2004, Jesus Perez wrote:

Would the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic go along with imposing diplomatic sanctions against the U. S. for the devastation and death to civilians in Fallujah?

On December 06, 2004, Gregory wrote:

I wonder if the European countries that are insisting on a hard-line policy towards Cuba (Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, etc) have ever pushed for similar sanctions against Saudi Arabia? Or Kuwait? (women still do not have the vote!!) Or Colombia? Anyone following Latin American politics is aware of the policy of the Colombian army and its surrogates to disappear and torture its opponents. If Raul Rivero were a suspected Left-wing union activist in Colombian, he would not be a cause celebre…because he would be dead. And of course, there is always China. Do these European countries think that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or China are more democratic than Cuba? Do they think that Colombia has a better human rights record? Or is it the fact that Cuba has no oil nor is a big market and hence criticizing Cuba is relatively easy to do? I would respect the European stance if it were a bit more consistent.

On December 06, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Excellent point! Even more powerful than my examples of the EU’ hypocrasy.

On December 07, 2004, Dana Garrett wrote:

These countries who are taking a hardline against Cuba all have their hand out for USA aid.  They are hoping to get paid for their services. 

On December 07, 2004, Gregory wrote:

Although socially progressive countries like Denmark and Holland perplex me a bit. I am not sure what motivates them, unless they both happen to have ideologically driven Right wing governments right now. Again, I can understand who certain well meaning countries or individuals can have sincere concerns about Cuba, but their good faith evaporates in the context of such a double standard.