http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/european-union-votes-to-condemn-cuba-for-human-rights-issues-311b/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

European Union votes to condemn Cuba for human rights issues

Posted March 11, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

The European Union voted today to condemn Cuba for the “avoidable and cruel” death of dissident hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

The European assembly called on Cuba to immediately release all political prisoners and urged the EU foreign affairs liaison Catherine Ashton, to push the Castro regime toward a peaceful transition towards a multiparty democracy.

The vote of 509-30 with 14 abstentions in favor comes as another Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas is seriously ill from his own hunger strike that he is using as a demand to get Cuban political prisoners freed. The assembly is concerned about Farinas and called his condition “alarming.”

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Assembly said “We cannot afford another death in Cuba” and he has called for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Cuba.

He continued “We need action.” and that “the Cuban government must respect fundamental freedoms, especially the freedom of expression and political association. Freedom of movement must also be respected.”

Havana’s Response

The Cuban government released a statement saying it did not appreciate the lecture and would not respond to international pressure.

Cuba, which had hoped for improved relations with Europe following Spain’s ascension to the EU presidency in January, blasted the EU vote.

“The European Parliament has just passed a condemnation resolution against our country, manipulating sentiments, distorting facts, deceiving people and obscuring reality, and Cubans find it offensive this attempt at teaching us lessons.”

The Cuban parliament statement also said that Cuba “rejects impositions, intolerance and pressure”.

Member Comments

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On March 11, 2010, PDM wrote:

Finally, the world is WATCHING!!!

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On March 12, 2010, publisher wrote:

From Prensa Latina…

As you can imagine, the Cuban government is never wrong…


The Cuban National Assembly has roundly rejected a resolution by the European Parliament, calling it a vicious attack on Cuba.

“The European Parliament has just passed a condemnation resolution against our country manipulating sentiments, distorting facts, deceiving people and obscuring reality”, stresses a declaration by the Cuban legislative house.

The pretext -the statements underlines- has been the death of an inmate first punished for common crimes and then manipulated by US interests and the mercenaries at its service.

“This man refused to eat despite all warnings and the intervention of Cuban medical specialists”, asserts the legislative communique.

The Cuban National Assembly holds that there is great cynicism behind that condemnation, for countless lives, especially of children, have been lost in the poor nations due to the decision of the rich countries represented at the European Parliament to avoid honoring their commitments to development aid.

Following is the full declaration of the Cuban National Assembly:

“In the aftermath of a campaign orchestrated essentially by powerful European media companies, which have viciously attacked Cuba, and following a sullied debate, the European Parliament has just passed a condemnation resolution against our country manipulating sentiments, distorting facts, deceiving people and obscuring reality.

“The pretext has been the death of an inmate first punished for common crimes and then manipulated by US interests and the mercenaries at its service. This man refused to eat despite all warnings and the intervention of Cuban medical specialists.

“This unfortunate event cannot be used to condemn Cuba under the allegation that his death could have prevented. If there is an area in which our country does not need to defend itself with words, because reality is indisputable, that is in its struggle for human life and not only for those born in Cuba but elsewhere, too. The presence of Cuban doctors in Haiti for eleven years prior to the earthquake of last January, practically ignored by the mainstream press, is but an example of this.

“A great cynicism stands behind that condemnation, for countless lives, especially of children, have been lost in the poor nations due to the decision of the rich countries represented at the European Parliament to avoid honoring their commitments to development aid. Everyone knew that such a decision was a massive death sentence, yet they chose to preserve the level of wastage and ostentation of an eventually suicidal consumerism.

“Cubans find it offensive this attempt at teaching us lessons as in Europe immigrants and the unemployed are the victims of repression while here, in neighbors’ meetings—freely and without intermediaries—our people put up their candidates to the municipal elections.

“Those who were involved in and/or allowed the air smuggling of detainees, the establishment of illegal prisons and the tortures lack the morality to pass judgment on a brutally blockaded and harassed people.

“Such a discriminatory and selective condemnation can only result from the failure of a policy that has unsuccessfully tried to submit a heroic people. Neither the Helms-Burton Act nor the European Common Position,—both approved the same year, under similar circumstances and with equal purpose, and both harmful to our sovereignty and national dignity have any future, since the Cubans reject impositions, intolerance and pressure in the development of international relations.”

National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba

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On March 12, 2010, PDM wrote:

North American and now Europe are all wrong, they don’t understand, they lie and misrepesent the truth.

This osterich dictatorship is too old to learn and will die not trying. As in evolution, change, adaptation, perpetuates a species and the failure to do so leads to extinction.

Anyone who has been to Cuba knows that Human Rights and Freedom of Speech do not exist on this galapagoes archipelgo. The people are destined to suffer due from the shackels imposed by this so called National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba.

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On March 17, 2010, publisher wrote:

Poor old Cuba. The country is always a victim. Could be written by MiamiCuban or pipefitter.

Havana, Mar 17 (Prensa Latina) Seeing the mote in one’s neighbor’s eye and not the beam in one’s own seems to be an old saying that fits the stances of the United States and the European Parliament towards Cuba on Wednesday.

  The Caribbean nation is, again, the target of a media campaign that is aimed to discredit its political, economic and social system, which is supported by the majority of Cubans.

Two Mexican university students told Prensa Latina that the United States and Europe have not enough common sense as to realize that Cuba chose its own path along with the poor a long time ago.

The death of a common prisoner in any part of the world would go unnoticed, but if it takes place in Cuba, it will hit the headlines for a while, said a professor of Havana University when he was exchanging information with his students.

Those, who at present criticize Cuba, which is a country that has been victim of different and countless attempts that intend to destroy its Revolution, have too many unresolved issues that require explanations and have a poor reputation regarding human rights.

Anyone in this world might wonder when the government of Havana carried out tortures in Abu Grahib, when it was an accomplice to the secret transferal of unprocessed prisoners or if it supported unjust wars that cause the deaths of thousands of human beings.

When Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban Revolution, conceived the education and training of thousands of doctors, he did it taking not only Cubans into account, but the rest of the peoples of the world, said Minister of Public Health Jose Ramon Balaguer recently.

However, these are inconvenient truths for the United States and Europe, who to satisfy their own whims, keep seeing the mote in one’s neighbor’s eye and not the beam in their own, a beam that must be extirpated for good.

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On March 18, 2010, manfredz wrote:

perhaps the saddest part of the above article :
“The death of a common prisoner in any part of the world would go unnoticed, but if it takes place in Cuba, it will hit the headlines for a while, said a professor of Havana University when he was exchanging information with his students”

We’re definitely not talking about the death of a common prisoner.