European Parliament backs EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement
The European Parliament has backed the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement. MEPs also voted on the accompanying resolution as requested by the ALDE Group to address serious concerns over the violation of human rights in Cuba. Pavel Telička welcomed one of the coordinators of Cuban Democratic Opposition Pedro Fuentes Cid.
The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on one part, and the Republic of Cuba, on the other , was signed by representatives of both parties last year. In order to enter into force it was necessary for it to be validated by the European Parliament. MEPs validated the agreement in July with many deputies focusing primarily on the issue of respect for fundamental human rights.
“The human rights situation in Cuba is not getting any better. The number of political prisoners has doubled since last year. I believe this agreement will open a new chapter of EU-Cuba relations,” Pavel Telička said. “However, I was disappointed by HRVP Mogherini at the plenary debate as she failed to make a single reference to Cuba's democratic opposition.”
Pavel Telička is in contact with the Cuban opposition, and invited some of its members to the plenary session in Strasbourg. Eventually, he could welcome one of its coordinators in the hall. “From time to time we are able to welcome distinguished guests in the gallery. Today we will vote on the agreement with Cuba. Some of us have also invited the representatives of the Cuban opposition. Many of them could not make it, for obvious reasons. So please, allow me just to welcome one of them, someone who spent 16 years in prison in Cuba, Mr Fuentes, who is one of the coordinators of the Cuban opposition. I think they deserve our recognition,” Telička introduced the distinguished guest. Members of European Parliament then welcomed Cid with a loud applause.