The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister, condemns the latest escalation in the repression of protests in Cuba.

Mr McAllister (EPP, DE), stated on Wednesday 14 July:                                                    “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the crackdown on the peaceful protests taking place in Cuba and I am alarmed by the escalation of repression and by the human rights situation in the country.                                                                                             The Cuban dictatorship is the longest standing one in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1959, the military regime with a single party system has subjugated the Cuban people. Moreover, the lack of freedoms, the constant denial of political pluralism, and the systematic violations of human rights are coupled with an economic model that causes chronic shortages of food medicine, and other basic services. In this context, the poor handling of the COVID-19 health crisis has accentuated the political and social discontent on the island. The spontaneous and peaceful protests in San Antonio de los Baños and Palma Soriano have spread throughout the nation, showing a desire for change in a society where people are no longer willing to support the status quo. Protesting is an integral part of the human right to freedom of assembly and association, which is the cornerstone of any democracy. Therefore, the actions undertaken by the Cuban authorities to prevent the protests through violence and arbitrary detentions has to end. Furthermore, I firmly condemn the Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s call to his supporters to ‘fight’ the protesters. These actions only deteriorate and escalate the violence and reduce the possibility to engage in a peaceful dialogue.                                                                                                                  I express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, who died in a suburb of Havana on Monday, 12 July, during a clash between protesters and police.                                                                                                                          I join the call of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on the Government of Cuba to comply with its human rights obligations, in particular the right to protest. I also call on the VP/HR, within the framework of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, to urge the Cuban authorities to allow peaceful protests and to put an end to the brutal repression and arbitrary detentions.                              The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament supports a peaceful and democratic transition, where all Cubans are able to decide their political future, without external interference. In addition, I support the lifting of economic restrictions that continue to make the political, economic and social development of Cuba challenging.”                MEPs on the Committee on Foreign Affairs will also discuss tomorrow, Thursday 15 July, the latest developments in Cuba with representatives of the European External Action Service.