The situation regarding human rights and democracy in Cuba has not improved and has not led to any substantial and tangible positive results, warn MEPs.
In a resolution adopted on Thursday, MEPs urged the Cuban authorities to immediately release all political prisoners and persons arbitrarily detained solely on the grounds of exercising their freedom of expression and assembly. Pointing to the permanent political persecution in the country, they also condemn the current attacks against artists of the San Isidro Movement, peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, human rights defenders and the political opposition. They call on Cuban authorities to immediately end such actions. MEPs deeply regret the Cuban regime’s lack of commitment and willingness to take steps towards even minimal progress for change or open channels that could allow ways to reform the regime, which would improve social and political participation as well as citizens’ living conditions. They stress that, although the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba entered into force almost four years ago, the situation regarding human rights and democracy has not improved and has not led to any substantial and tangible positive result for the Cuban people. The resolution demands that the Cuban Government implement legal reforms that would guarantee freedom of press, association and demonstration, and to start political reforms enabling free, fair and democratic elections that take account of the sovereign and freely expressed will of the Cuban people. Deeply regretting the Cuban authorities’ refusal to allow European Parliament delegations to visit Cuba, MEPs call on the authorities to permit them to enter the country as soon as public health conditions allow. The resolution was adopted by 386 votes in favour, 236 against and 59 abstentions.