The European Parliament on June 5 approved the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement. MEPs also voted on an accompanying resolution requested by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group which aimed to address the violation of human rights in Cuba.
ALDE MEP, Teresa Giménez Barbat (Spain), shadow rapporteur on Cuba, said the implementation of the agreement must rely on Havana’s commitment to deal with several key issues such as recognition of the existence of a political opposition and need of a process of political and economic transition towards democracy.
“The success of the PDCA depends on its implementation and it is essential that direct intensive dialogue with civil society and the peaceful opposition occurs without restriction,” she said. “The EU must monitor the respect for human rights on the island and use this new framework for relations to assist Cuba move towards a process of political transition.”
ALDE MEP, Pavel Telička (ANO, Czech Republic), Vice-President of the European Parliament, said the consent given by the European Parliament will lead to a closer monitoring of the implementation of the agreement, especially when it comes to respect of 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,” he said.
The EU-Cuba Agreement includes cooperation on fight against drugs and criminality, preservation of the cultural heritage and social development.