European Union Tells Cuba to Respect Free and Open Elections
EspañolThe European Union has asked the Cuban government to comply with human rights standards following a meeting focused on presidential elections on the island, which are planned for 2018.
The meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium on Monday, May 22, reportedly focusing on a broad discussion of the constitutional, legal and administrative aspects of citizen participation in public affairs on the island, which have come to be notorious under the Castro administrations following decades of corruption and human rights violations.
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“The EU underlined the importance of meeting international human rights standards, including free access to the media,” said a statement released through the European External Action Service.
The meeting also addressed economic and social rights, social protection systems and the promotion of social dialogue, as well as respect for labor standards, the fight against discrimination and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups.
The Cuban delegation was headed by Director General of Multilateral Affairs and International Law Rodolfo Reyes Rodríguez, while the EU was represented by Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
Reyes and other Cuban delegates highlighted a low level of participation in European electoral processes, citing a crisis of confidence, and continuing differences fundamentally related to politics.
Europe’s Parliament is waiting to approve a new diplomatic agreement with the island, and this discussion about elections and dialogue as tools of democracy is a key subject in ensuring it succeeds.