Thursday November 29, 03:25 PM
Havana, Nov 29 (IANS) Cuba has called for an end to sanctions imposed on
it by the European Union (EU) to pave the way for improving bilateral
relations, Spanish news agency EFE said Thursday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Eumelio Caballero told a gathering here
Wednesday that Havana appreciated the willingness expressed by the EU
Council of Ministers to hold a comprehensive and open dialogue with
Cuba, but denounced the political sanctions imposed by the bloc and
called the so-called 'common position' adopted in 1996 'interference'.
The 27-member EU has put Cuba under political sanctions in 2003 to
protest Havana's repression of dissidents and the execution of three men
who attempted to hijack a passenger ferry for a voyage to the US.
'In light of such conditions, it is not possible to sustain a respectful
dialogue among equals, and so it is essential that (there be) the
definitive and unconditional elimination of the sanctions,' Caballero
said at the conference.
Many observers expect acting president Raul Castro, who stepped in
nearly 16 months ago when elder brother Fidel was stricken with a
serious illness, to try to reform and invigorate Cuba's economy without
relinquishing the Communist Party's monopoly on power.