Cuban Dissidents Promoting Group to Negotiate with EU on Rights
MADRID – Representatives of different Cuban opposition movements on Wednesday reached an agreement in Madrid to promote a group that will act as a “channel for dialogue” with international institutions like the European Union.
“In the face of the seemingly inevitable bilateral accord between Cuba and the EU, we’re trying to propose that a demand for human rights be present in the negotiations,” said blogger Yoani Sanchez during the presentation of the accord at Madrid’s Casa de America.
Besides Sanchez, signatories include Guillermo Fariñas, a representative of the Patriotic Union of Cuba; Juan Felipe Medina of the Christian Liberation Movement; Elizardo Sanchez, of the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission; Manuel Cuesta Morua, of the Arco Progresista group; Berta Soler of the Ladies in White and journalist Reinaldo Escobar.
The representatives all attended the negotiation sessions and presentation of the document in Madrid except for Cuesta Morua, who did not receive permission to leave the communist island, and Fariñas due to injuries he suffered during his latest stint under arrest, Escobar said.
Also signing the text were 10 representatives of the opposition outside Cuba.
EU foreign ministers on Feb. 10 approved launching negotiations on a dialogue and cooperation agreement with Cuba to deepen bilateral relations.
Berta Soler noted that her organization is fighting “not for economic and immigration change, but mainly for the respect for human rights,” saying that the negotiations between the EU and Cuba are causing “concern.”