Since Cuba’s communist Castro dictatorship has no fear the European Union will do anything about its human rights violations, it continued its acts of repression during a visit by EU High Representative Josep Borrell. 354 of them.
354 acts of repression in May, the month of Josep Borrell’s visit to Cuba
The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) denounced on Monday at least 354 repressive actions in Cuba during the month of May, of which 83 included some form of arbitrary detention.
These actions occurred precisely during the month when Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, was visiting the island.
According to the organization’s statement, in addition to arbitrary detentions, the OCDH’s network of observers on the island recorded 271 other abuses, including 94 raids of homes, summons by police, harassment against activists, threats, and fines.
At least 76 abuses were committed in May against political prisoners in Cuban prisons, amid conditions of hunger, unsanitary conditions, and overcrowding. In addition, there were attempts by State Security and the prison system to end hunger strikes by 15 political prisoners that coincided with Borrell’s visit.
“Political repression continues in Cuba. The lack of interest from democracies, starting with the European Union, in demanding human rights in Cuba, along with the Cuban regime’s rapprochement with Russia, does not augur well for positive changes in terms of freedoms,” stated the OCDH.
The organization regretted that Borrell ignored the human rights issues on the island and offered no words of encouragement for the relatives of more than 1,000 political prisoners.
Meanwhile, the OCDH’s Director of Strategy, Yaxys Cires, told ADN Cuba that “there is no indication Borrell’s visit has been positive for the human rights agenda in Cuba and, therefore, for the Cuban people. The situation of the prisoners is so serious that such silence is unfair, and even more so to defer the issue to the coming months.”
Josep Borrell arrived in Cuba on May 24 for an official visit to preside over the third Cuba-European Union Joint Council, held in Havana.
The joint council was convened to evaluate the status of the implementation of the so-called Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), signed on December 12, 2016, between Cuba and the European Union and its member states, which began provisional implementation on November 1, 2017.
However, the leader of European diplomacy was heavily criticized for not meeting with members of Cuba’s independent civil society.