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S&D’s denounce partisan vote on Cuba and call to continue constructive engagement with the island

Date

16 Sep 2021

Sections

Global Europe

The Socialists and Democrats will abstain in a vote on a partisan resolution on Cuba in the European Parliament today, that was pushed onto the agenda by a coalition of conservative, liberal and right-wing forces. For the third time in this legislature, EPP, Renew and ECR have pushed Cuba onto the Parliament’s agenda to denounce and undermine the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, which had won the overwhelming support of the European Parliament in 2017, when 85% of its members voted in favour.

Javi López, S&D MEP and co-president of Eurolat, said:

“We call on the Cuban government to listen to the demands made by its citizens at recent demonstrations this summer, and not crack-down on dissident voices. We deplore the use of force against peaceful citizens. It is the first duty of every government to protect its citizens and engage constructively with civil society. This is why we have been calling for a national dialogue to address the legitimate aspirations of the Cuban people for democracy. Without doubt, Cuba and its people would greatly benefit from democratic reforms and a gradual economic opening.

“These democratic aspirations will never be achieved by a suspension of the Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, and even less through sanctions as the conservative, right-wing and liberal forces in this house call for in the resolution voted today. This Parliament has to be proportional and coherent in addressing the challenges in terms of human rights and democracy that occur in the region and avoid falling into the ideological use by some political forces. We must defend democracy and human rights in all cases.”

Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, S&D spokesperson on Latin America, said:

“The European Parliament’s role is to constructively engage in a political dialogue to foster positive change in Cuba and elsewhere. With this partisan resolution put to a vote by a coalition of conservative, liberal and right-wing forces, the European Parliament undermines its position as a credible interlocutor and with the constructive dialogue the EU has been engaging in with Cuba during the past 20 years. I am dismayed by the hypocrisy and double-standards displayed by some political forces in this house, who apply different standards to different Latin American countries.

”The S&D Group cannot and will not sign-up to an isolationist position stemming from a Cold War ideology that can only harm the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people. This is why we will abstain in today’s vote.”

 

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