The European Union has agreed to launch negotiations with Cuba aimed at restoring full bilateral relations and increasing trade and investment. Sounds interesting, except for the Eurocentric standpoint on which the negotiations are based, as revealed by a statement by EU ambassador to Havana, Herman Portocarero, who said that the EUhoped “to promote a future model of Cuban society which is closer to European values.”
Since 1996, the EU has restricted its ties with Cuba to encourage multi-party democracy and progress on human rights.
The bloc is Cuba’s second-biggest trading partner after Venezuela. It represents a major source of investment, and hundreds of thousands of European tourists visit the island every year.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stressed that human rights remained “at the core” of its dealings with Cuba. “These negotiations will help consolidate our engagement with Cuba,” she said. “I hope Cuba will take up this…
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