Cubaminrex, This Friday, 26 February 2021, the Third Round of the Dialogue on Human Rights between Cuba and the European Union was entered into in the framework of the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation between the Caribbean country and the European bloc. The respective delegations were chaired by Mr. Eamon Gilmore, special representative of the European Union for Human Rights, and María del Carmen Herrera Caseiro, Acting Director-General for Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
At the meeting, which took place in a respectful and constructive climate, issues relating to civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights were addressed; multilateral cooperation and United Nations human rights mechanisms. The dialogue was guided by the mutual interest of exchanging on different realities and positions on human rights issues.
As on previous occasions, differences in positions and approaches were highlighted in relation to several of the topics discussed. However, the willingness of both sides to continue to discuss these issues was always confirmed under full respect for sovereign equality, independence, legality and non-interference in the internal affairs of the Parties.
During the exchange, the Cuban delegation referred to the achievements that demonstrated its commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all; those that have been achieved despite the unprecedented ups ups to the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba with opportunistic measures that damage access to the health of the Cuban people under pandemic conditions and which constitutes a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of the entire Cuban people, and the main obstacle to the development of the country.
The Cuban delegation confirmed its continued willingness to continue working towards the common goal of the enjoyment of all human rights for all people, based on respect for the Charter of the United Nations, and the international instruments agreed in this area. Respect for human rights was also addressed in the context of COVID-19, in particular the right to health and social protection, where the country has had challenges, but important results.
In the exchange, the Cuban delegation expressed its concerns about human rights situations in the Member States of the European Union that were in violation of their enjoyment. Particular emphasis was placed on the need to take action in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including the implementation of measures to address the rise of hate speech and supremacist ideas in public affairs.
Concern was also expressed about the limitations on artists’ creative activity in Europe in the name of national security, and about excessive use of force, police brutality and repression against protesters, which has become a growing practice in these countries, mainly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation of racism, discrimination and intolerance in the Member States of the European Union, the rise of hate speech, fascists and supremacists, as well as the abandonment and abuse of their citizens in poverty and minorities, and immigrants, who are deprived of access to basic human rights, were questioned.
Both sides agreed on the need for dialogue to contribute to effective, constructive and non-discriminatory treatment of the issue of human rights, included in multilateral for a, and to the consolidation of the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation between the European Union and Cuba.
Previously, on 25 February, a meeting of representatives of Cuban and European civil society took place, at which experiences and good practices were exchanged on the role of civil society in the design and implementation of public policies for the comprehensive protection of the human rights of vulnerable groups in times of pandemic.