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Press release on the 3rd Round of the Human Rights Dialogue between Cuba and the European Union

This Friday, February 26, 2021, the Third Round of the Dialogue on Human Rights between Cuba and the European Union met virtually, within the framework of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement 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 of Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
At the meeting, which took place in a respectful and constructive atmosphere, issues related to civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights were discussed; as well as multilateral cooperation and with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. The dialogue was guided by the mutual interest to exchange regarding the different realities and positions in relation to human rights issues.
As on previous occasions, the differences in positions and approaches in relation to several of the topics discussed were highlighted. However, the will of both parties to continue dialogue on these issues was ratified, always with 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 demonstrate its commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all; those that have been achieved despite the unprecedented tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba with opportunistic measures that damage the access to health of the Cuban people in pandemic conditions and that constitutes a flagrant, massive and system of human rights of all the Cuban people, and the main obstacle to the development of the country.
The Cuban delegation ratified its permanent will to continue working towards the common goal of the enjoyment of all human rights for all people, on the basis of respect for the Charter of the United Nations, and the international instruments agreed on the matter.. Respect for human rights was also addressed in the context of COVID-19, in particular the right to health and social protection, aspects in which the country has had challenges, but important results.
In the exchange, the Cuban delegation expressed its concerns about human rights situations that occur in the member states of the European Union and that threaten 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 confront the rise of hate speech and supremacist ideas in the public affairs.
In addition, concern was expressed about the limitations on the creative activity of artists in Europe in the name of national security, and about the 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 that exists in the Member States of the European Union, the rise of hate speech, fascists and supremacists, as well as the abandonment and mistreatment of its citizens living in poverty and minorities, and immigrants, who are deprived of access to basic human rights were questioned.
Both parties agreed on the need for dialogue to contribute to an effective, constructive and non-discriminatory treatment of the issue of human rights, included in multilateral forums, and to the consolidation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba.
Previously, on February 25, a meeting of representatives of Cuban and European civil society took place, in 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.


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