Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Paris braced for new pro-Palestinian rally after clashes

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

EU lifts sanctions on Cuba

Latest update : 2008-06-24

By officially lifting all economic sanctions on Cuba, the EU hopes to encourage democracy on the island in the post-Fidel Castro era. The decision has prompted criticism from the US and exiled Cuban dissidents.

The EU officially lifted its sanctions on Cuba Monday in the hope of encouraging democracy on the island in the post-Fidel Castro era, in a move decried by Washington and Cuban dissidents.
   
"The problems that came up during the day have been resolved. The decision has been adopted," a spokesman for the current Slovenian presidency of the bloc said, referring to a procedural error that had briefly delayed the move.
   
The measure was a largely symbolic political step as the European Union sanctions have been suspended since 2005. It was championed by Spain, which normalised relations with Cuba last year.
   
The political decision was taken by EU foreign ministers at a meeting last Thursday but the move received formal endorsement at a meeting of European agriculture ministers in Luxembourg.
   
Earlier, the wrong version of the text for the decision was presented, causing a delay, the Slovenian spokesman said. The Swedish delegation noticed that an annex with conditions on the lifting of the sanctions was missing.
   
Among the conditions tied to the lifting of the sanctions, which restricted high-level diplomatic contacts, is a clause obliging the EU to review the human rights situation in the communist-ruled island yearly.
   
The sanctions were applied in 2003 after a crackdown on dissidents in Cuba under its former president Fidel Castro, whose brother Raul formally took over this year.
   
Twenty of the 75 dissidents jailed in that crackdown have since been freed.
   
Washington said last week it was "disappointed" by the EU decision to lift sanctions against what it views as a repressive dictatorship.
   
"We think the Castros need to take a number of steps to improve the human rights conditions for ordinary Cubans before any sanctions are lifted," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
   
Leading Cuban dissidents also expressed disappointment, fearing further crackdowns.
   
"We are going to expect horrible things to happen to the opposition," Martha Beatriz Roque, one of the released dissidents. told AFP.
   
With the sanctions in place, "the government was tremendously aggressive with us and with the people -- now that (the sanctions) have been eliminated, their aggression will double."


 

Date created : 2008-06-24

COMMENT(S)