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Cocktail Wars
Tuesday, January 04, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

The Eurotrash and castro

The BBC says Cuba has ended what the news agency calls "The Cocktail Wars." castro has decided to reestablish official contact with eight European embassies in Havana - Britain, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Portugal, and, of course, France.

Relations between Cuba and the EU countries broke down in 2003 when the Europeans had the audacity to invite Cuban dissidents to cocktail parties (called diplomatic receptions by the striped pants crowd.) The Europeans began the invitations as a rather pathetic protest against fidel putting 75 of his opponents in jail. As the BBC describes it:

For the last 20 months Cuba and the European Union have been involved in an unusual diplomatic row.

Dubbed "the cocktail wars", it involved the decision taken by the EU in early 2003 to include a handful of Cuban dissidents on the guest list of embassy receptions in Havana.

The Cuban government which tends to label its dissidents "mercenaries in the pay of the United States", took serious offence.

Its response was to end almost all official contact with European ambassadors in Cuba.

Brussels (no surprise there) suggested a compromise to this social dilemma - just don't invite any of those troublesome Cubans to the parties - not government ministers nor dissidents.  castro approved, so now the ministers and bureaucrats can meet and conspire all they want - just not at official embassy cocktail parties.

Meanwhile, as the BBC of course fails to point out, the 75 still rot in jail.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren