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EU Cocktail Crowd Expresses Concerns
Friday, January 07, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

What about human rights?

EU diplomats are expressing their concerns with the castro government. It seems fidel has kissed and made up with only eight EU countries - not all 25, and the cocktail circuit crowd is upset.

EU foreign ministers are to discuss this month how to proceed with sanctions in place against Cuba, after the resumption of ties by Havana with eight EU members who have stopped inviting dissidents to official embassy functions.

"It is a bit unfortunate that measures were for a few countries and not for others," said a diplomat from the EU's current Luxembourg presidency.

A couple of years ago, fidel locked up 75 people who happened to think his methods of starvation and repression were not appropriate methods of governance.  Somehow, the EU agreed with the dissidents, and to show their solidarity, began to invite dissidents to their "official embassy functions"- i.e., cocktail parties.

When eight EU countries earlier this week agreed to cease socializing with the dissidents, fidel agreed to speak to their ambassadors again. Now they all want the honor of the dictator's company.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, on Tuesday called the partial resumption of ties "a step in the right direction," but underlined that the EU wants Havana to resume full ties.

"Clearly diplomatic relations do need to be established with all members of the (European) Union," said commission spokeswoman Francoise Le Bail, adding that Cuba is on the agenda of a scheduled EU ministers' meeting on January 31.

Could the agenda perhaps include insuring human rights to the Cuban people?


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