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Czech Republic Calls For Sanctions On Cuba
Friday, April 21, 2006 By: Juan Paxety
Call comes after diplomat expelled from Havana
The Czech government says it will push the European Union to adopt a more strict policy against fidel castro's Cuba. The Prague Post reports the moves comes after a Czech diplomat was expelled from Havana. Foreign Affairs Minister Cyril Svoboda says the current policy of appeasement has done nothing to help the people of Cuba.
"The soft, or appeasement, policy did not bring fruit and it is not aimed at our target, which is a democratic and prosperous society in Cuba," Svoboda told the Czech News Agency.
Cuban authorities expelled Stanislav Kázecký, the first secretary of the Czech diplomatic mission in Havana, April 13, alleging Kázecký was involved in "subversive activities" and spying for the United States.
Specifically, Cuban authorities say Kázecký was photographing military facilities on the island.
"To the best of my knowledge," Kázecký told reporters at an April 16 press conference, "I have never entered any army base or military ground in the Republic of Cuba."
The Czech government responded to the expulsion in true diplomatic fashion - it refused to renew the visa of a Cuban diplomat.
The Czech people know what it's like to live under communism. They have supported Cuban dissidents since their own revolution in 1989.
The Czech government has been particularly outspoken in favor of regime change in Cuba and has repeatedly called for the EU to adopt a tougher, more unified Cuba policy.
The EU has resisted the economic sanctions that are at the heart of Cuba policy in the United States. Czechs want a European policy to focus more on promoting opposition activities on the island.
So, the question remains - will Europeans ever stop appeasing dictators, or is that something that's ingrained in the European soul?