Babalu Blog: Lithuanian Parliament offers some resistance to EU – Cuba pact by Carlos Eire

Dear Friends,

Babalú Blog is a media platform that provides up to date information on events in Cuba. It is a volunteer effort that has been “an island on the net without a bearded dictator” over the past 17 years. Below is a post by Yale University Professor Carlos Eire ( Author of Waiting for Snow in Havana (The Free Press, 2003) sharing the Center for a Free Cuba’s latest CubaBrief on developments in the European Union with relation to Cuba.

Lithuanian Parliament offers some resistance to EU – Cuba pact

February 13, 2020 by Carlos Eire

Member of Lithuanian Parliament Zygimantas Pavilionis

Member of Lithuanian Parliament Zygimantas Pavilionis

The Center for a Free Cuba has posted an eye-opening article on the way that the new EU – Cuba pact has been pushed through all European parliaments and on the resistance it has met in Lithuania.

It appears that Lithuania might be the only country in the EU with a conscience. But the pressure being put on Lithuanians who truly care about human rights is very strong.

From The Center for a Free Cuba

The EU-Cuba Pact and its negative impact for a democratic transition

The Baltic Times in their February 10, 2020 article “EU-Cuba pact pushes its way through Lithuanian parliament amid opposition”, reported on the debate surrounding the ratification of the agreement between the European Union and the Castro regime. Lithuania is the last country needed to ratify the EU-Cuba pact, all the others have already done so. In the course of the exchange a number of issues arose that need to be addressed.

First and foremost the abandonment of the 1996 European Union Common Position on Cuba in 2016 delinked human rights considerations from normalization of relations and in practice abandoned independent Cuban civil society. The EU-Cuba pact’s ratification will be another step in the wrong direction.

Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD) Parliament member Zygimantas Pavilionis during the debate said that by ratifying the agreement, Lithuania would betray “Cuban political prisoners.” It will also contribute to propping up Maduro in Venezuela by funding Cuban repressors, and undermines Venezuelan democrats.

The Patmos Institute in their January 10, 2020 letter to the European Union highlighted the “systematic and increasing human rights violations of Cubans in and outside of the country” and the Castro regime’s “destabilisation efforts in Venezuela and Nicaragua.” Patmos makes the argument that “in the Venezuelan case, Cuba’s interference and responsibility is so evident that it would be enough of a reason to cancel any agreement.”

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Lithuanian Parliament offers some resistance to EU – Cuba pact