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Cuba: Politics and Government

Volume 462: debated on Friday 29 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the political situation in Cuba. (145771)

[holding answer 28 June 2007]: The June EU Council Conclusions on Cuba reaffirmed the UK view that there have been no significant changes to the political, economic and social system in Cuba over the last year, despite the temporary transfer of power from Fidel to Raul Castro last July. The conclusions state that the Council

“deplores that the human rights situation has not fundamentally changed”

and observe that

“the Cuban Government continues to deny its citizens internationally recognised civil, political and economic rights and freedoms”.

In response to this lack of change, UK/EU policy continues to be based on the 1996 EU Common Position, which states that the EU’s main objective is to encourage a peaceful transition to pluralist democracy in Cuba. The UK/EU remains committed to a two-track policy of intensive dialogue with both the Cuban Government ‘and’ civil society in Cuba. We also continue to urge the Cuban Government to improve human rights standards in Cuba, including the unconditional release of all political prisoners.