Skip to main content

Cuba: Foreign Relations

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives he has set for UK foreign policy in respect of Cuba. (311408)

The UK's foreign policy towards Cuba is in line with the EU Common Position, which we agreed in 1996 and review annually each June at the European Council. Through engagement with both the Cuban Government and Cuban civil society, this policy aims to support the principles of pluralistic democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and an improvement of the living standards of the Cuban people. Specifically we hope to see concrete improvements in human rights, such as the release of all political prisoners, improved economic freedoms for all Cuban citizens and an end to restrictions on freedom of expression and independent trade unions. We work closely with our EU partners to further develop engagement with Cuba, including through the EU-Cuba political dialogue, and continue to look for opportunities to strengthen bilateral relations. We already co-operate at a working level on a number of issues such as climate change, child protection, counter-narcotics, and through scientific and cultural links.