HAVANA, Oct. 12 (DDC) The European Union (EU) and the Government of Cuba “extensively” addressed issues such as legal guarantees in criminal proceedings during the fourth session of their dialogue on human rights, the European External Action Service reported on Wednesday ( SEAE), reported EFE.

In this meeting, which took place this Wednesday in Havana, the EU stressed the importance of “safeguarding the rights of defense and the principles of due process”, as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, explained in a release.

The EEAS noted that this meeting is the first formally produced under the agreement of political dialogue and cooperation in force, the first bilateral agreement between the two parties that is applied provisionally from November 1, 2017 and has been criticized by sectors of the opposition inside and outside the Island.

In addition, this dialogue was preceded on Tuesday by a civil society seminar that was “the first of that nature”, in which representatives of Cuban and European NGOs exchanged views, in particular, on issues of gender equality and LGBT community.

The dispatch of the Spanish agency does not specify what those organizations of the Island would have been. Those recognized by the Government have been created by the regime and are under its control.

The dialogue on human rights also covered the challenges of racism and xenophobia.

In this context, the EU explained its legal framework to deal with discrimination based on hatred, racism and xenophobia.

In the area of ​​economic and social rights, Brussels and Havana addressed the promotion and protection of cultural rights and the European side stressed that the freedom of artistic expression and entrepreneurship are “key” for a “viable and vibrant” cultural sector , which can create jobs, develop cultural industries and heritage.

On the island, independent artists are in the middle of a campaign against Decree 349, which they consider a straitjacket to intensify government control over artistic creation and promotion on the Island and consequently eliminate independent art in Cuba.

The regulation includes punishments against who authorizes or allows artistic services that have not been “approved and hired by the cultural institution to which it corresponds”.

On the other hand, the European and Cuban authorities discussed the promotion and protection of the right to health.

“The results achieved by Cuba when developing a universal health care model were recognized, as well as its international solidarity in the area of ​​medical philanthropy and education,” stressed the EEAS.

They also discussed the participation of citizens in public affairs, including in recent electoral processes, as well as the freedom of association and expression and the possibility for human rights defenders and civil society to “associate freely, express their points of view and participate in public life. “

Finally, they explored opportunities to cooperate more closely in multilateral forums on human rights.

The EU and Cuba “confirmed their desire to deepen their dialogue and understanding in the area of ​​human rights,” concluded the EEAS.