European Parliament vetoes entry of representatives of the Cuban regime to its headquarters

European Parliament vetoes entry of representatives of the Cuban regime to its headquarters

HAVANA, Apr. 18th. The European Parliament approved a resolution that prohibits any representative of the Cuban regime from entering its premises, marking a turning point in relations between the European Union (EU) and Cuba.

The measure responds directly to Cuba’s refusal to allow entry to an officially invited European delegation, an action that was perceived as a lack of respect and diplomatic reciprocity, as highlighted by the organization Prisoners Defenders in a statement.

The Resolution “calls for, in accordance with the principles of equality, reciprocity and mutual respect of the EU-Cuba ADPC, similar measures to be adopted denying access to the premises of the European Parliament to any representative of the National Assembly of Power Popular or of the Cuban regime”.

The controversy began in autumn 2023, when the European Parliament (EP) decided to send an ad-hoc delegation to Cuba, in response to multiple requests and concerns about the human rights situation on the island.

This delegation, democratically elected and made up of members of various political groups in Parliament, aimed to assess the situation and encourage an open and respectful dialogue.

However, Cuba’s response was unexpectedly hostile. Despite initially extending a formal invitation, Cuban authorities abruptly canceled the visit. In a letter addressed to the president of the delegation, Javier Nart, and other members, the Cuban regime accused them of maintaining relations with “international terrorists”, an unfounded accusation that further strained relations.

Faced with this situation, and guided by the principles of equality, reciprocity and mutual respect established in the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (ADPC), the EP voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that restricts access to its facilities to representatives of the Cuban regime.

Resolution P9_TA(2024)0122, drafted by Nart, a member of the Renew Europe group, and supported by the President of the European Parliament, was implemented with immediate effect.

Furthermore, the text “reiterates its call on the Council to implement the EU’s global sanctions regime on human rights (the so-called ‘EU Magnitsky Act’) and to adopt sanctions against those responsible for persistent violations of human rights.” human rights in Cuba, starting with sanctioning Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the highest-ranking figure in the chain of command of the Cuban security forces, as well as other senior officials of the Cuban Government and all those responsible for the imprisonment of political prisoners “.

This measure reflects the EP’s firmness in maintaining its integrity as an institution and its commitment to the rule of law in Europe. According to Nart, this action does not seek to escalate a diplomatic conflict but rather to ensure that future interactions with Cuba are carried out within a framework of mutual respect and cooperation.

The fact that Cuban diplomats have not responded to the resolution suggests that they are still evaluating its impact and possible responses. According to Prisoners Defenders, the EP hopes that this measure will serve as a reminder of the importance of mutual respect in international relations.

Meanwhile, the international community and political observers are attentive to how this situation will affect cooperation between the European Union and Cuba, especially in key areas such as human rights and humanitarian aid.

Parliament’s decision also raises questions about how future diplomatic interactions will be handled and what additional steps could be considered if the impasse is not resolved, such as the possibility of suspending the ADPC with Cuba and more decisively supporting civil society.