The European Parliament’s Veto of Cuban Deputies is Permanent, Not Temporary

Prisoners Defenders corrects the version disseminated by some media and specifies that this measure also affects all “representatives of the regime”

In November 2023, several Cuban deputies, including the secretary of the Assembly, Homero Acosta, were received in the European Parliament. Such a visit will no longer be possible / National Assembly of People’s Power

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 April 2024 — The Cuban NGO Prisoners Defenders (PD) asked this Saturday for a correction from the agencies and media that disseminated in a “misrepresented” way, this week, the decision of the European Parliament to prevent access to its facilities by representatives of the Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power. It clarifies, citing the minutes of the session, that the European Parliament took the measure not only against the parliamentarians of the Island, but also against the “representatives of the Cuban regime,” and not “temporarily,” but for an indefinite period.

“Someone in the European Parliament has misrepresented the news in a sub-committee, sending a false text to certain foreign press correspondents,” Javier Larrondo, director of PD, explained to this newspaper. “It is incorrect and does not conform to what was approved.”

“From April 1 we have had the press release prepared, waiting to receive the minutes, to know that we were saying exactly the right thing. We didn’t want to speculate in that press release,” Larrondo continued, alluding to the information published by PD about the measure. “We always verify everything,” he emphasizes.

 The measure had been promoted by MEP Javier Nart after the resolution adopted by the European Parliament

This week, agencies such as EFE and other press media reported – citing “sources of the institution” – that the European Parliament banned members of the Cuban Parliament from entering its facilities on March 14 as part of several “temporary reciprocity measures with respect to the members of the Cuban Assembly, while members of the European Parliament are prohibited from visiting Cuba.”

The measure had been promoted by MEP Javier Nart after the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on February 29, 2024 against the systematic violation of human rights by Cuban regime.

Larrondo explains that PD was extremely careful with the publication of the announcement, since it was “vital” that nothing failed in its dissemination. It also regrets that the independent press – including several Cuban media – published the agencies’ information without verifying it.

“With the issue of Cuba, many people want to downplay what happens. In Europe, access has been prohibited to all representatives of the Cuban Government and the Cuban regime, with these words, and this is for an indefinite period of time. It is conditioned on their respect for European parliamentarians and has nothing to do with what a person from the European Parliament conveyed to the agencies and media, who has misrepresented the information and caused confusion,” summarizes Larrondo.

Cited by PD, the minutes of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament recalled that the Cuban regime denied the entry of “certain deputies” to the Island between December 14 and 17, 2023, a veto that was ratified by the Ambassador of Cuba before the European Parliament.

On February 29 of this year, the body approved a resolution on the “critical situation” in the country – including the prohibition of representatives of the regime from entering the European Parliament – and facilitated an “exchange of views” between several European parliamentary groups. After that meeting, attention was drawn to “the need for a coherent approach when third countries hinder the access of official delegations of the European Parliament.”

 The group of European deputies who were going to visit the Island in December 2023 was chaired by Nart

The group of European deputies who were going to visit the Island in December 2023 was chaired by Nart. The program to be established by the Delegation was the usual one,” explains PD: “I meet the official institutions (President of the Republic of Cuba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, President of the National Assembly of the People’s Power of Cuba) as well as with the people and institutions that fight for democratic freedoms (Sakharov awards, relatives of detainees of the 11J, representatives of the main religious organizations, journalists). This is a work program based on democracy, transparency and freedom.”

However, the regime canceled the visit and sent a letter that the European Parliament described as “unacceptable.” In November 2023, European parliamentarians stressed, several Cuban deputies – among them the secretary of the Assembly, Homero Acosta – visited the organization’s facilities and received “respectful treatment and a warm welcome.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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