[R-G] Cuban ambassador to Austria criticises CzechRep's stand on Cuba
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Thu Feb 22 22:37:05 MST 2007
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CTK National News Wire
February 22, 2007 Thursday 8:04 PM (Central European Time)
SECTION: GENERAL NEWS
LENGTH: 381 words
HEADLINE: Cuban ambassador to Austria criticises CzechRep's stand on
DATELINE: Vienna Feb 22 (CTK)
Cuban ambassador to Austria Norma Goicochea criticised the Czech
Republic saying it is one of the EU countries that pursue "the EU's
Latin American strategy that is close to the USA," in a meeting with
journalists today, the Austrian news agency APA has reported.
She said that Cuba is afraid that the U.S. Administration of
President George W. Bush is planning to topple the Cuban regime and
that it wants to engage the EU in it.
Goicochea said that the Czech Republic is the leading force of the EU
countries that want to push through the EU a Cuban policy close to
She said that the EU governments siding with the United States
support a strategy that disrespects the Human Rights Charter and the
right to self-determination and sovereignty of states, and bears
clear signs of interference.
These countries include besides the Czech Republic also Hungary,
Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, Goicochea said.
Cuba accused EU countries of preparing a new plot against the "island
of freedom" in early February already.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg then dismissed similar
information as "an attempt to divide the European countries before
the EU approves a medium- and long-term strategy on Cuba."
Goicochea conceded today that Cuba does not have documents about the
EU's possible future strategy on Cuba that would be pushing through
an anti-Cuba policy based on the alleged U.S. programme.
She, however, referred to unofficial information and said that Bush's
plan contains "a secret addendum that we do not know," but which
could contain "terrorist" as well as "military actions."
Goicochea warned that if the EU approves the strategy, the new
"difficult situation" could also harm bilateral relations of
particular EU states with Cuba.
"Cuba wishes to conduct an open dialogue with the Europeans," she
said and added that it should be based on mutual respect.
The EU imposed diplomatic sanctions on Cuba in 2003 in protest
against the execution of three hijackers who wanted to get to the
United States, and against the high sentences Cuban authorities
imposed on more than 70 dissidents.
Havana then froze relations with the respective European countries'
diplomats. The relations officially changed only in January 2005 when
the EU suspended the sanctions.
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