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EU position towards the Cuban Government

Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

by Raül Romeva i Rueda, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf and Marie Anne Isler Béguin

on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Cuba,

– having regard to the Council's declaration of 13 June 2005,

– having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas respect for human rights, including civil and political rights as well as social, economic and cultural rights, must be the basis of any society and the main aim of the European Union's relations with third countries,

B. Whereas exercising freedom of expression is a basic right of the individual,

C. Whereas in Cuba there are many and varied circles of intellectuals, community social activists, artists and others who have a major influence on public opinion among groups of professionals and community groupings, and who are critical of the policies of the current government and are calling for a democratic order,

D. Whereas the European Union's policy should help expand these circles and strengthen a democratic and creative citizenship seeking sustainable development in social, economic and environmental matters,

E. Whereas the situation remains critical for many of the island's inhabitants as a result of devastating cyclones that have struck, the most recent of which caused serious damage to houses and mango plantations around Trinidad,

F. Whereas it is important for the European Union's policy to have a distinctive profile and to be clearly differentiated from other positions by focusing on constructive dialogue and openness rather than a hardened stance and futile confrontation,

G. Whereas cooperation with Cuba must continue via strictly peaceful means and must not involve aggression and illegal and violent attempts at destabilisation, including violations of air space,

H. Whereas Cuba is still the only country in the region with which the European Union has not negotiated and concluded a cooperation agreement, while some Member States have bilateral trade and culture agreements with Cuba,

I. Whereas Cuba signed a trade agreement with Caricom in 2000, and has been a member of Cariforum since October 2002 and of the ACP group since 2000,

1. Emphasises that the European Union must embark on constructive dialogue with the Cuban authorities with a view to opening up and strengthening circles of citizens that reach out beyond those of the so-called dissident community, seeking ways of finding democratic and peaceful answers to the current social, environmental and economic challenges;

2. Calls on the Council and the Commission to intensify their constructive dialogue with Cuba on the basis of their specific strategic priorities, which are based on human rights and sustainable development; reiterates its criticism of the isolation policy and its condemnation of the US blockade;

3. Calls on the Council and the Commission, at the same time, to enhance cooperation via NGOs, especially those working to strengthen family-based urban agriculture, organic farming, decentralised and renewable energy production and projects aimed at protecting biodiversity; also calls on the Council and the Commission to give Cuban students access to European grants under the Erasmus Mundi programme;

4. Takes the view that, in comparison with the situation as regards other countries, it is anachronistic and inconsistent that there is no cooperation agreement with Cuba, and urges both sides to look for ways to begin negotiations with a view to filling that void;

5. Reiterates its condemnation of all forms of imprisonment on the grounds of beliefs or peaceful political activities and of imprisonment without fair, transparent trials and sentencing, be it in the Republic of Cuba, at Guantanamo or on US territory, as in the case of the 'Miami Five'; calls on the European Union to make diplomatic representations in each of these three cases;

6. Calls on the Government of Cuba to take the appropriate steps to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all Cuban citizens, and to put an end to the harassment of so-called dissidents;

7. Reiterates its condemnation of the death penalty and urges the Cuban Government to initiate the necessary procedures to move from a moratorium to the abolition of the death penalty;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States and the Government of Cuba.

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