Cuba and EU discuss unilateral coercive measures

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (ACN) — Representatives of Cuba and the European Union (EU) spoke last Monday about unilateral coercive measures, in the first round of the dialogue on this subject, held in Brussels, the Belgian capital.

According to a diplomatic note, an exchange of views took place in a respectful and constructive atmosphere between the two delegations, chaired by Hugo Sobral, deputy director general for the Americas of the EU’s European External Action Service, and Rodolfo Reyes, director general for multilateral affairs and international law in Cuba’s ministry of foreign affairs.

This first round follows the provisional entry into force, on November 1, 2017, of the political dialogue and cooperation agreement between Cuba and the European Union and its member states.

The communiqué said the parties addressed issues related to the use of unilateral coercive measures, which are contrary to international law and international trade rules, Prensa Latina reported.

“The dialogue was guided by the common interest in exchanging opinions on how the embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba affects the Cuban people and also damages the economic and commercial interests of the Union,” the text stated.

The Cuban side thanked the unanimous position taken by the bloc in the United Nations, in support of the Cuban draft resolution that demands the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.

According to the communiqué, an essential element of the dialogue was the explanation by the EU of its measures to counteract the extraterritorial dimension of the laws or regulations applied by a third state.

In this regard, the Cuban delegation reiterated the importance of the implementation of EU Council Regulation 2271/96, which limits the extraterritorial effects of the Helms-Burton law for its member states.

On the other hand, the Cuban representatives pointed to the multiple cases of extraterritorial application of the embargo policy that have taken place in the territory of the EU, to which the effective application of the said regulation would be an adequate solution.

“Although it became clear that there are still differences of position and approach in several of the issues discussed, the willingness to address this issue was confirmed, on the basis of full respect for sovereign equality, independence, legality and non-interference in the internal affairs of the parties,” the note stated.

Previously, a meeting of representatives of Cuban and European civil society took place, in which points of view were exchanged on the damages caused by the application of unilateral coercive measures to civil society.

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