The European Parliament adopted a resolution last Thursday criticizing the situation of human rights and democracy in Cuba.

According to the document adopted by the European Parliament, MEPs remarked that “it has not improved the situation on human rights and democracy, despite the adoption of an agreement with the European Union”.

European Parliamentarians, apparently satisfied with the conditions in Europe and with little else to do but to correct real or imagined problems on the other side of the planet, called for compliance with binding obligations on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms under penalty of the application of the suspension clause.


The European Union and Cuba signed the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (ADPC) in 2016, the first legal step to break the island’s isolation from the European bloc and regularize relations between the parties.

However, as has been discovered, these came with a number of strings, and has pulled the socialist Caribbean island republic into a ‘carrot and stick’ game with potentially abusive, disastrous results.

The Cuban government, in turn, has called the European Parliament’s resolution “unacceptable.” According to the Latin American country, the document is contrary to the “principles of respect, equality and reciprocity” of the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation.

“Manipulating the issue of human rights in Cuba and alleged concerns about the current constitutional reform process are trying to spread a false image of our country to hamper the successful implementation of the ADPC,” said the statement from the Cuban National Assembly.

What are the EU’s real aims?

What we are seeing underway, is an attempt by the EU to control the internal political process in Cuba. These ‘criticisms’ of Cuba’s human rights practices – criticisms which fail to point to actual abuses when placed under scrutiny – are not made in the abstract. They are tied to a certain set of proscriptions which would satisfy the EU’s sense of what human rights are.

These tend to play out as follows:

The EU will push for Cuba to cut public, governmental allocations in the social sphere.

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The EU will push for privatization in the sphere of production and distribution of goods and serves

As a planned result, the actual human rights – in the material and social sense – will decline.

Following this, the EU – to remedy this problem they have themselves created – will push for Cuba to begin allowing foreign NGO’s under the control of Euro-Atlantic vectors to perform the very same governmental social services then under duress.

But alongside the ‘benign’ work of these NGO’s will also promote anti-governmental literature and activism from within the centers, among the staff of the NGO’s, and this will be promoted among citizen-consumers of previously public sphere social services.

Ultimately these are used to create a series of public protests over specific reform issues, but western media will overlay its own ‘they all must go’ messaging over the media images of issue-specific protesters.

This is the standard model used around the world today, and was critical twenty years ago, since the late 1990’s to the eventual destabilization of countries like Syria.

Cuba still has options

However, despite the EU’s difficulties, trade between Russia and Cuba has risen 17 percent in 2017, and steps towards further increases are being taken, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel during a meeting in Moscow earlier this month.

“It is clear that this trade value is still modest in absolute terms, but we know what we should do. That is why I and Díaz-Canel gave the task to the Intergovernmental Committee, which held a session in Havana this week, to develop specific measures to improve flows of mutual trade and investment cooperation,” Putin said.

According to Putin, Russian oil and its derivatives play an important role in the economy of the Caribbean island and guarantee its energy sovereignty.


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