Cuba. A report by the UN Human Rights Commission on the treatment of the 75 dissidents sentenced to long prison terms in March and April 2003 was published in March. The report’s results were rejected by the government as propaganda and the Commission’s envoy was denied entry into Cuba. In April and June, however, six of the prisoners were released for health reasons along with four other dissidents. At the beginning of December, another 20 were released. the 59-year-old poet and journalist Raúl Rivero, in response to the Spanish government’s promise to try to change EU policy towards Cuba. Dissident groups and the EU welcomed the release, but at the same time expressed doubts about whether they really meant a changed policy. The EU spokesman stressed that the Cuban government’s gesture must be followed by radical changes in human rights issues.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Cuba is 11,326,627 people in 2020. President George W. Bush tightened the rules for money transfers from the United States and trips to Cuba. The measures were intended to weaken the Castro regime and perhaps strengthen Bush’s own opinion before the US presidential election, but were rejected by both Cuban dissidents and much of the exile Cuban colony in the United States. In Florida, about 1 million Cubans live, which together sends $ 1 billion a year to relatives in Cuba.
In January 2002, the Russian military base in Lourdes, 20 km from Havana, was closed. Moscow cited economy as the reason for the closure, but Cuban authorities accused Vladimir Putin of closing the base as a gift to the United States, in the context of the Russia-US rapprochement in the post-September 11, 2001. US Congress had 2000 voted in favor of limiting financial assistance to Russia because it had not yet closed the Lourdes base. It had been created in 1964 as a result of the Cuban crisis to monitor troop movements and communications in the United States. Washington welcomed the announcement of closure.
On April 20, 2002, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution targeting Cuba, calling on the Cuban government to grant greater individual and political freedoms, while calling for a Commission envoy to investigate progress in this area. territory. The resolution was tabled by Uruguay, and is the first resolution so far facing Cuba made by Latin American countries. Granma strongly attacked the resolution text and condemned the new US maneuvers facing Cuba, while denouncing the “humiliating willingness of some governments in the region towards the US”. The resolution was adopted by 23 votes to 21, and 9 countries abstained. Among Latin American countries, Brazil and Ecuador abstained, while Venezuela and Cuba voted against.
That same month, Cuba published telephone conversations between Cuba’s President Castro and Mexico’s President Vicente Fox. It came after Fox publicly stated that he had never asked Fidel Castro to stay away from a UN summit in Monterrey in March, or at least refrain from attacking the United States in his speech at the summit. Castro also accused Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda of being the architect of Mexico’s shift in Cuba’s foreign policy – following pressure from the United States. Mexico had until then been the only country that had retained its relations with Cuba following the introduction of the US blockade against the country in 1960.
In May 2002, President Jimmy Carter visited Cuba. He thus became the first North American president to visit the country since the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Fidel Castro personally addressed Carter, saying that during his presidency Carter had dignity in trying to improve relations between the two countries. Carter was able to cultivate the contacts he wanted, including contacting Cuba’s political dissidents. Carter declared after the visit that Cuba was not working on producing biological weapons of mass destruction, after visiting Washington’s laboratory before claiming was used for such production. US Secretary of State Colin Powell subsequently downplayed the allegations, saying that Cuba did not produce such weapons but had the capacity to do so. Cuba is accused by the United States of being part of the so-called ” axis of evil “.
In March-April 2003, according to the Cuban authorities. Amnesty International “tight funds in use against Cuban oppositionists”. It happened at the same time that the United States had focused its war effort on Iraq. 75 dissidents were arrested, placed on trial without respect for Cuban justice, and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Among the 75, 29 were journalists and the government’s intervention targeted both the independent press and the opposition.
On April 11, men were executed for abducting a ferry carrying dozens of passengers and attempting to force it to the United States. The executions took place less than a week after the trial began, and at the same time ended a period of 3 years without executions in the country. Amnesty International has pointed out that the US economic embargo on Cuba is helping to create a climate where human rights violations occur.
In June, the EU adopted diplomatic sanctions against Cuba for the execution of the three ferry hijackers and for the arrest of the 75 dissidents and independent journalists. Although the EU’s actions were of a limited nature, they nevertheless attracted considerable attention as Europe is the largest foreign investor and trading partner in the country. At the same time, the EU froze Cuba’s accession to the Cotonou aid agreement. As President, Greece announced that the EU has decided to limit bilateral visits at government level and to limit the number of cultural events where there is joint participation. The EU expressed its concern to Habana on the issue of “continuing human rights violations” and the fundamental rights of the Cuban opposition.