BBC: Spanish FM plans no talks with dissidents on Cuba visit
- 09/29/09 - BBC Monitoring Europe -
Spanish foreign minister plans no talks with dissidents on Cuba visit
Excerpt from report by Spanish newspaper La Razon website, on 28 September
Madrid: Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has
announced today [note date] that he plans to travel to Cuba, "in principle"
on 18 October, although he added that "the dates are (still) being
finalized". The trip will be in response to the visit which the previous
Cuban foreign minister, Felipe Perez Roque, paid to Spain last October and -
as was the case on the last occasion - there will be no meetings with
dissidents on the island, in order not to make the regime uncomfortable.
A spokesman of the department led by Moratinos confirmed to Europa Press
[Spanish news agency] that at the moment the timetable for the minister's
three-day visit to the island includes meetings with his counterpart, Bruno
Rodriguez, and "Cuban authorities". The same source said there is no plan,
either, for representatives of the ministry to receive Cuban opposition
members exiled in Spain ahead of Moratinos's visit, which, as he confirmed
today, will take place around 18 October.
On this point, representatives of the Cuban dissident movement today
complained of the lack of contact they have with the Spanish government and
took it as given that Moratinos will not hold a meeting with them. The
activist Oswaldo Paya, winner of the European Parliament's Andrey Sakharov
prize for human rights in 2002, told Europa Press from the island that "the
Spanish government and its embassy have made no contact with the Christian
Liberation Movement" - of which he is the founder - about the minister's
forthcoming visit. [Passage omitted - background]
Source: La Razon website, Madrid, in Spanish 28 Sep 09
Los Angeles, California
"Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"