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Debates
Wednesday, 10 March 2004 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Question Time (Council)
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  Sörensen (Verts/ALE ). (NL) I have something I would like to say to the Council. I have just returned from Cuba, where I was able to observe the situation on the ground with an open mind, and a visit to the island might not be a bad idea for some in view of the way in which violations of human rights are discussed in this House. As a result of our policy towards that country, we are overlooking a real treasure. Whatever might be said about Cuba, the country has a great deal to offer; we can learn a lot from it, certainly in the field of actions for the benefit of specific target groups in selected neighbourhoods. Moreover, it is regrettable that Europe's attitude means that many European NGOs are now having a very difficult time over there. They would like Europe to restore and improve relations with Cuba and look at that country from a different perspective without being influenced by third parties. There are many rumours about Cuba and, compared to other countries, we look at that country with different eyes. Without going into specifics, I could list other countries where the death penalty is still in place. In short, there are lots of exciting things happening in Cuba, and it would be useful to visit that country and take a dispassionate look at it.

 
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