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The European Union Perception of Cuba: From Frustration to Irritation

Joaquín Roy
Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL)
September 2003

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Fidel Castro dramatically selected the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his failed attack against the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953, for his rejection of any kind of humanitarian assistance, economic cooperation, and political dialogue with the European Union (EU) and its member states, signaling one of the lowest points in European-Cuban relations.1 Just days before the anniversary of what later history would recognize as the prelude of the Cuban Revolution, the European Union’s Foreign Relations Council issued a harsh criticism of the regime’s latest policies and personal insults against some European leaders (notably, Spain’s José María Aznar), in essence freezing all prospects of closer relations. The overall context was, of course, the global uncertainty of the U.S. occupation of Iraq in the aftermath of the post-September 11 tension. Having survived the end of the Cold War and the perennial U.S. harassment, the Castro regime seemed to have lost its most precious alternative source of international cooperation, if not economic support.


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October 05, 2003

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