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European Union Ignores U.S., Scraps Cuban Sanctions

Getting more and more isolated on the world stage....heckuva job, Bushie. Reuters: European Union states agreed on Thursday to scrap sanctions aga

Getting more and more isolated on the world stage....heckuva job, Bushie.


European Union states agreed on Thursday to scrap sanctions against Cuba but will insist the Communist island improves its human rights record, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

The decision, taken despite U.S. calls for the world to remain tough on Havana, will be reviewed after one year, EU sources said.

"Cuban sanctions will be lifted," Ferrero-Waldner told reporters after foreign ministers of the 27-nation bloc clinched agreement at a summit dinner in Brussels.

"Of course there is clear language on human rights, on the detention of prisoners and there will have to be a review also," she said, referring to statement to be issued later. [..]

Unlike the 1962 U.S. embargo, the EU sanctions do not prevent trade and investment. Lifting the sanctions will put the EU at odds with Washington, which wants to maintain a hard line against Cuba.

"We certainly don't see any kind of fundamental break with the Castro dictatorship that would give us reason to believe that now would be the time to lift sanctions," U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said on Thursday.

"We would not be supportive of the EU or anyone else easing those restrictions at this time."

There was a time -- not that long ago -- that we were respected enough that the EU would have acceded to our position. Of course the whole notion of our embargo against Cuba is way past any kind of relevant threat they may have posed and to claim now that it's due to human rights violations would be the worst kind of double standards on our part.

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