Global Insider: With Spain Preoccupied, New Actors Exert Influence in EU’s Cuba Policy

Global Insider: With Spain Preoccupied, New Actors Exert Influence in EU’s Cuba Policy

In a visit to Havana this month, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans urged the EU to improve its ties with Cuba. In an email interview, Joaquín Roy, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at University of Miami, director of the University of Miami European Union Center and co-director of the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, explained European Union relations with Cuba.

WPR: What is the current state of European Union relations with Cuba?

Joaquín Roy: Each EU member state has maintained its own pragmatic relations with Cuba—in trade, investment and development aid—since the establishment of the EU Common Position on Cuba in 1996. This policy conditions full agreement on a collective arrangement between the EU and Cuba on certain reforms in Cuba’s political behavior. Although this special treatment for Cuba might have been justified because of the harshness of Cuba’s system, the fact that it was imposed on the Castro regime alone in Latin America made it peculiar. As of today, the EU Common Position on Cuba is the only one of its kind.

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