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President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola
President of the European Council, Charles Michel
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell
Secretary-General of the European Parliament, Klaus Welle

Brussels, January 28th 2022

We the undersigned, Members of the European Parliament and of the delegation of The Left Group of the EP, that will visit Cuba between 31 January and 5 February, express our dismay at the refusal of the Travel Agency CWT, official provider of services for the European Parliament to book the official trip of MEP’s and staff composing the delegation to Cuba, given the fact that the agency belongs to a U.S. Company.

This action shows one further facet of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US to Cuba for over 6 decades, which remains an unacceptable coercive measure against a sovereign State, adopted unilaterally and with an extraterritorial character, in frank violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

This blockade were brutally intensified with the imposition of more sanctions during the U.S. Trump Administration, including in the context of the pandemic. Biden’s current U.S. Administration has maintained them all in place.

Despite all sanctions and while the US intensified blocking measures, Cuba offered medical support to the whole world, including to some European countries.

It is in this context, almost two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, that the delegation of the Left Group visits Cuba, in order to better assess the harmful consequences of this blockade for Cuba and how it undermines the rights of the Cuban people.

The European Union and its Member States are therefore required to adopt a clear condemnation of the policy of interference and aggression of the U.S. against Cuba and to call for an end to the criminal US blockade against this Caribbean country. This policy constitutes a direct attack on Cuba’s sovereignty and undermines the rights of the Cuban people, in particular by seeking to prevent economic and social development, including access to essential health, food, education, sport or cultural goods, thus entailing heavy damage and consequences for the Cuban people.

At the same time, the relationship of the EU and its Member States with Cuba must respect the UN Charter, international law and the principle of the sovereignty of the States and peoples – this is the policy that serves the interests of the European peoples and countries. It is our duty to pursue a path of dialogue and cooperation rather than one of interference and aggression.

Moreover, the contract with this travel agency, which as a result of the criminal blockade cannot be fulfilled as expected and, in compliance with its obligations on an equal footing with other destinations, increasing of bureaucracy within the European Parliament, also constitutes a barrier to the fulfilment of the duties of its Members.

Cordially,

Manu Pineda,

Sandra Pereira,

Martin Schirdewan

Sira Rego

Kostas Arvanitis

Elena Kountoura

Marc Botenga

Leila Chaibi

Pernando Barrena

Maria Eugenia Rodriguez Palop

Giorgos Georgiou

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