Cuba-US Human Rights Talks were Marked by Mutual Respect and Professionalism
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (acn) During the first Cuba-US talks on human rights, held on March 31 in Washington D.C., the representatives of the island expressed their country´s concerns regarding human rights in the United States.
“We expressed our concerns regarding discrimination and racism patterns in US society, the worsening of police brutality, torture acts and extrajudicial executions in the fight on terror and the legal limbo of prisoners at the US prison camp in Guantanamo, “ said the head of the Cuban delegation to the talks, Pedro Luis Pedroso.
During a news conference in Washington, the deputy general director for Multilateral Affairs and International Law at the Cuban Foreign Ministry said that the island´s delegation also put forth its concern about the limitation of labor rights and union liberties.
According to Pedroso, despite deep differences about conception and the exercise of human rights between Cuba and the United States, the meeting held at the US State Department took place in an atmosphere of respect and professionalism.
“We addressed issues of mutual interest, “said Pedroso, who noted that the dialog evidenced that it is possible to have civilized relations based on the recognition and respect of the differences.”
Pedroso added that the meeting, held on the initiative of Cuba, ratified the willingness of Havana to discuss any issue on equal grounds and reciprocity.
Cuba also presented some of its achievements in terms of the protection and promotion of human rights and he did not discard future exchanges on the topic.
The human rights talks adds to other issues of bilateral interest for Cuba and the United States that run parallel to the ongoing process aimed at reestablishing diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies in Washington and Havana.
Havana and Washington Consider further Meetings on Human Rights
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (acn) Cuba´s permanent representative in Geneva, Ambassador Anayansi Rodriguez, said that the March 31 Cuba-US talks on human rights were held in the expected atmosphere of professionalism and respect and considered further meetings on the topic.
Both sides discussed the methodological basis for future talks on the issue and they addressed some important topics that will be of mutual interest in upcoming meetings, said the diplomat.
As we expected, we ratified the differences between our countries as to the human rights issue, both in the national arena and as how human rights are promoted and protected in the two nations as well as in the international scenario, in multilateral forums that address this issue.
The diplomat said that both sides ratified their capacity to hold a respectful, professional and civilized dialog on the issue by recognizing their differences in terms of their perceptions and even the balance regarding civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, which for Cuba they are indivisible, they are interconnected and none of them have more importance than the others because Cuba addresses them in an integral way. These differences surfaced during the dialog, the diplomat said.
Meanwhile, international media cited statements by a State Department official at the end of the talks referring that “The atmosphere of the meeting was professional, and there was broad agreement on the way forward for a future substantive dialogue.”
“Both sides expressed willingness to discuss a wide range of topics in future substantive talks,” the official added.
The U.S. delegation was led by Tom Malinowski, the State Department’s assistant secretary for human rights and democracy. And the Cuban delegation was headed by Pedro Luis Pedroso, deputy director of multilateral affairs and law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Washington Describes as Professional US-Cuba Human Rights Talks
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (acn) The United States and Cuba discussed human rights in a professional atmosphere, and paved the way for future meetings on the issue, said the US State Department.
In a press release, the US side said that Havana and Washington addressed the methodology and topics as well as the structure of bilateral dialog on human rights, which was proposed by the island.
The date and place for next conversations will be announced through diplomatic channels.
According to the US State Department, the two delegations expressed their concerns on the issue of human rights and their willingness to debate a wide gamut of topics in future meetings.
The Cuban delegation described as respectful and professional the meeting held on March 31, despite the deep differences between the two countries.