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03:08

Cuba: Mogherini stresses support for Havana despite US sanctions

Cuba, Havana
September 10, 2019 at 16:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc will support Cuba's modernisation despite a hike in US sanctions against the country. She was speaking at a joint news conference with Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez in Havana on Tuesday.

"The European Union strictly condemns the full activation of the Helms-Burton Act by United States and considers its extraterritorial unilateral usage of power illegal, and will take all the appropriate measures to protect its [Cuba's] legitimate interests, citizens and businesses," said Mogherini.

Mogherini emphasized that the EU's role in Cuba's development would be limited to sharing its experience and supporting financially. 'This is not for the European Union to give suggestions to Cuba or to any other partner we have in the world on how to proceed on the economic policies. But we are seeing, for instance, in the new constitution, some clear indications about the new orientations of the economic policy," said Mogherini.

Cuba adopted a new constitution after it was supported in a referendum on February 24. The new law recognises private property and limits presidential powers - changes that were welcomed by the EU.

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EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc will support Cuba's modernisation despite a hike in US sanctions against the country. She was speaking at a joint news conference with Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez in Havana on Tuesday.

"The European Union strictly condemns the full activation of the Helms-Burton Act by United States and considers its extraterritorial unilateral usage of power illegal, and will take all the appropriate measures to protect its [Cuba's] legitimate interests, citizens and businesses," said Mogherini.

Mogherini emphasized that the EU's role in Cuba's development would be limited to sharing its experience and supporting financially. 'This is not for the European Union to give suggestions to Cuba or to any other partner we have in the world on how to proceed on the economic policies. But we are seeing, for instance, in the new constitution, some clear indications about the new orientations of the economic policy," said Mogherini.

Cuba adopted a new constitution after it was supported in a referendum on February 24. The new law recognises private property and limits presidential powers - changes that were welcomed by the EU.

M/S EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez at news conference, Havana

M/S Mogherini speaking

SOT, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Spanish): "The European Union is Cuba's first commercial partner and its first investor. And we have tripled our help in the last two years, from 50 million to 140 millions euros (55 million to 154 million dollars)."

W/S News conference in progress

SOT, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Spanish): "The European Union strictly condemns the full activation of the Helms-Burton Act by United States and considers its extraterritorial unilateral usage of power illegal, and will take all the appropriate measures to protect its [Cuba's] legitimate interests, citizens and businesses."

W/S Journalist asking question

SOT, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: "Well, this is not for the European Union to give suggestions to Cuba or to any other partner we have in the world on how to proceed on the economic policies. But we are seeing, for instance, in the new constitution, some clear indications about the new orientations of the economic policy."

M/S Journalist asking questions

SOT, Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Minister (Spanish): "The new constitution recognizes different forms of property, including private property. The development of non-state forms of management of the economy is now a reality."

M/S Journalist asking question

SOT, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: "We have discussed during this council but also in previous occasions, on how the European Union and the member states can share expertise and experiences that we have developed over the last decades or years when it comes to some issues that the Cuban authorities are already discussing in this complex of this 'actualizacion' [upgrade]. So again, respectful approach, but also at the disposal of the Cuban authorities and the people to share experiences, but also to support financially in some cases some of the implementations of these steps. "

M/S Mogherini speaking

SOT, Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Minister (Spanish): "We appreciate development of the bilateral multifaceted cooperation in the legal field, established by the mentioned agreement. It means a lot. And both parts were able to work together on the basis of the principles of the international law."

M/S Mogherini and Rodriguez shaking hands before leaving news conference

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