The EU ambassador to Cuba, Alberto Navarro, will continue to lead the Caribbean legation. This is clear from the letter sent by the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell, this Thursday to a group of MEPs – from the EPP, from the Renew Europe group and from ECR – who in recent weeks had expressed to Borrell, through several letters, their discomfort at the diplomat’s management of the embassy.
In these communications, MEPs criticized Navarro for sending a letter to President Biden requesting the lifting of the embargo on the island; They also pointed out some of the grievances that the legation had committed against Cuban activists or dissidents, and on the non-publication in the legation of any of the EU resolutions, regarding the opposition José Daniel Ferrer, detained for six months by the Cuban regime for bogus charges.
The tension increased even more after the statements made by the ambassador to the CubaNet media, in which Navarro assured that he did not consider Cuba to be a dictatorship.
After all this, the diplomat was summoned two weeks ago to Brussels to give explanations, after which he returned to Cuba.
This week, Borrell’s first reactions to the Navarro case were revealed. In statements to the press, this Wednesday the High Representative acknowledged that “mistakes” had been made at the EU Embassy in Cuba, but admitted that the issue was still being assessed, and no decision had been made regarding Navarro’s future .
This Thursday, it seemed to be taken, according to the reply letter sent by Borrell to the MEPs, to which ABC has had access.
In it, Borrell, before going into the details of the investigation, effusively defends the EU Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement with Cuba, that has been questioned by some MEPs and NGOs for failing to fulfill one of the essential conditions of the text, such as the non-violation of human rights on the island by the Cuban regime. Reason enough to terminate said agreement. In the High Representative’s opinion, “it is the best way to promote political and economic reforms, promote democracy and human rights, and improve the lives of the Cuban people.”
After this paragraph, the High Representative goes on to list the complaints presented by MEPs, denying some facts and correcting some deficiencies in the management of the embassy in the future. Regarding the letter sent by Navarro to Biden, requesting the lifting of the embargo, Navarro recognizes, according to Borrell, that “it is not within his functions as diplomatic representative of the European Union to sign this type of initiative, even less when they are addressed to the leader of a third country ‘. However, the High Representative underlines that this position regarding the lifting of sanctions is in the same line that the EU defends. Y vehemently rejects that Navarro tried to influence other diplomats, as the MEPs point out, to sign the open letter addressed to the US president, sent on February 9.
Finally, he addresses the controversial statements of Alberto Navarro to a Cuban media, and points out that Navarro “accepts that he was wrong in his comments about the nature of the Cuban political system and, in particular, deeply regrets his response to the question about whether Cuba can be considered a dictatorship. It is clear that Cuba is a one-party regime, where political pluralism and fundamental freedoms are not respected “, emphasizes Borrell.
The High Representative concludes the letter by confirming that the EU ambassador to Cuba has committed two important communication or trial errors, something that Borrell calilfica from «lamentable» and that they have been the reason for having been summoned to Brussels. And he settles the controversy by ensuring that Navarro “has admitted his mistakes” and has presented “Your deepest apologies”. Regarding the other accusations presented “they have been, in my opinion, clarified.”
If there is no other controversy, Navarro will remain at the head of the legation in Cuba until next August.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism