Saturday, October 16

Sánchez sees “evident” that Cuba “is not a democracy” but avoids calling it a dictatorship




More than 24 hours has taken Pedro Sánchez in condemning the Cuban repression. And all this after hearing several pronouncements from its coalition partner, United We Can, to the contrary and the controversy created by its new spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, who avoided classifying Cuba as a dictatorship in its premiere after the Council of Ministers. PP, Vox and Ciudadanos exploded in front of this scenario and demanded throughout the day that the chief executive spoke. Before the fire created, Sánchez decided to act as a fire extinguisher and he broke his silence early in the evening by pointing out that “it is evident that Cuba is not a democracy” during an interview with Telecinco. The Prime Minister described the images of police repression as “very harsh.” “That said, it has to be Cuban society that finds the way, and the international community will have to help,” he said. “We have to ask that Cubans be able to demonstrate freely and promptly so that the necessary reforms are undertaken,” he added.

The chief executive thus corrected his newly released spokesperson. Rodríguez fueled the controversy by referring time and again to the statement issued by the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, when the press asked him if he considered Cuba a dictatorship. That note, sent at noon, had demanded that the Díaz-Canel government “respect” the right to free demonstration and had demanded the “immediate” release of the ABC correspondent, detained Monday by the Cuban authorities. Rodríguez insisted that “there is no doubt that Spain is a full democracy, defending democracy, rights and freedoms.” But it did not go further.

Excessive “caution”

The new spokeswoman was prudent in her debut and did not want to express herself in terms beyond the Foreign Ministry statement. According to government sources, so as not to hinder the claims included in the Albares statement, since, they insist, work is being done so that the journalist of this newspaper is released. The same sources insisted that their caution did not respond to the fear of embodying another clash with their partner, United We Can, but to respect the actions of their colleague.

In relation to the persecution of critical journalists in Cuba, the spokesperson added: “Work is being done and monitoring is being carried out to take the necessary measures in this matter and for journalists to have their communication and information rights guaranteed.”

For her part, the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño stressed that Sánchez was clear saying that Cuba is not a democracy and avoided putting more labels.

Outrage on the right

Sánchez’s position came after both the PP and Vox and Ciudadanos demanded that he abandon his silence and condemn the repression in Cuba. The leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado, warned that the socialist leader “He must defend the democrats and break with the dictators”, alluding not only to Cuba but also to Venezuela. For his part, the president of Vox, Santiago Abascal, accused Sánchez of being “an accomplice of the repression against the Cuban people ”for Rodríguez’s evasions to classify the Havana regime as a dictatorship.

For her part, the leader of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, wondered “What is the Sánchez government waiting for to take the side of the Cuban people, freedom and human rights?” assuring that his “his silence shames” all Democrats.

The Cuban crisis has surprised the Government with a changed foot and still immersed in the transfers of power formalized this Monday, which is why its first reactions have been too tepid. The popular spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, warned yesterday that the Executive must exhibit leadership in this crisis and offer a “united and forceful response that must exist from the European Union for freedom and democracy on the island.”

In this line, condemned that part of the coalition continues to support the Cuban regime. “There are secretaries of state who in the last hours have positioned themselves alongside the Cuban regime and are not supporting the people who are taking to the streets to demonstrate,” he charged.

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