Europe should look again at Cuba, says Dutch foreign minister

Europe should re-examine its relationship with Cuba, Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans said during a three-day visit to the island.

Cuba has began a ‘political and economic reform process which deserves our attention,’ Timmermans said. ‘Of course, differences of opinion remain, but we have seen that it does not help if we do not talk about things.’

The visit marks the first time a Dutch foreign affairs minister has visited Cuba. On Tuesday he is due to meet Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriquez as well as writers and economists, Nos television said.

However, Kees van Kortenhof, of human rights group Stichting Glasnost urged the minister not to ignore human rights during his visit.

Last month over 1,100 people were arrested on Cuba for a variety of reasons which show political reform is still far off, Van Kortenhof told Nos radio. Some had been trying to distribute copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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