Europe excludes Cuba from aid funds for now
Cuba is a new member of the African Caribbean Pacific group, or ACP, which
holding a leaders' summit at a palm-fringed island resort near the Fijian town of
Nadi. The 63 national delegations are trying to forge a single negotiating position
ahead of trade talks with Brussels in September.
Central to the talks is a 25-year pact signed by the EU and ACP in 2000,
the Cotonou agreement, which promises $12.7 billion in aid to ACP states over the
next five years if they show efforts to improve human rights and root out
As a latecomer to the ACP, Cuba has not signed Cotonou.
EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, who is attending the summit, on Friday
rejected overtures from ACP leaders to give Cuba quick access to the agreement,
said ACP spokesman Hegel Goutier.
The EU believes Cuba cannot satisfy basic principles of the agreement,
with respect to democracy and human rights, said Billie Miller, deputy prime
minister of Barbados, who heads the Caribbean grouping at the summit.
Miller said she had formally appealed on behalf of Caribbean nations to
the EU to
fast track Cuba's inclusion.
The head of Cuba's delegation, Ricardo Cabrisas, called the EU decision
humiliation and slap in the face for Cuba," Goutier said.
Lamy told delegates that the EU wanted to see more political reform from
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.