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Borrell Unión Europea

EU Demands Explanation from Cuban Ambassador for Urging Biden to Drop Sanctions

Borrell summoned Navarro for consultations after 16 MEPs wrote to the High Representative asking him to replace the ambassador for his “unusual and recurrent behavior”

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The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, will receive this week the Ambassador of the Union in Cuba, the Spaniard Alberto Navarro, to receive his explanations on the letter he signed asking the President of the United States, Joe Biden, the end of the embargo on the island.

“We have asked Ambassador Alberto Navarro to come to Brussels to give details and clarifications to the High Representative,” said Borrell’s spokeswoman, Nabila Massrali. “It is scheduled to take place this week.”

Borrell summoned Navarro for consultations last Friday after 16 MEPs from the popular, liberal and conservative groups -most of them Spanish- wrote a letter to the high representative asking him to replace the Ambassador for his “unusual and recurrent behavior.”

However, Borrell’s spokeswoman today avoided speculating on the possibility of dismissing Navarro: “As to what will happen, we should not anticipate the discussion between the High Representative and the Ambassador,” she said. “The position is clear: he will come and give explanations.”

The MEPs who signed the missive said Navarro “does not deserve the high post he holds” and particularly regretted that he joined an open letter that 790 people sent to Biden asking him to end the embargo on Cuba.

“This behavior, in addition to being inappropriate, is completely alien to the functions and standards of conduct that a diplomatic representative of the European Union should exhibit, with the aggravating factor that it allows him to approach a government of a third country, a friend and ally, to which he is not accredited,” they say.

“It could be said -they continue- that the Ambassador in Havana takes political positions in line with a regime that neither respects nor defends human rights or democratic plurality, and allows himself freedoms more typical of a political leader than of a diplomat.”

According to the MEPs, Navarro tried to get the ambassadors of other EU countries to join the letter and assured that, in the past, the ambassador prevented people awarded with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience, which is granted every year by the European Parliament, from participating in events organized by the EU delegation in Cuba.

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