The Cuban delegation expressed concerns about racism, the use of torture, and the lack of trade union rights in the United States during the first bilateral dialogue between the two countries regarding human rights.
This first meeting held Tuesday was billed as a technical-level meeting to define the structure of future conversations about human rights, but still offered a space for a preliminary dialogue on topics that Cuba would like to address with the U.S.
Pedro Luis Pedroso, the head of the Cuban delegation, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, said, “We expressed concerns about the patterns of discrimination and racism in U.S. society, the intensification of police brutality, torture and extrajudicial executions in the fight against terrorism and the legal limbo of prisoners jailed at Guantanamo Bay.”
Pedroso, who is also the deputy director for multilateral affairs and international law at the Cuban ministry for external affairs, indicated that the meeting was respectful, professional and offered proof that “it is possible to relate to one another in a civilized way.”
Pedroso also released a statement ahead of the talks outlining Cuba’s expectations for the meeting.
“The dialogue will include issues of interest for both countries and, within this context, Cuba will show its achievements in the promotion and protection of all human rights, not only to the Cuban people, but also to the peoples of numerous nations that have received Cuba’s cooperation in health and education,” read the statement.
The talks are part of efforts by both countries to reestablish diplomatic relations, a process that began in December of last year with an announcement from Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama that the countries would work toward normalizing relations.
“These conversations on issues related to human rights constitute a symbol of Cuba’s will to discuss any issue with the United States, despite our differences, based on equality and reciprocity,” Pedroso added.
teleSUR, April 1, 2015
Link to the original article: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cuba-Concerned-About-Police-Brutality-Human-Rights-in-the-US-20150401-0003.html.