February 9, 2005


Czech Republic Blocks EU Attempt to Freeze Out Cuban Dissidents (Patrick Goodenough, 02/09/2005, CNSNews.com)

Amid moves by the European Union to soften its diplomatic stance towards Cuba, the Czech Republic, an E.U. newcomer, has stymied an attempt to ban Cuban dissidents from attending receptions at European embassies in Havana.

The Prague Post called the achievement Czech's "first foreign-policy victory since joining the E.U." on May 1 last year.

The E.U. froze diplomatic ties with Fidel Castro's regime after it cracked down on dissidents in March 2003, imprisoning 75 of them. The bloc also resolved to support Cuban dissidents by inviting them to functions at the E.U. diplomatic missions, a move that in turn prompted Castro to freeze ties with the embassies. [...]

"Considering our totalitarian past, it was unacceptable for us to accept limitations on contact with people who are fighting for democracy," Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda was quoted as telling reporters.

Even stronger words came from another Czech, former dissident-turned-president Vaclav Havel, who in an op-ed published in several European newspapers accused the E.U. of "dancing to Fidel Castro's tune" and dishonoring "the noble ideals of freedom, equality and human rights that the Union espouses."

"It is suicidal for the E.U. to draw on Europe's worst political traditions, the common denominator of which is the idea that evil must be appeased and that the best way to achieve peace is through indifference to the freedom of others," Havel said.

The real suicide, and tragedy, is the decent people of Poland and the Czech Republic joining the cretinous EU.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2005 8:49 PM

Don't sell the Czechs short. They may become far more influential than their relative size may imply. I believe that if there is any hope for rescuing "old Europe", it will come from the new mwmbers in the east.

Posted by: Earl Sutherland at February 9, 2005 10:36 PM

Earl is correct.

However, we should not understate the role of the American State Department apparat as Dr. Kevorkian in this little drama. How many times did we hear drivel out of DC and Foggy Bottom in particular about how the cornerstone of our policy to the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe was that they join with the EU?

Posted by: Bart at February 10, 2005 6:20 AM

Masaryk lives!!

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 10, 2005 7:58 AM
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