Monsters and Critics
Aug 31, 2007, 10:18 GMT
Geneva - Cuba has invited a UN special rapporteur to visit the country for the first time in more than 20 years, it was revealed Friday.
Swiss sociologist Jean Ziegler, expert on the right to food, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in Geneva he would visit Cuba from October 28 to November 6 as part of a team of five.
Ziegler said he expected to meet 'all the key people' though he had not yet finalised the details.
Cuba has refused access to UN human rights workers since the mid-1980s, when it started being regularly censured by the former UN Human Rights Commission and was placed on a list of countries under permanent observation.
The apparent shift in policy follows its removal from the list, along with Belarus, by the new Human Rights Council earlier this year and the gesture has been taken also as a sign of political change within Cuba.
'I welcome the invitation. It is a sign that Cuba is interested in opening a dialogue with the Human Rights Council,' said Ziegler. It is expected other experts could follow such as the rapporteur on health.