Wednesday, June 25, 2008

End of EU sanctions on Cuba deals US a setback

June 25, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The European Union's decision to lift sanctions against Cuba dealt a setback to US diplomacy after Washington failed to convince eastern European allies to block the move, analysts say.

"It was a failure for American diplomacy, which did everything possible through pressure on eastern European countries, like the Czechs or the Poles, to get a different result," said Janette Habel, an analyst with France's Institute of Higher Learning on Latin America.

Marifeli Perez-Stable, vice president of the Inter-American Dialogue think-tank here, said Washington's hardline stance against Cuba was dented because its eastern European allies backed the EU's decision.

The US position to keep up its tough stance on Cuba "until the two Castros die is running out of fuel," Perez-Stable said.

"In Europe or Latin America, no one agrees with US policy on Cuba, whether the governments are on the right or on the left," she said.

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