EU, Cuba signed Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation
The signing of the agreement assumes significance in the backdrop of recent events such as the victory of Donald Trump as the president of the USA and death of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
The agreement was signed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla and EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini.
Significance of the Agreement
• It seeks to normalise ties between the 28-nation European Union and Cuba.
• Under its policy since 1996, the EU declined to continue ties with Cuba due to its poor record on human rights front.
• The agreement facilitates EU’s continuous support for the economic and political modernization efforts in Cuba.
• It also enables greater cooperation between the two entities to face common challenges such as terrorism, climate change, WTO trade negotiations including the Doha Development Agenda, etc.
• Assistance from a powerful trade and economic bloc like EU is necessary for the island nation to save itself from the threat of climate change.
• For the European Union, global cooperation is necessary to tackle the menace of terrorism.
• The political dialogue and cooperation are expected to give a boost to trade ties. At present, the EU is the largest trading partner for Cuba outside the Latin American Region.
• Globally, the European grouping is the 2nd largest trading partner and a significant foreign investor and provider of cooperation funds to Cuba.
• This is the first such a normalisation agreement signed by Cuba after the death of its iconic leader in November 2016.
• During his tenure, Fidel Castro strongly opposed the USA and capitalist countries and maintained the country’s economic system on the socialistic lines.
• The agreement also assumes much significance in the backdrop of Donald Trump’s recent election victory as the President of the USA.
• Trump during his election campaign and even after the election showed his reluctance towards normalization of relations with Cuba.
• Due to the close cooperation and strategic ties between the EU and the USA, it is expected to see how the EU will continue its momentum vis-à-vis its relations with Cuba.