Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Statement of the MFA of the Czech Republic on the Expulsion of Karel Schwarzenberg

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic regards as inadmissible yesterday’s expulsion of Karel Schwarzenberg, Member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, who travelled to Cuba to meet with representatives of internal opposition and to attend an assembly of dissident groups.(10:30, 23.5.2005)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic regards as inadmissible yesterday's expulsion of Karel Schwarzenberg, Member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, who travelled to Cuba to meet with representatives of internal opposition and to attend an assembly of dissident groups. Although Senator Schwarzenberg violated no Cuban laws, and had a valid passport and visas, he was detained together with German Deputy Arnold Vaatz by the Cuban police and subsequently deported from the country without being permitted to contact the Embassy. Cuba also denied visas to a group of European deputies, including three Czech members of the European Parliament.

The current Cuban government has been violating by its acts the principles of international law and the elementary diplomatic conventions. It is not interested in a constructive dialogue with the EU, a proof of which is its recent denial to issue visas to a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and two other diplomats. It is apparent that the Castro regime perceives any cooperative effort on the part of the European Union as a concession. The Cuban government has been absolutely ignoring all appeals of the international community for the release of the unjustly imprisoned persons and continues to pursue its repressive policy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic will continue to follow with attention the course of the meeting of representatives of the political opposition opening in Havana today as well as the steps of the Cuban authorities. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Petr Kolář invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today the Cuban Chargé d'Affaires in Prague to strongly protest against the conduct of the Cuban authorities.

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