Cuba

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th November 1992.

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Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross , Dundee West 12:00 am, 25th November 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on United Kingdom relations with Cuba.

Photo of Mr Tristan Garel-Jones Mr Tristan Garel-Jones , Watford

We maintain normal diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.

Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross , Dundee West

Following yesterday's decision by the General Assembly that it did not accept the extension of extra-territorial jurisdiction by the United States and given that there have been 30 years of stick for Cuba, is it not time that the Government and our European partners began to extend a little carrot? For example, should they not support the decision of the national assembly in Cuba to hold, for the first time in 30 years, direct and secret elections for the municipalities and the national assembly? Is it not time that the Minister overcame his personal aggro against Cuba and got down to normalising relations with that country?

Photo of Mr Tristan Garel-Jones Mr Tristan Garel-Jones , Watford

We are strongly opposed to the extra-territorial provisions in the Cuban Democracy Act. In company with the majority of our European partners, we abstained in the vote on the Cuban resolution. The hon. Gentleman must not be deceived, in his enthusiasm for supporting Fidel Castro, by the recent electoral reforms regarding multiple-candidate elections to the national assembly. They are purely cosmetic. President Castro has made it clear that there will be no change to the one-party system in Cuba. I do admire the hon. Gentleman—even the Soviet Union has now abandoned Fidel Castro's regime, yet he remains constant to it.