You may recall that the sanctions were imposed in 2003 following the regime’s crack-down on dissidents.
According to reports from Brussels, the EU seems to think that the semi-retirement of Fidel Castro and the fact that Cubans can now buy mobiles phones (but no toasters until 2010!), is reason enough to restore full diplomatic relations with Havana.
"We see encouraging signs in Cuba and I think that we should show the population in Cuba that we are ready to work with them," the EU’s commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldne, told reporters.
Well, that's her view ... as the Swedish foreign minister said before the vote, the “reforms” introduced by Raul Castro since taking over officially from his brother earlier this year are at best cosmetic.
Perhaps I am missing something here, but "giving" Cubans the "right" to window-shop for outrageously over-priced DVDs or to enter the lobbies of hotels once reserved for tourists hardly amount to major political change.