All's forgiven now, chaps
You may recall that the 27-member EU imposed selective diplomatic sanctions against Havana in 2003 after 75 Cuban dissidents were rounded up by the regime, accused of a host of trumped-up, “anti-revolutionary” charges and then sentenced to jail terms of up to 25 years a piece.
While the sanctions were largely meaningless, the symbolism was unmistakable – and the decision certainly pissed off Fidel Castro, who launched a virulent attack on the Europeans, describing them as “imperialist lackeys”. And worse.
Obviously the Europeans are a forgiving lot.
They are now back in Havana, as you can see from this Reuters report, shaking hands with that awful Felipe Perez Roque and signing all sorts of “co-operation” agreements with the Castro regime. Most important of all, they are bringing with them some much-needed cash in the form of aid and credits.
For their part, the Cubans say they are happy to restart an open and constructive dialogue with the EU – on the Cubans' terms, of course, which essentially means the Europeans have been told to stay clear of Cuban domestic issues, such as human and political rights.
As for the imprisoned dissidents that supposedly caused so much angst in the Old Continent five years ago, well, at least 55 of them remain behind bars.