There is a further sign of a thaw in relations between Cuba and the EU.
Havana has said it is willing to discuss human rights issues with Brussels as part of their rapprochement. Cooperation was reestablished last year after a five year rift over Cuban political prisoners. Both sides plan to meet for further talks in Brussels in May: “We are in an optimum position to pursue this dialogue and I hope that we shall be capable in the coming months and years to modify our common position and add another dimension to our dialogue.” said EU Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel. One group of women is particularly eager to meet Michel while he is in Havana. They are the mothers and wives of 75 dissidents jailed in 2003 after the massive government crackdown which led to the diplomatic rift. But hopes for their relatives release may be slim – Cuba says it regards dialogue on its penal system as an internal state matter.