Europe’s courtship of Cuba just got warmer. Brussels says the European Union should not let the United States get in ahead of it. In Washington the tide is on the turn… Conditions are ripening for possible normalisation of relations.
In Brussels, going in to a meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, European Development Commissioner Louis Michel said if the bloc fails to act swiftly to consolidate ties, “the Americans will do it before we do”. President Barack Obama said recently he wants to recast US-Cuba relations that have been hostile for 50 years. The Castro brothers Fidel and Raul have expressed a willingness to talk, though they are hedging on this with rhetoric. Havana insists that human rights concessions on the one-party communist island are not needed. The foreign minister said the EU members’ common position is obsolete.