HAVANA – The Cuba-U.S. meeting concerning human rights earlier this week in Washington provided a chance for Havana to give an understanding to the American side about Cuba’s “reality,” the assistant director for multilateral affairs and international law with the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Pedro Luis Pedroso, told reporters on Thursday.
“There is a lack of understanding about the general situation regarding the Cuban reality. And I think that this is a mechanism that allows us just that, allows a better understanding of our reality,” Pedroso, who headed the Cuban delegation attending the meeting, said at a press conference.
The meeting, held at Cuba’s request, unfolded in a “professional and respectful atmosphere,” although “it verified that profound differences exist between the two governments regarding the conceptions and the exercise of human rights,” he said.
“These talks serve to exchange and identify what the interests and positions of the respective parties are,” Pedroso emphasized.
The Cuban team expressed its concerns about the persistence of frameworks of discrimination and racism, police abuse and brutality, human rights in the fight against terrorism, torture, the legal limbo of prisoners in Guantanamo and the situation of union freedoms in the United States.
“We have wanted to express issues in a general sense that not only concern Cuba, but rather the entire international community, and about which there is also debate within U.S. society,” Pedroso said.
Regarding the concerns about human rights in Cuba expressed by the U.S. side to the Cuban delegates, Pedroso said only that “they are the usual ones that have been in all media, which stem specifically from a lack of understanding of our reality.”
“These talks definitively verify the willingness of Cuba to involve ourselves in a dialogue about anything with the United States, always on the basis of respect and reciprocity,” he emphasized.