27 maggio 1995
SOMMARIO. Emma Bonino ribadisce i motivi dell'ostilità europea alla legislazione anticubana in discussione presso il parlamento USA: una tale legislazione non farebbe che rafforzare Castro, allontanando il momento della sua eliminazione. Bonino ha anche incontrato membri del Congresso, democratici e repubblicani. Notizie anche della visita a Haiti.
WASHINGTON - Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Emma Bonino on Friday repeated Brussels' hostility to anti-Cuba legislation before the U.S. Congress, saying it would prolong President Fidel Castro's rule, not shorten it as it aims to do.
"My personal feeling is that it can become the best alibi for the Castro regime," said Bonino, who visited Cuba last week.
"Finding a foreign scapegoat is the best way to pull together national cohesion," she told reporters.
Republican bills introduced in the Senate by Jesse Helms of North Carolina and in the House of Representatives by Dan Burton of Indiana would tighten a long-standing U.S. economic embargo against Cuba. One provision calls for sanctions against countries that import Cuban sugar.
The EU presidency last month expressed "grave concern" over the bills, which the Clinton administration also opposes.
In Havana last week, Bonino urged Castro to speed up economic reform but said the EU would continue to provide the communist-ruled island with humanitarian aid.
She has been meeting in Washington with Democratic and Republican members of Congress and with State Department and Agency for International Development (AID) officials.
Bonino said EU aid to Cuba of about $30 million a year was targeted at needy groups such as children, old people and pregnant women and went through private aid agencies, not the government. She said it had helped prevent major suffering caused by the economic crisis there.
Bonino, who also visited Haiti earlier this week, said she had decided to continue emergency aid there for the rest of this year. Previously she had hoped to end the aid because a $1 billion international package, to which the EU has pledged $400 million, is coming into effect following the return to power of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide last September.
Bonino said she was continuing the emergency aid to ensure continuity. The EU has given Haiti $30 million aid since 1991.