EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell upbraided the bloc’s ambassador to Cuba for his “unwise” and “regrettable” resolution to signal a controversial letter to U.S. President Joe Biden — however he received’t sack the envoy.
In a letter to MEPs dated Thursday, a duplicate of which was obtained by POLITICO, Borrell wrote: “There isn’t a doubt that … Ambassador [Alberto] Navarro has dedicated two main public communication/judgment failures in latest weeks,” referring to each the letter and Navarro’s latest feedback incorrectly describing Cuba’s communist regime.
Navarro got here underneath fireplace final month for co-signing an open letter that urged Biden to “personally take government motion” to elevate enterprise and journey restrictions on Cuba. The transfer sparked outrage amongst senior MEPs and different lawmakers coping with Latin American relations, who mentioned it was inappropriate for Navarro to make such calls for of the U.S. president. They urged Borrell to fireside the ambassador.
In his letter to MEPs, Borrell known as the ambassador’s actions “regrettable” and mentioned he had summoned him to Brussels to clarify himself.
“Ambassador Navarro has admitted his errors and introduced his deep apologies,” the international coverage chief wrote.
But Borrell made clear he’s not keen to fireside the ambassador. As a substitute, he burdened that lawmakers “should even have an understanding for the tough circumstances many [EU diplomats] are confronted with every day and act in a proportionate and truthful method once they commit errors.”
Borrell additionally wrote that Navarro had “acknowledged that it’s not throughout the scope of his features as a diplomatic consultant of the European Union” to signal such a letter, “even much less so when they’re addressed to the chief of a 3rd nation.”
And, Borrell famous, “the principle message contained within the letter is consistent with the EU’s longstanding place requesting the lifting of the US embargo in opposition to Cuba,” though that truth was not “in any means an excuse” for Navarro’s actions. Borrell himself publicly criticized the U.S. embargo throughout a press convention with Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov final month.
Nonetheless, the MEPs’ criticism of the letter to Biden went past the problem of the U.S. embargo. They identified that the letter was written in a pointy and demanding tone, and urged the U.S. to “cease being a hostile neighbor” to Cuba and to “cease interfering in our home affairs.” Borrell didn’t point out these points in his reply.
Addressing the ambassador’s feedback about Cuba not being a dictatorship, Borrell wrote: “Navarro accepts that he misspoke … on the character of the Cuban political system and specifically deeply regrets his response to the direct query on whether or not Cuba might be thought-about a dictatorship. It’s clear that Cuba is a one-party regime, the place political pluralism and basic freedoms aren’t revered.”
In a response to the international coverage chief’s letter, the European Parliament’s vp accountable for Latin America relations, Czech MEP Dita Charanzová, mentioned she welcomed the “recognition of the intense errors made.”
“It’s, nonetheless, disappointing that there was no public assertion and correction from Ambassador Navarro himself,” she mentioned. “His phrases and actions have severely broken our coverage in direction of Cuba, and it’s inconceivable for me to think about him persevering with in his present put up in Havana.”