EU official says bloc eyes changes to Cuba policy

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Associated Press

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 1:04 PM

MADRID (AP) — A senior European Union official says the bloc is considering changes to its policy on Cuba.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Friday during a visit to Madrid that the EU "is discussing, internally, the possibility of modifications" to its Cuba policy, though any changes would require the blessing of the bloc's 28 member countries.

Barroso didn't elaborate, but he reaffirmed the EU's long-standing insistence that Cuba must respect human rights and introduce democratic reforms.

His comments came after a series of reforms in Cuba since Raul Castro became president in 2006, including opening up Internet access, allowing Cubans to run their own businesses and travel abroad without asking permission from the government.

However, Cuban authorities still consider the island's small community of dissidents to be counterrevolutionaries.

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