Svoboda dismisses comments by Cuban foreign minister in Geneva

17-03-2004

Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda in Geneva, Switzerland for the 60th annual session of the UN Conference on Human Rights, has dismissed inflammatory comments made by Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque of Cuba. On Wednesday Mr Roque had harsh words for the Czechs, a reaction to the Czech Republic's past and current condemnation of Cuba's record on human rights. Mr Roque called the Czech Republic a 'contemptible lackey' of the United States and Washington, comments Mr Svoboda dismissed by indicating Czechs knew well what to think of totalitarian regimes. Between 1999 and 2001 the Czech Republic initiated a resolution by the UN commission condemning human rights abuses in Cuba, and currently a four-day event is underway in Prague marking solidarity with political prisoners jailed in Cuba last year.