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German Parliamentarians Scandalized over Cuba Visa Row

Cuba has refused to issue visas to a German parliamentary delegation on the grounds that it was unacceplable for the parliamentarians to meet with Cuban opposition groups.


The Cuban flag next to national hero Jose Marti in Havana

The members of the German-Central American Parliamentary Group had planned a three-day visit beginning on Dec. 16.

In a joint statement, the deputy parliamentary leader of the liberal Free Democrats, Werner Hoyef, and the deputy chairperson of the parliamentary group, Miriam Gruss, called for the government to officially protest.

"It can't be that the Cuban government can dictate the guest list of the German embassy in Cuba," the said. "And it is even less credible that the German government allows this to happen."

Deutsche Botschaft in Havanna

People waiting at the German embassy in Cuba

This current incident comes just a month after the Cuban government refused to allow Cuban journalist and opposition activist Guillermo Farinas Hernandez to travel to Germany to receive the Human Rights Prize awarded by the town of Weimar.

The Cuban government also recently withdrew permission for the screening of the German documentary film Havana - the New Art of Building Ruins during December's Havana film festival.

In their statement, Hoyer and Gruss called these incidents scandalous and said the Cuban government was "clearly overstepping the boundaries of acceptable behavior."

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