C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000775
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/28/2017
TAGS: UNGA PHUM CU LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA CONSIDERS HOW TO HELP WITH THE CUBAN
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION
REF: STATE 147620
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN CLOUD FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
Â¶1. (C) We delivered reftel points to Head of the America's
Division of the MFA, Lina Gubreviciute, on October 24.
Gubreviciute told us that although Cuba is not a high-profile
issue for Lithuania the MFA might be interested in
cooperating on one or more of the projects in reftel. She
said that the GOL would like to see what the EU response is
to this demarche before cooperating either within the EU or
bilaterally on some projects. Gubreviciute promised to
respond to us with possible areas of cooperation once they
Â¶2. (U) Lithuania is the only country in the EU that does not
have diplomatic relations with Cuba. On October 18 the
International Republican Institute (IRI) and Vilnius
University hosted a Baltic Working Forum on Cuba. The forum
clearly raised the profile of the human rights situation in
Cuba for the GOL and ordinary Lithuanians. The event was
attended by well known Parliamentarians such as Estonian MP
Mart Laar, as well as experts and exiled Cuban dissidents.
Though some in attendance questioned the value of the U.S.
embargo, everyone recognized the suffering caused by the
current regime and more than one Lithuanian MP publicly said
that this was not the time to open relations with Cuba.