Friday, April 21, 2006

Czechs give a nice kick in the culo to Cuban diplomat

Czech Republic expels Cuban attache as reciprocal step

Prague, April 19 (CTK) - The Czech Republic today expelled the Cuban attache in Prague, refusing to extend his visa because Havana did the same to Czech diplomat Stanislav Kazecky last week, Richard Krpac from the Czech Foreign Ministry's press department has told CTK.

Havana last week expelled Kazecky whom it accused of subversive activities and work for the US.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has dismissed the accusation.

Prague today expelled Cuban attache Manuel Angel Baltar Charnicharo. He reportedly left the Czech Republic this morning. The number of Cuban diplomats in Prague has thus dropped to two.

Two Czech diplomats have remained in Cuba since Kazecky's departure.

The Czech Republic and Cuba each have missions on the charge d'affaires level in the other country, not regular embassies.

On return to Prague, Kazecky said that by his expulsion the Cuban government had reacted to the Czech foreign policy focused on human rights. In an interview with the Czech daily Lidove noviny, Kazecky admitted having supported the Cuban opposition in its resistance to Fidel Castro's regime. However, many other foreign diplomats in Havana do so, he pointed out.

The incident mirrors the standing bad relations between the Czech Republic and Cuba. Prague ranks among the largest critics of the Cuban regime in the U.N. and in the EU, and Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda wants the EU to take a tougher approach to Cuba.

Several Czech citizens have been expelled from Cuba in the past years. Last May, Castro's regime expelled Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg who had arrived in Havana to attend a meeting organised by the local opposition.

This January, Czech model Helena Houdova and psychologist Mariana Kroftova were temporarily detained when they photographed a slum in Havana.
Still loving the Czechs.

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