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Written Question
Cuba: Politics and Government
28 Sep 2021

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of pro-democracy movements in Cuba.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully and that detention must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly or religion. The UK was one of the first countries on 12 July to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully. We have raised our concerns directly with the Cuban Government, both in London and Havana, and called for the authorities to release information on detained citizens, including their whereabouts.


Written Question
USA: Cuba
13 Sep 2021

Questioner: Zarah Sultana (LAB - Coventry South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to encourage the US Administration to end the economic blockade on Cuba.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The UK opposes the US embargo against Cuba. We consistently vote in support of the annual United Nations General Assembly Resolution calling for an end to the embargo. The UK considers unilateral secondary sanctions, such as the activation of Titles III and IV of the Helms Burton Act, to be contrary to international law. We have made our position on this clear, and regularly engage US officials on this issue through our Embassy in Washington, as well as with the US Embassies in Havana and London. Most recently, officials in the Latin America Department raised this with the US State Department on 11 August.


Written Question
Cuba: Demonstrations and Religious Freedom
28 Jul 2021

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, and (2) the reports of the forcible detention of religious leaders in that country.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully. The UK government has called for calm and restraint, and the full respect of all Cubans' human rights. Detention should not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. We have raised our concerns directly with the Cuban government, and called for the authorities to release information on detained citizens, including their whereabouts. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.


Written Question
Cuba: Democracy and Human Rights
27 Jul 2021

Questioner: Lord Dodds of Duncairn (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the promotion of democracy and human rights in Cuba.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK government regularly raises these important issues with the Cuban Government. On 12 July, the UK was one of the first countries to publicly reaffirm the Cuban people's right to peaceful protest. Officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office spoke to the Cuban Ambassador on the same day, urging respect for fundamental human rights. On 14 July, the British Ambassador in Havana met with officials in the Cuban Government, and urged them to uphold freedom of expression in Cuba.


Written Question
Cuba: USA
27 Jul 2021

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States of America following (1) the concerns that government have expressed about the Cuban leadership’s “calls to combat”, and (2) the US President's statement that he stands with the Cuban people.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK and US regularly discuss our perspectives on Latin America, including Cuba. We agree with the US that the protestors' concerns need to be heard, and their right to protest peacefully needs to respected. Like the US, we have been clear in calling for calm and restraint. We will continue to discuss Cuba with the US and other partners, including our opposition to the US embargo, which we consider to be counterproductive.


Written Question
Cuba: Demonstrations
20 Jul 2021

Questioner: Daniel Kawczynski (CON - Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking in response to the recent suppression of democratic protests by the Cuban regime.

Answered by Wendy Morton

On 12 July, the UK was one of the first countries to publicly reaffirm the Cuban people's right to peaceful protest. Officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spoke to the Cuban Ambassador on the same day, urging respect for fundamental human rights. On 14 July, the British Ambassador in Havana met with officials in the Cuban Government and urged them to uphold freedom of expression in Cuba, including over government policy. We are clear that detention and imprisonment should not be used to restrict freedom of expression and assembly, and will continue to raise our concerns directly with the Cuban Government, and call for the authorities to release information on detained citizens.


Written Question
Cuba: Bilateral Aid
14 Jun 2021

Questioner: Preet Kaur Gill (LAB - Birmingham, Edgbaston)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much bilateral Official Development Assistance has been allocated to Cuba in 2021-22.

Answered by Wendy Morton

Following a thorough review, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO's) aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial climate of COVID-19. FCDO programme managers are currently working with their suppliers and delivery partners to determine the precise allocations for each programme. Each country's full budget will be published in due course, including in the FCDO Annual Report and Accounts, and in the 'Statistics on International Development: Final UK Aid Spend' publication.

The portfolio agreed by the Foreign Secretary will focus our investment and expertise on issues where the UK can make the most difference, and achieve maximum strategic coherence, impact, and value for money. We remain a world-leading aid donor, and across HMG, will spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change , and improve global health.


Written Question
Kashmir: Diplomatic Service
29 Mar 2021

Questioner: Viscount Waverley (CB - Excepted Hereditary)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 9 March (HL13631), which countries participated in the diplomatic visit to Indian-administered Kashmir organised by the government of India in the week commencing 15 February.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

This is a matter for the Government of India. According to information on the Government of India's Ministry of External Affairs website (https://mea.gov.in/response-to-queries.htm?dtl/33544/Official_Spokespersons_response_to_media_queries_on_the_Visit_of_Foreign_Heads_of_Missions_to_Jammu_amp_Kashmir), Heads of Mission attended from Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cote d'Ivore, Cuba, Estonia, Finland, European Union, Eritrea, France, Ghana, Italy, Ireland, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Malawi, Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden and Tajikistan.


Written Question
Caribbean: Debts
23 Mar 2021

Questioner: Kerry McCarthy (LAB - Bristol East)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much debt is owed to the UK Government by (a) each of the five UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean (b) other small island states; and how much of that debt will be due for repayment in each of the next three years.

Answered by John Glen

The UK is committed to supporting the Overseas Territories in building successful and resilient economies. We provide technical support and encourage best practice in financial management.

There is currently no outstanding debt owed to the UK by the five UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.

Below is a breakdown of total debt owed to the UK by other small island states (as defined by the UN), including a breakdown of repayments due over the next three financial years.

Outstanding debt owed to the UK by small island states:

Country

Agreement

Currency

Arrears

Total due for the financial year: 1/4/21 - 31/3/22

Total due for the financial year: 1/4/22 - 31/3/23

Total due for the financial year: 1/4/23 - 31/3/24

Total due over three years, excluding arrears

UKEF and FCDO total exposure, including arrears (£)[1]

Antigua & Barbuda

UK/Antigua & Barbuda Debt Agreement No. 1

GBP

803,093

196,209

200,242

202,933

599,386

1,390,000

Cuba

UK/Cuba Short Term Debt Rescheduling Agreement

GBP

3,110,935

630,135

0.00

0.00

630,135

190.970,000

Cuba

UK/Cuba Debt Agreement No. 5

GBP

2,226,624

2,923,954

3,128,127

3,335,317

9,387,399

Grenada

UK/Grenada Debt Agreement No. 2

GBP

0.00

5,395

86,130

86,050

177,576

1,030,000

Seychelles

UK/Seychelles No. 1

USD

0.00

8,909

149,518

169,310

327,738

4,850,000

Seychelles

UK/Seychelles No.2

GBP

0.00

252,969

552,719

617,933

1,423,621

St Vincent[2]

-

USD

0.00

1,757,452

3,512,904

0

5,269,356

6,940,000

Dominica

-

USD

0.00

1,710,364

1,669,676

1,629,418

5,009,459

5,460,000

Bahrain[3]

-

GBP

0.00

1,993,505

1,993,505

1,993,505

5,980,517

33,730,000

[1] Total UK exposure as of 31st August 2020. The link for this information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/report-on-outstanding-debt-owed-by-other-countries-to-her-majestys-government/ukef-and-dfid-sovereign-exposure-by-recipient-country-outstanding-and-arrears

[2] St Vincent does not have monies owed in the financial year commencing 1st April 2023 as their last repayment is due on 31st December 2022.

[3] The repayment totals for Bahrain are provisional as their facility is yet to be fully drawn down.


Written Question
Cuba: USA
25 Jan 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris (LAB - Easington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his US counterpart to encourage the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba.

Answered by Wendy Morton

We regularly discuss a range of issues of mutual interest, including Cuba, with our US counterparts, and this will continue with the new US administration. The United Kingdom has repeatedly made clear that it opposes the US embargo against Cuba, which we see as counterproductive. The UK considers the extraterritorial effects of the embargo, in particular those stemming from the activation of Titles III and IV of the Helms Burton Act, to be illegal under international law. We look forward to discussing the situation in Cuba with the new US Administration, and sharing thoughts on the positive developments in the UK's relationship with Cuba in recent years.


Written Question
UN Human Rights Council: Membership
27 Oct 2020

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the election of China, Cuba and Pakistan to the United Nations General Assembly’s Human Rights Council in view of the human rights records of those countries; and what steps they intend to take to ensure that the right to freedom of religion or belief and other human rights are protected and promoted at that Council.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

As I said in my statement on 13 October following the election results, as a founding member of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), the UK has been a strong advocate of its vital work since its inception, and we are honoured to be elected for a fifth term. We note the election of China, Cuba and Pakistan; we are clear that all members of the Council should uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and cooperate fully with the HRC. We will continue to use our voice to help strengthen the Council, and to support countries working to improve their human rights record. We will also continue to hold all those responsible for the worst violations and abuses to account through the Council. We did so most recently at the 45th session of the UN HRC on 25 September when I raised serious concerns about the human rights situations in Xinjiang, and called for China to release all those who are arbitrarily detained.

The UK is committed to defending Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for all. We actively promote the right to FoRB through our diplomatic activity both directly with countries, and through multilateral fora including the UN where we call out countries that violate this human right. Defending Freedom of Religion or Belief was a core pledge in our campaign to be re-elected to the UN HRC, and we will continue to use our position to stand up for individuals who are persecuted for their faith, belief, or because they have no religious belief. Over recent months, Ministers and diplomats have raised issues relating to FoRB in many countries including China and Pakistan. I raised FoRB issues including inclusive and tolerant education with Pakistan's Minister for Education, Mr Shafqat Mahmood, on 1 October.


Written Question
Football Association Premier League
13 Jul 2020

Questioner: Stephen Morgan (LAB - Portsmouth South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his statement at the daily press conference on 17 June, that all but five countries worldwide broadcast the restart of the Premier League on 17 June 2020, which five countries did not air the restart of the Premier League.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

We understand from the Premier League that broadcast rights to their matches have been sold around the world, with only five countries not covered as of 17 June - Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea, the Philippines and Turkmenistan.


Written Question
Football Association Premier League: Broadcasting
26 Jun 2020

Questioner: Dawn Butler (LAB - Brent Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which 5 countries did not air the restart of the Premier League this month.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

We understand from the Premier League that broadcast rights to their matches have been sold around the world, with only five countries not covered as of 17 June - Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea, the Philippines and Turkmenistan.


Written Question
Cuba: Coronavirus
18 May 2020

Questioner: Grahame Morris (LAB - Easington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 40585 on Cuba: Coronavirus, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the US administration on the (a) blockade and (b) restrictions of covid-19 medical resources and humanitarian assistance to Cuba.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The UK Government does not support the US embargo against Cuba. We consider the extraterritorial impacts of the embargo, including those on UK companies, to be contrary to international law, and we are not persuaded that these sanctions encourage potential reforms and economic progress.

We are in regular contact with our US partners, who are aware of our opposition to the embargo. We communicate this both privately, and through our public statements. The United Kingdom unfailingly votes in favour of the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo. We have been working actively with the Cuban Government and other organisations on ideas to reform the business environment, and provide direct support to UK companies wishing to do legitimate business with Cuba.


Written Question
Caribbean: Coronavirus
18 May 2020

Questioner: Fabian Hamilton (LAB - Leeds North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to repatriate British citizens stranded in (a) Cuba, (b) Barbados, (c) Grenada, (d) Montserrat and (e) Antigua and Barbuda as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities, and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March, with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have brought home over 32,000 people on 153 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories. We have also supported over 11,000 people to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means.

There are currently no scheduled commercial flight options available to return to the UK from Cuba, Barbados or Grenada. We are aware of a commercial flight operated by British Airways which departed on Sunday 17 May and this was highlighted in our public messaging especially to those in Antigua and Barbuda and also to those in Montserrat who could benefit from this flight. Our consular network in the region continues to provide support to British nationals who require assistance.