HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s National Assembly said on Wednesday it “strongly condemns” a resolution by the European Parliament, which criticized the country’s human rights record and called for EU sanctions against Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other top officials.

“The European Parliament lacks the moral, political and legal authority to judge Cuba,” Cuba’s parliament said in a statement. “This could cast doubt on the EU’s objectives of seeking to re-launch its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.”

EU leaders will meet in Brussels next week with heads of state of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), their first bi-regional summit in eight years.

They are expected to discuss issues such as climate change, development funding and Haiti’s security crisis. Cuba on Monday said it wanted stronger relations but accused the EU of being opaque and manipulative in its preparations.

The European Parliament resolution proposes “autocratic regimes should not participate in such summits” and strongly condemns Cuba’s human rights record, saying this could jeopardize a 2016 cooperation deal between Cuba and the EU, its top trade partner.

It also calls for the “immediate and unconditional release” of “unjustly detained prisoners”. Hundreds of Cubans remain in jail following anti-government protests in July 2021, the largest since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

Cuba’s Communist government says those jailed committed crimes including assault, vandalism and sedition.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell visited the island in May where he criticized the United States over its 60-year trade embargo and said the EU had “neither the capacity nor the will to impose changes in Cuba.” The European Parliament resolution said it “deeply deplores” this comment.

Cuba’s National Assembly, in turn, called the resolution “highly interfering”.

In May, Borrell said the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, will visit the island in November to evaluate the consequences of the 2021 protests.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta and Sarah Morland, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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