May 19, 1999
MOSCOW (May 18, 1999 10:59 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - A high-ranking Russian official said Tuesday he saw no evidence of human rights violations in Cuba during his recent trip to the island, ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
The claim by Human Rights Commissioner Oleg Mironov was loudly denounced by Cuban nationals in Moscow, the report said.
Mironov told a news conference that the "negative opinion" about the Communist nation was "not true," adding that Cuba has "free education and health care."
Several Cuban emigres who attended the conference spoke out violently against the Russian official's summary of their country, where they said they had been victimized by an oppressive regime.
Mironov blamed Cuba's poor material conditions on the U.S. embargo, which he says has made the current food-voucher system a "necessity."
"But every Cuban gets the sufficient minimum," he said.
The Cubans present accused Mironov of pandering to Russia's powerful communists in his unflinching support of the current Cuban regime, and of ignoring the increasing reports of political repression in that country.
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Copyright © 1999 Agence France-Press
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