HAVANA -- Cuba said yesterday it was resuming formal ties with all of Europe, ending a deep freeze in relations following a 2003 crackdown on dissidents and the executions of three men who tried to hijack a ferry.
Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told journalists that official contacts had resumed with the Havana-based ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and the Netherlands, as well as with the European Union mission.
"Cuba has reestablished official contacts now with all of the EU countries," Perez Roque said. Although diplomatic ties with the European countries were never severed, high-level contacts between Cuba and many EU members were limited for more than 1½ years.
Last week, Cuba reestablished contacts with eight other European nations: France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Portugal, and Sweden. Cuba earlier had resumed formal contact with Spain, Belgium, and Hungary.
Relations between Cuba and Europe chilled after Cuba cracked down on the island's opposition in March 2003, rounding up and sentencing 75 dissidents to prison terms ranging from six to 28 years.
Cuba accused the activists of working with the US government to undermine Fidel Castro's communist system, which the dissidents and American officials deny.
European nations were also troubled by the executions around the same time of the three men.