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Mexico Condemns Executions in Cuba

April 15, 2003

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexico on Monday condemned Cuba’s execution of three men who tried to hijack a ferry to the United States.

But Mexico kept silent on how it plans to vote on a resolution on its traditional ally’s human rights record. The vote is expected in the coming days at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Mexico’s foreign ministry compared Friday’s execution of the three men to the death penalty, and stressed it ``profoundly regrets″ its application on the island.

It said Mexico does not apply the death penalty and has made a point in speaking out against it internationally.

The Cuban executions coincided with a crackdown on Cuban dissidents in which 75 government opponents were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 28 years in one-day trials.

Last year Mexico provoked anger in Havana when for the first time it supported a resolution condemning Cuba’s human rights record.

Mexico is the only Latin American country that didn’t break diplomatic ties with Cuba after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. It has maintained warm relations with the island by traditionally abstaining from the human rights commission’s annual vote.

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