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Rights Group Calls on EU to Support Cuban Dissidents

An international journalists' rights group has called on the European Union to maintain its support for Cuban dissidents.

In a statement released Friday, the Paris-based Reporters without Borders called Cuba the world's biggest prison for the press after China.

The group criticized the EU Committee on Latin America's recommendation to reestablish cooperation with Cuban authorities.

It said resumption of dialogue with the communist nation would not result in significant progress in human rights. The group said the EU should maintain the measures adopted after the "Black Spring" arrests in March 2003, and recommended more active support for dissidents now being repressed in Cuba.

In a separate statement, the group also strongly condemned the January 22 kidnapping of photographer Hernan Arboleda in Colombia. It called on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, to immediately release Mr. Arboleda.