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Cuba Signs UN Rights Pacts Fidel Castro Opposed

The Cuban government signed two United Nations human rights pacts Thursday that former Cuban President Fidel Castro opposed for more than 30 years.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

He said the Cuban government still had reservations about some provisions in the pacts.

The right of workers to form and join trade unions is among Cuba's concerns about the pacts.

Roque announced his government's intention to sign the pacts in December when Fidel Castro was still the Cuban president.

Roque also announced in December that Cuba would open its doors in early 2009 to regular scrutiny by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Raul Castro formally replaced his brother as Cuba's president earlier this week. He had been running the country on a provisional basis since his brother became ill in July 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.