The row started in 2003 after European embassies in Cuba made a policy to invite dissidents to diplomatic receptions in the Cuban capital Havana. All EU countries pledge to do this on their national day celebrations, such as to the French embassy on Bastille Day and to the British embassy for the Queen's birthday.
This move was in protest at Cuba's decision to imprison 75 dissidents and to execute 3 hijackers. The Cuban government, which calls its dissidents "mercenaries in the pay of the United States", took this as an insult and cut off almost all diplomatic relations with all European Union ambassadors and their embassies despite few dissidents willing to risk turning up to the events.
Read more about this topic: Cocktail Wars
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