Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque announced at a Feb. 28 press conference at UN headquarters in New York that he had just signed two human rights accords originally introduced in the world body in 1976. Opponents of Cuba�s revolutionary government have long criticized Cuba�s reluctance to sign the treaties until now. James McKinley, writing in The New York Times, raised the possibility that Cuba�s action signified a loosening of restraints under the presidency of Raul Castro. Yet the government�s intention to sign the agreements had been announced on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2007. Perez Roque said the change of course was inspired by the United Nations� decision in 2006 to replace its widely criticized Commission on Human Rights with a refurbished Human Rights Council.