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Posted April 14, 2005 by Cubana in Cuba Human Rights

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Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:05 AM ET

GENEVA (Reuters)

The United Nations top human rights body on Thursday backed a call by the United States to keep pressure on Cuba by renewing the mandate of a special investigator into alleged abuse there.
The public vote, one of the most politically charged at the annual session of the 53-state U.N. Commission on Human Rights, was 21 in favor to 17 against, with 15 abstentions.

The European Union, which has been seeking to improve ties with Havana after a two-year rift over the jailing of dissidents, co-sponsored the U.S. resolution.

“The Cuban government has failed to take the steps that would guarantee its own people the most basic human rights,” said U.S. delegation member Lino Piedra.

“Instead they have persisted in imposing a totalitarian state that deprives the people of the right of expressing dissent without incurring a decades-long prison sentence,” he said.

But the Cuban delegate, whose name was not immediately available, blasted the resolution as “hypocrisy,” adding decisions of the Geneva-based Commission amounted to a “farce.”

Attacking Cuba at the commission was a “sick obsession of successive U.S. administrations,” he added.

The resolution called on Cuba to cooperate with the special U.N. envoy, French magistrate Christine Chanet, who recently urged the Communist state to free all political dissidents, grant freedom of expression and lift restrictions on travel.

Havana has yet to allow the official, first appointed in 2003, to visit the Caribbean island state where President Fidel Castro has governed since 1959.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 15, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Cuba is the ONLY country in the world which is annually subjected to a resolution condemning its human rights record. Althought there may well be human rights issues in Cuba, compared to a signifigant number of countries around the world, Cuba should be way down on the list of priorities. In Cuba, there are no gross human rights violations (systematic, State-sanctioned torture, disappearances, extra-judicial executions)and its is a paragon of success in social rights such as the right to education, healthcare, housing, etc. Why is it that the European Union, the United States, and other countries have not sponsored a resolution against Saudi Arabia? Colombia? Sudan? Israel? The U.S.A. with its flagrant violation of international law in holding prisoners without trial or lawyers for several years in the Guantanamo base? A what about the human rights of the tens of thousands (possible 100,000!) Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the invasion, a war that was never sanctioned by international law. The double standard is truly nauseating.

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