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Posted March 20, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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Cuba is leading a bid by a number of countries to strip the Human Rights Council of its power to investigate and condemn violations, a move some activists warn could jeopardize the whole UN’s credibility.

The 47 member states of the new UN watchdog, set up last year to replace its largely-discredited predecessor, are quietly negotiating a package of measures which will define its role.

At stake is the fate of “special procedures” - independent investigators appointed to report on countries where abuses are suspected. The former Secretary-General Kofi Annan described these rapporteurs as the “crown jewels” of the UN human rights machinery.

“Our fear is that some governments are trying to sell the crown jewels, trying to undermine the independence of special procedures,” Irene Khan, secretary-general of Amnesty International, told reporters in Geneva.

“There are huge stakes here for human rights, not only for survivors of abuses but the credibility of the Council and the larger credibility of the United Nations,” she said.

Its 13 special rapporteurs on countries, retained for now from the former UN Commission on Human Rights, include experts probing suspected abuses in Belarus, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea.

But countries singled out for this attention, and their allies such as China, say such finger-pointing is selective and politically motivated. They want to abolish the rapporteurs.

Cuba - which has never allowed a visit by the special rapporteur on Cuba, Christine Chanet - is leading the charge to dismantle country investigators.

Cuba and its allies argue that countries should submit their own reports on their domestic records and that there is no need for intrusive rapporteurs.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque warned last week against turning the Council “into an Inquisition tribunal”.

“The perpetuation of country-specific mandates, imposed by force and blackmail, would maintain the spiralling confrontation that did away with the authority and credibility of the defunct Commission on Human Rights,” he said in a speech.

The European Union (EU) says that it is fighting to preserve the special procedures, as well as the forum’s ability to adopt resolutions condemning countries for the worst violations.

“Special procedures are independent and efficient. That is why they are under attack,” said Reed Brody, counsel at the New York-based group Human Rights Watch.

He said UN human rights’ probes had been successful, pointing to Chile in the late 1970s and the former Yugoslavia, in the early 1990s.

The Council will make a decision on the issue by mid-June. 

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 20, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I would like to know what countries voted for Cuba to be on the UN Human Rights Council. Sorry Fidel and Raul but isn’t that a bit like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?

    This new action appears to be shameful.

    I think the world has had just about enough human rights abuses in Cuba.

    President Raul Castro, when are you going to realize this and bring your country into the modern world?

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on March 21, 2007 by Cuban American

    That is hilarious.  For those of you who question just how bad the human rights abuses in Cuba are, this along with many other recent articles on crackdowns on dissedents should be a slap to the face to wake up.  Of course they want to send there own reports, that way they can put whatever they want on them.  The simple thought that this proposal would get any kind of looks is rediculous.  Cuba will make a move to the modern world once President Castro dies, and that means both Fidel and Raul, along with there totalitarian party.  Que meure la revolucion!

  3. Follow up post #3 added on March 21, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Cuban American,

    I agree. There have been more crackdowns on dissidents lately and that’s why we have come out to publicly support Oswaldo Paya and call for President Raul Castro to ease up and come into the modern world.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on March 25, 2007 by Don

    I highly doubt there are any human rights violations in Cuba, no more so than in the USA. Cuba last year had about 2 million tourists, I do not hear any reports, nor read any reports of human rights violations.

    You have isolated cases of abuse just as in the USA, Canada, UK, and a long list, but theses cases are handled internally with the courts and prosecutors.

    You go to Cuba and start bad mouthing that country, curse it leaders that are elected, advocate a violent over throw of their government, comit other crimes,  then you get arrested, of course you are going to jail and you will plead human rights violations.

    Cuba is fast entering into worldwide markets, and a mobile society visited by the world.  I hardly think that wide spread human rights violations by the Cuban government will be tolerated.

    “Human-rights” is a very big word with lots of meanings; cultural meanings, legal meanings, without knowing details you know nothing at all, and making claims is not valid but more propaganda.

    I, as a USA citizen, I can badmouth President Bush in open public to my hearts delight, and walk free as a bird. However, if a foreigner does the same he/she can be, and will be, asked to leave the country and fully investigated for any possible crimes. Is that a human rights violation? Not hardly. It is the law of the land.

    There are cases daily in the USA’s courts where people claim human rights violations. Some of these cases are won some are lost. So what? Is the USA a repressive country? Not really; obey the laws and do what is right, and live in peace unmolested by governments both state and federal.

    I have every reason to believe the same is in Cuba.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on March 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Don, or should I say Fidel, welcome to the Havana Journal. I appreciate your comments but you thoughts are not rational.

    To Cuba human rights abuses in Cuba to human rights abuses in the US is absurd and to claim otherwise is simply lopsided, biased propaganda.

    Simple as that.

    I don’t know how to debate you on these points because there is no rational thought in your comment.

    Anyway, keep reading the Havana Journal and maybe it will open your eyes.

    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on March 25, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    I think it’s safe to say that every country has, as Don mentioned, isolated cases of abuse, the U.S. not being an exception.  But even one case can be milked and exploited for political purposes, and we all know how closely Cuba is watched.  Castro can’t sneeze without it making headline news.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 04, 2007 by Don

    The reason you have no comment on my post is that I am right. To say there is not legal descent in Cuba is nonsense. Have you read about their trade unions? Have you read the Cuban constitution, Cuban history, the progress that country has made in 47 years? Cuban is on the right road to good things; though not perfect, as what country is.

    The USA is used as a standard, yet the USA has lying, cheating, political propaganda and politicians from coast to cost. I certainly would not use the USA as a standard to go by. Are there good things in the USA courts and governments? YES of course, but these were developed over a 250-year history of trial and errors, to even the worst civil war ever recorded to date, not to mention federal government approval of slavery.

    What has Cuba done to deserve USA bad mouthing I have no idea. The evils of capitalism are well recorded, from Vietnam to Iraq to say the least. If Cuba likes Castro what is that to me? He is a small player in the Cuban government at this point. Have you read his speeches?  Castro is typical political BS, entertaining, and harmless. A country that field teachers and medical staff rather than an army cannot be all that bad. I don’t see Cuba trying to overthrow other nations for political gain as the USA is doing.

    I think what the USA is fearful of is that if they drop travel restrictions between Cuba and the USA, the USA people will find out a what a nice country Cuba is to visit, and may even want to live there.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 04, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Do you work for Granma newspaper?

    Sure there are good things going on in Cuba but how many countries want communism instead of democracy? Venezuela? Iran? North Korea?

    How many countries want a democracy? Most.

    Even China gave up the centrally controlled economy.

    Communism does not work.

    If you have read my comments on this site, you know that I am not a Cuba basher or even a Fidel basher but I do point out flaws in Cuba which to me means Fidel. I have also criticized President Bush many time.

    Cuba consulting services

  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 04, 2007 by Don

    Communism has many definitions, just as democracy, and if one is pressed, corned, they will change the defining to fit situations. You know this, and what was the main point of Marx (called communisms and socialist)? I doubt you even know, but what I just said stands. Marx showed by math and valid observation the relationship of the labor to the economy in a capitalist environment. Labor rules, as with no labor there is not very much to sell. In addition, the USA has been screaming “hell fire” ever since Marx as if this “secret knowledge” will corrupt a society.

    So do not be pulling definitions on me of subjective terms, I read by far too much, too much for my own good.

    I am an Oregonian, NOT affiliated with any government, not employed by any government or government agency, I do NOT swear allegiance to any government nor to a corporation of any kind; as I retain my common sense and independence as a free person, an adult male, and not owned!  I do not work for a newspaper, nor any freelance projects.

    I stand by USA civil litigation and Oregon court procedures, Oregon law, in an open court of law, Torts, for the entire world to see and judge for themselves.

    Therefore, what do you want to teach me about communism, I’m all ears using Cuba as an example.



  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 04, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I thought you would teach me about communism.

    What are the best things about communism?

    Cuba consulting services

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