Cuba says the close vote at the U.N. Human Rights Commission to adopt a resolution criticizing its rights record has left it with a “sentiment of triumph.”
Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma said Friday that only some of its neighbors, such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru bowed to U.S. pressure to vote for the resolution. In contrast, others abstained, and the report says countries such as China, Russia and Zimbabwe affirmed the island’s successes and its adherence to human rights.
On Thursday, the commission voted 21 to 20 to pass the resolution, which calls on Cuba to respect freedom of expression, refrain from adopting measures that jeopardize fundamental rights, and allow a U.N. monitor into the country. It also deplores heavy prison terms imposed on about 75 dissidents a year ago.
Cuba rejected the vote soon after it was held. Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque dismissed it as “ridiculous.”
Witnesses also say a Cuban official assaulted an anti-Castro activist outside the meeting room. The Miami Herald quotes Cuba’s ambassador, Jorge Mora Godoy, as saying the victim, Frank Calzon, had provoked a female Cuban diplomat and had received what he called “the due response.”
After the vote, Cuba also said it would soon propose its own resolution condemning alleged U.S. human rights abuses against al-Qaida and Taleban suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay.