Cuba as Vicepresident of the UN Human Rights Council


Samuel Bak- “Luna”

Upon receiving the news that Cuba has been elected Vice-president of the UN’s Human Rights Council for the next period of the international organization’s sessions, all of us who defend human rights in whatever part of this planet called Earth have been left astonished, I would say.

I acknowledge the governments that make up this council, which is the same as the now defunct UN Human Rights Committee, which time and time again condemned the authorities of Havana with resolutions that the regime ignored each time, playing the role of the innocent one, just like a 7 year old kid that carries out acts of mischief behind his parents back. But, now, should the United Nations eliminate this dependency, or should they just give up the true purpose of an organization of unified countries? This question will be up to the countries that make up the UN to answer.

It is truly an insult to the intelligence of even the most mediocre of men. It is true that many other countries step over individual rights, including the right to life which God has granted us. I do not refer only to the classic violators, but also to the United States and the civilized Europe. The prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, along with others, that the George W. Bush administration, and currently Barack Obama, have continued to maintain open for supposed Talibans for an undefined period of time. It is funny, I remember that the Taliban regime was not considered as perverse as it is now when it used to confront communist soviet expansion.

As for the old continent, we receive daily news that are targeted against immigrants. In sum, there is lots of dirt to uncover. But people, it’s not the same to live in a country where human rights are violated.  Those responsible of such absurd determinations forgot, in the midst of their desire to contradict the West, that here, in this country, a group of peaceful women who simply demand freedom for their jailed loved ones (due to reasons of conscience) were dragged and beaten out in the open street in the Cuban capital by soldiers and mobs which were directly ordered by the offices of the Political Police.

Despite the attempts by Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, archbishop of Havana and whom I unconditionally support, we political prisoners and prisoners of conscience still remain under harsh conditions- most of us with severe diseases which we have acquired in prison.  In fact, the only one from the group of the 75 that was released as a product of the negotiations has been Ariel Sigley Amaya, on June 22nd, and I am immensely happy about this.  The entire world, through the eyes of the foreign media, along with his friends and family members, have been shocked to see the frail rag of a man that has been made of him.  Of course, I am referring to physical deterioration but his ideas are still going strong and firm.

The colleague which I chatted with about this subject (Cuba and the UN), believes, and I wouldn’t disregard it, that this may turn out to be a double-edged sword for the government of Raul Castro Ruz.  Holding the vice presidency of the UN Human Rights Council usually means a compromise to uphold our natural human rights.  In honor of the truth, I openly express my doubts in respect to such interpretations, for I think the government of Havana will fulfill no such thing, and I also doubt the confidence that other member countries have granted Cuba with.  What fulfillment?  I am still waiting for a fulfillment.  I am still waiting for the official publication of the social, economic, and political accords which the governmental authorities signed more than 2 years ago.  Time is and will be the best witness of all these outcomes.

Pablo Pacheco, Prisionero de conciencia

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