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When given a chance to demonstrate a measure of moral clarity, too many UN members are cowards and too often decide to punt – whether the issue involves outrageous behavior by the Cuban regime, the Iranian regime, Palestinian terrorists or other wron

UN General Assembly’s Hypocrisy on Cuba


By —— Bio and Archives--November 3, 2018

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UN General Assembly’s Hypocrisy on Cuba
The United Nations General Assembly once again singled out the United States, by far the UN’s largest financial contributor, for condemnation. This time, the issue was the U.S. embargo against Cuba, an issue that the General Assembly considers and votes upon as an annual ritual that has been going on for 27 years. By a recorded vote of 189 in favor to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions, the General Assembly adopted on Thursday the resolution entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” The General Assembly also overwhelmingly rejected proposed U.S. amendments to the resolution that would have strongly criticized the Cuban regime’s abysmal human rights record.

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Sadly, U.S. allies, except Israel, joined the annual General Assembly ritual in opposing the United States’ Cuba embargo


Cuba’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla claimed that the human damage caused by the United States‑led embargo against his country qualifies as an “act of genocide.” He accused the United States of committing “an act of oppression and an act of war.” As usual, the Cuban government attempted to deflect attention from its own horrible human rights record with baseless charges against the United States. Cuba’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said that the U.S. was responsible for crimes against humanity and for “human rights violations against its own citizens, particularly Afro‑Americans and Hispanics.” If that were true, why have so many Cubans voted with their feet to leave Cuba since the Castro Communist revolution and have come to the United States searching for a better life?

Speaker after speaker representing other member states excoriated the United States for allegedly violating international law with its embargo while they also rejected a series of eight amendments proposed by the United States to address the behavior of the Cuban regime and its denial of basic human rights. In the UN General Assembly’s hall of the absurd, regimes with some of the world’s worst human rights records spoke out against the United States. “It is unfortunate that abuse of the United Nations is a pathological tendency of the United States,” the Iranian representative said with a straight face. The Syrian regime’s representative complained that it too was “suffering from unilateral coercive measures,” blithely ignoring the regime’s murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians and its blocking of vital humanitarian aid to its people. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also chimed in.

Sadly, U.S. allies, except Israel, joined the annual General Assembly ritual in opposing the United States’ Cuba embargo. As if that were not bad enough, many either abstained or voted against the U.S. human rights amendments.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government provides an example of hypocrisy when it comes to the issue of human rights


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government provides an example of hypocrisy when it comes to the issue of human rights. The prime minister said last August that Canada will continue to speak out “clearly and firmly” on human rights around the globe, defending his country’s outspokenness against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. “Canadians have always expected our government to speak strongly, firmly, clearly and politely about the need to respect human rights at home and around the world,” Prime Minister Trudeau said at the time. “We will continue to do that, we will continue to stand up for Canadian values and indeed for universal values and human rights at any occasion.”  Yet when his government had the chance at the UN General Assembly meeting and vote regarding Cuba on Thursday, Canada did not stand up for human rights. It abandoned the suffering people of Cuba by supporting the anti-U.S. Cuba embargo resolution and voting against the U.S. sponsored amendments calling out the Cuban regime for its brutal repression of the Cuban people. Canada’s UN representative made the absurd argument that the anti-U.S. Cuba embargo resolution was not a suitable platform to consider Cuba’s respect for its international human rights obligations.

Cuba is Canada’s 2nd largest market in the Caribbean/Central American sub-region. The moral bankruptcy of Canada’s position on the U.S. embargo and opposing the U.S. amendments regarding the Cuban regime’s record of oppression and human rights abuses is self-evident.

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley minced no words in condemning the General Assembly’s anti-U.S. Cuba embargo resolution and its refusal at the same time to call out the Cuban dictatorial regime for its oppression of the Cuban people.  “The United Nations does not have the ability or the authority to end the United States’ embargo of Cuba,” Ambassador Haley declared. “But the United Nations has the unique ability to send a moral message to the Cuban dictatorship” It failed to do so

 

When given a chance to demonstrate a measure of moral clarity, too many UN members are cowards and too often decide to punt – whether the issue involves outrageous behavior by the Cuban regime, the Iranian regime, Palestinian terrorists or other wrong-doers.


Ambassador Haley noted that the anti-U.S. Cuba embargo resolution “doesn’t help a single Cuban family. It doesn’t feed a single Cuban child. It doesn’t free a single Cuban political prisoner.”  She characterized the passage of the resolution as “one more time that countries feel they can poke the United States in the eye” and “a waste of everyone’s time.” She said the “reason for the embargo is and has always been Cuba’s denial of freedom and the denial of the most basic human rights for the Cuban people.” She added that the United States “won’t back down” and “will continue to stand with the Cuban people until their rights and their freedoms are restored.” The Cuban regime did not lessen its repression of the Cuban people after former President Barack Obama softened U.S. policy towards Cuba. In fact, the regime’s repression of its people has gotten worse.

Ambassador Haley once again observed the shortcomings of the United Nations and “why so many people believe that faith in the United Nations is often misplaced.” When given a chance to demonstrate a measure of moral clarity, too many UN members are cowards and too often decide to punt – whether the issue involves outrageous behavior by the Cuban regime, the Iranian regime, Palestinian terrorists or other wrong-doers.


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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.


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