Monday, February 21, 2005

U.N.'s Ongoing Shame: Cuba On Human Rights Panel

Read this...
Cuba makes most of 'human rights' post
U.N. hands Castro propaganda coup with appointment

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42953
February 21, 2005

WASHINGTON – Despite the U.S. State Department condemnation of Cuba's appointment to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the island dictatorship is making the most of the propaganda coup.
"When the Latin American and Caribbean group of the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission elected Cuba to the Standing Committee, it was unanimous acknowledgement of Cuba's immensely prestigious reputation following a decade of work with that organization," boasted a report in the official Cuban newspaper Granma…The Cuban official made clear he intends to use his new position on the commission to embarrass the U.S. – mentioning "thousands of reports on tortures in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib."

...and Consider This
Address of Ambassador Armando Valladares', Chief of the United State's Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights' Commission. Geneva, Switzerland, February 23, 1988

Mr. Chairman, I am not a career diplomat, and I am not an expert on the technical aspects of this organism. I will not speak in a detailed manner on the reports and topics submitted under point 10. There will be other interventions during which we will listen to opinions on those important matters. Mr. Chairman, today I want to speak about torture, about what it means for a human being to be tortured, to be humiliated, or what may be even worse, to watch a friend, a companion, or a relative being tortured. As many of you know, I spent twenty-two years in prison for political reasons. Perhaps, I am the only delegate in this Commission who has spent such a long time in prison, although there are several persons here who have known in their own flesh the meaning of torture. I do not care about their political ideology, and I offer to you my embrace of solidarity, from tortured to tortured. I had many friends in prison. One of them, Roberto López Chávez, was just a kid. He went on a hunger strike to protest the abuses. The guards denied him water, Roberto lay on the floor of his punishment cell, agonizing, deliriously asking for water. water… The soldiers came in and asked him: "Do you want water?"… The they took out their members and urinated in his mouth, on his face… He died the following day. We were cellmates; when he died I felt something wither inside me. I recall when they kept me in a punishment cell, naked, with several fractures on one leg which never received medical care; today, those bones remain jammed up together and displaced. One of the regular drills among the guards was to stand on the steel mesh ceiling and throw at my face buckets full of urine and excrement. Mr. Chairman, I know the taste of the urine and the excrement of other men… that practice does not leave marks; marks are left by beatings with steel rods and by bayonet thrusts. My head is still covered with scars and you can feel the cracks. But, what can inflict more damage to human dignity, the urine and excrements thrown all over your face or a bayonet's blow? Which is the appropriate article for the discussion of this subject? Under which technical point does it fall? Under what batch of papers, numbers, lines and bars should we include this trampling of human dignity? For me, and for innumerable other human beings around the world. The violation of human rights was not a matter of reports, of negotiated resolutions, of elegant and diplomatic rhetoric, for us was a daily suffering. For me (it meant) eight thousand days of hunger, of systematic beatings, of hard labor, of solitary confinement, of cells with steel-planked windows and doors, of solitude…

http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=625

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