Washington's poodles line up in Geneva

Campaign News | Sunday, 4 April 2004

El Salvador, Peru, Nicaragua and Australia join latest US ploy against Cuba

Geneva, Switzerland April 4: El Salvador, Peru and Nicaragua succumbed to US pressure and joined Honduras as proxy nations co-sponsoring a resolution to condemn Cuba at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Reliable sources told the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina that the Honduran representative delivered the document on Friday to the commission secretariat and that it was co-sponsored by the three Latin American nations along with Australia and the Czech Republic.

Cuban Foreign Minister Perez Roque revealed earlier that the document was drafted by the United States.

Honduras was first to agree to sponsor the US-written resolution attacking the island.

"The United States has found its lackey - the government willing to be used for the shameful role of presenting the resolution against our country," Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told a news conference on March 31.

The United Nations body is expected to consider the resolution for a vote in mid-April.

"Cuba doesn't blame the Honduran people, who have always received our affection and sympathy," said Perez Roque.

About 700 Honduran students are currently studyin free of charge at Cuban universities.

The annual US effort to obtain a vote against Cuba at the UN human rights body has become a source of embarrassment for the institution.

Last year, the commission rejected an amendment criticizing a dissident crackdown by Cuba, instead approving a milder resolution calling for a UN rights monitor to visit the island.

The 53-nation UN Human Rights Commission, voted 31-15 against condemning Cuba for jailing 75 alleged dissidents last year.

Perez Roque also reiterated Cuba's refusal to accept the US inpsired resolutions. Under such circcumstances Cuba could not allow a UN human rights monitor to visit the island, he said.

However, Cuba is otherwise willing to work with the commission on human rights issues.

Honduras resumed diplomatic ties with Cuba in January 2001 after a 39-year break in relations that began in 1962 when Organization of American States expelled the island from the regional body.

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