Background: How the US subverts the Human Rights Commission

Campaign News | Sunday, 4 April 2004

The history of an iniquitous campaign


The 1980s witnessed the assumption to office, in the United States, of conservative ultra-right forces. With respect to Cuba, the Santa Fé Document, which served as an electoral and political platform for the circles surrounding then President Ronald Reagan in his administration, announced a vigorous and fairly applied human rights program, as the ‘miraculous’ weapon to be wielded by the United States in confronting the Soviet Union and its satellites and surrogates.

Curiously, in reference to president Carter, the document claimed that his human rights doctrine had not been seriously applied to Castro’s Cuba.

As part of a new anti-Cuba strategy, the Reagan administration instructed renowned Cuban American terrorists, directed and financed by the CIA, to undergo a change of appearance, transforming them into alleged “peaceful political opposition and human rights groups”. Using official US funding, several small and subversive organizations of this nature were established in Cuba, recruiting people who had been linked before to violent counterrevolutionary activities and even a number of former officials and agents of dictator Fulgencio Batista’s police force. Recruiting efforts found their way to the lowfiles, opportunists and annexationists of old.

The first failed attempts at having Cuba condemned on the issue of human rights occurred in 1985 and 1986, within the framework of the Third Commission of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The first attempt at condemning Cuba at the Commission on Human Rights took place in 1987, when the United States presented a draft resolution which proved unsuccessful, a motion of inaction being instead adopted.

In 1988, the United States submitted a new draft resolution proposal aimed at condemning Cuba which was also rejected as a result of the Cuban initiative, inviting a Mission made up of the President of the Commission and other five representatives of member States to visit and inspect the country, being very well received.

In 1989, the United States was once again unable to have Cuba condemned at the Commission. A number of amendments which pursued just such an aim, presented for the draft resolution submitted to the consideration of the Commission, were rejected. The text adopted limited itself to taking note of the report that was to be drafted by the Mission that visited Cuba, and to inviting the Cuban government to work toward implemented recommendations.

In 1990, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower, a draft resolution against Cuba promoted by the United States was adopted for the first time.

In response to the nearly compulsive anti-Cuba campaign, its illegitimate motives and the brutal political pressure and manipulation used to impose this campaign, Cuba rejected to enter into any form of cooperation in complicity with such aberration.

The principled position of the Cuban people, their dignified perseverance before infamy and lies, steadily gained the recognition and the support of Commission members; in 1998, the anti-Cuba draft resolution advanced by the United States met with crushing rejection, with 16 votes in favor and 19 against.

After this unexpected defeat, the United States government set itself the task of creating a new image for its anti-Cuban maneuvering in the Commission on Human Rights. In order to do this and using its “time honoured” methods it “convinced the Czech Republic, a country which at that time needed Washington’s support to become a member of NATO, to become the public face of the anti-Cuban motion in the Commission.

Using this new plan, but still having to openly resort to its usual economic and political pressure and blackmail, the United States managed to have the anti-Cuban resolution adopted -always by a very small margin- between 1999 and 2001.

Towards the end of 2001 it was already obvious that this scheme had fallen into a serious credibility crisis. The United States needed to change its image again for its anti-Cuban maneuvering, a matter that attained strategic importance when the Superpower was kicked out of the Commission.

So top officials of the Bush administration increased their efforts of to have one or several Latin American countries submit the anti-Cuban motion at the 58th session of the Commission.

As a result of the level of pressure exerted by top U.S. spokespersons -and of the fact that several Latin American governments, which had little popular support, were becoming more and more vulnerable to and dependent on the U.S.’ hegemony over the region- the government of Uruguay under President Batlle finally accepted the role of puppet and publicly submitted the anti-Cuban motion.

The anti-Cuban document which President Batlle’s spineless government submitted was drafted, down to the commas and full stops, by Washington’s diplomats and the Miami terrorist mob.

In stark contrast with the submissiveness of some Latin American governments, the people of the region unanimously condemned the anti-Cuban maneuver. Not only did they take to the streets in protest in the capitals of several countries such as Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Guatemala, their Parliaments demanded that their governments refuse to go along with such behaviour but rather adopt a decorous and independent stance in Geneva.

All the allegedly novel and constructively focussed anti-Cuban document forced through the Commission’s 58th session did was to re-establish an unjust monitoring mechanism for the so-called human rights situation in Cuba. There was, however, an added factor making things worse; in order to satisfy Washington’s lust for domination, none other than the UN commissioner for Human Rights was being involved in the anti-Cuban maneuvering.

The representatives of the Cuban American terrorist mob played an important role supporting the U.S. government’s anti-Cuban maneuvers. Making good use of the fact that it has representatives in the U.S. Congress, it became directly involved in the pressure and blackmail exerted on several governments. Similarly, it came up with ideas for public diplomacy schemes in order to sell the notion that behind the Bush administration’s machinations against Cuba was a “call for action” from the so-called “Cuban exile community”.

On 18 September 2002 eleven congresspersons on the Miami terrorist mob’s payroll, led by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Díaz-Balart, sent a letter to the then UN High Commissioner exhorting him to get directly involved in the anti-Cuban efforts. On 13 December of that same year, Ros-Lehtinen sent another letter to the High Commissioner urging him to ask Cuba to release several mercenaries working for the U.S. who had been legitimately imprisoned in Cuba.

At the beginning of January 2003, Marc Grossman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, sent a message to the High Commissioner “reminding” him that he had still not appointed his Personal Representative for Cuba and pointing out that the United States thought it important that he do so as soon as possible.

The United States not only “collected” the votes needed to force the anti-Cuban draft resolution through the Commission; there is a great deal of evidence to show that it was the actual “interested party” in implemented and following up on anti-Cuban resolutions.

When Uruguay refused to repeat its role as “leading puppet” -even though it had been a last minute substitute for Peru- in the anti-Cuban puppet show prepared by Washington, the Superpower had to mount more and intensive pressure campaigns against Latin American governments vulnerable to it in order to find a new puppet to play the part in 2003.

Ms. Poblete -the mob-in- Congress and anti-Cuban Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s errand girl -went to Geneva at the beginning of January 2003 and held separate meetings with a few Latin American diplomats in order to get a feel for the situation and to impose an anti-Cuba resolution.

At the end of the same month, Paula Dobrinski, Under Secretary of State for World Affairs, went to several Latin American countries and met with presidents and foreign ministers in order to coerce them into “agreeing” to submit the anti Cuban draft resolution in the 59th session of the Commission on Human Rights.

U.S. ambassadors in various world capitals played an important propaganda role and one of “smoothing away some conscientious objections”, all part of the anti-Cuban offensive. They also handed out a brochure produced by the State Department to the foreign ministries in the countries where they were serving; it was filled with lies and disinformation about the alleged human rights situation in Cuba.

The United States also tried unsuccessfully to have the Rio Group, one of the fora for political rapprochement for Latin American and Caribbean countries, to collectively agree to submit the anti-Cuban draft resolution in 59th session of the CHR, cynically taking advantage of the fact that Peru was the Group’s coordinator then.

Peru itself finally had to take on the “responsibility” for publicly submitting the anti-Cuban draft resolution in the 59th session of the CHR, backed by the “extremely independent” governments of Costa Rica and Uruguay.

As the Commission session grew closer, so the United States’ pressure increased. the United States had the “unconditional solidarity” of some governments from what has been called “the Coalition of the Willing”, in particular from ex-colonial powers such as the United Kingdom and Spain, for its anti-Cuban maneuvering.

In order to ensure the votes needed to force the anti-Cuban draft resolution through, the Bush Administration paid no heed to legal or ethical constraints. Promises of financial “aid” and other benefits for those who delivered their vote rang out from Washington. However, the most common practice was not to make new offers, what were most common were the direct or veiled threats of blocking loans and grants from the multilateral financial institutions it controls, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, of withdrawing concessions in bilateral trade and immigration matters and even of making the behaviour of the United States in multilateral political bodies depend on the result in the Commission.

Some days before the voting, U.S. maneuvering were stepped up by adding to the text of the Anti-Cuban motion a condemnation of the lawful sentences Cuba gave to the mercenaries working for the U.S.’ hostile policy and to the 3 main leaders of the group who, using extreme violence, hi-jacked a vessel and tried to reroute it to U.S. territory

On 18 March, State Department spokesperson, Richard Boucher, issued a statement calling on the Commission to energetically condemn the arrest of its (the United States’) mercenaries in Cuba.

Once again the Superpower decided to work behind the scenes. But this time it faced more complex obstacles. Some Latin American authorities

-who had already committed themselves to submitting the anti-Cuban draft resolution, began to fear that their people would take to the streets if they got involved in this serious attempt whose obvious aim was to fabricate a pretext for U.S. military aggression against the Cuban people- decided not to support the new U.S. intrusion.

In the end it was Costa Rica -a government whose subordination to the United States lies beyond the realms of doubt- who had to accept the humiliating task of submitting the amendment thought up by the United States to fabricate the conditions that would allow it to repeat its criminal predatory war on Iraq against the Cuban people. Costa Rica was the only Latin American or developing country that voted in favour of this amendment. Is any further comment needed?

On 16 April Cuba officially posted two amendments listed as E/CN.4/L.77 to the anti-Cuban draft resolution. These demanded the immediate lifting of the unilateral, illegal blockade on Cuba and asked the High Commissioner to evaluate the impact on the Cuban people of the terrorist acts against Cuba launched from U.S. territory.

There was a long procedural debate on these amendments as a result of which the debate and voting on the anti-Cuban draft resolution was postponed for 24 hours. During this inappropriate debate the fact that the actual author of the amendment submitted by Costa Rica was the United States was revealed and this left the Superpower’s ambassador in Geneva no alternative but to declare that his delegation would support “anything against Cuba”

In spite of incredible U.S. pressure, the amendment condemning Cuba and publicly submitted by Costa Rica was defeated in the Commission, where it was rejected by a resounding majority. Only 15 countries supported the amendment, whereas 31, more than twice as many, voted against it.

This result dealt a severe blow to Washington and the Cuban-born annexationist, terrorist mob in Miami. This is the same Miami mob which shouted the slogan, “Iraq now, Cuba next” in the only public demonstration anywhere in the world in favour of the illegal war in Iraq, a demonstrion held as the U.S. launched its unilateral attack,

The Cuban amendment which condemned the US blockade as a grave human rights violation was not supported - as a consequence of hypocrisy and double standards - by those countries that, within the Commission, support the manoeuvre aimed at demonizing the Cuban revolution and lack the courage and shame to do what's right as regards the policy imposed by the United States on Cuba, in violation of its most elementary of rights.

Nevertheless, the Latin American governments and the governments of European and other industrialised countries who supported the anti-Cuban maneuver in the Commission on Human Rights had their double moral standards, their hypocrisy and their subordination to U.S. interests laid bare before the eyes of the world. They claim to be committed to the “defence” of the Cuba people’s human rights in the Commission’s work and yet don’t even have the courage or the decency to condemn in that forum the serious, flagrant, massive and continuing violation of that people’s rights which result from the U.S. blockade. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time!

After the amendments were rejected, the anti-Cuban draft resolution listed as E/CN. 4/L,2 was adopted by in a close vote of 24 in favour, 20 against and

9 abstentions in spite of the fact that the United States had an extra 24 hours in which to let their brutal pressure take effect.

The anti-Cuban resolution (E/CN.4/RES/2003/13), although it did not meet all the expectations, ensured that the United States government could continue to carry on with its anti-Cuban action in the Commission’s work , using for this purpose the services of the so-called Personal Representative of the High Commissioner.

The United States has failed in its efforts to change the image of its anti-Cuban maneuvering in the Commission on Human Rights. The illegal motivation for this and for the pressure and blackmail, which the Superpower has to exert unfairly in order to get its way, make it impossible for it to make the “debilateralisation” of the exercise seem credible.

It doesn’t matter which country publicly submits the anti-Cuban draft resolution, everybody knows that the label “MADE IN THE USA” should be stuck on those who in fact manufacture and sponsor this draft resolution.

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