US admits pressure to impose anti-Cuban resolution
Campaign News | Thursday, 15 April 2004
Vote to take place on Thursday April 15
April 14: The United States has admitted that it is putting pressure on governments to impose an anti-Cuban resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, which will go to the vote on Thursday, April 15.
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega said President Bush is personally involved in the project and said the president has called leaders of several countries including Mexican President Vicente Fox.
"We are consulting our partners in the world, mainly in Latin America and Europe," Noriega acknowledged.
He refused to mention the name of the countries subject to the intense pressure from Washington, although it is known that Honduras succumbed and will present the resolution.
The admission has sparked a row as Washington has indicated that Fox has promised to vote in favour of the US, whereas Mexican officals, clearly embarrassed before their own public, have quickly denied this saying that Mexico has yet to make up its mind.
In past years, the US has used the threat of the withdrawal of aid from developing nations if they refused to back the US instigated measure.
This year, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have said they will abstain from the vote. El Salvador, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica and Nicaragua plan to support the measure. Venezuela, Cuba's strongest regional ally, will vote against it.
The motion asks Cuba to comply with a previous resolution calling for a UN human rights monitor to visit the island.
Havana has already rejected such a visit because the UN vote is really a manoeuvre by the United States to justify its illegal trade and travel blockade.
Last year, the majority for an extremely watered-down motion was only 4. This year the vote is expected to be even tighter.