Six Nobel Prize winners supporting Cuba at the HRC in Geneva

Campaign News | Monday, 11 April 2005

Intellectuals rally in favour of island at UN Human Rights Commission

THE circulation in Russia of the call “Let us halt another anti-Cuba maneuver” has prompted a wide movement of support among political and intellectual figures, manifested by the addition of close to 600 signatures, including ex-president Mijail Gorbachov and Serguei Baburín and Vladimir Kuptsov, vice presidents of the Duma.

With the signature of Gorbachov , who has made his the postulates of a document that exposes the biased, manipulative and perverse accusation that the United States is attempting to bring against Cuba in the UN Human Rights Commission, the total of Nobel Prize winners at the foot of the statement has risen to six: the former Russian president, Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú and Argentine Adolfo Pérez Esquivel were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while Portuguese José Saramago, South African Nadine Gordimer and Italian Dario Fo received theirs in Literature.

415 Spanish intellectuals sign manifesto backing Cuba

Madrid, Apr 6 (Prensa Latina) A total of 415 Spanish intellectuals have signed a world manifesto in defense of Cuba to be presented at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC), where the US has renewed its attempts to force a condemnation of the country.

The appeal has been signed by 3,353 personalities from over a hundred countries all over the world. In Spain, where the intellectual movement is very strong and famous, it has been supported en masse.

The famous Portuguese writer and novelist, Jose Saramago, resident in Spain, also supports the manifesto that defends Cuba and at the same time condemns the US government for its actions in the CHR, as well as denouncing it as one of the main violators of human rights.

The document is also circulating in Unites States, where hundreds of US citizens have also signed it.

The intellectuals question why in the heart of the commission, during the last year?s sessions it has neither evaluated nor discussed the violations of human rights committed in US jails in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

The actions of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, including torture, have led the intellectuals to conclude that the US government does not have the moral authority to set itself up as a judge of human rights in Cuba.

Many other activities have taken place in Spain around the manifesto, such as that developed by 80 institutions from the Defensem Cuba?s Catalan platform, in which they requested the Spanish Foreign Minister to work to avoid a new injustice against the island.

Defensem Cuba (Let us defend Cuba) sent a letter to Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos requesting his ministerial team to use all possible influence to this effect at the Geneva meeting where the HRC is holding its 61st Session.

The institution acknowledges the Spanish government?s efforts against unilateralism in the world, but it requires Moratinos to devote his ministry?s efforts towrads strengthening the relations of respect and equality in the heart of the UN.

Harold Pinter joins Nobel prizewinners in rejecting US plot against Cuba in Geneva

March 17: British dramatist, poet and activist Harold Pinter added his name to that of Nobel prizewinners Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú, Nadime Gordimer and José Saramago in signing a statement by world intellectuals that rejects maneuvers organized by the US at the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

Mr Pinter, Britain's most honoured and prominent living playwright and actor, has been a sharp critic of US foreign policy for some years.

Latest reports by the international press agencies state that more than 500 intellectuals and artists from all over the world have signed the manifesto published by eight dailies mainly in Spain, Argentina and Mexico.

With the title, "Stop the new maneuvers against Cuba," the call highlights that, from Monday until April 22, during the sessions of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, the US government will try, by pressuring the member nations, to introduce a resolution against the island.

The document denounces the rigged and selective treatment of the matter year after year within that commission to justify the worsening of the blockade and the aggressions which the US superpower, violating all international rights, exercises against a small nation.

The text confirms its disagreement with the fact that last year, it was not even possible to debate the atrocious violations of human rights in the US jails of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo at the commission.

The manifesto, which can be subscribed on the Internet and has the support of many outstanding US intellectuals, requests the governments of the countries represented on the Commission not to allow that organization to be used to legitimatize the anti-Cuban aggressiveness of the Bush administration.

Don't condemn Cuba, artists say

New York, March 14: 900 intellectuals, activists and artists from Latin America and the United States issued a letter on Monday urging the top United Nations human rights commission to take Cuba's side in an expected battle over the communist country's rights record.

A US- backed resolution to condemn the island's record is usually presented at every spring meeting in Geneva of the UN Human Rights Commission, which this year was to open Monday and run through April 22.

No resolution targeting the island has emerged this year. But Cuba expects such a proposal will be presented and considered in mid-April.

"We urge the governments of the commission's member countries to not permit (the resolution) to be used to legitimize the anti-Cuban aggression of the administration of (U.S. President George W.) Bush," the letter said.

Washington maintains a four-decades-old trade embargo against the island, with trade and travel restrictions being steadily tightened in recent years.

Nobel Peace Prize laureates such as Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina and Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala signed the letter, as did South Africa's Nadine Gordimer and Portugal's Jose Saramago, both recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Among American signatories were actor Danny Glover, author Alice Walker and historian and activist Howard Zinn. Other international figures included filmmaker Walter Sales of Brazil, the music group Manu Chau and France's former first lady, Danielle Mitterrand.

The letter said the US government has no moral authority to criticize Cuba's human rights record after its own scandals over treatment of terror suspects at prisons in Iraq and the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

This "nobel and important" declaration comes as "humanity lives very difficult and even dangerous moments," Roberto Retamar, director of Casa de las Americas, Cuba's centre of Latin America culture, told a news conference.

A US report on rights practices in Cuba released last month acknowledged there were no extrajudicial killings or disappearances of opponents on the island last year.

Some who signed the letter had criticized Cuba when the government sentenced 75 alleged political dissidents to long prison terms in the spring of 2003.

Asked about the alleged dissidents, Retamar said, "I would like for all prisons to be empty," but said those imprisoned were "mercenaries" who deserved to be jailed for working with Cuba's enemies.

Last year's resolution criticizing Cuba narrowly passed, adopted by 22 votes to 21, with 10 abstentions.

Intellectuals from 5 Continents Call to Close Ranks with Cuba

Havana, Mar 14 (Prensa Latina) Over 900 intellectuals from the five continents called today to fight US attempts to obtain the approval of a resolution against the island in Geneva.

Under the title Stop the New Maneuver against Cuba, the statement says that between April 14 and 22, during the 61st period session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, once more the US government, exerting pressure on member countries will try to obtain approval of a resolution against the island.

The document was presented at Casa de las Americas, in this capital, by Argentinean writer, journalist and parliament member Miguel Bonasso and Cuban poet Roberto Fernandez Retamar, president of that cultural institution.

Prensa Latina reproduces the whole text as follows:

Let US stop a new maneuver against Cuba

From March 14th to April 22nd,2005, the 61st session of the UN Commission on Human Rights will take place in Geneva, where once more the US government will try to pass a resolution against Cuba.

It is a manipulated and selective treatment of the topic to justify the intensification of the policy of blockade and aggressions by the greatest power on the planet against a small country, in violation of International Law. The Commission must represent every United Nations member State and ensure respect for the rights of all men and women worldwide. It is significant, however, that within the Commission, during the last year sessions, it was not possible to evaluate, not even to debate, the atrocious violations of human rights taking place in US prisons in Abuh Ghraib and Guantanamo.

The US government has no moral authority to set itself up as a judge of human rights in Cuba, where there is not a single case of missing persons, torture or extra judicial killing and where internationally recognized health, education and cultural levels have been reached despite the blockade.

We request the countries represented in the Commission not to allow it to be used to legitimize the Bush Administration’s anti-Cuban aggressiveness, when the current war-mongering policy led by Washington makes predictable an eventual escalation of very serious consequences. We also call on journalists, writers, artists, professors, school teachers and social activists to address their governments and express by every possible means that this dangerous maneuver stop.

Number of signatures so far


Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentina Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez, México José Saramago, Portugal Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemala Nadine Gordimer, Sudáfrica Tariq Alí, Pakistán Oscar Niemeyer, Brasil Ramsey Clark, EEUU Augusto Roa Bastos, Paraguay Luis Britto García, Venezuela Harry Belafonte, EEUU Leonardo Boff, Brasil Mario Benedetti, Uruguay Howard Zinn, EEUU Danny Glover, EEUU Volodia Teitelboim, Chile Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaragua David Viñas, Argentina Pablo González Casanova, México Juan Bañuelos, México Ignacio Ramonet, Francia Julio Ortega, Perú Alice Walker, EEUU María Rojo, México Jorge Enrique Adoum, Ecuador Atilio Borón, Argentina Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay Emir Sader, Brasil Gianni Miná, Italia Eric Toussaint, Bélgica Belén Gopegui, España Saul Landau, EEUU James Petras, EEUU Heinz Dieterich, Alemania Thiago de Mello, Brasil Theotonio dos Santos, Brasil Alfonso Sastre, España James Cockcroft, EEUU Frei Betto, Brasil Pascual Serrano, España Fernando Pino Solanas, Argentina Russell Banks, EEUU Joaquín Sabina, España Danny Rivera, Puerto Rico Luis Eduardo Aute, España Almudena Grandes, España Daniel Viglietti, Uruguay Luis García Montero, España Abelardo Castillo, Argentina Fernando Morais, Brasil Sylvia Iparraguirre, Argentina Jorge Sanjinés, Bolivia Luis Sepúlveda, Chile James Early, EEUU Mempo Giardinelli, Argentina Francisco Fernández Buey, España Luciana Castellinna, Italia León Rozitchner, Argentina Keith Ellis, Canadá José Luis Sampedro, España Piero Gleijeses, Italia Ramón Chao, España Setsuko Ono, Japón Manu Chao, Francia/España Jorge Ruffinelli, Uruguay Georges Labica, Francia Jaime Labastida, México Red Rodnnie, Italia Ferreira Goulart, Brasil Ann Sparanese, EEUU Jean Marie Binoche, Francia Roy Brown, Puerto Rico Santiago García, Colombia Paulo Lins, Brasil Miguel Bonasso, Argentina Tato Pavlovsky, Argentina Fernando Birri, Argentina Alex Cox, Reino Unido Paulo Beni, Italia Bill Fletcher, EEUU Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt, Chile Eva Forest, España Liliana Heker, Argentina Andrés Rivera, Argentina Constantino Bértolo, España Michel Collon, Bélgica Gilberto López y Rivas, México Andrés Sorel, España Manlio Argueta, El Salvador Margaret Randall, EEUU Anacristina Rossi, Costa Rica Hernando Calvo Ospina, Colombia Ana de Skalon, Argentina Horacio A. López, Argentina Xavier Maqua, España René Vázquez Díaz, Cuba/Suecia Alessandra Riccio, Italia Gloria Berrocal, España Marta Harnecker, Chile Michael Lebowitz, Canadá Carlo Frabetti, Italia/España José Steinsleger, Argentina/México Isaura Navarro, España Irene Amador, España Vicente Battista, Argentina Daniel Lorenzi, Italia Manuel Fernández Cuesta, España Juan Madrid, España Adolfo Colombres, Argentina Paul Estrade, Francia Lola Canales, España Pedro Rivera, Panamá Marcos Roitman Rosenmann, España Isaac Rosa, España Julio Rodríguez Puértolas, España Francisco Jarauta, España Remy Herrera, Francia Raúl Pérez Torres, Ecuador Carlos Varea, España Miguel Hermoso, España Juano Villafañe, Argentina Patricia Díaz Bialet, Argentina Chiqui Vicioso, Rep. Dominicana Domenico Losurdo, Italia Sandra Mirna Soto Rodríguez, México Jaime A. Shelley, México Alondra Badano, Panamá Yannick Bovy, Bélgica Jorge Enrique Botero, Colombia Fernando Butazzoni, Uruguay Santiago Alba Rico, España Aram Aharonian, Uruguay/Venezuela Higinio Polo, España Miguel Rubio, Perú Arturo Arias, Guatemala Hildebrando Pérez Grande, Perú Carlos Fazio, México Víctor Ríos Vidal, España Alberto Rodríguez Carucci, Venezuela Ana María Ramb, Argentina Manuel Cabieses, Chile Fernando García, Chile Sara Rosemberg, Argentina Iosu Perales Arretxe, País Vasco Lucía Ruíz, Ecuador Alfonso Cervera, España Jorge Boccanera, Argentina lejandro Moreano, Ecuador Xesús Alonso Montero, España Marco Martos, Perú Irene Vasco, Colombia Lolo Rico, España Ana Esther Ceceña, México Salim Lamrani, Francia Iris M. Zavala, Puerto Rico Raúl Vallejo, Ecuador Isidora Aguirre, Chile Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda, Brasil Víctor Delfín, Perú Daniel Freidembarg, Argentina Jorge Riechmann, España Néstor Kohan, Argentina Leopoldo Brizuela, Argentina Federico Álvarez, México Carlos Eduardo Satizábal, Colombia Patricia Ariza, Colombia Susana Cella, Argentina Jane Franklin, EEUU Guillermo Saccomanno, Argentina Juan Carlos Martini, Argentina Ricardo Capellano, Argentina Rodrigo Quesada Monge, Costa Rica Isaías Peña, Colombia José Luis Mangieri, Argentina Graciela Araoz, Argentina Eduardo Dalter, Argentina Ángeles Maestro, España Vito Giannoti, Italia Jean-Pierre Page, Francia Joan Tafalla, España Raúl García Lima, Argentina Reinaldo Maia, Brasil Francisco José Pérez Esteban, España Tabajara Ruas, Brasil Luciano Alzaga, Argentina Cristina Xalma, España Raúl García Luna, Argentina Juan Sasturain, Argentina Mario Marino, Argentina Gabriel Bellomo, Argentina Ana Pizarro, Chile Arturo Taracena Arriola, Guatemala Ida Rodríguez Prampolini, México Augusto Boal, Brasil Idea Vilariño, Uruguay Víctor Redondo, Argentina Jean Lamore, Francia

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