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UN: Cuba reelected to Human Rights Council

United Nations Cuba Human Right's Council

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 11:17 PM

http://www.voanews.c...14E793626EA5447

As if to underscore the joke that the human rights council has become (or, perhaps, always was), the UN has reelected Cuba to the Human Rights Council.

This also, as I understand it, means that Cuba will soon have a month of being in charge of the human rights council.

Quote

Mr. Fleischer said the White House deplores the action. He called it a setback for human rights and said the United States plans to speak out against it in the United Nations.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, Sichan Siv, walked out when Cuba's re-election to the panel was announced. Mr. Siv said he was indignant about the decision because he believes Cuba is one of the worst violators of human rights in the Western hemisphere

Honestly.

Every time I want to take the UN seriously-- they do some good work, and I've never disputed that-- they pull a boneheaded manuever like this. I'm still trying to find the count of which countries and how.....
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#2 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:56 AM

Not defending Cuba's human rights record by any means.

However, any governing body, (check out the US Congress as a for instance) does not consist solely of angels and heros. That's not an argument for kicking them out necessarily.

The idea of keeping the governments of the world, even the despotic ones, engaged in dialog is at the core of the UN Mission.  

That said, yes, my stomach turns at the notion too.

Ro

#3 Palisades

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 01:07 AM

Didn't Cuba just execute several political prisoners?
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#4 MuseZack

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 01:08 AM

Given our own UN ambassador Negroponte's role in covering up massacres and atrocities in Honduras during his tenure as ambassador there, the United States is pretty far from having the moral high ground in the UN.  

See: http://www.guardian....,469198,00.html

That said, the Cuba human rights situation is currently abysmal.  Couldn't they have given the gig to one of those touchy-feely Scandanavian countries instead?

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#5 Palisades

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 01:43 AM

^ Also, only China and Iran carry out more known executions than the U.S. does.
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#6 Kosh

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 01:45 AM

Quote

known

Being the key word.
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#7 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 02:25 AM

MuseZack, on Apr 29 2003, 10:58 PM, said:

That said, the Cuba human rights situation is currently abysmal.  Couldn't they have given the gig to one of those touchy-feely Scandanavian countries instead?
I have to wonder if this isn't a case of what better country to select than Cuba to spite the US.
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#8 eryn

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:52 AM

I’m hardly shocked, appalled yes, but not surprised at all at this. Other such examples of this kind of behaviour have been going on for years. ie.) Libya chairs the UN human right commission, and Iran and Iraq was supposed to hold the UN disarmament conference. The UN peacekeepers, and the work that they try to do, I respect entirely, but I can’t bring myself to respect a world body that places such morally obtuse fascist regimes on such a high Pedestal.

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#9 jon3831

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 08:18 AM

I'm reminded of something that Drew said back in the mists of time and I'm probably mangling it...

"How can the UN convince me it's not a joke when they keep coming up with punchlines like this?"
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#10 Jid

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 06:37 PM

Well, I think this is rather *ironic* to be sure, but one delegation from one country is hardly a disaster.  Sure, they chair the council.  

Can someone fill me in?  Does this mean Cuba gets a veto for the entire council?  Because if not, it seems to me all it really means is a few people from Cuba get to say things like "All in favour", and "Motion carried by a vote of..."

I think its a rather strange thing to be doing symbolically speaking, but, if its one way to keep even the nations we don't like in the UN (something that has to be necessary if the UN is to ever become something other than the present joke that it is), then, well, I'd say there are worse things that could have happened.
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#11 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 09:32 PM

Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting dumping the UN because of this. Nor was I suggesting our hands were clean.

It is, however, mind-boggling. It's just further proof that the system is broken. Granted, we need to keep this despotic nations engaged in dialogue... must we give them positions of esteem too?
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#12 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 09:46 PM

So, how far do you think the dialog is going to go if you start with the diplomatic equivalent of "you're a horrible blight on humanity, I don't want to be a member of any club that would accept you?"

Ro

#13 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 09:54 PM

Quote

So, how far do you think the dialog is going to go if you start with the diplomatic equivalent of "you're a horrible blight on humanity, I don't want to be a member of any club that would accept you?"

Completely not what I said.

More like, "You can't sit on a committee on human rights until you learn the meaning of the term.".

I never advocated removing Cuba from the UN. I advocated giving them the esteem of being on the Human Rights Council.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#14 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:23 PM

You advocate limiting their roles until they behave up to a standard. One with which I concur they should at the least do so.

The thing is, and it's part of what is happening with the Palestinian peace process, diplomacy isn't so easily compartmentalized.  Sometimes the hard line is appropriate and effective. Universally used, it guarantees that no one who doesn't already agree with you on all points will talk to you.

C'mon, the US doesn't want to be dictated to by UN, what makes you think that tactic will be effective with Cuba?

Ro

#15 Kevin Street

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:29 PM

Ro-Astarte, on Apr 29 2003, 04:46 PM, said:

Not defending Cuba's human rights record by any means.

However, any governing body, (check out the US Congress as a for instance) does not consist solely of angels and heros. That's not an argument for kicking them out necessarily.

The idea of keeping the governments of the world, even the despotic ones, engaged in dialog is at the core of the UN Mission. 

That said, yes, my stomach turns at the notion too.
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#16 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:31 PM

Quote

You advocate limiting their roles until they behave up to a standard. One with which I concur they should at the least do so.

Specifically, I would prefer if they weren’t on the human rights council while they were executing political prisoners.

Quote

The thing is, and it's part of what is happening with the Palestinian peace process, diplomacy isn't so easily compartmentalized. Sometimes the hard line is appropriate and effective. Universally used, it guarantees that no one who doesn't already agree with you on all points will talk to you.

That’s not what I’m advocating. Let me put it this way: I think France’s actions in the Iraq affair were inappropriate. But there’s a difference between an honest difference of opinion and unambiguously heinous acts. I think it makes the UN look awful.


Quote

C'mon, the US doesn't want to be dictated to by UN, what makes you think that tactic will be effective with Cuba?

You have a point; I doubt Cuba would stop executing political prisoners just to curry favour with the UN.

I dunno. You’re right that voting them out might make it harder to dialogue with them. But I think it hurts the UN’s credibility a little bit more every time something like this happens.

This is, I believe, one of those lovely political situations where the moral thing to do and the wise thing to do are diametrically opposed.

Those are so much fun. :nervousninja:
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#17 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 11:13 PM

Quote

Quote

You advocate limiting their roles until they behave up to a standard. One with which I concur they should at the least do so.

Specifically, I would prefer if they weren’t on the human rights council while they were executing political prisoners.

Agreed. This latest crackdown is far from Cuba's only human rights violation.

I think Fidel's getting a little nervous about what happened in Iraq, and trying to get rid of anyone who might lend a hand in getting rid of him.

I'm just positing a motivation, not an excuse, btw.

Quote

Quote

C'mon, the US doesn't want to be dictated to by UN, what makes you think that tactic will be effective with Cuba?

You have a point; I doubt Cuba would stop executing political prisoners just to curry favour with the UN.

I dunno. You’re right that voting them out might make it harder to dialogue with them. But I think it hurts the UN’s credibility a little bit more every time something like this happens.

This is, I believe, one of those lovely political situations where the moral thing to do and the wise thing to do are diametrically opposed.

Those are so much fun. :nervousninja:

Agreed.  On the other hand, I do doubt that Cuba's presence on the HR council will make anybody think Uncle Fidel's seen the light, so to speak. And keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, as they say.

Diplomacy is not for the faint of heart, by any means. Progess is not made in leaps and bounds generally, but in tiny, incremental inches up the hill.

And that boulder's always threatening to  roll right back down the hill over you, too.

When I hear people say the UN's useless,  (and yes, I know that's not precisely what you said, Rov)  I find myself feeling much like I feel about representative democracy.

It's the worst kind of government, subject to lobbying and money.

It's messy, and  smelly, and things would work much faster if everybody would just do what I say.  :angel:

Barring that development, however, it's also better than any of the currently available alternatives.

Ro

Edited by Ro-Astarte, 30 April 2003 - 11:14 PM.


#18 Rov Judicata

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 11:52 PM

^

You nailed it.

And, I've never said the UN is useless.

The UN, as a military body, is a joke. The UN's ability and will to enforce its resolutions is non-existant.

That being said, they are an important body for international legitimacy, and they are awfully good at humanitarian aid. :).
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#19 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 05:45 AM

Quote

Ro-Astarte:
I think Fidel's getting a little nervous about what happened in Iraq, and trying to get rid of anyone who might lend a hand in getting rid of him. 

It might be time to send him a small postcard reminding him the logistics of taking him out are a lot easier in many ways than tackling Iraq so it would be a good thing for him to comply with human rights.

Quote

Ro-Astarte:  When I hear people say the UN's useless, (and yes, I know that's not precisely what you said, Rov) I find myself feeling much like I feel about representative democracy.

As a note the UN is hardly a representative democracy or reprehensive of the people of the world.  Sure it has a spattering of democracies throughout it but it also has the worse dictatorships in the world as members.
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#20 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 06:35 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Apr 30 2003, 10:35 PM, said:

Quote

Ro-Astarte:  When I hear people say the UN's useless, (and yes, I know that's not precisely what you said, Rov) I find myself feeling much like I feel about representative democracy.

As a note the UN is hardly a representative democracy or reprehensive of the people of the world.  Sure it has a spattering of democracies throughout it but it also has the worse dictatorships in the world as members.
I wasn't saying the UN was a representative democracy.  It is a venue for more or less equal discussion between major powers and those who are ... not so much.  

In a one superpower world, that matters to those who are not the One.

My analogy was that I don't see a better model available than the UN currently.  Much like my dismay over the process of elections in the representative democracy I live in.  It's better than the available alternatives.

Ro



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