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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Light Condemn to Cuba at UN

Castro's regime must allow UN observers in the island. No comments made on the recent execution and imprisonment of dissidents
The United Nations Human Rights Commission (HRC) Thursday passed a new resolution compelling Cuba to allow international observers within its territory to survey island's internal situation. Cuban diplomats see the new resolution, approved by 24 votes to 20 and 9 abstentions, as a "moral victory" for Castro's regime. Cuba avoid a stronger condemn presented by Costa Rica and sponsored by Washington.

The final wording of the new resolution had been submitted by Uruguay, Peru and Nicaragua and backed by the European Union and the United States of America. The warning approved by the HRC states that Cuba has to allow the presence of the French jurist Christine Chanet. Mrs. Chanet would act as an envoy of the Commission to overview Human Rights advances in the island. The Government of Fidel Castro had systematically denied the presence of UN envoys for such purposes.

Costa Rica, in turn, had presented an amendment to the winning resolution to include a formal protest on the recent imprisonment of prominent members of the internal dissidence. The wording also mentioned the case of three Cuban citizens executed for hijacking a ferry to escape to Florida State. Despite these facts, broadly condemned by the international global opinion, the Commission opted for the original wording.

Notwithstanding, the victory of Cuban diplomacy was not complete, as the organism did not pass a resolution presented by Havana to condemn the blockade imposed by Washington 40 years ago. Cuba's submission was rejected by 26 votes to 17 and 10 abstentions.

As usual, the voting created a big controversy within the Commission. Washington puts a lot of pressure over Latin American diplomats to condemn Cuba. However this time, the region looked more divided than ever, toward the question. While Chile, Peru and Mexico voted against Cuba, Brazil and Argentina opted for the abstention and Venezuela rejected the anti-Cuban resolution.

Despite US pressures, each country voted individually. Peru, Chile and Uruguay traditionally vote against Cuba, and they did it again. Mexico, trying not to further damage its ties to Washington, followed them. On the other side, Venezuela reaffirmed once again its affinity with Cuba and Brazil kept its long tradition of abstention.

The only country that made an important turn on the question was Argentina. Since 1989, this South American country had followed a foreign policy aligned to Washington. However, the new administration product of the uprisings of December 2001, tried to look for common positions with Brazil. The new scenario led President Duhalde to change country's vote and come back to the traditional abstention on Cuba's affairs that reigned before 1989.

No matter the case, this story does not end here. Cuba says that The United States prevents the Commission from covering the real problems afflicting the world today. Cuba also requested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "investigate the acts of terrorism that are committed against Cuba and have their base in US territory".

Castro's diplomats consider that this 14 year battle to condemn the Island for alleged violations of Human Rights serves the United States with the pretext of maintaining the economic and trade violation maintained for more than four decades.
Anyway, unjustified Cuba's decision to keep on jailing dissidents and executing citizens does not help nations aiming to vote against foreign intervention in sovereign internal affairs.

Picture: Fidel Castro

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