Kezia McKeague earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish from Wake Forest University (North Carolina, U.S.A.). She was a recipient of the prestigious Reynolds Scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Political Science. She won the first prize for papers on Cuba from the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy. She has presented her research at the “Cuba Today” conference (at City University of New York) and the international congress of the Latin American Studies Association. She is currently a master’s student in International Studies at Torcuato Di Tella University and an Associated Researcher of CADAL.
The role of the Soviet Union inArgentina’s defense is well-known among human rights experts, who noted the development of an “unholy alliance” (Tolley, 1983, p. 53). Less is understood about the support that Cuba gave the military government in order to block consideration of the Argentine case at the United Nations. This article attempts to fill that gap based on information from personal interviews, Argentine archival material, and secondary sources.3
United Nations Procedure
A subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Commission on Human Rights has met annually in Geneva since 1946. It consists of state representatives, selected for three-year terms according to a formula designed to ensure an equitable regional distribution. Between 1967 and 1980, they numbered 32; with a 1980 reform, Commission membership increased to 43 states.4 The developing states dominate the Commission, though they do not form a united bloc, unlike the relatively cohesive Western and Eastern groups during the Cold War. The loose coalition of non-aligned countries frequently protected its members while approving investigations of others, but it also split on decisive issues in its different regions. According to Tolley (1987), the most partisan delegates, whatever their ideological convictions, “alternately profess indignation at gross violations of human rights by their foes, and then defend allies by complaining of selective enforcement, double standards, and unlawful political intervention in domestic matters” (p. 202).