Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How the UN Secretary General's trip to Cuba exposed his failings on human rights

"They can either kill us, put us in jail or release them. We will never stop marching no matter what happens." - Laura Pollan, human rights defender who died under suspicious circumstances on October 14, 2011
Ban Ki-moon visited Castro regime, praised it's treatment of women
 On March 15, 2016 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the United Nations Human Rights Council to increase its impact on the ground over its second decade. However the actions of the Secretary General during his visit to Cuba in January of 2014 demonstrates the challenges faced by the United Nations.  Ban Ki-moon whitewashed the Castro regime's human rights atrocities, met with Castro regime oppressors including Fidel and Raul Castro and praised them for their work on violence against women:
Cuba is a leader on many development issues, including expanding opportunity for women and girls.  It has battled stereotypes and worked through its institutions to advance equality and prevent and end all forms of violence. [...] Since this threat is rooted in discrimination, impunity and complacency, we need to change attitudes and behavior – and we need to change laws and make sure they are enforced just like you are doing in Cuba.
The Secretary General ignored the well documented beatings and extreme acts of violence visited on Cuban women who dissent from the official government line by Castro regime agents. Sadly, eight months after Secretary Ki-moon legitimized the dictatorship in Cuba and praised its treatment of women Yudisledy López, age 23 with two young children, was stabbed 18 times and murdered on September 26, 2014. She was killed after having warned months earlier Cuban human rights defender Sirley Avila Leon that an ex-convict had told the young mother of two that he was promised benefits for harming or killing Sirley. The warning took place after human rights defender's bed was set on fire and home vandalized.

23 year old murdered in 2014 after warning human rights defender
Another attempt on the life of Cuban human rights defender, Sirley Ávila León, age 56, was carried out in Cuba on May 24, 2015 during which she was gravely wounded in a machete attack. Osmany Carrión and his wife, both of whom had been sent by state security agents to kill her, carried out the brutal attack. Sirley lost her left hand while raising it to block a machete blow to the head. She suffered deep cuts to her neck and knees, lost her left hand and the machete cut through the bone of her right humerus that left her arm dangling. This was an escalation of previous machete attacks against other opposition activists.

Cuban state security engineered machete attack against Sirley Ávila León
On September 27, 2015 Lady in White Daisy Cuello Basulto reported that her 21 year old daughter was arrested, violently stripped and forced to urinate in front of police officers in a police station in Cotorro in Cuba. The 21 year old was arrested along with her mom and other family while on their way to attend the Sunday march of the Ladies in White. In the police station "she was humiliated," although she refused to urinate in front of the agents, who constantly jeered at her, explained her mother in an interview with Radio República. The young woman was locked in a cell with a strong smell of hydrochloric acid and afterwards suffered from a sore throat, according to her mother who added: "She has a fever and feels very bad."

Marina Montes Piñón age 60 beaten by regime agents. UNSG meets their bosses

If this is the leadership that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon celebrated in Cuba when he met with the men who give the orders to humiliate, brutalize and murder Cuban women then maybe he shouldn't be the one measuring the impact of the UN Human Rights Council. The Council already has enough problems.

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