Friday, June 24, 2016

The UN Secretary General's Regrettable Return to Cuba

The moral bankrupting of international institutions continues

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nicolas Maduro in Havana
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon returned to Havana, Cuba for the signing of the peace accords in the Colombian Peace Process and met with Venezuelan strong man Nicolas Maduro on June 23, 2016. Regrettably during his visit the Secretary General praised Maduro who has plunged Venezuela into a humanitarian crisis that includes hunger riots and prisoners of conscience
The Secretary-General met today in Havana, Cuba, with Nicolas Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The Secretary-General commended Venezuela for its support to the Colombian peace process, saying that the example of Colombia sent a great message to the region and the world. He also thanked Venezuela for its important international role as current member of the Security Council and of the Human Rights Council, as well as Chair of the Committee on Decolonization (C24).
One day later the Venezuelan representative to the UN Human Rights Council sought to shut down discussion on the plight of prisoners of conscience from around the world. UN Watch reported on the episode as follows:
Venezuela was overruled by the chair of the UN human rights council today, when its delegate interrupted a UN speech (see below) in a failed bid to stop the reading of an appeal for council members to release political prisoners on the occasion of the council’s 10th anniversary. The appeal, signed by family members of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Venezuela, Vietnam and Cuba, was read out today in the plenary of the council by Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group. Venezuela’s delegate interrupted as soon as Neuer mentioned the name of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. “We do not think it is appropriate to raise specific countries,” he said, even though virtually all of the previous 15 NGO speeches had done exactly that. However, the objection was shot down with uncommon firmness by the session chair, who strongly defended UN Watch’s right to speak. “I have the impression that the speaker was perfectly in the context of this agenda item. We are all in favor of participation of civil society, and this was just a civil society group expressing itself,” he said. Many UN diplomats who chair session are leery of siding with activists when it could upset country delegates.
This is not the first time that the Secretary General has engaged in an Orwellian rewrite of history.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a previous visit to Cuba in January of 2014 whitewashed the Castro regime's human rights atrocities against Cuban women when he praised the dictatorship for its work on violence against women. In the aftermath of his visit the violence against women by the Castro regime worsened with at least one murder and an attempted murder documented.

UNSG Ban Ki-moon applauds Colombian peace process in Cuba

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