portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

actions & protests | human & civil rights

U.S. isolated on the Human Rights Issue in CUBA

The recent Cuban decision to sign the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Civil and Political Rights is a clear example of the island's conduct when it is not subjected to external pressures...
U.S. isolated on the Human Rights Issue in CUBA

The recent Cuban decision to sign the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Civil and Political Rights is a clear example of the island's conduct when it is not subjected to external pressures. It is the sovereign response before the approval last November 17th of a Resolution of the UN General Assembly's Social Humanitarian Affairs Commission, eliminating the mandate of relater that the US had imposed against the island at the then UN Human Rights Commission. The United Nations recognized the reason and justice of the arguments that, without any concessions, Cuba defended for years while confronting the politicized, selective and discriminatory actions of the White House in Geneva.

By Angel Rodriguez Alvarez

It is without a doubt, a victory for the Cuban people in its resistance to manipulation for 20 years and a reaffirmation of the growing international isolation of the US government in its anti Cuba policy.

This is taking place precisely when Washington is attempting to
re-enforce its efforts in adding other countries in its attempts to
destroy the Revolution. This is a reflection of new times that rule the
recently created UN Human Rights Council which excluded Washington's
aspirations to become a member of the new institution, while Cuba was
elected a member with over two thirds of the votes of UN member
nations. It is not difficult to imagine how much pain W. Bush and
Condoleezza Rice, as designers and executioners of the policy towards
Cuba, must have felt over Cuba's growing recognition as a result of its
active and constructive participation in discussions of the institution
and the defense of the legitimate interests of the Third World. It is
evident that times have changed. It is particularly significant that
outside Havana, in its position as President of the Non Aligned
Movement, went the responsibility of presenting the resolution,
approved by 168 votes and only 7 against. This victory was held only a
few weeks after the UN General Assembly vote approved with a record
count of 184 votes in favor of Cuba's Resolution demanding an end to
the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US
against the island. It is a reward for the tireless battle for the
truth against lies: of transparency vs manipulation: of freedom against
pressures and blackmail.

Despite the evidence, no one should think this is the end of the
battle. The White House will not stop in its attempts to continue
manipulating the issue, with the objective of justifying its economic
war and aggression against the island, although, like now, they are
still suffering the defeat.


CUBA has never and never will give in under Pressure

Acting on its sovereign will, Cuba will sign the Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights, said the island's foreign minister yesterday during a World Human Rights Day address

By: Luis Luque Álvarez

Email:  digital@jrebelde.cip.cu


In the first trimester of 2008, Cuba will sign the Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights. That political decision was announced yesterday on World Human Rights Day, marking the 59th anniversary of when the UN General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The information was offered to the national and foreign press by the Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, Felipe Pérez Roque, who pointed out that the rights reflected in both documents are already broadly protected by national law and by the leadership of the revolution.

In the conference, held at the office of the Foreign Ministry (MINREX), the chancellor noted that manipulation persists around the issue of human rights. He highlighted that while the US had transformed the former UN Commission on Human Rights into an inquisitorial tribunal to impose resolutions that justified the blockade (the so-called "embargo") against Cuba, conditions did not exist to evaluate new commitments on the part of Cuba with the mechanisms of the UN in those matters.

That has changed, he specified, with the new Council on Human Rights (CDH), to which Cuba was elected a member with more than two thirds of the votes of the member countries of the UN General Assembly.

Cuba has never given in, nor will it ever give in, under pressure, Pérez Roque emphasized. He added that once the CDH confirmed the discontinuation of the anti-Cuban structure, the island has advanced several initiatives on the issue of the human rights, among these being the recent visit of a leading UN authority on food, with other invitations being considered.
According to the head of Cuban diplomacy, when the nation soon signs the two mentioned pacts —what he called "formal commitments," since real commitment to those rights that these protect has always existed— this will be an example of what can be achieved without political conditions or unjust singling out. "It will be a decision that is made freely, with sovereignty, in agreement with the will of our country," he added.

In a same way, Pérez Roque pointed out that Cuba is preparing to undergo the a universal periodic review by the CDH in the first trimester of 2009. This is occurring by virtue of random drawing carried out in a spirit of cooperation and with the openness to express the island's achievements and shortcomings, and to listen other opinions.

This position, he said, shall not change if the CDH system does not change. "If it returns to impositions, to politicizing the issue, to making the atmosphere of cooperation thin, our country will be forced to fight to defeat any effort at manipulation.

Pérez Roque took advantage of the occasion to spotlight the concrete human rights work of Cuba around the planet. He expressed his satisfaction that a Cuban medical brigade has served in Guatemala since 1998, after the lash of Hurricane Mitch hit that country. The island has become worthy of the National Prize on Human rights in that nation in which our doctors have carried out more than 22 million consultations and assisted in 55,000 childbirths.

During the meeting with the press, the Secretary of Foreign Relations made several appeals to the government of the country that proclaims itself the champion of human rights. He called on the US to cease the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; to free the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters; to prosecute terrorists such as the criminal Luis Posada Carriles, or to deport him to Venezuela; and to permanently close the shameful torture center located in Guantánamo naval base, in addition to returning that illegally occupied territory to Cuba.

 link to www.juventudrebelde.co.cu

CUBA to sign international human rights agreements

BY PEDRO MARGOLLES —Granma International staff writer—

CUBA is shortly to sign two important agreements in relation to human rights, announced Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque during a press conference commemorating International Human Rights Day on December 10.
The minister specified that these are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Both instruments, of widely recognized importance in this area, are fully protected by the national judicial code and particularly by the work and trajectory of the Cuban revolution, he pointed out.
Pérez Roque said that this political decision will be effected in a few months and is an expression of Cuba's commitment to maintaining close cooperation with the United Nations based on respect for the Cuba's rights and sovereignty.
He noted that while manipulation of the issue against Cuba was ongoing and the United States had turned the UN Commission into an inquisition of those countries opposed to its imperial domination, and used the issue of human rights to justify its blockade of Cuba, the minimum conditions necessary for Cuba to consider new agreements in this area did not exist.
Pérez Roque explained that the conditions have now changed with the establishing of the Human Rights Council, to which Cuba was elected as a founding member with the support of two-thirds of the international community's member countries and because, as is well known, the spurious mandates that the U.S. imposed against Cuba in this body have been discontinued.
After 20 years of struggle in defense of Cuba's dignity, given the new situation in which the issue is not being manipulated and imperialist efforts have been frustrated, the conditions have been created to take new steps to express the political will of the country. Cuba will not act, and has never acted, under pressure, Pérez Roque emphasized.
Once the 3rd UN commission decided to discontinue its spurious anti-Cuban posture, the country has moved forward with several international cooperation agreements, he said.
He offered as an example the recent visit to the island by the UN Secretary for the right to food, and now comes the Cuban government's decision to sign the aforementioned agreements in the early part of 2008.
The decision is an example of what the country can do without political conditions being applied, without being subjected to unjust measures, he said.
He announced that in March of 2009, Cuba will report to the Council as part of the universal regular mechanism of periodic review established by the new body.
He explained that with the equal treatment of all countries, Cuba is scheduled to be present at that time and a serious report will be prepared in the spirit of cooperation. It will describe the country's accomplishments and current situation.
He clarified that this will to cooperate will be maintained as long as the principle is held up of no singling out, no selectivity or discriminatory use of the human rights issue to damage countries that do not submit the U.S. imperialism's dictates.
As long as the new situation is maintained, Cuba is willing to move forward along this path, but if the issue should unfortunately become politicized again, if it should become strained, Cuba will take up the struggle once more.


The Cuban foreign minister reiterated the demand that the U.S. government end its brutal blockade against the Cuban people since it constitutes a clear violation of human rights, as has been overwhelmingly affirmed by the UN General Assembly in successive resolutions.
He called for the closing of the torture center operated by the United States on the Guantánamo Naval Base and for the return to Cuba of this illegally occupied territory.
He highlighted the unjust situation of the five Cubans held as prisoners in U.S. penitentiaries and demanded their liberation, as well as visitation rights for two spouses of the prisoners who have not seen their husbands since 1998.
The minister demanded that the government of the United States charge the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles as such and proceed with a trial or extradite him to Venezuela as this country has requested.
During his comments Pérez Roque reiterated the pleasure with which his country received the news of the Guatemalan National Prize for Human Rights being awarded to the Cuban medical brigade working in that country. The volunteers have provided 22 million consultations and assisted 55,000 births.
He recalled that currently 37,000 Cubans, including 18,000 doctors, are working in 79 countries in the area of public health.
He added that the total of patients who have had their sight restored through Operation Miracle Mission in 32 countries is fast approaching one million.
As part of Cuba's contribution to helping students with few resources, there are now in Cuba 30,000 scholarship students from 121 countries and more are being trained in Cuba, while 45,000 from the Third World have already graduated.
Finally, Pérez Roque recalled Cuba's support to world literacy efforts with the 'Yes, I can do it' method, through which 2,700,000 people in 22 countries have learned to read and write.
For these reasons and for other human rights enjoyed, Cubans can celebrate this day with their heads held high, he concluded.

Translated by Granma International


See also:








In Great Britain and Ireland:








"Mission against Terror":



"Bacardí, the bat's secret":