As if we needed any further evidence of what a hopelessly corrupt, morally repugnant organization the United Nations is, delegates of the U.N.'s so-called Human Rights Council opened a meeting in Geneva on Monday by offering up a minute’s silence to “honor” late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Standing silently with heads bowed, after a
CNS News reports that the Venezuelan delegation requested the moment of silence, and most took part by standing with heads bowed. But U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer described this gesture honoring “human rights abuser Fidel Castro” as “despicable”; his non-governmental organization remained seated.
In an official U.N. webcast, a member of the Israeli delegation, seated behind Venezuela’s representatives, can be seen walking out as Venezuelan ambassador Jorge Valero asked members to honor Castro.
The United States is currently on a mandatory one-year break from the Council, but U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper tweeted that they “should not be honoring gross and systematic #Humanrights violators with moments of silence.”
“On the 25th of November,” Venezuela’s Valero told the Council members, “late at night on Friday, we heard the news of the passing away of the historic leader of the Cuban revolution, the comandante and head leader of the revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.”
He went on to call Castro a leader of “international stature” whose “influence went beyond the borders of his country.” He praised Castro’s “constant fight for the peoples of the third world."
After about half a minute of silence, Valero thanked the Human Rights Council and delegates took their seats.
A Cuban representative then thanked Venezuela and the council for the gesture at a “time of deep pain for the Cuban people.” She spent several minutes calling Castro “the father of the Cuban revolution,” “a paradigm of the fight for social justice,” and “an inspiration for many dignified men and women who fought and still fight today to defend the principles of independence, sovereignty and equality.”
She added that that fight was also a fight for development, peace, “solidarity between human beings and between all nations of the world,” and a “fight to achieve a world without inequalities in which we can all enjoy all of our human rights.”
She neglected to mention that in the half-century in which Castro held Cuba under his brutal sway, untold thousands were executed or died in custody or perished at sea seeking freedom.
As CNS reports,
The HRC is the U.N.’s top human rights body, created a decade ago to replace the badly discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
The Castro regime has played an outsized role on the 47-member HRC, having held a seat for most of the last ten years, with terms in 2006-2009, 2010-2012 and 2014-2016. It was re-elected last month to a new three-year term.
Over that decade, despite a human rights record widely criticized by advocacy groups, Cuba has not been the subject of a single critical HRC resolution.
At an event in Geneva in October, Mari Werlau, the executive director of the Cuba Archive – a non-profit project that documents deaths and disappearances resulting from the Castro revolution – took aim at Cuba’s membership of the HRC.
“Cuba should not be part of the U. N. Human Rights Council, responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe, because it is a totalitarian state that violates – in its laws and practices – essentially all applicable articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” she said.