Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Statement by Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Afairs
Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque answers a question during a news conference in Havana, Wednesday, June 20, 2007. (AP Photo/Prensa Latina/Ismael Francisco)
Havana. June 20, 2007
AT the end of its 5th Session in Geneva, the Human Rights Council decided to discontinue the mandate of the so-called personal representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to Cuba, thus putting an end to the U.S. government’s manipulation of the human rights issue against our country.
This decision of the body that replaced the discredited Human Rights Commission constitutes a historic victory in our people’s struggle to seek justice and put an end to the anti-Cuban operation conceived of by the United States precisely as a pretext for maintaining and exacerbating its genocidal policy of blockade and aggression of Cuba.
With this decision, the Human Rights Council has acknowledged the unjust, selective and discriminatory nature of the actions perpetrated against our country over decades, and given its vigorous denial to the resolutions and mechanisms that the U.S. government managed to impose in the now-expired Human Rights Commission (HRC) by using coercion, threats and heavy pressure.
The backing of members of the Non-Aligned Movement and other Third World countries has been essential in achieving this result. Even the European Union countries, constant allies of the United States in its actions against Cuba within the framework of the former HRC, had no other option than to accept the discontinuation of the discredited mandate against Cuba as the only way of trying to give credibility to the Council, which has just completed its first year of existence.
This result constitutes an act of essential justice for the valiant and generous Cuban people, whose sons and daughters contributed to the disappearance of colonialism and apartheid in Africa, and who now, in a modest and selfless way, are devoting themselves to the fulfillment of the human rights of millions of people in 100-plus countries who receiving the solidarity of more than 42,000 Cuban doctors, nurses, teachers, sports trainers, engineers and technicians. It is an act of justice for the people who are currently educating, free of charge, more than 30,000 young students from 118 countries and have restored the sight of close to 700,000 persons from 31 countries.
It constitutes an acknowledgement of the prestige and work of Cuba and its Revolution, whose undeniable labors in promoting and protecting all human rights for everybody, and in creating a society that is constantly more just, more egalitarian and more humane, cannot be ignored or distorted.
It is a merited acknowledgement of Cuba’s defense of Third World interests, its condemnation of and resistance to U.S. pretensions of imperial domination, of the Cuba that, on its own merit, was elected a founding member of the Human Rights Council by 135 votes of more than two thirds of the UN General Assembly membership, despite pressure from the government of the United States and the European Union, both of which worked actively against the Cuban candidacy.
The result of the recently-concluded institutional construction process of the Council, despite the shortcomings and deficiencies that it continues to have, is favorable to the countries of the Third World, organized and united by the Non-Aligned Movement under the presidency of Cuba. The Movement played an active role and succeeded in placing items of particular importance for the nations of the South on the Council’s agenda, including the “situation of human rights in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories,” “the right to development,” and “racial discrimination and xenophobia.”
It now remains to be seen whether the industrialized countries that used the former HRC as an instrument for trying to impose their concepts and political vision are really disposed to work on the basis of the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectiveness, constructive dialogue and cooperation, avoiding double standards and the politicization that led to the discredit of the expired Human Rights Commission, which became a inquisition tribunal for the countries of the South.
In its quality as president of the Non-Aligned Movement, Cuba has played an important role in this process, and will continue battling in defense of the truth, our sovereignty and the interests of the countries of the Third World.
Havana, June 19, 2007.
“Year 49 of the Revolution.”
Translated by Granma International