Summary: A United Nations Commission on Human Rights today finally has started taking notice that torture is occurring in Cuba. Ironically, its claims are not against Fidel Castro, but against the United States at Guantanamo Bay. Why would the Commission make such allegations? First, because human rights advocates aren't allowed into the nations of Cuba or Iran. Second, because of the member countries of the 'august' UN Commission on Human Rights.
If irony were water, you could swim for miles in this one...
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights today publicized claims, not that Cuba continues to torture people who speak out in favor of human rights, but that the United States is not following the 1984 UN Convention on Torture, because we are holding prisoners of war at Guantanamo Bay without legal justification and without legal safeguards. Based on a loaded survey question, worldpublicopinon.org is reporting that 67% of Americans agree that we should close down Guantanamo. No specific instances of torture were mentioned in the news article citing the Commission report. The allegation without proof of secret prisons maintained all over the world by the US (well, they're secret--how would we have proof?) was trotted out on center stage again. Also without proof of specific instances that have not already been prosecuted by the United States, the Commission report stated "that the United States should end all forms of torture committed by its personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq." There may have been an allegation or two that we were flushing their Korans down the toilet, but I may be getting my stories mixed up.
Besides the fact that there is a war on, a couple of things struck me about the article and the report on the opinion survey.
First, what struck me was the irony in the claim that what the US might really be doing is sending prisoners to countries that really would torture them, although I didn't notice any proof of that either. But maybe they were thinking of countries like Iraq, where I've already documented there are people who think America is way too nice to the insurgents here.
Second, why doesn't the United Nations Commission on Human Rights investigate the gulag prison system that still exists in Cuba? While we're at it, it might change a few people's opinions of Iran if they knew what kinds of repression and torture were going on in that country. The allegations of what is going on in both these countries is much more substantial than anything the United Nations Commission on Human Rights can prove against the United States.
The difference is that the United States welcomes scrutiny while countries like Cuba and Iran do not allow it. Thank you, UN Commission on Human Rights for holding American once again to a higher moral standard. It'd jist be peachy if ya did it fer everbuddy. Sher would appreciatecha!!!
Iran, which uses systematic torture to keep its populace in check, and which dumps dead bodies on the outskirts of Tehran when they're finished with them, has never been investigated by anyone. Iran has not allowed it. The family members of many of those who have tried don't know where they are now. Regimechangeiran.com fairly regularly documents torture in Iran, as well as holycrime.com. Many websites that used to exist inside Iran no longer exist. That's strange. I wonder why?
Cuba, the darling of the international power seekers, because they have perfected repression of its populace, and because it has successfully snubbed its nose at the Great Satan for 50 years, has never been investigated by the United Nations, despite a multitude of allegations from individuals who were tortured in the Cuban gulag, along with their families. Cubanet.org has ample proof that torture in Fidel's Heaven on Earth continues unabated. Yet noone at the United Nations cares, and Cuba hasn't allowed anyone to investigate.
Third, just which countries are on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights? There are quite a few, with some more vocal than others. Let's have a look-see. France and Germany are there. No bias there, so they couldn't have had any influence on a shoddy Commission report, could they have? And...oh, Saudi Arabia, paragon of human rights is on the commission, too. I'm sure we can trust them to make a fair judgement about human rights, can't we? China--where you can have every kind of human right under the sun, except speaking out against the government and going to the church of your choice and keeping your land if they want it and having as many children as you want, and some others--is a Commission member as well.
Imagine the twinkly smirk on Fidel Castro's face when the Commission came out against torture on the island of Cuba, but not against him. Did I mention that Cuba is on the UN Commission on Human Rights? Aha.