OPINIONMIGUEL DE LA TORRE | MARCH 28, 2017
Returning to the land which witnessed my birth is always a gut-wrenching
experience. Separation from my island has now been five times longer
than Odysseus' was from his. But unlike Odysseus, who was returning to a
place he was familiar with, I am attempting to piece together some type
of rootedness upon the shifting sands of my parents' false memories (sí,
porque los bichos no picaban, y los mangos eran más dulce; yes, because
the bugs were not biting, and mangoes were sweeter).
Every Cuban over a certain age lives with a particular trauma caused by
the hardships of being a refugee. Homesickness for a place that was
never home, mixed with nostalgia, romanticization and an
unnaturally-taught hatred towards various actors blamed for our
Babylonian captivity contributes to the trauma of not having a place, of
not ever being able to visit one's grandmother's garden to eat mangos
from its trees, nor enjoy the gentle sea breezes.
By the rivers of Miami we sat and wept at the memory of La Habana. There
on the palm trees we hung our conga drums. For there, those who stole
our independence with gunboat diplomacy, asked us for songs. Those who
forced on us the Platt Amendment demanded songs of joy. "Sing us one of
the mambo songs from Cuba." But how can we sing our rumba in a pagan
land? If I forget you, mi Habana, may my right hand wither. May my
tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do
not consider la Habana mi mayor alegría. Remember, Yahweh, what the
oppressors did. A blessing on him who seizes their infants and dashes
them against the rock!
As I stroll down el malecón, as I amble along calle Obispo, as I have a
daiquiri en el Floridita, I observe. I randomly gaze at my surroundings,
reflecting upon what I see, attempting to understand what occurs beneath
the surface. In no specific order, here are some of my musings:
- I notice many yuma lechers — old white men with young beautiful
mulatas on their arms, planning to do to them what the embargo has done
to the island.
- I notice yumas rushing to see Cuba before it changes, before it is
spoiled, fetishizing the misery and poverty of others, ignoring how much
the people want change because they hunger.
- I notice la buena presente, where the faces of tourism's
representatives have a light complexion, thus denying their darker
compatriots lucrative tourists' tips.
- I notice how liberals, from the safety of first-world middle-class
privilege, paint Cuba as some socialist paradise, ignoring how sexism
and racism continues to thrive, along with a very sophisticated and
not-so-well hidden classism connected to political power.
- I notice how conservatives, with an air of superiority, paint Cuba
with brushes which impose hues of oppression to color a portrait of
repression ignorant of the survival mentality of a people fluent in
doublespeak and sharp tongues of criticism.
- I notice tourists who can't salsa dancing in well-preserved streets
while a block away from the merriment are inhabited buildings on the
verge of collapsing.
- I notice Trumpites insisting on removing the human rights violation
splinter out of Cuba's eye while ignoring the log of Border Patrol
abuses against the undocumented, the log of black lives not mattering,
the log of grabbing women by their ——-, paying them lower wages than men
for the same job, the log of unthreading a safety net which keeps people
alive, and all the other human rights violation logs firmly lodged in
the USA's eye.
- I notice liberal yumas apotheosis of el Ché and Fidel, dismissing as
gusanos the critiques of those and the surviving families who have suffered.
- I notice the swagger of conservative yumas quick to dictate the
conditions under which they will recognize someone else's sovereignty,
holding on to the self-conceived hegemonic birthright of empire.
- I notice the false dichotomy created by bar stool pundits between
ending the genocidal U.S. embargo and the need for greater political
participation from the people. This is not an either/or issue; it's a
The most painful thing I notice is how I am not fully accepted aquí o
allá — here or there. I am held in contempt and suspicion on both sides
of the Florida Straits. Here, I'm too Cuban to ever be American, and
there, I'm too American to ever be a Cuban. The trauma of which I speak
is never belonging.
As you contemplate these reflections, note I have again returned to la
isla de dolor. Like Odysseus I am struggling against the gods who decree
separation from the fantasy island I claim to love, an irrational love
toward a place where I am neither welcomed nor truly belong. I close
these reflections with that of another refugee, who also spent his life
wandering the earth where there was no place he could call home or where
he could rest his head. According to José Martí, "Let those who do not
[secure a homeland] live under the whip and in exile, watched over like
wild animals, cast from one country to another, concealing the death of
their souls with a beggar's smile from the scorn of free persons."
Source: Never belonging: Random reflections on my last visit to Cuba –
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the last minute
BY MIMI WHITEFIELD, KEVIN G. HALL AND FRANCO ORDOÑEZ
Miami Herald Archives
From the Miami Herald archives: Five years ago, Pope Benedict visited
Cuba, greeting tens of thousands of Cubans on March 26, 2012 on the
first leg of his visit to the island. The last papal visit to Cuba had
been 14 years before by Pope John Paul II. Here is a look back:
Tens of thousands of Cuban well-wishers greeted Pope Benedict XVI Monday
on the first leg of his whirlwind tour of this communist island, a visit
aimed at building on the spiritual gains that his predecessor, John Paul
II, made during a historic visit 14 years ago.
Thousands lined the road from the airport to catch a glimpse of the
pontiff as he passed by in his "popemobile, " and tens of thousands more
gathered in Santiago's Plaza of the Revolution Antonio Maceo for a papal
Mass that began a half-hour late in the unrelenting afternoon sun. But
the hot weather and the delay did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm as
the crowd jumped with joy and roared its approval as a statue of Cuba's
patron saint made its way through the crowd of a Vatican-estimated
"This is not political. You see, everybody here is happy, happy, happy,
" said Maria, a Santiago resident who asked that her surname not be used.
For 64-year-old Ana Cajigal and her daughter Mayra, 32, it was a chance
to hear their second pope.
"We are very emotional, happy, we want peace in the world, " said the
older Cajigal, flanked by her daughter wearing a USA cap, not common in
Cuba. Asked if she was sending a message as she posed for pictures, she
smiled coyly and said, "It's for the sun."
Politics, however, were not far away. Shortly after two white doves were
released as the Mass began, a man charged the stage, shouting in
Spanish, "Down with communism." He was quickly subdued, and none of it
was visible to television viewers. A video showed the crowd striking him
as he was hauled away.
The pope himself made little mention of politics in his homily until the
very end, when he called on Cubans to "strive to build a renewed and
open society, a better society, one more worthy of humanity, and which
better reflects the goodness of God."
Earlier, Benedict, 84, offered gentle criticism for both Cuba's
authoritarian government and a U.S. trade embargo on the island that's
more than 50 years old in remarks he gave when he arrived at Santiago's
airport at about 2:30 in the afternoon. He was greeted on the airport's
tarmac by Cuban leader Raúl Castro, who wore a business suit and sported
a red tie.
In his arrival remarks, Benedict said Cubans "wherever they may be" were
in his prayers. He said he prayed for guidance for "the future of this
beloved nation in the ways of justice, peace, freedom, liberty and
The word liberty, a politically charged word, was not in the prepared
remarks that had been distributed to reporters in advance of the pope's
arrival and was added by the pope apparently at the last minute.
Tweaking the Castro government, Benedict said, "Greater progress can and
ought to be made" in relations between the church and state. In a
criticism of the United States and other developed countries, Benedict
said "not a few people regard" the world's current economic troubles "as
part of a profound spiritual and moral crisis" afflicting the developed
For his part, Castro criticized the five-decade U.S. trade embargo on
Cuba and said Cuba was opening up and "changing all that needs to be
changed." Like his brother Fidel's welcoming speech to John Paul II in
1998, Raúl defended the pair's legacy of healthcare and education for all.
Benedict was scheduled to spend Monday night at a restored home for
retired priests in the small mining town of El Cobre, home to Cuba's
patron saint, Our Lady of Charity, where he was to sleep on a new
"memory foam" mattress donated by a furniture store in Miami. On Tuesday
morning, he'll pray at the Our Lady of Charity shrine before leaving for
The pope's trip coincides with the 400th anniversary of the discovery of
the small, doll-like wooden statue of the Virgin Mary bobbing in the Bay
of Nipe after a violent storm. From that day forward, Catholics have
revered her as Our Lady of Charity. For centuries, the faithful have
prayed to Our Lady of Charity, now Cuba's patron saint, for her help.
"I, too, wish to go to El Cobre to kneel at the feet of the Mother of
God, " the pope said. "I want to ask her to guide the future of this
beloved nation in the ways of justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation."
He added: "I carry in my heart the just aspirations and legitimate
desires of all Cubans, wherever they may be, their sufferings and their
joys, their concerns and their noblest desires, those of the young and
the elderly, of adolescents and children, of the sick and workers, of
prisoners and their families, and of the poor and those in need.''
While the German-born Pope Benedict lacks the charm and charisma of his
Polish predecessor, his visit has stirred hopes among Cuban believers
and Cuban exiles in Miami and elsewhere for change in an island nation
that the Castro brothers have ruled for more than five decades, first
Fidel, and then, since 2006, Raul.
"We await the pope with much joy. The Cuban people love the pope. The
Cuban Catholic Church is very proud that the pope has shown a preference
for Cuba, because it's the second such visit in which a pope has come, "
said José Julio García, who was interviewed Sunday as his four-truck
caravan, carrying dozens of Roman Catholic worshippers from the city of
Camaguey, paused along the way to Santiago, Cuba's second-largest city.
Church leaders in Cuba and the United States are walking a fine line. On
one hand, they're trying to boost the influence of the Catholic Church
in Cuba, which has made gains in followers and charity work since John
Paul II's 1998 visit. On the other hand, they're under pressure from
staunchly Catholic Cuban exiles in the United States and Europe who
think the church should use its moral authority to pose a stronger
challenge to Cuba's autocratic regime and help bring about its end.
Even before he arrived, Pope Benedict caused a stir by suggesting during
his visit to Mexico that Cuba's Marxist ideology is outdated and the
country needs a new model. Overlooked were his comments that changes
should come slowly and in a deliberate process, not unlike the sorts of
openings already happening in a small scale under Raúl.Castro.
Raúl, 80, who assumed the presidency in 2006 when Fidel, now 85, fell
seriously ill, has expanded self-employment, shrunk government jobs and
scaled back subsidies to state enterprises. The communist government,
however, continues to have firm control over many aspects of public
life, and there are no opposition parties.
The government has been closely following the activities of the Ladies
in White, a small movement of women who wear white and gather at Masses
at Catholic churches in Cuba to protest the treatment of the island's
prisoners of conscience.
They're expected to protest sometime during the papal visit to Santiago,
and the dissident group is still holding out hope that it will be able
to speak with the pope when he arrives in Havana on Tuesday.
After a protest march Sunday outside the Santa Rita church in Havana's
Miramar neighborhood, the group's leader, Berta Soler, said that all
they wanted was "just a moment" with the pope to discuss human rights.
The Castro government doesn't want the Ladies in White to attend the
pope's Mass in Havana's José Martí Revolution Square, but Soler vowed
that the women will make their presence known.
"We will be there, all of us, dressed in white, " she said. "We won't
stop until human rights are respected."
Whitefield and McClatchy News Service correspondent Hall reported from
Santiago, and Ordonez of McClatchy reported from Havana.
Source: Miami Herald archive: Pope Benedict visited Cuba five years ago
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Carlos Alberto Montaner
El asunto es más grave. El régimen chavista de Nicolás Maduro, sin duda, ha violado todos los incisos de la Carta Democrática Interamericana de la OEA y merece ser sancionado, pero suspender a Venezuela de la Organización de los Estados Americanos es poca cosa y, tal vez, llega muy tarde. El daño que ha sufrido esa sociedad ha sido muy profundo.
Peor que tratar de convertir a Venezuela en otra Cuba, es haberla transformado en otro Congo, un país caótico y desorganizado, dominado por jefecillos locales que viven a punta de cuchillo. Venezuela, además de ser un Estado forajido que agrede a los demás, es un Estado fallido que incumple sus propias leyes e ignora sus instituciones, del que ha desaparecido el principio de autoridad, la capacidad de reprimir se ha atomizado en mil centros violentos, y el aparato estatal no responde a las órdenes de quienes, supuestamente, mandan.
[[QUOTE:Peor que tratar de convertir a Venezuela en otra Cuba, es haberla transformado en otro Congo, un país caótico y desorganizado]]
Maduro, un señor que dice tonterías y baila salsa, dirige precariamente uno de esos centros. “Por ahora” es el más poderoso, pero sólo provisionalmente. Está a su alcance encarcelar a Leopoldo López o a Antonio Ledezma, porque la oposición actúa dentro de unos esquemas republicanos pacíficos y predecibles, pero Maduro no puede controlar a los miles de venezolanos de rompe y rasga, los malandros a los que el chavismo armó y les dio patente de corso para que desvalijaran y aterrorizaran a lo que llaman “la burguesía”, es decir, las personas empeñadas en tener una vida decente y normal.
Es la anomia total. La absoluta falta de principios, valores y normas civilizadas. Aunque quisiera, que no es el caso, Maduro tampoco puede impedir la producción y tráfico de estupefacientes. Esa, desde la perspectiva chavista, es solo una zona más de enriquecimiento. El narcotráfico apenas es una variante del delito. Lo practican muchos generales coludidos con los capos de la droga, e incluso sus propios parientes más cercanos, como sucede con sus narcosobrinos. Hay unos ladrones de cuello blanco que roban en PDVSA. Otros crean empresas de maletín para intermediar en las compras del Estado o reciben cuantiosas coimas de compañías como Odebrecht. En el fondo, son iguales.
¿Cómo llamarlos al orden si el chavismo ha sido una inmensa máquina dedicada a delinquir? El desalmado que mata a una muchacha para robarle un teléfono celular siente que lo que él hace no es peor que aprovecharse de las relaciones personales para obtener dólares a precios preferentes y enriquecerse por medio de cambios tramposos. Cada uno rebaña lo que puede y como puede. El perraje, que es impresentable, usa la navaja o la pistola para extorsionar o matar a cualquiera y huir de la escena del crimen a bordo de una moto. El bandido sofisticado utiliza un bolígrafo de oro, tiene cuenta en un paraíso fiscal, y se prepara para abandonar Venezuela en su propia avioneta tan pronto el barco comience a hundirse. Uno y otro se hermanan en la impunidad y en el desprecio por el país en que nacieron.
[[QUOTE:Raúl Castro está dispuesto a pelear hasta el último venezolano y ordenará a Maduro que resista y se atrinchere en el discurso antiimperialista]]
¿Qué más puede ocurrir en Venezuela? Dada la infinita incapacidad del régimen y la creciente pérdida de autoridad, puede suceder cualquier cosa. Ya está sucediendo. El default y la consecuente desaparición del crédito para importar alimentos están a las puertas. Como resultado de ello, es previsible una hambruna que mate a miles de venezolanos o los deje en puro hueso y pellejo. La ausencia prolongada de electricidad y agua potable no es descartable. Tampoco la aparición de unas infecciones monstruosas e incontrolables. Seguirá, in crescendo, la desesperante hiperinflación que va agregándoles ceros a los precios y puede llegar a cifras incalculables, como sucedió en Alemania en los años veinte del siglo pasado o en la década de los ochenta en países andinos del vecindario como Perú, Bolivia y Ecuador.
¿Cómo se le pone fin a esta pesadilla? Es difícil creer que Maduro se acoja al sentido común y busque una solución colegiada junto a la oposición, que es la infinita mayoría del país. Raúl Castro le ordenará que resista y se atrinchere en el discurso antiimperialista. Raúl está dispuesto a pelear hasta el último venezolano. Todo lo que le interesa a La Habana es continuar con el ordeño de la vaca lechera. No veo a Nicolás Maduro perdiendo unas elecciones y colocándole la banda presidencial a Henrique Capriles, a María Corina Machado, y mucho menos a Leopoldo López.
Se cumplirá, sin embargo, un dictum propio de estas situaciones: mientras más dure, y mientras mayor sea la destrucción de los fundamentos nacionales, más dolorosa y sangrienta será la cura.Continue reading
El gobernador de Nueva Jersey, Chris Christie, está instando a la Casa Blanca a exigir el regreso de una convicta "asesina de policías" que huyó a Cuba hace cuatro décadas y hoy vive en libertad acogida a asilo político bajo el nombre de Assata Shakur, informó NorthJersey.com, de Usa Today.Continue reading
This title is now a common phrase in our daily living. But in reality
had been around since many years back.
When I was living peacefully in my native Country (Cuba) Bohemia
Magazine, José Pardo Llada, Mario Kuchilán and others in the media were
expelling their lies to make the Cuban people to succumb to their
extermination by the Communists when they were embracing the lies
fabricated by future Dictator Fidel Castro Ruz.
When Fidel Castro Ruz ordered the hijacking of the Cubana de Aviación
airplane who left Florida to Cuba on November 1, 1958, where my cousin
Ruskin Medrano, the pilot of the aircraft, was assassinated by the
hijackers, they were putting out the fake news that the airplane was
trying to join the rebels of Fidel Castro Ruz in the Sierra Maestra.
During the years of the Communist Tyranny in Cuba newspapers like The
New York Times, The Times Picayune and The Houston Chronicle, among
others, have been poisoning the mind of the American people with "FAKE
NEWS". In February, 1948, Fidel Castro Ruz assassinated my cousin Manolo
Castro who was the Director of Sports in Cuba and a former President of
the Federation of Students at Havana University. The New York Times
presented to the world Fidel Castro Ruz as a new Robin Hood and as a
savior democratic leader.
When in November 22, 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald carried out the plan
organized by the Communist terrorists in Cuba and assassinated President
John F. Kennedy the American Communists carried out one of the most
biggest FAKE NEWS plans in order to exonerate Dictator Castro and
disseminated hundreds of false theories placing the blame on the
anti-Castro Cubans, President Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, the Pentagon,
anti-Communist Americans, and hundreds of stupid theories, all false, in
order to destroy the USA.
When Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by a Muslim follower of Fidel
Castro Ruz the FAKE NEWS ignored the facts of Sirham Sirham attending a
When a divorced Cuban mother died escaping from Castro's hell and her
son survived, the FAKE NEWS started a campaign to return the son to his
father in Cuba. Finally President Bill Clinton criminally returned the
son to Castro's reign of terror.
President Jimmy Carter became a good friend and collaborator of Dictator
Fidel Castro. The FAKE NEWS presented Jimmy Carter as a Christian.
President Barack Hussein Obama finally went to Cuba to pay respect to
the Dictator and the FAKE NEWS portrayed him as a wise USA President
solving the Cuban problem.
Fulgencio Batista was in power less than six years. The Communist
Dictatorship has been in power in Cuba for 58 years and the FAKE NEWS
don't tell you that in 1958 Cuba was one of the 3 tops Countries in
Latin America and that today is one of the 2 worse Countries in Latin
America disputing the last place with Haiti.
The FAKE NEWS don't tell you that in 58 years the Cuban People haven't
have a chance to vote in FREE elections. The FAKE NEWS don't tell you
that more than ONE MILLION Cubans have died in exile during those years.
The FAKE NEWS don't tell you about the thousands of Cubans assassinated
by the Communists.
I don't want more blood to be spilled in Cuba. Most of the assassins are
already dead. Many of the criminals are already living in the USA or
have died out of Cuba. The majority of the Cuban People was stupid
enough to support Fidel Castro Ruz at the time when Batista was forced
to leave Cuba by President Eisenhower.
It is time that the FAKE NEWS are stopped by the American Press that is
not Communist. We know that envy is a great human sin. The Communists
and the Muslims want to destroy the USA. For the sake of this Nation,
for the sake of our descendants we have to stand firm and when the press
fake the news we have to be brave enough to call them FAKE NEWS.
God bless the USA. God bless all the Americans who have died all over
the world fighting for freedom. And I pray to God to punish those who
stab us in the back printing FAKE NEWS.
March 24, 2017
Dr. Carlos J. Bringuier Continue reading
China, Iran, Bangladesh
By UN Watch —— Bio and Archives March 21, 2017
GENEVA— Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Bolivia, UAE, Iran,
Bangladesh, and Venezuela today attempted to silence UN human rights
council testimony by the head of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights
non-governmental organization, after he criticized or called for the
removal of these countries from the council.
However, Neuer thanked the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands,
and Latvia for successfully defending the right of UN Watch to speak.
Full text of the speech and interruptions below.
UN Human Rights Council, debate under Agenda Item 8, Vienna Declaration
of Human Rights
delivered by Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch
Today we ask: Is the world living up to the Vienna Declaration, which
reaffirms basic human rights?
We ask the government of Turkish President Erdogan, if it cares about
human rights, why did they just fire more than one hundred thousand
teachers, university deans, judges, prosecutors, religious figures and
We ask Pakistan, when will they release Asia Bibi, the innocent,
Christian mother of five, now on death row on the absurd charge of
We ask Saudi Arabia, when will you end gender apartheid? When will you
stop oppressing all religious practice that is not Wahhabist Islam? When
will you release Raif Badawi, serving 10 years in prison for the crime
of advocating a free society?
We welcome the Secretary-General's new pledge of UN reform. That is why
today, pursuant to Article 8 of Resolution 60/251, we call for the
complete removal of Saudi Arabia from this Council.
So long as 1.3 billion people are denied their basic freedoms, we call
for the removal of China. So long as human rights are abused by
Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and UAE, we
call for their removal.
So long as the Maduro government imprisons democracy leaders like Mayor
Antonio Ledezma of Caracas, and causes its millions of citizens to
scavenge for food, we call for the removal of Venezuela.
So long as the Castro government jails Eduardo Cardet, a prisoner of
conscience, we call for the complete removal of Cuba from this Council.
[Cuba interrupts on a point of order, followed by 8 other countries]
Cuba: We are taking the floor under Article 13 of the UN General
Assembly Rules, Point of Order. We heard the speaker, he has just taken
the floor in this debate and questioned the membership of the Human
Rights Council, particularly our membership but also other countries.
The decision on granting membership is up to the member states of the
United Nations alone, pursuant to which they freely decide and elect who
will be a member. And bear in mind resolution 96/31 of ECOSOC and
resolution 60 of the UNGA, we would ask you to call the speaker to order
and that we should confine our comments to what is on agenda. It's
important that they are called to order, bearing in mind the
prerogatives that NGOs enjoy.
Bangladesh: We also have the same position as Cuba with regard to the
intervention made by the NGO, UN Watch. We note with very high concern
that the language used by this particular organization is not only
unacceptable, it is abhorrent. The basic premise of questioning the
membership of the Human Rights Council with regard to a number of states
is out-hand rejected. We believe that this is a matter of serious
concern, the continued participation of this organization in the
proceedings of this Council is, to our view, not desirable, and we would
ask the Human Rights Council to take a unified view on this matter.
Venezuela: I wanted to support the points of order raised by Cuba and
Bangladesh. My delegation would also like to state in writing its
position. We reject what has been said by this political organization
called UN Watch. They use this session to address political issues which
have nothing to do with promoting human rights. Vice-President, we are
under agenda item 8, the general debate, this is a thematic debate, it
has to do with the Vienna Action Plan. We therefore reject the fact that
this political body violates the spirit of cooperation that needs to
prevail in our work. President, I agree that we need to respect freedom
of expression and freedom to disagree with a country, but at the same
time we demand respect, and we cannot accept offensive terms used
against our country and our government. I would, therefore, president,
ask you to call the speaker to order. Thank you.
Pakistan: We would support the well articulated arguments already given
by Cuba, Bangladesh, Venezuela, and we would also align ourselves with
their viewpoint, that this organization is way out of line, and the
honor and respect of the Council should be always at the top of the
agenda, and to target continuously particular countries by the
organization, which we saw in the last agenda item also, and again in
the last agenda item we had to take the point of order on the same
organization, it is not in line, and we urge the whole Council to take a
unified position on this, and we respectfully request the Vice-President
to take Point of Order on this.
United States: Without addressing the substance of the speaker's
statement, we are of the opinion that what we have heard of the
intervention is indeed addressed to the subject matter at hand before
this council and is within the UN rules and IB package. I believe that
the speaker has already finished speaking as I understood it but if the
speaker has not, we respectfully ask that you rule that the speaker be
allowed to finish his presentation.
China: I support the statement made by Cuba, Bangladesh, Venezuela and
Pakistan. Members of the Human Rights Council were elected by the member
states, and this is an NGO which is making this kind of attack, which is
totally unacceptable, and therefore I would respectfully request the
Vice-President to end the speech that has been made by this NGO. And I
would also call on this NGO to respect the rules of the Council in this
United Kingdom: NGOs should be allowed to speak openly and freely in
this forum. The NGO should be allowed to conclude their statement,
Netherlands: We highly value that civil society be able to speak. We ask
you to allow the speaker to finish their statement.
Canada: Canada deeply believes that accredited NGOs should be authorized
to take the floor in this council. What we heard from this statement is
relevant to our ongoing discussions.
Saudi Arabia: I won't be long. We support the points of order raised by
Cuba, Bangladesh, and China. Thank you.
Iran: We would like to support the point of order made by our
distinguished Cuban colleagues, followed by Bangladesh and other
distinguished members of the Council. Thank you.
Latvia: It is very important that we allow NGOs to express their views,
even if we may sometimes disagree with what they say. That enriches our
human rights dialogue. It is the better of courtesy to ensure that NGO
statements should not be interrupted. I call on you to allow NGOs to
Vice-President (Egyptian ambassador Amr Ahmed Ramadan): Actually NGOs
were given the chance to speak, we have been listening to them since
Germany: Like others before us, we would urge upon this council to
listen to the voice of NGOs, even if we do not always agree with what
Bolivia: Thank you, brother Vice-President. We feel compelled to second
what has been said by Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, etc. We are not
questioning freedom of expression, it is the content of what has been
said which discredits the NGO. We are clear in how this NGO operates.
United Arab Emirates: President, the Emirates would also like to endorse
the point of order raised by Cuba, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and
others. Thank you.
Vice-President: Distinguished members of this council: we have wasted
more than 10 minutes, we listened to 15 countries whether to allow UN
Watch to continue with this statement. We need all to recognize that we
are short of time in this session. So with that in mind, we need to work
in an efficient manner, to finish the agenda. With that in mind, I will
ask the representative to respect member states, and more importantly to
respect this Council.
UN Watch: Mr. President, we have the right to cite the suspension
provision of this council's own charter. They can silence human rights
defenders at home, but they cannot do so at the United Nations.
UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to
monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is
accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special
Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and
as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).
Source: UN Watch testimony at UNHRC interrupted by Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia, China, Iran, Bangladesh -
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