Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lukashenko and Castro urge world to suck it

Ah, some things never change. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has voted to remove two totalitarian police state dictatorships from its human rights blacklist, while moving to "permanently indict" Israel. Belarus and Cuba, both of whom deny even token freedoms and human rights to independent journalists, political dissidents, homosexuals and too many others to list, have been removed from the UNHRC blacklist for reasons nobody is willing to state (on the record, anyway). Israel, on the other hand, now joins countries like North Korea, Haiti (!), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Burma, Burundi, Somalia and Cambodia.

You may recall that the UNHRC was born out of the ashes of the widely reviled and ridiculed United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCRH), and that the new body was supposed to do a better job of keeping countries that neglect, abuse or downright disregard human rights (like Belarus and Cuba) at arm's length. Despite promises that the "new" UNHRC would start with a "clean slate" and would not "target Israel", the UNHRC has morphed, in just over a year, into the disreputable human rights body it was created to replace.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Raúl Castro (pictured above at left), however, are in no mood to quibble. A win is a win, after all. And while neither man is any mood to legitimize the sudden boost in their image with any actual improvements on human rights in their respective countries, they'll certainly take any good publicity they can get.

UPDATE: Raúl Castro's wife has died at the age of 77. Look for absolutely no changes in Cuban politics to follow.

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