Cuba accuses Washington of smear campaign over human rights

CUBA hit back at the United States today, saying it “lacks the morals” to give lessons in democracy after President Donald Trump accused Havana of human rights violations.

Washington is set to launch its “Jailed for What?” campaign today aimed at exposing Cuba for jailing 130 political prisoners, calling it a “blatant affront” to democracy.

However Cuban ambassador to the United Nations Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo accused the Trump regime of hypocrisy, highlighting policies that have separated parents and children.

Ms Camejo told UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet, that the US “lacks any moral authority to judge Cuba, when its current administration drives an agenda of supremacist, racist and xenophobic ideas.”

She accused the US of systematic human rights abuses including the use of torture and “arbitrary deprivation of liberty” at the Guantanamo Bay military base, where suspects have been held for years without trial.

Cuba called on UN general secretary Antonio Guterres to cancel the event, warning that it is in violation of the UN Charter.

Ms Camejo warned that the campaign is part of an attack on Cuba, which includes the devastating 56-year economic and financial blockade of the country.

Cuban foreign ministry spokesman Carlos Fernandez de Cossio explained that the US has increased hostility towards Cuba in recent months.

He accused Washington of dedicating millions to attempts to undermine the Cuban constitutional order, to “interfere in internal affairs and finance individuals who act as agents of a foreign power.”

Mr Cossio said the Trump administration was escalating a smear campaign over human rights issues in Cuba and warned that “far from engaging in dialogue on the basis of respect, as Cuba has been willing to do for co-operation purposes and as it does with other countries, Washington resorts to fraudulent accusations and defamatory campaigns.”

 

 

Morning Star editorial 17.10.2018

– Trump should be ashamed to lecture Cuba on human rights

DONALD TRUMP’S lack of self-awareness is legendary, but surely his acolytes could have persuaded him to spare US embarrassment linked to his decision to launch a campaign attacking Cuba for supposed human rights violations.

The US president claims that Havana holds 130 political prisoners, which he calls a “blatant affront” to fundamental democratic freedoms.

Trump’s record makes clear that he wouldn’t recognise fundamental democratic freedoms if they jumped up and bit his backside.

Or as Cuba’s UN ambassador Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo said at the weekend, the US “lacks any moral authority to judge Cuba, when its current administration drives an agenda of supremacist, racist and xenophobic ideas.”

Trump has failed, like so many other US presidents, to move with the times, believing that his country has might-is-right power, expressed in the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, to be sole arbiter of matters in the western hemisphere.

His authorisation of US diplomat Kelley E Currie to initiate Washington’s “Jailed for What?” provocation at the UN today simply reminded observers that dozens of “enemy combatants” remain incarcerated without trial or legal redress at the Guantanamo Bay military base occupied by the US in defiance of Cuba’s wishes.

Who are US diplomats and politicians to decide who is a political prisoner in Cuba or to turn a blind eye to those in their own country?

Cuba has been under attack by US-sponsored terrorists since shortly after the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

From atrocities such as the CIA-masterminded Bay of Pigs invasion to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban plane flying from Barbados to Havana, when 73 passengers and crew perished, the US has made re-establishing domination over Cuba its top priority.

Previous pleas for “political prisoners” have included Salvadorean terrorist Raul Cruz Leon who planted a bomb in Havana in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist.

Those now termed political prisoners include activists paid by the US and other anti-Cuban actors. Havana is not alone in regarding foreign-financed political opponents as acting illegally.

The US, for example, has legislation requiring agents of foreign powers to register as such or face legal retribution.

It also has a record of wiping out political opponents, such as Black Panther Party members, in fake shoot-outs, of fitting up political opponents on false charges and holding them in jail for decades.

Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who campaigned against police violence and abuse against black people, is still in jail 36 years after being convicted of the murder of a police officer in Philadelphia, despite a broad international campaign demanding his release.

American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier was similarly convicted falsely of murdering two FBI agents and has been banged up since 1977, despite the government admitting during an unsuccessful appeal that it had no evidence to show he had killed them.

The US has a daily running total of around 40,000 undocumented workers, families and students — and now, under Trump, even separated children — locked up in immigrant detention centres.

These centres are privately run, proving very profitable for their owners as well as places to be feared by people seeking a better life in the US from their homelands exploited by the US empire and often terrorised by Washington’s military proxies.

With such a record, President Trump ought to be ashamed to even mention the term “human rights,” but he and the transnational corporations he represents are shameless.

They will get their answer in a fortnight when the UN general assembly will overwhelmingly condemn once again the illegal US blockade against Cuba.