This was a recurring and long- familiar scenario: the “normalization” of Cuba’s totalitarian dystopia by the international community and the collusion with it by “Latin” leftists. All those responsible are discredited and disreputable, not to mention contemptible, but some are more egregiously indecent than others given their position and pretensions. The latter include the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, although the UN is ultimately responsible for whatever she does or fails to do in her official role.
On September 13, two months after the 11J popular uprising in Cuba and the heavily repressive state response, which flagrantly violated civil rights, Bachelet presented a formal report on worldwide human rights abuses at the opening of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She talked about Venezuela, Afghanistan, China, Belarus, Cambodia, Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palestine, Philippines, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine…but not Cuba. Not a word. Nada. As if Cuba were a Caribbean Switzerland.
It’s not as if anyone should have had to ask her beforehand to do her duty, but there were calls to that effect from the San Isidro Movement, Cuban Prisoners Defenders and José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch–all focused on her then forthcoming report in Geneva. Evidently, they went unheeded. It is a safe bet that she was also lobbied by Castro, Inc., which definitely has her number and can get her attention far more readily than those who want Cuba free rather than “revolutionary.”
This had nothing to do with ignorance of Cuba’s dreadful reality, not just now but for over 60 years. Bachelet is not uninformed or stupid. This was no oversight but a deliberate choice to overlook the painfully obvious—painful to the victims, that is. She is, of course, a lifelong leftist who has expressed admiration for Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the Cuban “revolution,” which she has not publicly called a dictatorship to my knowledge. Predictably, she subscribes to the view that Cuba has been victimized by the US “blockade,” and has attributed the 11J protests to its effects.
Soon after 11J, Bachelet called for freeing of Cubans imprisoned for exercising their basic rights and asked for restored internet and social media access, but she never took the bull by the horns; she didn’t confront Cuba’s dictatorship as she surely would have a Pinochet-type regime. It’s as if, two months later, she’d decided all was in order and there was nothing to discuss or condemn in terms of human rights in Cuba. Again, she is neither ignorant nor obtuse but clearly compromised. This reflects the whole UN, now headed by a Portuguese socialist, which has not even temporarily suspended Cuba’s bogus membership in its Human Rights Council. Yet again, the rights and welfare of the Cuban people have been subordinated to the “revolutionary” fantasies and sympathies of foreigners.
I know nobody here needs to be told any of this, given how typical it is, but it needs to be called out and set down for the record. It should be beyond clear what and who is what, and Michelle Bachelet, who probably aspires to be UN Secretary General, is neither what nor where she should be. Alas, there are only too many like her, and worse.
P.S. Upon Fidel Castro’s death in 2016, Bachelet, as President of Chile, said via Twitter “My condolences to President Raúl Castro for the death of Fidel, a leader for dignity and social justice in Cuba and Latin America.” Even assuming she genuinely believed that, evidently “dignity” and “social justice” do not mean what she thinks they mean.
2 thoughts on “Human rights violations in Cuba bypassed by UN High Commissioner Bachelet”
Here’s Bachelet as Chile’s president in 2009 in Havana, where she of course condemned the US “blockade”:
She looks like a giddy schoolgirl in the photo with Raúl. Pictures are indeed worth any number of words.
Note that Fidel didn’t just give her a few minutes for a photo-op. He gave her a 90-minute audience.
And by the way, she is not aging well. Maybe what’s inside is becoming more manifest on the outside.
Alas, it is not just notoriously dubious “Latin” politicians (la última carta de la baraja, as my mother used to say) who habitually play along with Castro, Inc. Even exalted figures officially designated as holy have done it–not only the practically heretical Bergoglio and the hapless Ratzinger, but John Paul II, now a canonized saint. JPII was not simply “too nice” or “too soft” with the abominable Fidel Castro; he clearly treated him differently from the way he treated Pinochet on a visit to Chile, and I’m afraid that doesn’t wash well.
Lord have mercy.
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