Win some, lose some
In a move that makes an absolute mockery of its charter, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council voted to discontinue monitoring human rights abuses in Cuba and in that other great Stalinist democracy, Belarus.
Not surprisingly, the Castro regime’s propaganda machine kicked in immediately, describing the UN decision as a “historic victory of the Cuban people over the US”, as you can read here.
Then again, as the Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer points out in this excellent commentary, what would you expect from a human rights council whose members include some of the world’s worst human right offenders?
Still, not everything has gone Castro’s way.
While the UN was congratulating itself on a job well done, the European Parliament was passing a new resolution calling on Havana to allow greater political freedom.
In the adopted text, the European MPs noted “that dozens of independent journalists, dissidents and human rights defenders” were still rotting away in Castro’s extensive and highly-efficient prison system.
Furthermore, the resolution highlighted the need for Cuba to launch immediately "a process of political transition to multi-party democracy, with participation and decision-making open to all Cubans on the basis of an open-ended dialogue that excludes no-one".
The motion, which was passed by 51 votes to 21 with three abstentions, also called on European Union member states (read: Spain), not to go soft on Castro at this stage of the process.
Now, I could be proved wrong but I am pretty sure that’s the type of news Cubans won’t get to read when they open their copy of Granma this morning.