Friday, November 02, 2007

Here comes the UN

You’ve gotta hand it to the United Nations ...

As you may recall, the UN’s human rights council took an unusual (and unusually brave) decision about five years ago: a majority of countries on the council voted to appoint a special human rights rapporteur for Cuba.

This special rapporteur - a highly respected French magistrate by the name of Christine Chanet - would visit the island regularly and report back on how the Castro regime was dealing with dissenters and opponents.

In characteristic style, Castro simply refused to let Ms Chanet into the country, accusing her of being nothing more than a “mercenary” in the pay of the US, blah, blah, blah.

Eventually, the UN did what the UN often does: it just gave up and so, in June this year, it abolished the role, much as Castro and his apologists had demanded.

Instead, we now have a special UN rapporteur on “the right to food” – a kind of world expert on hunger.

His name is Jean Ziegler, a Swiss-born academic who has been described by the media as “left wing”. Which means he is certainly outspoken on issues close to the Left, having attacked the US for promoting biofuels while describing Israel as the "worst colonial power in the world.

Sure enough, the erudite Mr Ziegler has been welcomed with open arms this week in Havana by the Castro brothers.

And why not? No sooner had he landed that the special rapporteur started praising the “extraordinary” work of the regime in finding what he described as “creative” ways to feed Cubans.

And yes, he blamed the food shortages on the island on ... the US trade embargo.

On cue.


Anonymous asombra said...

Well, at least nobody can accuse the UN of being inconsistent or acting out of character. This is strictly business as usual. I'd call it shameless, but that would be redundant.

12:44 am  
Blogger Lori said...

Could someone suggest the UN be moved to Switzerland or any other country that will take it?

I can only speak for the US as I have not lived in any other country, but we have The Cartoon Network, the Disney Cartoon Channel, and Nick. I think we can spare that bunch of cartoon stooges over at the UN and give the whole thing over to any country with out a channel dedicated to cartoons, so that their children and some adults can entertain themselves.

9:21 am  

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